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New Info-The "Character" of FBI Agent, Charles B. Winstead

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#1 historicalgmen

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 04:23 AM

Good Morning folks:

 

For those interested, I've just finished a paper on the abrupt and fearless character of SA Charles B. Winstead.  This paper and the portrait we attempt to paint of Winstead is a result of my own exam of his FBI personnel file.  If any of  you had some type of "vision" of what Winstead did/didn't look like or act like, this will probably either enhance that or totally demolish your "vision."

 

Stop by our site to retrieve your copy here:

 

http://historicalgme...tead-abrupt-fe/

 

Enjoy the ride!

 

Larry Wack

FBI (Ret.) '68-'03


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#2 historicalgmen

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 04:25 AM

Sorry, 

 

Somehow I lost a "d" in the title.  Should be Charles B. Winstead

 

lw


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#3 darrylta

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 07:26 AM

Mr. Wack,

 

Thank you for shining a light on this fearless agent, yet another example

of the vaunted greatest generation. They got the job done!!!

 

-Darryl


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#4 ghostsoldier

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 07:26 AM

"The Texas approach"....lol. ;)

 

Thanks for sharing that great article, Larry....I learned a lot more I didn't previously know about the mysterious Charles Winstead....he was human, after all. :)

 

Rob


Edited by ghostsoldier, 28 May 2014 - 07:27 AM.

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#5 jim c 351

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 08:32 AM

Larry,
Regarding the use of a 1911 in the Dillinger shooting:
Somewhere I have a copy on yellow paper, hand written, containing a list of Charles Winstead's personal firearms.
I have not been able to locate it this morning, but I remember 2 of the guns on the list, a 1907 351 and a Colt 1911.
Hopefully I'll find the list, but why couldn't CW used this Colt to shoot Dillinger??
Jim C
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#6 historicalgmen

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 04:46 PM

Hi Jim:

 

Sorry for the delay.

 

We don't think so, all things considered, some of which I mentioned at my site page. The best we obtained from Colt historian was that Winstead's personal 1911, Serial 157660 (shown on the list you mentioned) was shipped to the Springfield Armory in 1917 in a box of 1,000. 

 

The Bureau .45's were apparently obtained from Colt through the Washington, D. C. rep Joe Lorch whom the Bureau dealt with for many years in the early days. Those Colts would have had a “C” prefix according to Colt. According to his own statement, Winstead utilized “a Division issued .45”  There were a limited number of .45s in various offices in the Bureau in the 1934 time period for use by those who knew how to handle them, special assignments, etc.  (To give readers an idea, in the Fiscal Year 1935 listings, the Bureau only asked for 50 of the .45s). 

 

For info, as a side note, anyone would be hard pressed to find in Bureau files that Director Hoover or anyone else made any attempt to “celebrate” the agent's weapons used to kill the well known gangsters or others over the years. 

 

By the way, I've attached the Winstead list we obtained that you refer to.  We do not know the date when the list was penned by him nor do we know when he obtained these weapons.  We can only account for 2 of these weapons.  

 

cheers

larry wack

FBI (Ret.)

 

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#7 OCM

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 09:39 AM

Larry-

It comes to mind that the gun Joe Pinkston had in his Nashville, IN. collection, with the wax figure of CW, was a 45 Colt or S&W revolver. I think Joe's approach was " we think this is the gun he used to kill Dillinger " . I've got a picture of it on a trip there with Helmer, if I can find it. Been a long time ago. We've talked about this.

C prefix would be Commercial I believe, on the 1911s. Probably close to this one but not in factory nickel.

 

Good stuff as always, thanks.

 

Sandy

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#8 historicalgmen

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 12:29 PM

Yes, I think as you may have mentioned, or someone else did, that there may be 2-3 others "floating around out there" other than the Pinkston .45 that are believed to be Winstead's .45 he used.  I think we agreed that we'd like to see the evidence that is being used to back up these assertions and frankly, I'd bet there is ample "speculation" in all of them.  

 

There's one item worth mentioning.  In addition to all the other documented and witness evidence we've seen on the question of this .45, Doug Lattimer of Alaska is the one who contacted me and who bought Winstead's home after the passing of him and the wife.  Items were left in the house to include the weapons list we've shown and Winstead's expense diaries Lattimer sent to us to examine and copy.  

 

The important thing about Lattimer is that his father in law was FBI agent, Charlie Spann.  Spann left the Bureau to practice law in Albuquerque and was a long time friend of Winstead's and handled the estate after the Winstead's death.  That's how Lattimer ended up with the items I've mentioned in addition to some dishes and other miscellaneous items.  Lattimer told me during conversation that his stepfather never mentioned Winstead having the Dillinger .45 during their many years together nor did anyone in the Winstead home bring it up, including his recent wife and step children.  Lattimer isn't 100% positive but he thinks Spann sold the remaining guns on the Winstead list during the settlement of the estate.  Off the top, both Lattimer and I agree that if Winstead had the Dillinger .45, there is a very strong likelihood that his father in law would have known about it, and in turn, Lattimer would have heard.

 

Both  Lattimer and Winstead were long time members of the Retired Agent's Society in the Albuquerque Chapter.  There is no mention anywhere to be found within the Bureau that Winstead ever mentioned having the Dillinger .45 to any of his close colleagues in the Chapter (or again, even Spann above). The one thing we do know he told the Chapter members is that he did kneel down to try to listen to something Dillinger was mumbling but Winstead stated he could not understand him.   

 

larry


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#9 ghostsoldier

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 01:43 PM

On a side note: Would Winstead have kept and used the same weapon at the Barker shootout later in Florida?
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#10 OCM

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 05:23 PM

Another mystery I guess. The 38 Super JD had on him in Tucson was sold recently, but the Colt 1911 45 he also had on him is gone ???. We've accounted to most of the Thompsons ( priceless) , maybe I get all jazzed up on these historic articles but to them just a tool in the line of duty.

When he died and CW kneeled next to him, he said " never trust a woman or automatic weapon "  I think that was it.

 

The Barkers ? I wonder too ?  Busy boy Charles was in 34.     


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#11 dalbert

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 09:51 PM

Sorry, 

 

Somehow I lost a "d" in the title.  Should be Charles B. Winstead

 

lw

 

I changed the title slightly so that the "d" in "Winstead" would display in the title.  You were at the character limit for the title field, so the "d" dropped off.

 

David Albert

dalbert@sturmgewehr.com


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#12 historicalgmen

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 04:23 AM

Thanks for fixing that up Dave!  

 

With regard to Rob's question of whether Winstead would have used the same Dillinger .45 at the Barker shootout in Florida, the answer is we simply don't know and can only speculate.  (If in fact Winstead "charged out" the Dillinger .45 from the Chicago FBI vault which I personally think is a strong possibility, there are various factors at play with this.) The official record does not disclose what he carried but there is a significant note in his expense diary revealing that on the day of/day after the shootout, he purchased a box of .351 rifle rounds at a nearby hardware store.

 

If anyone is interested, I have reviewed thousands of pages of the Bremer kidnapping file which reveals the actual documents of the Barker/Florida shootout.  For purposes of setting out the "what happened?" aspect of the Florida/Barker shooting, I've extracted a handful of documents that reveal probably what most readers want to see in that regard.  (I have to mention here for what it's worth that the various reports, forms and content required of FBI reports etc. in the 1930s were STILL almost identical during my own 30 years as an agent.  The similarities are quite amazing at times.)  

 

As the raid plan formulates in Chicago with Inspector Connelley,  you can see in the document the taking of various weapons from the Chicago vault begins to take shape along with the idea that added guns may come from the SAC in Jacksonville.  Hoover's concern with others is that there could be severe problems with a lack of ammunition.  The original plan was for Winstead to remain in Chicago as you'll see but obviously that changed.  

 

Based upon Connelley's report, Winstead's own statement, and his position at Highway 41 with others, (as you'll see by the map shown) Winstead did not really play any significant role in the actual shooting and killing of the Barkers.  As you can see, the immediate kill zone area was at the front of the building where most of the shooting was being done by Connelley, "Doc" White and others.  (My recollection of the review is my personal opinion that in all likelihood, it was either White or Connelley who probably fired the death shot at Ma Barker with a rifle.)  Jokingly, Winstead was probably pretty pissed off with the position Connelley gave him at the site.

 

Connelley's report on the incident and who did what is exceedingly detailed as were all his reports, but the copy is difficult to read in some areas.

 

With regard to Winstead's presence at the shootout, it should be borne in mind that he was but one of a group of "heavy hitters" when it came to firearms proficiency.  "Doc" White for example came to the Bureau with his legendary brother out of the Texas Rangers.  S. K. McKee (Sam McKee) was one of the two agents credited internally with the machine gunning of "Pretty Boy" Floyd.  SA Tom McDade was a recognized firearms instructor.  Others present, and often never heard of, were also highly proficient with firearms due to being former police officers or experience in the military.  

 

Lastly, two things:  There was never any "celebration" or preserving of the guns thought to have killed the Barkers.  As we know, the Bureau did preserve some of the "gangster guns" of the day which ultimately ended up on the FBI Tour at HQ.    

 

Secondly, Sandy's comment about what Dillinger said to Winstead is wrong!  Actually what Dillinger said to Winstead while dying was, "....no Charlie, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night!" :happy:

 

If readers have some time, go to my site link below and download the Barker documents and read them at your leisure.... 

 

 

http://historicalgme...fred-kate-ma-b/

 

 

Cheers

 

Larry Wack

FBI (Ret.)


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#13 ghostsoldier

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 03:11 PM

Wow, Larry...that's awesome stuff!

 

The Barker shooout case is special to me, as it was in my 'neck of the woods' (my brother lives in Ocala, where they took the bodies afterwords), and I've been to see the Barker house several times. I'm not sure it it ever sold, but the condition, especially the interior, is unbelievable (as per the realtor's website) ....and, I even trespassed a little to get photos of the exterior bullet holes, lol.

 

Rob


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#14 OCM

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 02:27 PM

Rob, Larry-

Maybe a little known fact but Lloyd Barker ( I think it was Lloyd ) was killed in Denver, my neck of the woods. Rick Mattix had me look up micro-film at the University library, years ago. His wife shot him through the rear kitchen door with a 410 I think-

Rick came out here and we traced him being buried in Brighton, Colorado. The gal there at the small cemetery had no clue, but an old records book showed a Lloyd Barker buried in such a such plot- We found it an unmarked grave.

For the Barker fans...

 

Sandy 


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