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Jeffrey Lewis Knapp | profile | all galleries >> Galleries >> Bonnie and Clyde tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Bonnie and Clyde

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Reference >> Dallas Historical Society, Ted Hinton estate, research

Pbase photo reference > > by Paul Kalich >

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Champion Barrow were the infamous duo in a nationwide crime
spree that lasted from 1932 until their deaths in 1934. Already married to an imprisoned
murderer, Bonnie met Clyde in West Dallas, Texas in January 1930. The pair combined to
commit 13 murders, numerous kidnappings, and several burglaries and robberies. The FBI and
other law enforcement agencies engaged in one of the largest manhunts the United States had
seen up to that time, capturing national attention. With most of their accomplices already dead
or captured, Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed and killed instantly by a posse of lawmen led
by Texas Ranger Frank Hamer near Sailes, Bienville Parish, Louisiana on May 23, 1934.
Bonnie and Clyde's legacy of crime is remembered in the movie Bonnie and Clyde
(1967, with Warren Beatty), which inspired others, such as Natural Born Killers (1994)

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Clyde Champion Barrow and his companion, Bonnie Parker, were shot to death by officers in
an ambush near Sailes, Bienville Parish, Louisiana, on May 23, 1934, after one of the most
colorful and spectacular manhunts the Nation had seen up to that time. Barrow was suspected
of numerous killings and was wanted for murder, robbery, and state charges of kidnapping.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), then called the Bureau of Investigation, became
interested in Barrow and his paramour late in December, 1932, through a singular bit of
evidence. A Ford automobile, which had been stolen in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, was found
abandoned near Jackson, Michigan in September of that year. At Pawhuska, it was learned
another Ford car had been abandoned there which had been stolen in Illinois. A search of this
car revealed it had been occupied by a man and a woman, indicated by abandoned articles
therein. In this car was found a prescription bottle, which led Special Agents to a drug store in
Nacogdoches, Texas, where investigation disclosed the woman for whom the prescription had
been filled was Clyde Barrow's aunt. Further investigation revealed that the woman who
obtained the prescription had been visited recently by Clyde Barrow, Bonnie Parker, and
Clyde's brother, L. C. Barrow. It also was learned that these three were driving a Ford car,
identified as the one stolen in Illinois. It was further shown that L. C. Barrow had secured the
empty prescription bottle from a son of the woman who had originally obtained it. On May 20,
1933, the United States Commissioner at Dallas, Texas, issued a warrant against Clyde Barrow
and Bonnie Parker, charging them with the interstate transportation, from Dallas to Oklahoma,
of the automobile stolen in Illinois. The FBI then started its hunt for this elusive pair.

On May 20, 1933, the United States Commissioner at Dallas, Texas, issued a warrant against
Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, charging them with the interstate transportation, from Dallas
to Oklahoma, of the automobile stolen in Illinois. The FBI then started its hunt for this elusive pair.

Bonnie and Clyde met in Texas in January, 1930. At the time, Bonnie was 19 and married to an
imprisoned murderer; Clyde was 21 and unmarried. Soon after, he was arrested for a burglary
and sent to jail. He escaped, using a gun Bonnie had smuggled to him, was recaptured, and was
sent back to prison. Clyde was paroled in February, 1932, rejoined Bonnie, and resumed a life
of crime. In addition to the automobile theft charge, Bonnie and Clyde were suspects in other
crimes. At the time they were killed in 1934, they were believed to have committed 13 murders
and several robberies and burglaries. Barrow, for example, was suspected of murdering two
police officers at Joplin, Missouri, and kidnapping a man and a woman in rural Louisiana. He
released them near Waldo, Texas. Numerous sightings followed, linking this pair with bank
robberies and automobile thefts. Clyde allegedly murdered a man at Hillsboro, Texas;
committed robberies at Lufkin and Dallas, Texas; murdered one sheriff and wounded another at
Stringtown, Oklahoma; kidnapped a deputy at Carlsbad, New Mexico; stole an automobile at
Victoria, Texas; attempted to murder a deputy at Wharton, Texas; committed murder and
robbery at Abilene and Sherman, Texas; committed murder at Dallas, Texas; abducted a sheriff
and the chief of police at Wellington, Texas; and committed murder at Joplin and Columbia, Missouri.

The Crime Spree Begins
Later in 1932, Bonnie and Clyde began traveling with Raymond Hamilton, a young gunman.
Hamilton left them several months later, and was replaced by William Daniel Jones in
November, 1932. Ivan M. "Buck" Barrow, brother of Clyde, was released from the Texas State
Prison on March 23, 1933, having been granted a full pardon by the Governor. He quickly
joined Clyde, bringing his wife, Blanche, so the group now numbered five persons. This gang
embarked upon a series of bold robberies which made headlines across the country. They
escaped capture in various encounters with the law. However, their activities made law
enforcement efforts to apprehend them even more intense. During a shootout with police in
Iowa on July 29, 1933, Buck Barrow was fatally wounded and Blanche was captured. Jones,
who was frequently mistaken for "Pretty Boy" Floyd, was captured in November, 1933, at
Houston, Texas, by the sheriff's office. Bonnie and Clyde went on together. On November 22,
1933, a trap was set by the Dallas, Texas, sheriff and his deputies in an attempt to capture
Bonnie and Clyde near Grand Prairie, Texas, but the couple escaped the officer's gunfire. They
held up an attorney on the highway and took his car, which they abandoned at Miami,
Oklahoma. On December 21, 1933, Bonnie and Clyde held up and robbed a citizen at
Shreveport, Louisiana. On January 16, 1934, five prisoners, including the notorious Raymond
Hamilton (who was serving sentences totaling more than 200 years), were liberated from the
Eastham State Prison Farm at Waldo, Texas, by Clyde Barrow, accompanied by Bonnie Parker.
Two guards were shot by the escaping prisoners with automatic pistols, which had been
previously concealed in a ditch by Barrow. As the prisoners ran, Barrow covered their retreat
with bursts of machine-gun fire. Among the escapees was Henry Methvin of Louisiana.

The Last Months
On April 1, 1934, Bonnie and Clyde encountered two young highway patrolmen near
Grapevine, Texas. Before the officers could draw their guns, they were shot. On April 6, 1934,
a constable at Miami, Oklahoma, fell mortally wounded by Bonnie and Clyde, who also
abducted a police chief, whom they wounded. The FBI had jurisdiction solely on the charge of
transporting a stolen automobile, although the activities of the Bureau Agents were vigorous
and ceaseless. Every clue was followed. "Wanted notices" furnishing fingerprints, photograph,
description, criminal record, and other data were distributed to all officers. The Agents
followed the trail through many states and into various haunts of the Barrow gang, particularly
Louisiana. The association with Henry Methvin and the Methvin family of Louisiana was
discovered by FBI Agents and they found that Bonnie and Clyde had been driving a car stolen
in New Orleans. On April 13, 1934, an FBI Agent, through investigation in the vicinity of
Ruston, Louisiana, obtained information which definitely placed Bonnie and Clyde in a remote
section southwest of that community. The home of the Methvins was not far away and the
Agent learned of visits there by Bonnie and Clyde. Special Agents in Texas had learned that
Clyde and his companion had been traveling from Texas to Louisiana, sometimes accompanied
by Henry Methvin. The FBI and local law enforcement authorities in Louisiana and Texas
concentrated on apprehending Bonnie and Clyde, whom they strongly believed to be in the
area. It was learned that Bonnie and Clyde, with some of the Methvins, had staged a party at
Black Lake, Louisiana, on the night of May 21, 1934, and were due to return to the area two
days later. Before dawn on May 23, 1934, a posse composed of police officers from Louisiana
and Texas, including Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, concealed themselves in bushes along the
highway near Sailes, Louisiana. In the early daylight, Bonnie and Clyde appeared in an
automobile and when they attempted to drive away, the officers opened fire.
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Champion Barrow were killed instantly.

= = = = photos & text courtesy of The FBI and = = = =
Clyde and Bonnie
Clyde and Bonnie
Bonnie and Clyde
Bonnie and Clyde
Bonnie Parker
Bonnie Parker
movie poster
movie poster
yellow Bonnie & Clyde
yellow Bonnie & Clyde
Easter Sunday Show
Easter Sunday Show
Easter Sunday Show
Easter Sunday Show
Bonnie Parker
Bonnie Parker
Bonnie and Clyde
Bonnie and Clyde
they hung out here
they hung out here