Sunday, February 7, 2016

Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie Elizabeth Parker (October 1, 1910 – May 23, 1934) and Clyde Chestnut Barrow (March 24, 1909 – May 23, 1934) were well-known outlaws, robbers, and criminals who traveled the Central United States with their gang during the Great Depression.
Bonnie and Clyde's exploits captured the attention of the American public during the "Public Enemy Era", between 1931 and 1935.

The gang is believed to have killed at least nine police officers and several civilians. The couple were eventually ambushed and killed near the town of Sailes, Louisiana. Their reputation was revived and cemented in American pop folklore by Arthur Penn's 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde, which starred Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty

Barrow and Parker were ambushed and killed on May 23, 1934 on a rural road in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.

The couple appeared in daylight in an automobile and were shot by a posse of four Texas officers (Frank Hamer, B.M. "Manny" Gault, Bob Alcorn and Ted Hinton) and two Louisiana officers (Henderson Jordan and Prentiss Morel Oakley).

The posse was led by Hamer, who had begun tracking the pair on February 10, 1934. He studied the gang's movements and found they swung in a circle skirting the edges of five midwest states, exploiting the "state line" rule that prevented officers from one jurisdiction from pursuing a fugitive into another.

"Each of us six officers had a shotgun and an automatic rifle and pistols. We opened fire with the automatic rifles. They were emptied before the car got even with us. Then we used shotguns... There was smoke coming from the car, and it looked like it was on fire.

After shooting the shotguns, we emptied the pistols at the car, which had passed us and ran into a ditch about 50 yards on down the road. It almost turned over. We kept shooting at the car even after it stopped. We weren't taking any chances."
Parish coroner Dr. J. L. Wade's 1934 report listed seventeen separate entrance wounds on Barrow's body and twenty-six on Parker's, including several headshots on each, and one that had snapped Barrow's spinal column. So numerous were the bullet holes that undertaker C. F. "Boots" Bailey would have difficulty embalming the bodies because they wouldn't contain the embalming fluid.

Amidst the lingering gunsmoke at the ambush site, the temporarily deafened officers inspected the vehicle and discovered an arsenal of weapons including stolen automatic rifles, sawed-off semi-automatic shotguns, assorted handguns, and several thousand rounds of ammunition, along with fifteen sets of license plates from various states.

Two guns once owned by Bonnie and Clyde sold for over half a million dollars. Clyde Barrow's 1911 Colt .45-caliber automatic sold for $240,000.

Bonnie Parker's .38-caliber Detective Special that she had taped to her thigh when she was killed in a hail of gunfire in 1934 sold for $264,000 to the same bidder.




An online bidder paid $130,000 for a .45-caliber Tommy gun and $80,000 for an 1897 12-gauge shotgun that were seized from one of the duo's hideouts in Missouri in 1933.
Lawmen seized the weapons on April 13, 1933 after a bloody raid on an apartment in Joplin where the Barrow Gang — Bonnie Parker, Clyde Barrow, Clyde's brother Buck Barrow and W.D. Jones — were holed up. Two cops were killed in the gunfight, but the gang escaped.