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Honoring a Historic Sacrifice

Honoring a Historic Sacrifice
Courtesy/ Federal Bureau of investigation. Raymond J. Caffrey.

Omaha, Nebraska – The Omaha Chapter of the Society of Former Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in cooperation with the Omaha FBI Field Office and the Omaha FBI Citizens’ Academy Alumni Association will remember and honor the sacrifice of a native son of Nebraska, FBI Special Agent Raymond J. Caffrey, with a ceremony at 11:00 AM on Saturday, June 17, 2017, at the Caffrey gravesite in Resurrection Cemetery, 7800 W. Center Road in Omaha.

Eighty-four years ago, on the morning of June 17, 1933, Special Agent Raymond Caffrey became one of the victims of the infamous “Kansas City Massacre,” an event which shocked the conscience of the nation and led to historic changes in the law and the FBI. Special Agent Caffrey, two Kansas City police detectives, and the Special Agent in Charge of the Kansas City FBI Field Office were at Kansas City’s Union Station to meet two other FBI agents and Police Chief Otto Reed of McAlester, Oklahoma, who were returning federal prison escapee Frank Nash to the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas. As they were leaving Union Station, they were ambushed by Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd, Vernon Miller and Adam Richetti in an attempt to free Nash. The ensuing gunfight killed Special Agent Caffrey, Chief Reed, the two Kansas City detectives and Nash. Two other FBI Agents were wounded. Today, marks from the bullets fired at Union Station in 1933 can still be seen on an exterior wall of the building.

Special Agent Caffrey was born in May 1902 in McCook, Nebraska. After attending Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska and being admitted to the Nebraska Bar, he entered on duty with the FBI. As a special agent with the Bureau, Special Agent Caffrey worked in the Boston, Charlotte, and Kansas City offices.

One of Special Agent Caffrey’s grandsons will be a special guest at the memorial ceremony on June 17, the anniversary of his sacrifice. The ceremony will include brief remarks, a prayer, and the placement of an American Flag and memorial wreath at the Caffrey gravesite. An officer from the Omaha Police Pipes and Drums will play the bagpipes at the ceremony.

Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI – Omaha Chapter Chairperson Weysan Dun said, “it is important to remember and honor the Special Agents of the FBI who gave their lives in the line of duty and let their families know they are still part of the greater “FBI Family.” We are honored to have one of Raymond Caffrey’s grandsons with us today as an honored guest.”

Omaha FBI Special Agent in Charge Randy Thysse commented, “the Kansas City Massacre, during which Special Agent Caffrey died in the line of duty, was very significant and historic for the FBI. Prior to this event the agency did not have statutory authority to carry firearms and make arrests, but a year later Congress enacted laws giving the FBI authority to carry guns and make arrests.”

Omaha FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association president Tony Moody said, “The FBI Citizens’ Academy Alumni are proud to partner with former FBI Agents and the Omaha FBI Field Office to honor one of the FBI’s historic service martyrs.”

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