Thomas Waterson

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Machine Gun Kelly's hideout at 1408 Rayner Street in Memphis, TN (2010)

Thomas Waterson (born Seth Thomas Waterson in 1895; died 1947) was an American police officer and member of the Memphis Police Department in Memphis, Tennessee. Along with Detective Sergeant William Raney of the Memphis police, Waterson was a member of the team who (along with FBI Agents) captured the notorious "Public Enemy Number One", George "Machine Gun" Kelly. It was rumored that Kelly was a killer so skilled with a tommy gun that he could allegedly stitch his name in .45-caliber bullets; in fact, he was inept with the weapon.[1] The notable raid occurred at Kelly's Memphis hideout at the residence of his friend J.C. Tichenor, located at No. 1408 Rayner Street[2] in the early hours of September 26, 1933.[3]

The police crept up to the front door, slowly opened it, and stepped inside. Coming out of the bathroom was George Kelly Barnes.[4] Caught without a weapon, Kelly supposedly cried, "Don’t shoot, G-Men! Don’t shoot, G-Men!" as he surrendered to FBI agents and Memphis police.[citation needed]


He was born as Seth Thomas Waterson in 1895. Waterson retired from the Memphis Police Department and moved to California with his family. He died in 1947 and is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery in San Diego alongside his wife, Ann Waterson. He had one son, Steven Waterson of Memphis, Tennessee.