tv Maria Bartiromos Wall Street FOX Business December 29, 2019 7:00am-7:30am EST
hope you'll do that. and that'll be just friends now have a wonderful new year end think it's much for joining us. from all of us here wishing you the best in 2020. i'll see you again next time. >> a gangster hideout... >> ma barker had her tommy gun and shot out this window? >> right. [ gunfire ] >> ...an epic gunfight... >> it went on for about four hours. it's the longest in fbi history. >> digging up some bullets fired from that window. >> ...haunting history... >> you'd hear, often, footsteps up and down the stairs, just in the middle of the night. >> ...set for sail. >> this is a lot bigger than any of us realize. [ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] ♪ >> i'm jamie colby, headed into the town of ocklawaha, florida, 60 miles northwest of orlando,
and i'm on my way to meet a man who inherited a house riddled with gangster history. >> my name is carson good. for more than a century, my family has owned this property here on lake weir, a place for peace and quiet, except for one very loud, bloody day in 1935. >> carson, hi. i'm jamie. >> hey, jamie, how are you? >> carson invites me into his strange inheritance, and the minute you take a look around, you can tell it's just frozen in time. he says everything is exactly as it was back in january 1935, when the fbi surrounded the lake house, with warrants for the arrest of gangsters ma barker and her son fred. >> this is the original fbi picture. >> wait a minute. wait a minute. that's this lamp? >> and that's that lamp. >> right. >> that's the table that's he. >> right. >> and it's an exact match.
>> right. >> now, what the heck were two infamous gangsters doing in carson's great- grandfather's lake house? we'll get to that. but first, a little gangster history. >> the 1920s and '30s becomes known as the "gangster era" in america. >> mob historian and author scott deitche. >> you of course had the great depression. you also had prohibition, so you had kind of this perfect storm of socioeconomic factors that led to this sudden increase in violent crime. >> bank robberies, kidnappings, and murders are causing havoc around the country, with big-name criminals grabbing headlines. >> you had machine gun kelly, "pretty boy" floyd, john dillinger, bonnie and clyde. they had these catchy names that people gravitated towards. >> another name on that list -- the barker-karpis gang. >> ma barker was born in missouri to a pretty poor family at the time. she married her husband,
george barker, in 1892. they had four sons. they were living in poverty for most of that time. >> as the barker boys come of age, they take to a criminal lifestyle -- getting into fights, stealing cars, committing robberies. but in their mother's eyes, they can do no wrong. do you think they were just doing what they wanted to do without her knowing? >> i think the boys got in trouble, as a lot of boys do, and, rather than disciplining them, she was constantly covering up, trying to help them out, always defending them. >> they eventually gravitated into larger robberies, into kidnappings for ransom, and other crimes. >> ma's youngest son, fred, is nabbed and sent to a kansas state prison in 1927. while there, fred befriends fellow inmate alvin karpis. when the two are paroled in 1931, they head to tulsa, oklahoma, where ma welcomes her son and his buddy alvin with open arms. >> they form a gang and go on
a crime spree, hitting an oklahoma jewelry store for 5 grand and a minnesota bank for a whopping 250k in cash and bonds. they shoot and kill a security guard in missouri during a car heist and murder a deputy sheriff in arkansas. >> then j. edgar hoover announces open season on gangsters. in the summer and fall of 1934, his g-men shoot and kill some famous crooks -- "pretty boy" floyd, john dillinger, and "baby face" nelson. >> it certainly seemed that the bureau was more than willing to use deadly force when necessary. >> feeling the heat, ma and a few gang members flee the midwest... and head south under the last name blackburn, landing in central florida, in the town of ocklawaha, on lake weir.r escape for snowbirds and outdoorsmen, including
carson good's family. in 1930, his great-grandfather carson bradford builds this 2,000-square-foot lake house. it's more than just a fish camp for him and his boys. it's furnished to suit his wife, marion. >> this was her house, and she was apparently very particular about it. >> wipe your feet? >> you had to wipe your feet here. you couldn't come into the living room, if you were a kid, except certain times. >> unlike their neighbors, the bradfords don't rent out their lake house during the winter. but in november 1934, a local real-estate agent presents carson's great-grandfather with a very generous offer. >> so, the broker said there's this nice lady and her sons coming down from up north. they wanted to kind of get away from it all for the wintertime. and they were offering a sizable amount of money. and he said the house wasn't for rent. and then the amount of money kept going up and up, and... >> really? >> ...so, finally, he rented the house. >> and so the blackburns -- in reality, the barkers -- move in to the neighborhood.
george albright, a lifelong lake weir resident, remembers the stories his grandfather told about the tiny town's newest residents. >> the blackburns immersed themselves into the community very quickly. they got to know people around town. she went to church here, apparently gave very generously, so the locals embraced 'em. >> but two months after their arrival, up in chicago, onaboutn they arrest her older son and fellow gang member arthur "doc" barker and search his apartment. >> they actually found a map that had ocklawaha, florida, in it, and they determined that that's where ma barker and fred barker were holing up. ♪ >> eight days later, january 16th. 15 armed fbi agents surround the lake house. what are they prepared to do? >> they were prepared to take the whole gang at once.
>> but ma has something to say about that. you're telling me that ma barker was shooting right out that window? >> here's a "strange inheritance" quiz question. who was j. edgar hoover's original public enemy number one? the answer after the break. (brakes screeching) okay. so, today you're going to leave your phone with a guy named flip. (ding) but it's more than your phone, it's your business, your customer data, your sales figures. and who can forget, those happy hour selfies? not flip. (honking, gasping) this isn't working. introducing samsung business security solutions, with knox software. with the galaxy note10, you can remotely wipe data or lock phones, so your business is secure even when your phone isn't. samsung business solutions. (thud)
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>> so, who was j. edgar hoover's original public enemy number one? it's john dillinger. g-men shot and killed the bank robber in 1934 outside chicago's biograph movie theater. >> it's january 1935, and fbi agents have tracked infamous gangster ma barker and her gang to this house on lake weir in central florida. it's owned by carson good's great-grandfather, who has unwittingly rented it to the notorious gangsters. around 6:00 a.m., 15 agents surround the house. then they call for those inside to surrender. >> and a woman's voice -- it was ma -- yelled, "who is it?!" >> i'm on the edge of my seat. >> and they said, "we have a warrant for your arrest, and please come out," and she said, "hold on a minute. let me see what son says." and then the firing began.
[ gunfire ] >> now, law enforcement has no idea who's in the house. there are shots coming from upstairs, downstairs. they think it might be multiple people. they're not sure. it becomes kind of this free-for-all. >> wielding a thompson submachine gun with a 100-round drum, ma barker fires from one bedroom window while son fred fires from another. [ gunfire ] >> everybody wanted to come and see what was happening. in one of the pictures that the fbi took that day, you can see there are several dozen people right on the fence line of the house. >> then, around 11:30 a.m., silence. afraid that they might be walking into a trap, the g-men send the house's caretaker, willie woodberry, inside. >> willie told me he came in the door, saw the house just torn to pieces, yelled out for them. and there was a pool of blood right here, a big pool of blood,
and he said he saw it led right up the stairs. you can see the bullet holes here, bullet hole here, here, here, bullet hole here, bullet holes there. >> wow, big bullet holes. what a scene! he was pretty brave to come in the house at all. >> he said he was a little bit to this bedroom. >> he said he came right in this door. as he pushed the door open, he found the bodies right there. fred had taken seven bullet holes in the chest, and she had, bullet holes in the door, bullet holes in that chair? >> right. >> wow. i'll tell you, bullet holes, blood and bodies -- i think i've seen enough for now. all 15 fbi agents walk away unscathed. nearly 2,000 shots were fired over four hours that day. >> this is a 100-shot machine gun used by ma barker. >> it remains the longest shootout in fbi history. >> whether they like it or not, carson and marion bradford's
lake house becomes known as "the ma barker house." >> the family wasn't really that talkative about it, but, as a kid, i would hear the story. i remember being, you know, really young and being intrigued with the story. >> adding to the intrigue, some people swear the place is now haunted. >> you'd hear, often, footsteps up and down the stairs, just in the middle of the night. >> elizabeth cockrell is carson's younger sister. >> i was always told of how ma barker and her sons -- they'd all play poker at the dining-room table. in the middle of the night, there'd be these sounds of people playing poker and the glasses chinking and people, you know, yelling at each other and laughing. >> even if you don't believe in ghosts, you won't be surprised ma barker at least lives on in popular culture. a tommy-gun-toting mom is irresistible to hollywood, which has told her story again and again. >> she's in television shows and movies, most notably the great low-budget cult movie
"bloody mama," with shelley winters playing ma barker. the mythical figure of ma barker has definitely -- definitely survived the decades. >> each flick, of course, climaxes with the epic shootout at the bradford lake house, which, in real life, is handed down from one generation to the next for the following 50 years. but, as time goes by, it's getting less and less use. was there a family meeting at this point to decide what to do? >> yes. we struggled over what exactly to do with the house and the property between those of us that wanted to keep it in the family forever and those that just wanted to get cash and wanted to sell. >> eventually, carson and his relatives agree it's time to cash out. but first they want to explore if there's a way to somehow preserve the house because of its historical significance. lucky for carson, he has an old friend with lots of connections -- longtime lake weir resident and former florida house of representatives
member george albright. >> so, he came up with the idea of going to the state of florida, getting them to buy the property, and keep it as a park and a museum. >> there was a little bit of pushback that we were honoring thugs. we, in no way, are honoring these people. these are cold-blooded murderers. what we are honoring is the success of the fbi, of removing the gangster movement that had run rampant in america. >> george is able to get $230,000 for the house into the proposed 2015 state budget. that's not enough to buy it, but it would go a long way to turning it into a museum. how'd that go? >> it was vetoed. a whole bill that was giving money for these kind of parks got vetoed by governor scott, so that killed that idea. >> but our heirs aren't ready to surrender. coming up, a discovery in the sand...
>> looky there -- .38-caliber casing. very cool. >> ...and a groundswell of support. >> 1,000 people showed up. everybody was blown away. this is a lot bigger than any of us realize. >> here's another quiz question. oscar winner shelley winters spoofed ma barker in the television series "batman." what was her character's name in the episode? the answer when we return. imagine traveling hassle-free with your golf clubs. now you can, with shipsticks.com! no more lugging your clubs through the airport or risk having your clubs lost or damaged by the airlines. sending your own clubs ahead with shipsticks.com makes it fast & easy to get to your golf destination.
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greatest mother of them all," features winters as ma parker. >> back in 1935, this lake house in central florida was the scene of the fbi's infamous shootout with ma barker and her son that left both gangsters dead. now carson good and his relatives are looking to sell the home and surrounding property that's been in their family for more than 80 years. but there's one condition -- they want to see their strange inheritance preserved because of its historical significance. after the governor denied a $230,000 proposal to turn it into a museum, the family is scrambling to figure out what to do. then a neighbor stops by. >> a next-door neighbor came to us, and he made the offer to buy the property at $750,000. >> just the property, or the house? >> he came, and he wanted to buy the house and the property. >> the buyer isn't as committed
as carson is to preserving the ma barker hideout as a landmark but will allow it to be moved to another location. sounds good to carson, but where do you put it and how do you get it there? local politician george albright has an idea. he arranges for an open house here at ma barker's old hideout and makes sure bigwigs in the county government are there. >> 1,000 people showed up. everybody was blown away. and i think that cemented the situation where the county said, "you know what? i think this is a lot bigger than any of us realize." >> marion county officials set aside 235,000 bucks to move the house across lake weir to a conservation area. as part of the deal, carson and his family agree to donate the house in exchange for its preservation as an historical site. but you got to remove the house. it's not an easy thing to do.
you don't just, like, put wings on. >> right. >> what do you do? >> carson said, "well, why don't we just put it on a barge and float it across the lake?" i said, "you're out of your mind." >> and then another surprise. >> we knew that the pinky rings were what the gangsters wore. you see that in the movies. >> what's your "strange inheritance" story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail or go to our website, strangeinheritance.com. you don't use this old thing, do you? no! or how 'bout this dinosaur right here? nope! then why are you still using a laser printer? it's got expensive toner cartridges. but this... is the epson ecotank color printer. no more expensive cartridges! big ink tanks. lots of ink. if you don't think this printer's right for you, just pick up your phone... (chuckling) ...and give me a call. the epson ecotank. just fill and chill. available at... ♪
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still, there's one small detail to be worked out. they need to find a way to move the house to a county park on the other side of lake weir. >> carson said, "well, why don't we just put it on a barge and float it across the lake?" i said, "you're out of your mind." >> a house on the lake, really? >> right. so that's what they decided to do. >> the decision means the notorious ma barker's final hideout will be preserved, though the plot on which that epic shootout occurred will be redeveloped... which raises the question, is there anything on this land also worth preserving? one group of floridians suspect there is, and they call carson about it. >> those types of locations are the types of places where the history causes all of us to want to go hunt. >> alan james is a member of the central florida metal detecting club, and they offer carson a deal -- let them search his land
for artifacts, and they'll give any they find to the future ma barker museum. they shoot this video as they canvass the area. >> looky there -- .38-caliber casing. very cool. and they were shooting from here to that corner window. >> moments later, there's more. >> digging up some bullets, the actual bullets themselves they fired from that window, fired from the barkers. >> but the biggest surprise comes when alan gets a hit about 50 feet from the front door. >> i ran my detector coil over a real scratchy signal, and i popped out a little 10-karat gold ring. it took a little while before we realized what that ring was. >> the ring's engraved with the initials f.g.b. those initials belong to fredrick george barker, the infamous gangster who was killed, along with his mother, in the shootout.
then, on october 27, 2016, the 86-year-old structure is lifted from the ground. oh, my goodness. that sounds treacherous. >> they took tracks from the beach all the way up to underneath the house and then rolled the house down the tracks, right onto the barge. >> it's one thing to put a house on a barge that's grounded. it's another thing to move it. by the grace of god, it didn't fall over, and the whole time, i was sitting there thinking, "lord, please don't let this house fall over." >> and that calm morning, the old house makes its 3-mile journey across lake weir and onto this bluff. >> it really works out great. it's gonna stay in its same state, on the same lake, on similar land. i mean, this is the best. >> now the infamous ma barker house is almost ready for visitors. >> we look forward to the public enjoying this house. there's been a constant interest in the ma barker story and for it not to die, and i think this
is going to become a real destination for a lot of people. >> do you ever think about what your parents, your grandparents would think about what you've accomplished? >> i think they'd be very happy. it's very important for our family to preserve the history of the house. >> remember those old stories about the lake house being haunted by the spirits of ma and fred barker? well, since the county took possession of the home in 2016, they've received dozens of requests from ghost hunters looking to test it for paranormal activity. they're all excited about this photo of the ma barker house published in a tampa newspaper which true believers say shows the ghost of ma barker. now, look closely at the front door. some say that shadowy figure is ma holding her trusty machine gun. funny how these paranormal photos are always just a little too fuzzy and out of focus. i'm jamie colby. thanks so much for watching
"strange inheritance." and remember -- you can't take it with you. [ gunfire ] >> an underwater strange inheritance. >> we've had this in the family since 1899. >> their world's an oyster. >> do you want to try and shuck >> i would. it's all about the shuck. >> but their biz is belly-up. >> they pretty much said this oyster-planting business is over. >> they want to revive it. >> a couple drinks make anything sound good. >> so, will they sink... >> we looked at our debt for the first time, like, "whoa. it's, like, $350,000". >> ...or float? >> okay, here we go. come to mama. ♪ [ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] ♪ >> i'm jamie colby, in virginia,