Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Lloyd Barker writes to Ma from Leavenworth

    Lloyd "Red" Barker Autograph Letter Signed. One page, two sided, on lined Leavenworth State Prison letterhead, Kansas, 8.5" x 11", January 3, 1931. Excellent content in this letter written to the notorious Ma Barker, from her second son Lloyd, who was serving twenty-five years in Leavenworth for a 1921 mail robbery. Lloyd's remaining brothers (Herman committed suicide in 1927 following a robbery), Arthur ("Doc") and Freddie were also imprisoned at the time this letter was written, but both would very shortly be released, along with a prison buddy, Alvin Karpis, to embark on a series of daring bank robberies, kidnappings, and murders that made the Barkers a household word.

    Letter reads, in part: "I am in hopes of eating next Christmas dinner with you and if everything turns out alright [sic] I will... A friend of mine is going to stake me enough money for me to go into a café at Oklahoma City and another friend has a nice building he will rent me or go into business with me. He may come to see you he sure is a nice fellow..." This is almost certainly a reference to Alvin Karpis, who did indeed visit Ma after his release from prison. Although Ma Barker is generally considered the head of the crime gang eventually formed by her family members and their friends, Alvin Karpis was the real criminal mastermind behind the gang. Once Doc, Freddie, and Alvin joined up after release from prison, they immediately put together the Karpis-Barker gang and began a four-year crime spree that captivated the nation's attention. Letter is written in pencil and signed "As ever, Lloyd 17243 [his prisoner number]." It bears the usual folds, one tiny chip along the upper edge, and two one-inch sections of fold separation at center fold. Light discolorations on verso appear to be bleed through of censor stamp ink from the envelope. Generally fine condition, and an outstanding addition to any criminal collection!


    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2008
    17th-18th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 651

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 5 days left to consign to the 2018 August 18 Americana & Political - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    The department director has the heart of a true and highly knowledgeable collector with the business acumen of someone who has been not only successful but has decades of an impeccable track record
    David Greenburg,
    Chicago, IL
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    2018 June 10 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $619,240