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This Day in FBI History: The Ross Kidnapping

One Saturday evening in late September 1937—75 years ago today—Charles S. Ross, the wealthy president of a greeting card company, was driving towards Chicago when he was pulled over and kidnapped at gunpoint by a pair of criminals. The ensuing investigation quickly became one of the largest for the young FBI. It did not end well for Ross, who was murdered on October 10 (along with one of the criminals) after a fight broke out between the two kidnappers. It didn’t end well for the mastermind of the plot, either. John Henry Seadlund (pictured above), who had a long history of run-ins with the law, crisscrossed the country after obtaining $50,000 in ransom money but was ultimately tracked to Los Angeles using serial numbers from the bills. Agents posed as cashiers at a local racetrack where the ransom money had been used and arrested Ross on January 10, 1938 after he tried to place a bet with one of the bills. Seadlund confessed to the kidnapping and murders and was later executed. See http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/history/famous-cases/charles-ross-kidnapping for more information on the case.