Kathryn Kelly: The Moll Behind Machine Gun Kelly is a biography of the woman who made a career of crime. With a lust for danger, she masterminded the crimes that took her and her husband, and others who included her own mother and stepfather, on a spree across Minnesota, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Texas. Starting with smaller crimes that included bootlegging, smuggling liquor onto an Oklahoma Indian reservation, and other petty crimes, she encouraged her husband, George Barnes aka George Kelly, toward a life of more serious criminal activity that eventually escalated into bank robberies, kidnapping and extortion. Many believe that it was Kathryn, after giving him a machine gun, who developed George’s feared persona and the name of Machine Gun Kelly.
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover was even convinced that the two were somehow connected in the Lindbergh kidnapping. Kathryn and Machine Gun Kelly were eventually captured after kidnapping Charles Urschel, a wealthy Oklahoma City oilman, and collecting a $200,000 ransom the largest ransom ever paid at that time. Eventually, the two were captured in Memphis, where Kelly had grown up as a boy. During their trial in Oklahoma City, movie cameras were allowed into the courtroom for the first time as curious spectators across the nation watched. Kathryn, while claiming to be an innocent victim in a bad marriage, remained unrepentant, smiling and primping for the cameras, and writing threatening letters to the judge and attorneys assigned to the case as well as her victims. Convicted in 1933, Kathryn served twenty-five years of her life sentence at FPC Alderson, West Virginia, when in 1958 she was finally released into obscurity. Although much has been written about Machine Gun Kelly, there is very little known about Kathryn. Through narrative, FBI files, rare quotes from George Kelly’s son and other relatives and associates, extensive research, and several photographs, Kathryn Kelly ¬The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly is the first book ever written about a woman who chose to follow a life of crime during the Prohibition era.
Kathryn Kelly: The Moll Behind Machine Gun Kelly is a compelling, gritty and intriguing true crime story that will captivate as well as entertain readers for many hours on end. Kathryn Kelly is a book I knew I had to read and review; as a woman who has studied Psychology and a woman who has been fascinated with crime and why criminals do what they do Kathryn Kelly is a book I knew I would love. I have now finished reading the brilliant Kathryn Kelly, and I can happily write that this book did live up to my expectations and is a book I love and am fascinated with. Readers who enjoy true crime or crime fiction will love Kathryn Kelly thanks to its gripping, intriguing and captivating story, so I implore readers who love these genres as well as memoirs to read this fascinating book… you will not regret it!
Kathryn Kelly has to be one of the most unique crime books I have ever read because this true crime story details every critical event in Kathryn Kelly’s life which is fascinating to read about. At the heart of the story is a criminal called Kathryn Kelly, Kathryn is a woman ‘who made a career or crime’ and a woman who had a ‘lust for danger’ Kathryn was the mastermind behind the crime her and her husband committed which included bootlegging, kidnapping and robbery. The reader will follow Kathryn as she begins her life of crime and along the way the reader will be given great insight into why she did what she did but also her subsequent end and let me tell you book lovers, it is a journey not to be missed!
Kathryn Kelly is a book that is flawlessly written and a book that is executed in the most entertaining of ways. Barbara Casey is a talented author; the reader won’t be able to think anything but this as they begin to read her book. That is because Casey’s descriptive prose is sensational and this combined with the extensive but concise details of the crimes and events associated with Kathryn and her thoughts and feelings towards them make Kathryn Kelly an unmissable read.
Usually, with true crime stories, I find that the author holds back; the author typically holds back on the brutality and the more delicate details which will haunt people. However, Casey is an author who is brazen with her work, and so she holds back on nothing regarding the crimes of Kathryn Kelly. The outcome of this is an accurate portrayal of a sinister person in criminal history that will fascinate as well as horrify readers.
Barbara Casey is an author I admire for many reasons, one of them being the fact that she does not hold back with regards to the crimes explored throughout the book and the other because of her eloquent prose that captivated me from the very start.
Overall Kathryn Kelly: The Moll Behind Machine Gun Kelly is an intricately detailed, flawless and intriguing story about a haunting person written by somebody who is incredibly talented and so I have no choice but to award this stellar book five stars so please if you are a reader who loves true crime then you should not miss out on this brilliant book!
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Thank you so much again for reading!