Today in Texas History – May 23

Bonnie & Clyde pistols sell for $504,000 - 2aHawaii

From the Annals of Crime – In 1934, notorious outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were ambushed and killed by Texas Rangers in Bienville Parish, Louisiana. The bank robbers were killed by intense gunfire that left their stolen Ford Deluxe riddled with bullet holes.

Parker met Barrow in Texas when she was 19 years old while her husband was in jail for murder. Barrow was soon sent to jail for robbery where Parker smuggled a gun that helped him escape.  He was caught and returned to jail, but when paroled in 1932, he immediately hooked up with Parker, and their multi-state crime spree began.

From 1932-1934, the couple, aided by various accomplices including Clyde’s brother Buck and simple-minded Henry Methvin, robbed a string of banks and stores in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, New Mexico and Louisiana. Although romanticized in popular culture and film, the Barrow gang were hardened criminals. It is believed that the gang was responsible for as many as 13 murders including nine police officers.

They were notorious for some close calls.  They were almost captured in 1933 during surprise raids on hideouts in Joplin and Platte City, Missouri. Buck Barrow was killed in the second raid, and his wife Blanche was arrested, but Bonnie and Clyde escaped.  Then in January 1934, they attacked the Eastham Prison Farm to help a gang member break out injuring several guards and killing one. This proved to be a crucial mistake.

Texan prison officials took the matter into hand and retained Captain Frank Hamer, a retired Texas Ranger, to track down Parker and Barrow.  Hamer found B&C in Louisiana, where Henry Methvin’s family lived.  Hamer and a group of Louisiana and Texas lawmen hid in the bushes along a country road outside Sailes, La.  Parker and Barrow would not escape this time.  As soon as they appeared, the officers opened fire, killing the couple instantly in a hail of bullets.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s