The Poisoned Ink Well

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

I found this on the net about R's Grandfather, Ed (my son's) Great Grandfather, John Zetzer. It's seems funny that I met R at a nightclub just outside of Hot Springs. I have friends that are pilots and I drive by the airport all the time. When we went to Port Clinton this summer R's brother showed us the Garage where they cut up the car. Actually it wound up in a river and not in the lake.

All about Alvin Karpis and the Barker Gang by Richard Kudish.htm

After the raid, searching for Karpis and Hunter, they did an enormous amount of canvassing at local tourist camps in the area, interviewing people in Hot Springs, and listing the damages they inflicted upon the house. It must have been galling. The agents conducted an extensive investigation at the Hot Springs airport interviewing the airport authorities and others about the private plane flights of Karpis and Hunter. The Bureau had also grilled Zetzer, the pilot from Cleveland who had flown the fugitives from Ohio to Hot Springs after the train robbery.

“The postal people got in on the act, and it didn’t take them long to trace the money back to Ohio. They grilled Burrhead, and he told them about Brock and the train robbery. They got their hands on Brock, and he really sang. He confessed to them about Edith Barry’s whorehouse in Toledo, about how it was a traditional hideout, and all the details of the train heist, including the part about my plane trip from Ohio to Hot Springs. That information brought the postal cops and the FBI into Arkansas in greater numbers than ever before.”
However, Karpis paid the pilot of the small plane used in the getaway, a man named Zetzer, to cut apart the car with torches and then sink it in Lake Erie. Zetzer was known as a “crackerjack” pilot, and he smuggled liquor in from Canada during Prohibition. The FBI memos during this stage often have the fugitives’ cars identified and Karpis is just as often trading in the car and buying a new one, or abandoning the vehicle. Sometimes doing so in a rural area, with the motor running, so when found without gas lawmen might conclude they were on foot in the vicinity.