Selected Papers of Homer Cummings, Attorney General of the United States, 1933-1939

By Carl Brent Swisher; Homer S. Cummings | Go to book overview

8. The Federal Bureau of Investigation

[ The Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is the "secret service" arm of the Department of Justice, is treated in Part Two above in connection with the broader aspects of the problem of crime control. The Bureau performs quite as important services in civil matters, although these activities are less spectacular. The following items are largely illustrative of what may be called the personal side of its functions. Ed.]


A telegram to Special Agent F. J. Lackey, Kansas City, Missouri, June 20, 1933:

I DESIRE to express to you my best wishes for your rapid recovery from the wounds received by you in line of duty and to commend you for the courageous manner in which you conducted yourself under the most trying circumstances.

[Note: The special agent mentioned was severely wounded in the so- called "Kansas City Massacre" in which two agents--the other, Reed Vetterli--were wounded and two local officers were killed in taking the notorious gangster, Frank Nash, to Leavenworth. Mr. Lackey continued in the service. Ed.]


A letter to William B. Bankhead, Speaker of the House, May 4, 1938:

William R. Ramsey Jr., special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the Department of Justice, died early yesterday morning in a hospital at Danville, Illinois, as a result of gunshot wounds inflicted the day before by a bank robbery suspect whom he was endeavoring to arrest near Penfield, Illinois.

Special agent Ramsey, accompanied by another special agent and several local officers, had proceeded to a point near Penfield to arrest three men suspected of the burglary of the State Bank of Lapel, Lapel, Indiana. The arrest of one of the suspects had been effected. The officers then entered a farmhouse, approxi

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