Nation: Blasting a G-Man Myth

Oct. 22, 1934, G-Man Melvin Purvis cornered Bank Robber Charles ("Pretty Boy") Floyd in a farmhouse near East Liverpool, Ohio. When Floyd, armed with two .45-cal. pistols, fled across a stubbled cornfield toward the woods, Purvis and his men shot him to death. It was one of the most celebrated exploits of the G-men, forerunners of the present-day FBI agents, and enhanced Purvis' reputation as one of the country's ablest crime fighters. The story of Floyd's death stood unchallenged for almost 45 years.

Last week, however, retired East Liverpool Police Captain Chester C. Smith,...

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