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Crime and Terrorism
The Barker-Karpis Gang, Part 2



The Barker-Karpis Gang, Part 2
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.16

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    power-only, ringleader, well-connected, brewery, vengeance, legitimize, heading, surveillance, banker, ransom, heated, gang, reputation, barrage, attempt, death
     content words:    In June, William Hamm, Edward Bremer Jr, Edward Bremer, President Roosevelt, John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, On January, Doc Barker


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The Barker-Karpis Gang, Part 2
By Mary Lynn Bushong
  

1     The Barker-Karpis gang had so far made its reputation by robbing banks; now they were ready for the big time - kidnapping. In June 1933, the gang kidnapped William Hamm, the owner of Hamm's brewery. They ransomed him for $100,000. About six months later, in January 1934, they kidnapped Edward Bremer Jr., a banker. His ransom was $200,000.
 
2     The second kidnapping was the beginning of the end for the Barker-Karpis gang. The memory of the Lindberg baby's kidnapping and death was still fresh in people's minds. Edward Bremer was also well-connected politically; his father was good friends with President Roosevelt.
 
3     The year 1934 was a bad one for gangsters on the public enemy list. A short time before this, FBI agents were finally granted permission to not only carry weapons but also to make arrests. They did so with a vengeance. John Dillinger was shot to death by agents in Chicago. Bonnie and Clyde, Baby Face Nelson, and Pretty Boy Floyd were all killed in shoot outs. The Barker-Karpis gang was quickly moving into the number one position on the public enemy list. To make matters worse for them, more lawmen were being assigned to find them. As the chase heated up, the gang no longer traveled together, but spread out in smaller groups.

Paragraphs 4 to 9:
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