FBI Posts 76,000-page file on Barker/Karpis Gangsters
The 1930s gang that included Ma Barker – one of the most infamous female gangsters – is the subject of a humongous FBI file. It’s 76,159 pages, which makes it one of the biggest of the Bureau’s files. From what I can tell, it might be the second-largest ever released, behind the Rosenbergs’ file (~142,000 pages). It’s much larger than the released files on COINTELPRO (52,680 pages), Alger Hiss and Whittaker Chambers (46,213 pages), and the internment of Japanese Americans (and others) during World War II (34,207 pages).
Until now, this file had never been online – it had been previously released but only on paper. In February 2017, I filed a FOIA request for a digital version. I suspect that the FBI has now scanned all of the files it released during the paper-only era, or, at the very least, the most important/prominent files.
Kudos to RIDS (the FBI’s FOIA office) for making this huge file freely available.
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