Albert Bates (criminal)

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Albert Bates
Albert Bates mugshot 1934.jpg
BOP mugshot, 1934
Albert Lawrence Bates

October 16 1893
DiedJuly 4, 1948(1948-07-04) (aged 54)
Cause of death Heart disease
Other namesGeorge Davis, George Harris J.B. King and Magosly
OccupationBank robber and burglar
Criminal statusDied in Alcatraz
Parent(s)Elizabeth Mary Hughes and Wiley Bates
Conviction(s) Kidnapping (1933)
Criminal penaltyLife imprisonment

Albert Lawrence Bates (October 16, 1893 – July 4, 1948) was an American bank robber and burglar during the 1920s and 1930s. He used a number of different aliases during his criminal career including George Davis, George Harris and J.B. King. Albert aided their escape from Alcatraz in 1945. He was the longtime partner of George "Machine Gun" Kelly. He also took part in the kidnapping of oil magnate Charles Urschel in July of 1933.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

Machine Gun Kelly American gangster, kidnapper and bank robber

George Kelly Barnes, better known by his nickname "Machine Gun Kelly", was an American gangster from Memphis, Tennessee, during the prohibition era. His nickname came from his favorite weapon, a Thompson submachine gun. He is most well known for the kidnapping of the oil tycoon and businessman Charles F. Urschel in July 1933, from which he and his gang collected a $200,000 ransom. Urschel had collected and left considerable evidence that assisted the subsequent FBI investigation, which eventually led to Kelly's arrest in Memphis, Tennessee, on September 26, 1933. His crimes also included bootlegging and armed robbery.



Albert Bates was born on October 16, 1893, to Elizabeth Mary Hughes and Wiley Bates. [1] He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1911 but was arrested for desertion and sent to the military prison on Alcatraz where he stayed for 15 months. Albert Bates was first arrested in Nevada for burglary on March 28, 1916, and was sentenced to serve 1 to 15 years at the state prison in Carson City. He was paroled on November 13, 1917, and was out for less than half-a-year when he was arrested for burglary in Ogden, Utah, on April 22, 1920. He was convicted on August 3, 1921, and sentenced to five years at the Utah state prison where he remained for five years.

Desertion crime

In military terminology, desertion is the abandonment of a duty or post without permission and is done with the intention of not returning. In contrast, unauthorized absence (UA) or absence without leave refers to a temporary absence.

A military prison is a prison operated by the military. Military prisons are used variously to house prisoners of war, unlawful combatants, those whose freedom is deemed a national security risk by the military or national authorities, and members of the military found guilty of a serious crime. Thus, military prisons are of two types: penal, for punishing and attempting to reform members of the military who have committed an offense, and confinement-oriented, where captured enemy combatants are confined for military reasons until hostilities cease.

Ogden, Utah City in Utah, United States

Ogden is a city and the county seat of Weber County, Utah, United States, approximately 10 miles (16 km) east of the Great Salt Lake and 40 miles (64 km) north of Salt Lake City. The population was 84,316 in 2014, according to the US Census Bureau, making it Utah's 7th largest city. The city served as a major railway hub through much of its history, and still handles a great deal of freight rail traffic which makes it a convenient location for manufacturing and commerce. Ogden is also known for its many historic buildings, proximity to the Wasatch Mountains, and as the location of Weber State University.

Bates would continuously be in trouble with the law throughout his criminal career, particularly as a young man, and was imprisoned in the Colorado state penitentiary in Cañon City for a third burglary conviction on May 10, 1927. [2] [3]

Cañon City, Colorado Home Rule Municipality in Colorado, United States

Cañon City is a Home Rule Municipality that is the county seat and the most populous municipality of Fremont County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 16,400 at the 2010 United States Census. Cañon City straddles the easterly flowing Arkansas River and is a popular tourist destination for sightseeing, whitewater rafting, and rock climbing. The city is known for its many public parks, fossil discoveries, Skyline Drive, The Royal Gorge railroad, the Royal Gorge, extensive natural hiking paths, and the tropical-like weather year-round."

By the time of his release on July 17, 1930, again being granted parole, Bates had become a hardened criminal. He soon joined up with bank robber "Machine Gun Kelly", who had been released from Leavenworth a month before Bates, and together robbed their first bank in Denton, Texas, with several others on February 6, 1932. Seven months later, he and Kelly teamed with Eddie Bentz to rob a bank on Colfax, Washington, of $77,000 in cash and bonds on September 21. He and Kelly, this time with Eddie Doll, hit another bank in Tupelo, Mississippi, for $38,000 on November 30, 1932. This robbery was one of many wrongly attributed to Pretty Boy Floyd by authorities. [2] [3] [4]

Denton, Texas City in Texas, United States

Denton is a city in and the county seat of Denton County, Texas, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 113,383, making it the 27th-most populous city in Texas, the 200th-most populous city in the United States, and the 12th-most populous city in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex.

Eddie Bentz American bank robber

Edward Wilhelm Bentz was an American bank robber and Depression-era outlaw. He was associated with several high-profile public enemies during his criminal career, including Harvey Bailey, Albert Bates, George "Machine Gun" Kelly and Baby Face Nelson. He was eventually captured by the FBI and sentenced to Alcatraz.

Colfax, Washington City in Washington, United States

Colfax is the county seat of Whitman County, Washington, United States. The population was 2,805 at the 2010 census. The population is estimated at 2,826 per the State of Washington Office of Financial Management in 2015 making Colfax the second largest city in Whitman County behind Pullman. It is situated amidst wheat-covered hills in a valley at the confluence of the north and south forks of the Palouse River. U.S. Route 195, which forms the town's main street, intersects with State Route 26 at the north end of town; in the past, Colfax also lay at the junction of three major railway lines. It was named after Schuyler Colfax, the vice president from 1869-73.

With violent shootouts between outlaws and law enforcement on the rise in 1932 and 1933, Bates and Kelly began considering kidnapping. They may have been encouraged by the successful 1933 kidnapping of brewer William Hamm for $100,000 as they soon began planning the kidnapping of Charles Urschell, a wealthy oil tycoon in Oklahoma City. On July 22, 1933, Bates and Kelly abducted Urschell from his home at gunpoint and drove him to a Texas ranch owned by Kelly's in-laws. They eventually received a $200,000 ransom and Urschell was safely released on July 31. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

Oklahoma City State capital city in Oklahoma, United States

Oklahoma City, often shortened to OKC, is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. The county seat of Oklahoma County, the city ranks 27th among United States cities in population. The population grew following the 2010 Census, with the population estimated to have increased to 643,648 as of July 2017. As of 2018, the Oklahoma City metropolitan area had a population of 1,396,445, and the Oklahoma City-Shawnee Combined Statistical Area had a population of 1,469,124 residents, making it Oklahoma's largest metropolitan area.

Bates and Kelly split up while the FBI took over the investigation. The ranch was eventually discovered by authorities, reports vary between detective work by the FBI or a tip received from local authorities, and federal agents raided the ranch on August 12 arresting three of Kelly's in-laws and a visiting Harvey Bailey. Bates was arrested the same day in Denver for passing stolen checks. Although Kelly would evade authorities for another month, Bates and the rest involved in the Urschall kidnapping were convicted in federal court on September 30, 1933. All were sentenced to life imprisonment a week later [8] with Bates being sent to Alcatraz where he was later joined by his partner Kelly. Bates died of heart disease on July 4, 1948, [2] [3] [4] [5] [9] and is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, California. [1]

Harvey Bailey American bank robber

Harvey John Bailey, called "The Dean of American Bank Robbers", had a long criminal career. He was one of the most successful bank robbers during the 1920s, walking off with over $1 million.

Colma, California Town in California, United States

Colma is a small incorporated town in San Mateo County, California, on the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area. The population was 1,792 at the 2010 census. The town was founded as a necropolis in 1924.

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  1. 1 2 SFgenealogy. "San Francisco Mortuary Records" . Retrieved 26 February 2011.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Newton, Michael. The Encyclopedia of Robberies, Heists, and Capers. New York: Facts On File Inc., 2002. (pg. 30) ISBN   0-8160-4488-0
  3. 1 2 3 4 Ward, David. Alcatraz: The Gangster Years. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009. (pg. 28-40, 87-88, 338-339) ISBN   0-520-25607-7
  4. 1 2 3 Newton, Michael. The FBI Encyclopedia. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2003. (pg. 178) ISBN   0-7864-1718-8
  5. 1 2 Owens, Ron. Oklahoma Justice: A Century of Gunfighters, Gangsters and Terrorists. Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company, 1995. (pg. 116-117) ISBN   1-56311-280-9
  6. Theoharis, Athan G. The FBI: A Comprehensive Reference Guide. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999. (pg. 56) ISBN   0-89774-991-X
  7. Pryor, Alton. Outlaws and Gunslingers: Tales of the West's Most Notorious Outlaws. Roseville, California: Stagecoach Publishing, 2001. (pg. 143) ISBN   0-9660053-6-8
  8. 1 2 Powers, Richard Gid. Broken: The Troubled Past and Uncertain Future of the FBI. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2004. (pg. 147-150) ISBN   0-684-83371-9
  9. 1 2 Yadon, Laurence J. and Dan Anderson. 100 Oklahoma Outlaws, Gangsters, and Lawmen: 1839-1939. Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing Company, 2007. (pg. 191, 194, 206-207, 209) ISBN   1-58980-384-1

Further reading