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George "Red" Barker
Son of a policeman, George J. Barker known as "Red" starts his career on police blotters as follows;
January 29,1916 - Sentenced to three months in the House of Correction for driving away automobile from scene of accident.
February 26,1916- Sentenced to one year in the House of Correction for larceny.
September 18,1917 - Found not guilty of assault to rob.
March 5,1918 - Sent to Pontiac reformatory for one to ten years for larceny.He had stolen an automobile from a doctor.
June 17,1919 -Paroled.
December 1,1919 -Wanted for violation of parole
August 16,1920 - Tried in Detroit for robbery and sent to Marquette,Michigan penitentiary for 7 1/2 to 10 years.
November 26,1922 - Escaped
November 28,1922 - Recaptured
October 27,1928 George Barker,William Clifford and Michael Reilly are arrested in San Francisco for the murder of Chicago garage attendant Albert Pratt who was working at 868 North Clark street.Two days earlier the same men were implicated in shooting and nearly killing policeman Walter Hoder after he had asked them to get out of the car in front of 856 North Clark street.It is believed they went back to kill the witness to the shooting of the officer.
February 22,1929 - Tried for murder in Cook County and acquitted.
George Barker,Michael Reilly and William Clifford were charged of killing garage attendant Albert Pratt.A policeman by the name of Walter Hoder identifies the trio, but later changes his mind at the trial.All three are set free.Hoder will serve a month in jail for his turn around testimony.
April 13,1929 Barker's partners, Reilly and Clifford are found shot to death in an alley behind the old Hawthorne hotel.They were riddled with machinegun bullets.
They had supposedly levied a total of $50,000 against racketeers,union agents and beer runners to get defense funds for that trial.
March 2,1929 - Discharged and returned to Pontiac reformatory fo violation of parole.
September 12,1929 - Discharged on writ by Judge Green at Peoria.
February 21,1930 George Barker,Jack White and Bernard O'Donnell are released on bonds for carrying weapons.
October 5,1930 Barker is arrested coming out of a teamsters union meeting.He is booked for disorderly conduct. At that time he is out on a $10,000 for vagrancy charges.
October 12,1930 Barker is arrested in possession of a loaded weapon along with Claude Maddox and Jack White.
Barker is sent to Joliet prison to resume an original prison sentence which he was paroled.It was deemed illegal by Chief Justice McGoorty.Instead of finishing his sentence at Pontiac, he is deemed to old for reformatory and sent to Joliet in November 1930.
January 30,1931 The Chicago Coal Teamsters and chauffeur Hikers'union hold a meeting to oust imprisoned George Barker as president of the union.He has been diverting union funds to help his defense in criminal trials.
March 7,1931 Barker is voted out of the union.
April 24,1931 George "Red " Barker is released from Joliet after the High court deems Chief Justice McGoorty's judgement of returning Barker to prison for an unfiinished sentence nolle prossed.
On his way out Barker is complaining about the clothes given to him." Look at these things" "Give me my own clothes and shoes"
The warden tells Barker to shut up and slaps the hat off his head.
Upon exiting Joliet penitentiary the Chicago police take him away on an old gun toting charge that was unserved.
April 26,1931 After seeing that no one putting up bonds for him while in the County jail, Barker begins to fear for his life. Most of his past companions and old gang mates were slain.(Michael Reilly,William Clifford Thomas McElligott and Thomas Cauley).
Barker figures if he can't get back in control of the unions he has lost, then maybe the Capone gang can take him in.
April 28,1931 Barker finally leaves the County jail via the back door where his wife is waiting for him in a chauffered automobile.$5,000 cash is accepted for his release instead of the $10,000 bond, As was done in a previous case for James Sammons.The defense contends that the prosecution cannot revive an old gun charge after it's been abandoned by the said prosecution.Before his release and during his hearing, Barker was constantly hiding his face with a handkerchief.It was also noted that he was wearing a blue suit several sizes too small.
Oct 3,1931 Barker's gun charges from October 1930 are dropped and he is again free.
Barker continues to try an weasel himself into unions (Labor such as Laundry,milk drivers etc...).
There is also talk that Barker is aspiring for Al Capone's throne.
June 17,1932 Barker is walking in front of 1502 North Crawford avenue when a machinegun barks.A total of 18 slugs hit Barker.Two men and a woman were with Barker when he was hit.The marksmanship was so dead on that the people who were standing next to him at the time were unscathed.These same people dragged Barker's body to the nearby Norford Hotel at 1512 North Crawford. From there Barker was hustled into an automobile and driven to the Keystone hospital.(1623 North Kostner).
They find the door to the hospital closed.They kick it in and tell a nurse there to take care of him and that money is no object.The nurse tells them there is no hope.His friends leave the premises.
Later a Thompson machinegun is retrieved near the scene and ballistic tests performed.Police also find a makeshift target range that was used right before Barkers killing near a drainage canal one mile east of Stickney.Men were seen there shooting a Thompson at a 12 inch post the very same day Barker was killed.
The gun is traced to the Haber Screw machine company who purchased the gun at Von Lengerke & Antoine sporting goods.(33 South Wabash avenue). Some speculate that Barker was killed by the Capone mob (On Nitti's oreders for his overzealous ambition to head the Outfit.Others mention the Touhy gang as the ones who machinegunned Barker for revenge.Barker had been named as the one who had given the order to kill Timothy J. Lynch, who was czar of the teamsters and Chauffeurs union.These same people had mentioned that White was also targeted, but that the machinegun had jammed.
In meantime Barker's funeral is a nice one.4,000 people gawk at his last ride to Mt. Carmel.Eighteen carloads of flowers follow the silver plated casket.Barker's mother and four sisters were hysterical.His widow remained calm and in control.
Rest in peace Mr. Barker, not yet! on June 22,1932 a gunfight erupts between a caretaker and a band of ghouls who were ready to dig up Barker.They shot up the caretaker's car before speeding off in a large truck.
The grave robbers were at section 26 in Mt. Carmel and flinging flowers from his grave.
Joseph Sobol the 50 year old caretaker asks what the men are doing. Half a dozen shots answer his question as he runs behind his small truck.He manages to fire two or three times before his gun jams.
The robbers shoot up his truck before fleeing.
First Posted September 2006