Bonnie And Clyde In Oklahoma

.. rding to newspaper accounts, though this writer, as yet, has found no evidence the gang ever carried Thompsons. Billie Parker would later say that they threw several boxes, containing only parts of guns, into a lake. At Enid, they also stole the car of Dr. Julian Field, containing his medical supplies.

After sending Billie Parker home, the gang traveled to Ft. Dodge, Iowa and robbed three gas stations, then went to Platte City, Missouri. Police surrounded the Barrows at a Platte City motel. They shot their way out but Buck was badly wounded. Five days later, on July 24, 1933, the gang was again surrounded in the woods north of Dexter, Iowa.

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Buck and Blanche were captured. Clyde, Bonnie and Jones made their escape. Buck died five days later and Blanche went to prison in Missouri, being paroled in 1939. Jones soon deserted Clyde and Bonnie and was captured in Houston. He got 15 years for complicity in the murder of a deputy in West Dallas and was later sentenced to a 2-year federal term for harboring Bonnie and Clyde. Clyde and Bonnie dropped out of the limelight for a time but surfaced again in Texas.

They robbed a refinery in Overton Township on November 15, then on November 22 were ambushed by Dallas County deputies, while meeting their mothers in Wise County, Texas. Bonnie and Clyde were both wounded but escaped. Years later, interviewed by Jud Collins, Billie Parker would say that Clyde and Bonnie then fled to Oklahoma, where their wounds were tended by some of Pretty Boy Floyd’s people. PRISON BREAKOUT The Barrow Gang was resurrected on January 16, 1934. Accompanied by James Mullen, Clyde and Bonnie drove to the Eastham, Texas prison farm, where Raymond Hamilton was serving a 263-year sentence for murder and robbery. They had earlier planted pistols on the farm for Hamilton and Joe Palmer. Hamilton and Palmer killed one guard, wounded another, then fled in the direction of the getaway car, whose horn was being tooted by Bonnie Parker.

Clyde Barrow and Mullen covered their getaway with B.A.R. fire. Three other convicts followed: Henry Methvin; J. B. French; and Hilton Bybee.

French and Bybee soon split from the group and were recaptured. On January 19, another prison break occurred, and Bonnie and Clyde were suspected of involvement in this as well, though they actually had nothing to do with it. Seven convicts, led by Oklahoma outlaws Big Bob Brady and Jim Clark, escaped from the State Penitentiary at Lansing, Kansas. The group separated after the break. Brady was killed on January 22 and most of the others recaptured.

Clark and Frank Delmar, however, had taken a teacher named Louis Dresser hostage and stolen his car. They released him in Oklahoma, where they were met by Clark’s girlfriend, Goldie Bates, driving a car with Texas license plates. Dresser subsequently identified the woman as Bonnie Parker, as reported in Time, January 29, 1934. This probably formed the basis for later stories that the Barrow Gang joined Pretty Boy Floyd in the Cookson Hills, following the Eastham break. On February 18, a massive dragnet was launched in the Cookson Hills by lawmen, augmented by four companies of the Oklahoma National Guard.

Nineteen people were arrested but the main objects of the search, the Barrow Gang and Pretty Boy Floyd, were nowhere to be found. The FBI would later insist, rightly or not, that Floyd and his partner, Adam Richetti, were then in hiding in Buffalo, New York. As for Bonnie and Clyde, there is no real evidence they were in the vicinity at this time. On February 19, the Barrow Gang robbed a national Guard armory at Ranger, Texas. On February 27, they robbed a bank in Lancaster, Texas.

They then drove to Terra Haute, Indiana, where Barrow and Hamilton fell into a violent dispute over the Lancaster bank loot and split up. Soon after this, Joe Palmer also left the gang. TEXAS LAWMEN MURDERED Clyde and Bonnie carried on their violent ways, accompanied by Henry Methvin. On April 1, the trio murdered two highway patrolmen, near Grapevine, Texas. On April 6, their car bogged down on a muddy road near Commerce, Oklahoma.

Clyde tried to flag down a passing motorist but the man was frightened by the guns he saw stacked in their car and drove on into town to notify the law. Police chief Percy Boyd and Constable Cal Campbell drove out to investigate and were greeted with gunfire. Campbell was mortally wounded. Boyd was also struck, though not seriously, and taken hostage by the gang. He was released in Ft. Scott, Kansas, with instructions from Bonnie Parker to Tell the public I don’t smoke cigars.

It’s the bunk. Bonnie had been labeled as a cigar-smoking gun moll ever since Joplin police had found a photo of her smoking a cigar in April 1933. The Eastham prison break turned out to be a fatal error for the Barrow Gang. Lee Simmons, head of the Texas Prison System, was so enraged over the killing of one of his guards, that he persuaded Frank Hamer, a legendary ex-Texas Ranger, to come out of retirement and track down Bonnie and Clyde. The break also brought Henry Methvin into the gang. Hamer and Methvin would contribute heavily to the downfall of Bonnie and Clyde.

DAY OF RECKONING Clyde and Bonnie Parker were slain in an ambush near Sailes, Louisiana, on May 23, 1934. Accounts vary as to the circumstances and how it came to be. Six officers were involved in the actual ambush ( Frank Hamer and Manny Gault, employees of the Texas Prison System, Sheriff Henderson Jordan and Deputy Prentiss Oakley, of Bienville Parish, Louisiana, and Deputies Bob Alcorn and Ted Hinton, of Dallas County, Texas Sheriffs Office) and a seventh (Special Agent L. A. Kindell of the FBI) was apparently involved in the negotiations with informers.

All who talked about it gave different versions but what seems to have happened is that Henry Methvin and his parents sold out Bonnie and Clyde, in exchange for immunity for Henry from Texas and Louisiana. Henry Methvin was not prosecuted in Texas, in spite of the facts that he was an escaped convict and had also participated in the murders of two highway patrolmen. He was later convicted in Oklahoma, however, of the murder of Constable Cal Campbell. At the conclusion of two trials, Henry was sentenced to death. On appeal, this was reduced to life imprisonment, under the mitigating circumstances that he had betrayed Bonnie and Clyde.

He was paroled ten years later and was killed by a train in Sulphur, Louisiana in 1948. The car in which Bonnie and Clyde were killed (a Desert Sand 1934 Ford V-8, once owned by Jesse and Ruth Warren of Topeka, Kansas) is now owned by Whiskey Pete’s hotel-casino, at Stateline, Nevada, and is on display in the hotel lobby, complete with shattered windshield and 167 bullet holes, along with a letter, which may or may not be genuine, mailed to Henry Ford from Tulsa, April 10, 1934: Dear Sir: While I still have got breath in my lungs I will tell you what a dandy car you make. I have drove Fords exclusively when I could get away with one. For sustained speed and freedom from trouble the Ford has got ever other car skinned and even if my business hasn’t been strickly legal it don’t hurt eny thing to tell you what a fine car you got in the V8. Yours truly, Clyde Champion Barrow.

THE END History Reports.