Machine Gun Kelly’s Name Has a Real Gangster History

by Jeremy Spirogis
Machine Gun Kelly, George Barnes

Machine Gun Kelly could also be within the headlines for his relationship with Megan Fox, however the artist has been on the music scene since 2012. This 12 months, he earned his first Billboard primary for his Tickets to My Downfall album, rising his fan base and attracting recent consideration from these unfamiliar together with his work.

Between that and his entry into the appearing world, some could also be curious concerning the origin of his identify. Modern Machine Gun Kelly’s actual identify is Richard Colson Baker, however his stage identify belonged to an precise gangster.

Machine Gun Kelly, George Barnes
Singer Machine Gun Kelly at 2020 American Music Awards | Emma McIntyre/AMA2020/Getty Images; George Barnes, a.ok.a ‘Machine Gun Kelly’ in 1933 | adoc-photos/Corbis through Getty Images

Machine Gun Kelly’s spouse gave him his identify

Before going to jail for a kidnapping heist, George Kelly Barnes was a salesman after which a bootlegger. He married Kathryn Thorne underneath the identify George Kelly, and it was she who goaded him into turning into a profession prison. Per the FBI, she nicknamed him “Machine Gun” and gifted him with the precise weapon.

At first, he caught to operating his unlawful alcohol gross sales, however Kelly additionally acquired into theft. It then escalated to kidnapping.

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Original Machine Gun Kelly was on the FBI’s ‘Wanted’ checklist

In July 1933, the FBI performed an interstate investigation into the kidnapping of two rich males who have been taken at gunpoint in entrance of their wives. According to FBI information, one of many assailants had a machine gun and the opposite a pistol, they usually took each males off the entrance porch of an Oklahoma City dwelling.

One was launched after the meant goal, Charles Urschel, was decided and the abductors kickstarted their ransom plot. After 9 days and a $200,000 ransom, Urschel was launched. Behind the scenes, the FBI suspected George Kelly and his spouse, Kathryn Thorne Kelly.

Kelly had already served a jail sentence for bootlegging and was dwelling a lifetime of luxurious together with his spouse. Per the FBI, that they had no documented supply of revenue. But this case led to their undoing as finally, greater than 20 folks have been convicted in connection to the crime. And they have been the masterminds.

After FBI investigators hauled in accomplices,—some prepared, some unknowing—the Kellys have been nonetheless on the run. They did, nevertheless, handle to ship threatening letters to the victims, witnesses, and prosecutor, making them a prime FBI precedence. They have been captured in September 1933 in Tennessee.

It was found they distributed a number of the traceable ransom cash amongst their cohorts, put some within the financial institution, buried a portion, spent some, and saved a stash on their individual.

The Kellys have been convicted and sentenced to jail in October 1933. George “Machine Gun” Kelly died within the penitentiary in 1954.

Modern-day Machine Gun Kelly says he paid for his identify

In an interview with Howard Stern in September, Machine Gun Kelly stated he paid a DJ/actor $1,000,000 to make use of the identify.

The proprietor of the moniker had a prolonged profession in radio, tv, and movie that started within the ‘70s. His credits include a role in 1976’s A Star Is Born and a stint as an announcer for Wheel of Fortune.

Rapper/rocker Machine Gun Kelly instructed Stern he’s been going by the identify since age 15, however as soon as he shot to fame, he needed to make it official.

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