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BONNIE PARKER and CLYDE BARROW

Some people were born to become legends. Such seems to be the case of Bonnie PARKER and Clyde BARROW. Perhaps they would have faded from the public memory if their story has not been re-told for each generation since they went out in a blaze of bullets. Or, perhaps their story is a somewhat modern day twist on the tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet, or, maybe an updated version of the legacy of Frank and Jesse JAMES. Whatever has captured the public's fasination with Bonnie and Clyde, they have become legends of American history. Once, when coming through Ringgold County, Iowa in 1933, Bonnie and Clyde stopped at the Caledonia store to stock up on supplies. And, they also robbed a Ringgold County business, perhaps the means of which they paid for those supplies at Caledonia. But that comes later in the story of Bonnie PARKER and Clyde BARROW.

THE BEGINNING - CLYDE BARROW

Clyde Barrow.jpg Clyde (Chestnut or Champion) BARROW was born near Telico, Ellis County, Texas, on March 24, 1909, the sixth of either seven or eight children. His parents, Henry and Cummie BARROW, were poor farmers, struggling to make ends meet and to provide for their children. Late in 1926, Clyde was arrested for the first time after fleeing from police when they confronted him about a rental car he had failed to return on time. His second arrest occurred soon afterward when Clyde and his brother Marvin Ivan "Buck" BARROW were charged with possession of stolen goods - turkeys. Although Clyde held down "honest and square" jobs from 1927 through 1929, he supplemented his income by cracking safes, robbing stores, and stealing cars. One of his early run-ins with the law happened when he was sixten and arrested for auto theft. The charges were later dropped. Clyde focused his attention primarily on smaller jobs such as grocery stores and gas stations.

Clyde loved guns and fast cars, in particular Ford V-8's. It is rumored that Clyde's admiration of Ford V-8 Roadsters caused him to write a letter to the Ford Motor Company, thanking them for making such fine fast automobiles. It isn't known if Clyde told the Ford Motor Company that the V-8's he truly admired were not ones he actually purchased but were those he "borrowed" with out permission.

Clyde was incarcerated at Huntsville Prison at Huntsville, Texas, beginning his 14-year sentence on April 21, 1930. Here, he killed his first man, a trustee who had allegedly sexually assaulted him. Clyde never was suspected of the deed so he was never charged with the crime. He was however transferred to nearby Eastham Prison Farm where many prisoners were brutalized on a regular basis. Seeking revenge, Clyde cut off two of his toes, thinking that this deed would release him from hard labor and win him a transfer back to Huntsville where his brother Buck was serving time. Instead, Clyde was paroled early due to the desperate pleas of his mother Cummie BARROW. Clyde hobbled out of prison on crutches on February 8, 1932. He eventually healed but walked with a limp the remainder of his life.

THE BEGINNING - BUCK BARROW

Buck Barrow.jpg Marvin Ivan "Buck" BARROW, was the third of the BARROW children, born on March 14, 1905 in Jones Prairie, Texas. Like four of his siblings, Buck served time at a young age in the Texas prison system. His early criminal ventures involved stealing roosters and cars. When he wasn't incarcerated, Buck had been married and divorced twice. His first marriage [1920] to Elizabeth HENEGER produced twin sons Marvin Ivan and Marvin Elvin, born on July 19, 1923. Five months later, Marvin Elvin died. Due to Buck's inability to remain faithful, Elizabeth filed for divorce and later married W. E. "Doc" QUICK.

Shortly after his divorce, Buck married Pearl CHURCHLEY from San Antonio, Texas. Their daughter Dorothy was born on October 15, 1925. This second marriage ended in divorce soon after Dorothy's birth. Packing up her daughter, Pearl returned to San Antonio to be close to her family. Upon his release from prison 1931, he married Blanche CALDWELL. Buck was soon in trouble with the law, convicted of auto theft. In 1932 he walked off the honor farm where he was incarcerated. Blanche convinced Buck to turn himself in so that they could enjoy a "fresh start", which he did. Upon his release from the Texas State Prison and full pardon by the Governor of Texas on March 23, 1933, Buck and Blanche joined up with his brother Clyde and Clyde's new girlfriend, Bonnie PARKER.

THE BEGINNING - BLANCHE (CALDWELL) BARROW

Blanche Barrow.jpg Bennie Iva "Blanche" CALDWELL was born in Garvin, Oklahoma, on January 1, 1911, the only child of Matthew Fontain CALDWELL (1871-1947) and Lillian Bell (POND) CALDWELL. Her father was 40-years-old, and her mother was sixteen-years-old when "Ivy" as she was called as a small child, was born. Blanche started beauty college in Dallas, Texas, on her fifteenth birthday and graduated, obtaining her beautician's license. In 1927 when Blanche was seventeen-years-old, her mother forced her into a marriage with John CALLAWAY. After being subjected to John's mental and physical abuse, a friend helped her escape. In her book My Life with Bonnie and Clyde which was published in 2004, Blanche stated that CALLAWAY's abuse left her unable to bear children.

On November 11, 1929, eighteen-year-old Blanche met Marvin Ivan "Buck" BARROW. They fell in love. A few weeks after falling in love, the couple was torn apart with Buck being sent off to serve time after his conviction of auto theft. He walked off the honor farm two months later. Reuniting with Blanche, the couple holed up at his uncle's house in Martinsville, Texas. Blanche won her divorced from CALLAWAY in June of 1931, and she promptly married Buck on July 3rd. She convinced Buck that he should turn himself in so that they could have a fresh start upon his release. After his release in 1932, the couple joined up with Buck's brother Clyde and Clyde's girlfriend, Bonnie PARKER.

THE BEGINNING - BONNIE ELIZABETH PARKER

Bonnie Parker.jpg Bonnie Elizabeth PARKER was born at Rowena, Texas, on October 1, 1910, the second of three children of Charles (? -1914) and Emma (KRAUSE) PARKER (circa 1886-1946). Charles, a bricklayer, died when Bonnie was four-years-old. His death forced Emma to move with her three children to West Dallas where they lived in poverty. Intelligent, personable, but strong-willed, Bonnie excelled in school where she was on the honor roll. Her particular talent was in creative writing, winning a County League contest in literary arts for Cement City School. She even gave introductory speeches for local politicans. She was an attractive young woman, standing at 4 feet, 11 inches, and weighing 90 pounds.

Less than a week before she turned sixteen-years-old, Bonnie married Roy Glynn THORNTON on September 25, 1926. It was a short-lived marriage with them going their separate ways by January of 1929, however they never filed for divorce. Bonnie was still wearing her wedding ring when she died.

Upon hearing about Bonnie's death, THORNTON said, "I'm glad they went out like they did. It's much better than being caught."

THORNTON himself was somewhat of a bad boy, being sentenced to five years in prison for burglary on March 5, 1933. He was gunned down by guards during an escape attempt from Eastham Farm Prison on October 3, 1937. Given THORNTON's record, it appears that Bonnie was attracted to the bad boy personae long before she met up with the likes of Clyde BARROW.

Bonnie worked as a waitress for various establishments such as the American Cafe, the Texan Cafe, and the Hargraves Cafe. It has been noted that she was generous, spending a majority of her wages buying meals and passing them on to hungry people gathered at the backdoors of the cafes.

By January of 1930, Bonnie met Clyde BARROW at the home of a mutual friend. The couple fell instantly in love. According to Blanche BARROW's memoirs, Bonnie didn't like life on the run. To cope, she wrote extensively in her journals, composing poems and staying drunk most of the time.

THE ASSOCIATES

Ralph Fults.jpg Ralph Smith FULTS was born in Anna, Texas, on January 23, 1911, one of nine children born to Sophie and Audie FULTS.. By the time he was fourteen-years-old, Ralph had learned about guns and locksmithing from his employer. Putting this knowledge to use, Ralph was a five-year criminal veteran by the time he met Clyde BARROW on a prison bus in September of 1930. Because of the brutal policies that were observed at Eastham Prison farm, Ralph and Clyde conspired to raid the farm in the future, something that was more of a way of passing time and perhaps a means of diffusing their anger and frustration. After his release in 1932, Ralph spent his time running with Clyde's gang off and on when he wasn't in jail.

________________

Raymond Hamilton.jpg Raymond Elize HAMILTON was born in a tent on the banks of Deep Fork River near Schulter, Oklahoma, on May 21, 1913. He was one of Sara "Alice" (BULLOCK) and John Henry HAMILTON's six children. Very little is known about HAMILTON's childhood outside the fact that he grew up in Dallas, Texas. After Clyde's release from prison, HAMILTON joined the BARROW gang in 1932. It was not a happy venture for either man. Clyde didn't like Raymond's choice in girlfriends. He also believed that Raymond was a coward, telling him so to his face many times. After several months during which there was much tension between Clyde and Raymond, HAMILTON left the gang and was replaced by William Daniel "Deacon" JONES.

________________

W. D. Jones.jpg Born on May 12, 1916, W. D. William Daniel "Deacon" JONES was an illiterate sixteen-year-old kid when he met up with Clyde BARROW on Christmas Eve of 1932. Although he was with the gang for a year, taking part in the murder of Doyle JOHNSON, the shoot-outs with law enforcement officers at Platte City and Dexter, Iowa, JONES proclaimed that he was held against his will and was forced to ride with them at gunpoint. Often mistaken for "Pretty Boy" FLOYD, JONES was captured in November of 1933 Houston, Texas. In his lengthy confession, JONES stated that he was tied to trees at night which thwarted any attempt at getting away.

Many historians believe that JONES lied about his age, making himself three years young than he actually was. By proclaiming that he was sixteen and seventeen during the commission of his crimes with the BARROW gang, JONES would have been a minor and not subject to adult prosecution and sentencing guidelines.

________________

Henry Methvin.jpg Henry METHVIN was the last to join the BARROW gang, participating in their criminal deeds of robbery and murder from January 16, 1934 to May 23, 1934. METHVIN was serving a ten-year sentence for theft and assault at the Eastham Texas Prison Farm when he escaped on January 16, 1934 with assistance from Clyde BARROW and James MULLENS.

Henry's father Ivy METHVIN owned property near Gibsland, Louisiana, a place where the gang used to regroup and gather should they ever become separated when fleeing from the law.

________________

TWO YEAR CRIME SPREE, 1932 - 1934

During the height of the Great Depression, the BARROW gang evolved from petty thieves to bank robbers and murderers, capturing nation-wide headlines. As they gained notority, the press romanticized the gang's exploits when in reality and it was all over, the BARROW gang was responsible for at least thirteen known murders, several robberies and burglaries, assorted kidnappings and abductions, along with several victims who survived their wounds.

Clyde was arrested at the home of his new girlfriend, Bonnie PARKER and extradited to Waco. He escaped from McLennan County jail, using a gun that Bonnie had smuggled in to him. Stealing cars for their getaway, Clyde, William TURNER, and Emory ABERNATHY made their way to Middletown, Ohio where they were cornered. Clyde vowed that he would never surrender again. This was a vow he would keep.

By 1927, Clyde and Buck BARROW, along with Sidney MOORE and Frank CLAUSE began robbing businesses in and around the Texas cities of Dallas, Hillsboro, and Lufkin. In October of 1929, the gang robbed a garage and made off the the safe. During their getaway, Clyde's driving techniques attracted the attention of police who took pursuit. Clyde managed to escape. Buck was shot and later sentenced to serve 5 years in prison. MOORE was apprehended and sentenced to a term of 10 years.

Teaming up with Ralph FULTS, Clyde orchestrated a raid on a hardware store. Although Clyde was known for his driving skills and ability to escape from high-speed chases, the BARROW gang was reduced to stealing mules as they navigated through the farm land of Texas. FULTS was eventually arrested while Clyde escaped capture.

Fueled by rumors, hearsay, and gossip, the BARROW gang were viewed by many as latter day Robin Hoods while others thought they were common law breakers.

Raymond HAMILTON, Bonnie, and Clyde attempted to rob a store in Kaufman, Texas on April 19, 1932. Undaunted, they broke into a hardware store with the intent of stealing guns and ammunition. Alerted by an alarm set off by the night watchmen, the police arrived and chased the trio out into the country. Proclaiming that it was for her safety, Clyde left Bonnie hunkered down in a culvert, promising to return for her later. After sitting out for nearly two days, Bonnie left her hiding spot and began to hitch-hike. She was picked up by the police and incarcerated for two months in the Kaufman jail. During this time, Bonnie proclaimed to have been kidnapped by the gang. After two months in the Kaufman Texas jail and when the grand jury failed to pass a true bill of indictment against her, Bonnie was released. She reunited with Clyde.

John Bucher.jpg Clyde BARROW had worked at an auto top company with a young man who had an elderly relative by the name of John N. BUCHER. The elder BUCHER owned and ran a combination filling station and pawn shop in Hillsboro, Texas, an establishment Clyde had visited a few times before. Clyde remembered seeing a safe located in the rear of the business. Because the BUCHERS were elderly and suffered from the onset of dementia, Clyde reasoned that it would be an easy heist.

On April 30, 1932, Clyde, accompanied by Raymond HAMILTON and an young up-and-coming hoodlum by the name of Frank CLAUSE set out, driving sixty miles to rob the old man. They arrived at their destination shortly before midnight.

Knowing that the elder BUCHER would recognize him, Clyde stayed out in the car while Raymond and Frank attempted to rouse the sleeping man and his wife under the pretense of wishing to purchase some guitar strings. Although he complained about the lateness of the hour, John BUCHER finally relented, leaving his upstairs quarters to open the shop. After selecting twenty-five cents' worth of guitar strings, they handed BUCHER a ten-dollar bill. This transaction would require the elderly man to open his safe so that he could make change. However BUCHER had neglected to bring his eyeglasses down with him. He summoned his wife to come down and open the safe for him.

Once the safe had been opened, Raymond pulled his gun on the elderly couple and demanded the contents of the safe. It isn't clear if Raymond was shaking from inexperience, he was after all only nineteen at the time, or if he was nervous. Perhaps the rush of adrenaline through his veins caused Raymond to shake. Whatever the reason, Raymond pulled the trigger in a moment of panic. The bullet struck John BUCHER in the heart, killing him instantly.

Raymond and Frank fled from the store, taking about forty dollars, some jewelry, and an old model .45-calibre Colt pistol with them.

Years later, Texas inmate Ted ROGERS proclaimed that he was with the BARROW gang that night and he was the one who had killed John BUCHER.

WIDOW SAYS YOUTH KILLED HER HUSBAND

Hamilton Identified as Slayer of Hillsboro Man in Robbery

HILLSBORO, Dec. 17. (AP) -- Mrs. John BUCHER late today identified Raymond HAMILTON, 19, charged here by indictment with the murder of John BUCHER, as the man who shot down her husband in a hold up the night of April 30, 1932.

Young HAMILTON was arrested last week in Bay City, Mich., and was returned to Texas. He was brought here today from Dallas, where he also was identified by the victims of several holdups, including the cashier of the bank at Cedar Hill, Dallas county, which was robbed of more than $3,000 in two holdups.

HAMILTON was held in jail here. No effort had been made to furnish bond for him. . . .The other man sought in connection with the killing and robbery has not been arrested.

NOTE: Frank CLAUSE proclaimed his innocense in the murder of John BUCHER. CLAUSE was later apprehended for a burglary in Denton, Texas. He was sentenced and sent to prison.

________________

Deputy Moore.jpg On Friday, August 5, 1932, while Bonnie was sitting out her time in the Kaufman jail, Clyde, Raymond HAMILTON, and Ross DYER came upon a country dance at Atoka, Oklahoma. They decided to join the festivites at the Stringtown Dance Hall. After a while, the BARROW gang went back to their car where they sat and drank moonshine. Sheriff C. G. MAXWELL and his deputy Eugene C. MOORE, pictured at right, approached the group of men and asked them to put their whiskey away. Instead of complying, the men fired upon the sheriff and his deputy. Deputy MOORE died instantly when he sustained a gunshot wound to the head. Although Sheriff MAXWELL, pictured at below right, was critically wounded, he survived. Several of the young men attending the dance picked up the officers' weapons and fired upon the BARROW gang as they escaped unharmed.

Sheriff Maxwell.jpg The murder of Deputy MOORE quickly dispelled any sympathy or admiration the public might have felt toward the BARROW gang.

 

 Sherman, Texas
October 11, 1932

CLERK IN GROCERY, PROTESTING HOLDUP, IS SLAIN BY BANDIT

Failure of Pistol to Fire Saves Life of
Another Employee of Store.

SHERMAN, TEXAS, Oct. 11 (AP) -- Howard HALL, 35 (sic, Howard was 57), a clerk in a suburban grocery, was killed Tuesday night by an unmasked robber who fled after rifling the till of $50.

HALL and Homer GLAZE, another clerk, were preparing to close the store when the robber entered. After buying meat and eggs, he handed GLAZE a dollar bill. As GLAZE put it into the cash register, the man covered him with a pistol and took the money in the till.

[Armed with a meat cleaver], HALL protested at the holdup, whereupon the robber kicked him and struck him on the head. Pushing the two employees in front of him, the bandit advanced toward the door. There he struck HALL again, knocking his glasses into the street. HALL grabbed for the man's hand and the robber fired four times, three of the shots striking HALL [in the chest. HALL fell out the side door and his assailant stepped over him. Taking aim, the shooter fired one more round, hitting HALL as he lay on the sidewalk]. He then attempted to shoot GLAZE, but the gun would not fire.

The robber fled afoot but a group of small boys told the police he entered a black sedan in which two other men were waiting.

HALL died in a hospital [Saint Vincent's Sanitarium located just across Wells Street] soon after the shooting. His assailant was described as a small man, of light complexion, between 20 and 25 years old.

NOTE: It is believed that the Little Grocery Store was most likely selected due to its isolated location. Howard HALL was a dedicated, hard working man who had accepted a position as the meat market manager with the Little Grocery Store. He was interred at West Hill Cemetery, Sherman, Grayson County, Texas.

Homer GLAZE and two witnesses who almost walked into the grocery during the commission of the robbery positively identified Clyde BARROW as the shooter when they viewed photographs at the police station the following day.

Historians and experts disagree as to the identity of the shooter in the Little Grocery Store robbery. Clyde never owned up to the crime which didn't fit exactly into his preferred method of operation. Others proclaim that perhaps he was embarrassed, not wanting to admit to what he would consider a botched robbery with such a small take.

________________

Sixteen (or nineteen) year old William Daniel "Deacon" JONES of Dallas, Texas, joined the BARROW gang in December of 1932. By some accounts, he joined ranks on Christmas Eve. While in Temple, Texas, JONES spotted a brand new car parked along South 13th Street with the keys still in the ignition. Not believing his good fortune, JONES took a seat behind the steering wheel and turned the key. Perhaps due to the cold weather or maybe due to his youth and inexperience, the motor did not turn over. Clyde quickly stepped in to help start the car.

Meanwhile, Doyle JOHNSON, the owner of the vehicle, was inside his home, taking a nap. Awakened and alerted to what was going on outside on the street, JOHNSON rushed outside. When he got to the vehicle, JOHNSON grabbed a hold of Clyde in an attempt to thwart the theft. Hollering over his shoulder, JOHNSON yelled at his family, instructing them to call the police. Clyde screamed at JOHNSON, demanding that he unhand him and let him go. JOHNSON continued to struggle with Clyde. Clyde screamed, "Get back or I'll kill you!"

Then Clyde raised his pistol and shot JOHNSON in the neck. Only then, did JOHNSON release his grip on Clyde, falling lifelessly to the ground.

Bonnie pulled up in the faster Ford V-8, pausing long enough for W. D. and Clyde to scramble into the vehicle before speeding off.

Doyle JOHNSON died the following day on December 26, 1932. He was a twenty-seven-year-old grocery clerk, employed by Strasburger Store in Temple, Texas. He was interred at the JOHNSON family plot in Hillcrest Cemetery at Temple, Texas. Upon his death, JOHNSON left behind a young wife and an infant son.

When they viewed photographs at the police station, JOHNSON's widow and sister-in-law positively identified Clyde BARROW but they mistakenly identified Frank HARDY instead of W. D. JONES.

________________

The Bureau of Investigation (now known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation - FBI) became interested in Clyde BARROW and Bonnie PARKER late in December of 1932. A Ford automobile had been stolen in Pawhuska, Oklahoma and found abandoned near Jackson, Michigan in September. Another Ford automobile, which had been stolen in Illinois was found in Pawhuska. Upon searching the contents of the stolen vehicles, Special Agents found a prescription bottle which had been filled at a drug store at Nacogdoches, Texas. Further investigation revealed that the prescription belonged to Clyde's aunt. She had recently entertained her nephews Clyde and L. C. BARROW and Bonnie PARKER. The United States Commissioner at Dallas, Texas issued a warrant against Clyde on May 20, 1933, charging him with interstate transportion of the stolen vehicles. Thus, the FBI began a manhunt for BARROW and PARKER. Little did the agents realize just how elusive and tenacious the BARROW gang would be in the months to come.

Deputy Davis.jpg The BARROW gang holed up near Henry BARROW's gas station in West Dallas. After staking out the house on County Avenue which was owned by Raymond HAMILTON's sister, officers closed in around midnight on January 6, 1933. During the ensuing shootout, Clyde shot and killed Tarrant County deputy sheriff Malcolm S. DAVIS as he approached the front porch. Deputy DAVIS, pictured at right was interred at historic Grapevine Cemetery in Texas. Deputy DAVIS was 52 at the time of his murder.

THE BEGINNING of THE END

By the time the BARROW gang found refuge in Joplin, Missouri on March 22, 1933, tensions were running high. Cramped in their quarters, the gang at this time consisted of Buck and his wife Blanche, Bonnie, Clyde, and W. D. JONES. A few argued that Clyde should turn himself in. Unwilling to go back to prison, Clyde declined.

Acting upon their supsicions that a gang of bootleggers were hiding out near Joplin, Missouri, several area law enforcement officers went out to investigate on Thursday, April 13, 1933. Little did they know that they were not advancing upon a gang of bootleggers but the BARROW gang. Fleeing their hide-out under a hail of bullets, not only was W. D. JONES seriously injured, but the gang left behind most of their possessions. Included among those possessions was a camera. When the film was developed, what emerged were the images of the gang posing with their guns and vehicles - images that would be reproduced time after time over the decades. The gang also left behind the bodies of Constable J. "Wes" HARRYMAN of the Newton County (MO) sheriff's department and Dectective Harry L. McGINNIS of the Joplin (MO) police department.

Wes Harryman.jpg Det. McGinnis.jpg Henry Humphrey.jpg As the law closed in closer and tighter, the gang was constantly arguing among themselves. Then Clyde skidded into a ravine which caused Bonnie to become pinned under the vehicle. She was quickly pulled out but sustained severe burns to her leg. Clyde decided that they would take some time off so that Bonnie could have an opportunity to recover. This respite however was short-lived.

Above Left - Right: Henry D. HUMPHREY, Harry McGINNIS, Wes HARRYMAN

By one account, Buck killed Alma, Arkansas town marshal Henry D. HUMPHREY during a botched robbery on Monday, June 26, 1933. According to the posting at the Officer Down website, another agency telephoned Marshal HUMPHREY, alerting him that the BARROW gang was headed his way and might be passing through the town of Alma. Marshal HUMPHREY hung up the phone and noticed the gang as they drove by his window. He ran out into the street to wave them down, drawing instead immediate fatal gunfire.

Before heading north, the BARROW gang stopped in Enid, Oklahoma to rob the National Guard Armory on July 7th, 1933.

The BARROW gang robbed a service station at Fort Dodge, Kansas then proceeded on to Platte City, Missouri where they rented two cabins with the anticipation of spending a few days in seclusion. When one of the gang members purchased medical supplies at the local drug store, the authorities were tipped off. During the night of July 18, 1933, an armoured car pulled up beside the cabins. During an exchange of gunfire, Buck was shot and Blanche was injured when a hail of bullets shattered the rear window of the car, embedding glass shards in her face and left eye. Through it all, the gang made good their escape.

Sheriff Holt COFFEY was wounded in the Platte County shootout. Believing that his injuries were not serious, Sheriff COFFEY waved off any medical attention. Besides, he wanted to bring the outlaws in, something he couldn't do from a hospital bed.

After the Platte County shootout, Buck, Blanche, Bonnie, and Clyde fled to near Guthrie Center, Iowa, where they were involved in another shoot-out with authorities on July 24th.

Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune
July 24, 1933

CORNER BARROW GANG IN IOWA

Officers Shoot It Out With Bandits
Capture Two Gang Members As Three Escape

GUTHRIE CENTER, IA, July 24 – (AP) Clyde BARROW, bandit suspect, and his two companions were believed surrounded by a posse of 200 men near here today and about four miles north of the Des Moines - Omaha highway.

BARROW, a woman and a man believed to be Jack SHERMAN, escaped earlier this morning from a wooded tract at Dexter where Marvin BARROW and his wife were captured.

CRITICALLY WOUNDED

DEXTER, IA, July 24 (AP) Marvin BARROW and his wife, bandit suspects, were captured here today in a battle with state and county officers.

BARROW was critically wounded. He is not expected to live, a physician who treated him, said.

Two men and a woman, believed to be Clyde BARROW, Jack SHERMAN and a woman, escaped in a car stolen from Valley FELLERS, a farmer.

Three squads of state and county officers surrounded the woods where the five suspects were hidden early this morning. As they closed in, the suspects began to fire with machine guns. The officers returned the fire, wounding BARROW. “Rags” RILEY, Polk county deputy sheriff, was wounded in the encounter.

FIND ARSENAL

Near BARROW and his wife, the officers found two machine guns, 34 automatic 45’s and five revolvers.

The three who escaped abandoned their car at Polk City, held up an oil station attendant and proceeded towards Des Moines in the attendant’s car. Somewhere en route they are believed to have left the woman, said to be “Mrs. BARROW”.

The five had been hidden in the woods for five days. Suspicion was aroused when Ed. PENN, farmer, found bloodstained bandages in the woods while he was hunting blackberries.

AROUSE SUSPICIONS

Workers in a restaurant became suspicious after one of the men for several days had purchased five dinners to take with him.

Officers were notified, and the search which led to the shooting today was started.

Marvin BARROW gave his address as Route Six, Dallas, Tex, where he said his mother, Mrs. C. B. BARROW lives. He had been wounded in the head several days ago at a Fort Dodge tourist camp, Barrow said. In the battle today he was shot through the hips and sustained a severe shoulder wound.

BELIEVED WOUNDED

Officers were certain that Clyde BARROW and the woman also were wounded seriously. They believed the name, Jack SHERMAN, given for the third man by Marvin BARROW, was an alias.

Marvin BARROW said they had purchased their supply of guns from a soldier at Fort Sill, Okla., for $150. BARROW, who was taken to a Perry hospital, was released from Huntsville, Texas penitentiary in March.

Mrs. BARROW also was taken to the Perry hospital for treatment. Shattered pieces of glass penetrated her eyes in the battle.

The BARROWS are wanted at Mt. Ayr for robbery, officers said here.

NOTE: The gang stopped at the Caledonia store where they stocked up on supplies.

Redding Herald
Redding, Ringgold County, Iowa
July 27, 1933

BARROW GANG AT CALEDONIA STORE

The BARROW bandits, three men and two women, two of whom were captured near Dexter Monday, camped for dinner a short distance north of Caledonia Thursday of last week. They have left a trail of murder and robbery from Texas through Oklahoma, Arkanss, Missouri and Iowa. Their latest battle before coming into Iowa was at North Platte, Missouri, when they shot their way out of a tourist camp and escaped from a posse of a dozen officers who had demanded their surrender. Some of them were severely wounded at North Platte.

Last Thursday they drove through Caledonia, past the store a short distance, and one man came backand bought a can of gasoline and carried it to the car. He also bought some bandages and groceries. They camped for dinner a short distance north of Caledonia.

After they had gone, a farmer living nearby noticed they had left a fire and he went to investigate and he found they had attempted to burn some bloody clothing. he stomped the fire out and called the sherrif, but nother more was heard until they were captured at Dexter Monday. By their description it is said there is no doubt but what they were the BARROW bunch.

The property 1 1/4 miles north of Caledonia where the BARROW gang stopped belonged to Frank MARSH. He was the one who called the sheriff. Frank's grandson John MAY recalled that when the campers were later identified, there was quite a scare in the family when a stranger came to the house asking for Frank. It wasn't know if the man was a member of the BARROW gang or not.

Walter PUTNEY said that Bonnie and Clyde had "borrowed" a can of gasoline from their farm, leaving a $10 bill behind, which was a lot of money back then.

TALE of BONNIE and CLYDE

as told to Judy POTTORFF through an
interview with Glen CALDWELL, Mt. Ayr, Iowa

Mount Ayr Record-News The year was 1933. Glen was with his team and wagon and was heading south on the Caledonia main road. He came up on a 1933 Ford V-8 which was parked in the road near the church. Glen's first thought was that mail carrier Leo LARID's Ford was broke down (the Ford was identical to Leo's). Stopping his team by the car, Glen saw total strangers. A man was in the front seat and a woman sat alone in the back seat.

Glen asked if they needed help. The man said no - that dad had caught his hand in the car door and had gone to the store for bandages. They visited for a few minutes and Glen went on to do business. He thought - how kind and polite those people were!

The next day, July 23, an article in the Des Moines newspaper told of a shootout in Dexfield Park, near Dexter, Iowa. There were pictures of Bonnie PARKER and Clyde BARROWS (sic), Blanche and Buck BARROWS. These were the same people Glen had talked to the day before at Caledonia. Buck had been shot in the back, and taken to the Perry hospital. Blanche was taken to the Adel jail. Bonnie and Clyde had got away in their car, but stole another car in Dexter and were heading west.

After visiting with the local people at the store, Glen learned they (Bonnie and Clyde) had stopped for gas shortly before noon. Blanche and Buck had returned to the store for bandages and food supplies.

From: The Strange History of Bonnie and Clyde by Jon TREHERNE

Near Caledonia, the three had cleaned their wounds in a stream and put on new bandages. They had been wounded in the shoot-out near Joplin, Missouri. They had killed a policeman and detective. Clyde had been hit in the chest with a ricochet bullet - Bonnie digging it out with a hair pin. Bonnie had been shot in the leg. Clyde had set fire to the bloody clothes and bandages, under a bridge. Frank MARSH, a nearby farmer found the partially burnt clothes and bandages the next day. Buck died several days later, in the Perry Hospital.

In May, 1934, Bonnie and Clyde were gunned down, while in a stolen Ford V-8, on a lonely road in Louisiana. Killed by Frank HAMER, a hired Texas Ranger.

WANTED FOR MURDER

KANSAS CITY, July 24 – (AP) Four murders and the wounding of three officers are charged against the BARROW brothers, Marvin Ivy (Buck) BARROW and Clyde, Dallas, Texas outlaws, one of whom was wounded and captured in a gun fight today with Iowa officers near Dexter.

The search for the Texas gunmen was intensified after their spectacular escape from Platte county, Missouri, officers, reinforced by Jackson county deputy sheriffs, June 19, after a gun fight in which three officers were wounded.

The two men, with two women, were surrounded in a Platte county tourist camp by a dozen officers armed with machine guns and protected by shields. Instead of complying with an order to surrender, the fugitives poured a stream of fire on the officers, emerged from their cabins and dashed away in their automobile.

Officers believed one of the women was severely wounded and that one of the brothers probably was struck by the officers’ bullets. The finding of bloody clothing in the neighborhood shortly after the gun fight confirmed the officers’ belief.

MURDERED OFFICERS

Wes HARRYMAN, Newton county, Mo., constable, and Harry McGINNIS, a Joplin, Mo., detective were shot to death April 13 when they went to a house in Joplin to search it for liquor. Later a pardon to one of the BARROW brothers, issued by Governor FERGUSON of Texas, was found in the house.

Hillsboro, Texas, officers seek the desperadoes for the murder of J. W. BUCHER, a filling station operator, and they have been identified as the gunmen who fatally wounded H. D. HUMPHREY, Alma, Ark. Officer, in a gun fight in June 1933.

The brothers are charged with numerous bank robberies and the kidnapping of several officers.

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Near Dexter, Iowa.jpg

Blanche and Buck were captured near Dexter, Iowa, on July 24, 1933. Blanche, blinded from the glass shards in her eyes, was wearing Buck's sunglasses as she was led away, hysterical because she feared that Buck would be shot again as he lay helpless on the ground beside the car. [In the photograph above, Buck is lying in front of the man who is in his undershirt.] She cried over and over again, "Don't die Daddy. . . don't die!" When allowed a few more moments with Buck, Blanche calmed down. Then she was transported to to the Chapler-Osborn Clinic at Dexter. Blanche was booked at the Polk County Jail in Des Moines. She was extradited from Iowa on July 25th, escorted by Sheriff Holt COFFEY. It was a miserable trip for Blanche who was hysterical, not knowing if Buck was still alive. As a result of her injuries, Blanche lost sight in her left eye.

Buck was taken to King's Daughters Hospital in Perry, Iowa, where he died three days later on July 29, 1933.

Even though there has never been any evidence that Blanche herself ever picked up a weapon and fired it, she was charged with "assault with intent to murder." Blanche's bail was set for $15,000 during her August 5th preliminary hearing. She entered a guilty plea on September 4th, 1933, for her involement in the Joplin shootout and was sentenced to a 10-year sentence which led to her immediate transport to Missouri State Penitentiary. Blanche served six years and was treated with state-of-the-art medical treatment for her left eye.

W. D. JONES was captured in November of 1933 at Houston, Texas.

Acting on a tip from an informant, whose identity is still uncertain [W. D. JONES perhaps?], the Dallas sheriff's deputies ambushed the BARROW gang at Irving, Texas, on November 22, 1933. Deputies Ted HINTON and Bob ALCORN were participants in this ambush and in the final ambush near Gibsland, Louisiana. Bonnie and Clyde escaped, fleeing southwest to the entrance of Hensley Field (the old Dallas Naval Air Station which is now abandoned) where they stopped a westbound car belonging to two Fort Worth men. They stole the car, leaving their shot-up Ford coupe behind. The Fort Worth car was later found abandoned at Miami, Oklahoma.

On December 21, 1933, Bonnie and Clyde held up and robbed a citizen at Shreveport, Louisiana.

During the early morning hours of January 16, 1934, Clyde and James "Jimmy" MULLENS hid in a patch of weeds, using the dense fog to conceal themselves as they lay in wait for the line of Eastham State Prison Farm prisoners to assemble in their assigned work areas nearby. Among the prisoners were Raymond HAMILTON and Joe PALMER, both armed with .45 automatics which they had retrieved from a hiding place near a woodpile. At 7 a.m., as the prison crew appeared with their "longarm guards," HAMILTON and PALMER produced their weapons and began firing upon the guards. Major Joseph CROWSON, who was on horseback, fired upon PALMER, delivering a superficial scalp wound. PALMER returned fire with one round stricking CROWSON fatally in the stomach. HAMILTON struck guard Olin BOZEMAN in the hip, knocking him to the ground. BARROW and MULLENS lept from their hiding places and opened fire with their Browning automatic rifes, providing cover for the fleeing prisoners.

Upon hearing the gunfire, Bonnie sounded the horn of their black Ford V-8 coupe, guiding the fleeing men through the dense fog to the vehicle. HAMILTON, PALMER, Henry METHVIN and two other convicts, Hilton BYBEE and J. B. FRENCH, met up at the coupe just as BARRON and MULLENS appeared through the fog. HAMILTON began to complain about the coupe being too small to accommodate them all. Clyde snarled back, saying, "Shut your mouth. This is my car and I'm handling it." The group crammed themselves into the vehicle with Clyde behind the wheel, headed for Hillsboro. FRENCH and BYBEE left the group which continued on toward Fort Worth.

Maj. Crowson.jpg Guard Olin BOZEMAN recovered from his wounds. Major CROWSON, pictured at right, died from his wounds on Saturday, January 27, 1934, at the age of 33.

On February 19, 1934, Clyde, Raymond HAMILTON, and Henry METHVIN held up the R. P. Henry and Sons Bank, located one block east of the Main Square at Lancaster, Texas. The take was $4,176. They would have made an addition $27 in cash which was taken from the hand of a WPA laborer who was standing in line to make a deposit. Before exiting the bank, the robbers gave him back his cash.

On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1934, Bonnie, Clyde, and Henry METHVIN parked their car on Dove Road at Highway 114, about six miles west of downtown Grapevine. Here, they sought to rest a few hours before traveling on to visit Bonnie's mother. Other accounts state that they were plotting to rob former gang member Raymond HAMILTON. Two motorcycle patrolmen, E. B. WHEELER and H. D. MURPHY, stopped, thinking that the occupants of the vehicle might need some assistance. As they approached the car, they were shot dead by either METHVIN or both METHVIN and BARROW.

Today there is a monument at the site on Dove Road, reading, "We the people of Texas, acknowledge and thank troopers Edward Bryan WHEELER and H. D. MURPHY for the great sacrifce they made to keep the public safe. Troopers WHEELER and MURPHY were shot to death Easter Sunday, April 1, 1934, near this site on West Dove Road by the infamous criminals Bonnie PARKER and Clyde BARROW. WHEELER and MURPHY stopped their motorcycles near PARKER and BARROW's car, thinking a motorist needed assistance. When they approached, they were shot. Their efforts will stand the test of time. May God bless their souls. Erected 1996."

Trooper MURPHY was twenty-two-years-old at the time of his death, having served six months with the Texas Highway Patrol. He was interred at the Old Palestine Cemetery near Alto, Texas. Trooper WHEELER had served four years with the Texas Highway Patrol at the time of his death.

After the murders of Troopers WHEELER and MURPHY, the Louisiana authorities and the FBI united in their common goal of dealing with Clyde BARROW and removing his presence as a growing public menance. Of course, Bonnie PARKER was still along for the ride.

Trooper Murphy.jpg Trooper Wheeler.jpg

Trooper H. D. MURPHY and Trooper Edward Bryan WHEELER

Fleeing from the scene, Bonnie, Clyde, and Henry METHVIN crossed the Red River, entering into Oklahoma where heavy rains had been falling for several days.

Five days later on April 6, Bonnie, Clyde and Henry METHVIN were stranded when their vehicle became stuck in the mud near Commerce City, Oklahoma. Clyde and Henry attempted to flag down a passing motorist at gunpoint. Frightened and speeding on past the pair, the motorist notified Constable William Calvin "Cal" CAMPBELL and Police Chief Percy Everett BOYD about the incident. CAMPBELL and BOYD headed out of town to investigate. As they approached the stranded FORD, sixty-three-year-old CAMPBELL fell, taking a bullet in the heart. Thirty-year-old BOYD received a head wound.

Clyde and Henry succeeded in flagging down a truck driver, and, at gunpoint, forced him to push the Ford out of the mudhole. Later, the truck driver stated that when he looked in the vehicle, Bonnie was calmly smoking a cigarette while keeping watch over a bloody and subdued, but very much alive Chief BOYD. Once the car had been freed from the grips of the mudhole, Clyde told the truck driver to warn authorities that if they didn't back off, he would kill Chief BOYD. Then, after replacing Chief BOYD's bloody shirt with a clean one, Clyde slipped in behind the wheel and drove off.

With Chief BOYD still in tow, Clyde stopped near Fort Scott near the Missouri border where he bought a newspaper. It was then that the entourage learned of Constable CAMPBELL's death. Clyde was upset, proclaiming the he wasn't the one who had killed Constable CAMPBELL. Bonnie was even more upset because the article portrayed her as a "cigar smoking gun moll." Indignant, Bonnie retorted that "nice girls don't smoke cigars."

After spending some time in the woods where the outlaws shared a carefree picnic with their captive. Chief BOYD was released nine miles south of Fort Scott and sixteen hours into his captivity.

Cal Campbell.jpg

Just who exactly fired upon Constable CAMPBELL, pictured at right, was never fully determined since both Clyde and Henry had easy access to the arsenal stock piled in the vehicle. When standing trial for the murder of Constable CAMPBELL, Henry proclaimed that he was asleep in the back seat and woke up when Clyde opened fire. The other witnesses to Constable CAMPBELL's murder were also dead themselves by this time, a situation which was somewhat convenient for Henry's defense. Police Chief Percy BOYD, who had wounded in the ensuing gunfire, then abducted and later set free after a hair-raising run through the countryside, took the stand. However Police Chief BOYD testified that due to his own location and circumstances during the shoot-out, he was unable to determine exactly who fired upon Constable CAMPBELL.

If any member of the general public harbored an ounce of sympathy or admiration for the BARROW gang, the murders of Henry D. MURPHY, Edward Bryan WHEELER, and Cal CAMPBELL within a span of five days quickly dispelled those emotions. The public was outraged, fueled by the particular senselessness of the killings. Futhermore, if the gang could hold a seasoned and armed police chief captive, what might happen to anyone else who innocently wandered into the gang's path?

THE END

Little did the public know that Texas Ranger Frank HAMER had been tracking BARROW, PARKER, and METHVIN since February 10th of 1934. Not only was HAMER tracking the trio as they apparently zig-zagged around the country, he was studying their movements, discovering that the gang tended to swing in a circle which skirted the edges of five midwestern states. It was HAMMER's belief that this was Clyde's method of escape. In those pre-FBI days, authorities observed the "state line" rule which prevented them from pursuing a fugitive across the boundaries where they no longer had jurisdiction.

It was also HAMER's belief that the trio were about to pay a long overdue visit to METHVIN's father Ivy. Convinced that he was correct in his assessments, HAMER obtained several civilian Browning automatic rifles (manufactureed by Colt as the "Monitor") and 20 round magazines loaded with armor-piercing rounds.

Francis Augustus "Frank" HAMER was born in Fairview, Wilson County, Texas on March 17, 1884, the son of a blacksmith. Frank had three other brothers who also served as Texas Rangers. The family moved to a ranch in San Saba County, Texas, and spent a few years in the town of Oxford, the basis of Frank's joke about being the only "Oxford-educated Texas Ranger." During his youth, Frank worked in his father's blacksmith shop and later as a wrangler for the Carr Ranch in West Texas. Here, Frank began his career in law enforcement when he captured a horse thief in 1905. Impressed, the local sheriff suggested that HAMER should join the the Texas Rangers.

HAMMER worked as a Ranger off and on, at times resigning to follow other job offers. In 1921, HAMER returned to accept a position as the Senior Ranger Captain based out of Austin, Texas. During this time, serveral complaints about HAMER's methods had been filed. However the area was in such a lawless condition that his superiors believed that extreme measures were often necessary. HAMER's work halted the Texas Bankers' Association's "reward ring." HAMER exposed the practice of framing others and killing deadbeats and two-bit outlaws to collect the $5,00 reward for dead bank robbers who may or not be guilty. After HAMER's investigation, the association change its policy, rewarding those who only legally killed bank robbers.

With 18-years Ranger service under his belt, HAMER retired in 1932. In reality, his retirement was a resignation over political disagreements. He retained his status as an active Senior Ranger Captain which enabled HAMER to be eligible for duty while drawing his retirement penison.

As Major Joseph CROWSON lay dying after the 1934 prison break from Eastham, Lee SIMMONS, head of the Texas Department of Corrections, reportedly promised that every person involved with the breakout would be hunted down and killed. Intend on keeping his promise, SIMMONS turned to HAMMER, convincing him to come out of retirement and hunt down the BARROW gang as a special investigor for the prison system. HAMER did not hesitate, accepting the assignment immediately.

According to HAMER's biography, published after his death, HAMER had often stated that he was hired to stop Bonnie and Clyde through any means necessary.

After visiting Henry METHVIN's parents near Gibsland, Louisiana, Frank HAMER confirmed his suspicions that the METHVIN house was Clyde's next destination. HAMER was armed with a directive from the Texas Department of Corrections to eliminate Bonnie and Clyde. It was a quiet and uneventful day when Clyde drove onto Highway 154 near Sailes, Beinville Parish, Louisiana, on May 23, 1934. Little did he know that HAMER and his posse had been waiting patiently in the thick brush for about twenty-four hours, almost ready to abandon their plan. Upon seeing Henry's father Ivy METHVIN standing by his truck along side of the road, Clyde slowed down, thinking that perhaps the truck was broken down. (By some accounts, one of the tires had been removed from the truck.)

As soon as Ivy stepped out of the way HAMER gave the order to fire without warning. The posse obeyed their orders, delivering approximately 130 bullets into Clyde's stolen Ford V-8 and the occupants. Ranger Prentis OAKLEY's shot found its mark, instantly killing Clyde. The car slowly rolled into the ditch and came to a stop while Bonnie screamed out in pain during the ensuing gunfire. Thus, one of the most spectacular manhunts in the nation came to an end.

The Law.jpg

MEMBERS of THE POSSE
Left to Right, Top Row: Ted HINTON (TX), Prentis M. OAKLEY (LA), and B. M. "Manny" GAULT (TX).
Left to Righ, Bottom Row: Robert "Bob" ALCORN (TX), Henderson JORDAN (LA), Frank HAMER (TX).

At the time of her death, there were no outstanding warrants for Bonnie PARKER's arrest on alleged murder charges. There is little reliable evidence that she ever fired a shot at anyone. However her guilt lay in her devotion to Clyde BARROW. By today's standards, there would be an investigation into Bonnie's death. Nor would today's protocol allow HAMER and the posse to keep several of the stolen guns found in Clyde's car as souvenirs which they later sold.

Approximately 20,000 people filed past Clyde's bier to view his bullet-riddled corpse prior to his funeral on Friday, May 25, 1934 at the Belo Mansion/Dallas Law Center. Clyde was buried beside his brother Buck at Western Heights Cemetery, West Dallas, Texas. Henry and Cummie BARROW are also interred in this cemetery along with another son, Elvin. The cemetery is rarely open to the public.

Bonnie was originally buried at Fishtrap (a.k.a. Reunion) Cemetery. Because of the carnival-like atmosphere surrounding her burial, her immediate family viewed the services through the windows of the funeral home limousine while the BARROW family had front row seats next to the grave. Bonnie's remains were moved to Crown Hill Cemetery in 1945. Bonnie's mother Emma was later interred at Crown Hill Cemetery.

THE REST of THE STORY

By the time he was twenty-one-years-old, Raymond HAMILTON had accumulated a prison sentence of 362 years. Due to his numerous escapes from prison, Raymond was constantly watched during his incarceration. For his participation in the murder of Major Joseph CROWSON during the 1934 prison escape, Raymond was executed in the electric chair eleven days before his 22nd birthday on May 10, 1935. Because Raymond was so upset with his pending execution, fellow inmate Joe PALMER agreed to go first. Raymond finally composed himself. Just before he was executed, Raymond said, "Well. . . goodbye all."

Eighteen hours after the HAMILTON and PALMER executions, Jack PEDDY escaped from Eastham Prison Farm. During his escape, PEDDY killed guard Virgil WELCH, seriously wounded a convict turnkey Homer PARKER, and beat guard Tom STEPHENS into unconsciousness. PEDDY was shot to death two hours later when he emerged from a clump of trees. Meanwhile, rioting broke out at Huntsville Prison during which inmate Ernest YOUNG was stabbed to death.

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The Houston Chronicle
Houston, Texas
September 14, 1973

JONES SENTENCED

A federal judge has sentenced a former member of the Clyde BARROW-Bonnie PARKER gang to six months in prison plus 4 1/2 years probation of illegal possession of barbituate tablets. The defendant, William Daniel "Deacon" JONES, 59, was sentenced Thursday by U. S. District Judge James NOEL. He pleaded guilty. JONES served a six-year sentence for conviction as accomplice to the 1934 BARROW gang murder of a Fort Worth deputy sheriff.

The Houston Chronicle
Houston, Texas
August 21, 1974

Bonnie, Clyde Cohort Shotgunned to Death in Houston

HOUSTON (AP) - William (Deacon) JONES, who once said he couldn't live down his past as a member of the Bonnie and Clyde gang, died violently Tuesday, blasted three times with a shotgun in an argument over a woman, police reported.

Police said they arrested a man in connection with the shooting.

Officers said JONES, 58, took Lydia JOHNSON, 28, to the home of an acquaintance early Tuesday and asked the acquaintance to give her a place to stay for the night.

AN ARGUMENT ensued when the acquaintance refused her lodging, and according to police, JONES was shot when he advanced on the man.

It was not JONES' first flirtation with death. In an interview several years ago he said: "There's a bullet in my chest. I think from a machine gun, birdshot in my face and buckshot in my chest and right arm."

"I've never lived it down," he said of his outlaw days. "I've tried but I guess I never will."

In 1968, JONES filed a $175,000 damage suit against Warner Bros.-7 Arts, Inc., producers of the movie, "Bonnie and Clyde."

He claimed the film was an invasion of privacy and erroneously portrayed him as the fingerman in the slayings of the outlaws.

The suit was still pending at his death.

POLICE SAID they knew of no close relatives of JONES. He was unemployed at his death, officers said. The last record of employment authorities had for JONES was a 1968 stint driving a cement truck.

JONES, in a 1968 interview, said Bonnie PARKER and Clyde BARROW "wouldn't last a week" against modern police methods.

"In those days, all we had to do to make a getaway was cut the phone lines," JONES said.

"That was my job," he said.

"Clyde would say to me, 'Boy, climb up that pole and cut that wire.' And I'd do it. I did everything Clyde told me."

JONES said Bonnie and Clyde "didn't enjoy killing, they feared it." Bonnie and Clyde "just killed when they had to, to get away," he said.

The Houston Post
Houston, Texas
August 21, 1974

Bonnie and Clyde Driver Loses Life to Shotgun Blasts


By ANN JAMES, Post Reporter

William Daniel "Deacon" JONES, who survived gun battles as a driver for Bonnie and Clyde gang in the 1930s, was shotgunned to death early Tuesday.

JONES, 58, of 1519 Hendrix, whose body bore bullet scars and spent lead from his days as a driver for Bonnie PARKER and Clyde BARROW, met his destiny with three blasts from a 12-gauge shotgun. The shooting occurred shortly after 4 a. m. outside a residence in the 10600 block of Woody Lane, police said.

George A. JONES [no relation], 33, of 10615 Woody Lane was charged with murder late Monday in the killing. Bond was set at $20,000. He told police he shot W. D. JONES after W. D. JONES arrived at his home and demanded he give the woman a place to stay. He said he ordered JONES to leave two or three times and shot once when JONES started toward him. He said he fired twice more when JONES did not stop.

The man told police that W. D. JONES was a "nice" person when sober but that he knew of JONES' reputation and was afraid of him.

Police found JONES dead, lying face down on the driveway, hit in the armpits, groin and thigh areas.

"I did not see a gun or a knife," the man said, "but I knew he always has a knife and has had a gun before." No weapon was found on JONES' body, police said. They found three $1 bills and 85 cents in change in his pockets.

Deacon JONES joned the BARROW gang Christmas Eve of 1932. In 1935, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison as an accomplice to the BARROW gang murder of a Fort Worth deputy sheriff. JONES served six years.

. . . When the movie [Bonnie and Clyde] was released [in 1967], JONES made several statements aimed at young people that there was nothing glorious about the gang. Bonnie and Clyde were killed in an ambush in 1934, planned by Texas Ranger Capt. Frank HAMMER.

JONES filed a $175,000 law suit against the movie's producers, claiming the picture had maligned him. In the suit, JONES said he had not been a willing partner of Bonnie and Clyde. He said he had tried to escape from the gang several times, but was told by Clyde BARROW he would be killed if he tried again.

There is no record that JONES ever received anything in the suit.

NOTE: Both W. D. and George JONES had similar drug problems and were loosely associated with a group of bar types and dopers along Old Hardy Road. On the night he was killed, W. D. was hanging out in a bar and was intoxicated. Lydia was also in the bar and was intoxicted herself, crying and begging someone - anyone - to take her to her boyfriend's house. As it turned out, George A. JONES was her boyfriend. Finally, W. D. agreed to give Lydia a lift. Upon their arrival, George met them on the front porch. Lydia told George that she was afraid of W. D. and that he was a known killer plus he was a general all-around bad guy. She also proclaimed that W. D. was packing a gun. George stepped back in the house and grabbed his shotgun. Thinking that he might be able to score some drugs, W. D. approached the house, coming face-to-face with George as he stepped off the porch and into the front yard. He fired three blasts into W. D. who died where he fell.

William Daniel "Deacon" JONES was interred at Brookside Memorial Park, Houston, Texas.

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No one ever produced any evidence that Blanche BARROW ever fired a gun, however she was present during the shoot-outs at Joplin and Platte County, Missouri. During her incarceration, Blanche clipped and saved every article she could get her hands on that referred to her, Buck, Bonnie, and Clyde. She carefully clipped the articles and saved them in a scrapbook that she started while in prison.

Interestingly, Blanche kept in contact with Platte County sheriff Holt COFFEY and prosecutor David CLEVENGER throughout the remainder of her life. She often said that the COFFEY family was more kind than her own family.

After her release from Missouri State Penitentiary, Blanche moved in with her father, Matthew Fontain CALDWELL, and took care of him for a short time. Upon her third marriage to Eddie Bert FRASURE on April 19, 1940, Matthew moved in with the newlyweds. His religious influence upon his daughter prompted her to become a Sunday school teacher later on in her life.

Blanche did not have an easy relationship with her mother, Lillian (POND) CALDWELL. Perhaps some of this went back to when Lillian forced Blanche into an abusive marriage at an early age. Lillian neglected to help Blanche with any preparation for an early parole. After her daughter's third marriage, Lillian was quick to bring up Blanche's notorious past in front of her new son-in-law, Eddie. Later, when Blanche was hospitialized and dying of cancer, Lillian came for a visit although Blanche was not happy to see her mother. Blanche died on December 24, 1988 and was interred at Grove Hill Cemetery, East Dallas, Texas. Lillian did not attend Blanche's funeral services.

In 1965, Blanche and Eddie adopted a twelve-year-old boy Ricky who eventually ran into problems and ended up in prison. Due to Ricky's legal problems, Blanche and son eventually became estranged. Eddie died on November 5, 1969. Blanche did not remarry.

Actress Estelle Margaret PARSONS won an Oscar on April 20, 1968 for her portrayal of Blanche in the 1967 motion picture Bonnie and Clyde. Unhappy with the film, Blanche commented, "That movie made me look like a screaming horse's ass."

________________

Ralph Smith FULTS was captured on April 17, 1935. After serving nine years in a Mississippi prison, Ralph returned to Texas in 1947 and was granted a full pardon in 1954. While working as a security guard from 1964 to 1984, Ralph mentored the boys at the Buckneo Orphans Home of Dallas, Texas, where he grew up. Ralph hoped that he could prevent the boys from leading a life of crime. Ralph died at the age of 82 on March 17, 1993 and was interred beside his wife E. Ruth at Grove Hill Cemetery, East Dallas, Texas. Ralph was the last surviving member of the BARROW gang.

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September 27, 1935

METHVIN CASE

A jury at Miami, Ok. found Henry METHVIN guilty of murder and condemned him to death. Wide interest in Texas has attached to the case because METHVIN, while fugitive from a Texas prison sentence, assisted in the pursuit which ended successfully in the death of two notorious Texas criminals. A Texas pardon figured as the bargain in the case. It was granted and was urged in METHVIN's favor at his Oklahoma trial.

Yet quite clearly the single issue at Miami was whether or not METHVIN killed Constable Cal CAMPBELL of Commerce. If the jury is correct in thinking that he did, the offense merits the penalty awarded. One sovereign State may forgive the crimes committed against itself, it can not wipe the slate clean of offenses committed elsewhere. Nor can the help given Texas in removing a threat to public safety bring back to life an Oklahoma Constable killed in the line of duty. Cal CAMPBELL is dead and the man who killed him ought to make full atonement for the act.

________________

The Dallas DISPATCH
September 18, 1936

COURT SAVES LIFE OF HENRY METHVIN

Killer Who Put Clyde and Bonnie on "Spot"
Must Spend Life in Oklahoma Penitentiary.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Sept. 13--Henry METHVIN, who put the notorious Clyde BARROW and Bonnie PARKER "on the spot," today escaped death in the electric chair thru a ruling of the state criminal court of appeals.

An opinion by Judge Thomas DOYLE affirmed METHVIN's conviction of the murder in the slaying of Constable Cal CAMPBELL at Commerce, Okla., but reduced METHVIN's punishment to life imprisonment in McAlester Penitentiary.

Year After Trial.

The ruling came two days short of a year after METHVIN was sentenced to death at his trial in Miami.

CAMPBELL was slain when he went to investigate an automobile which was stuck in a mudhole outside of Commerce. Chief of Police Percy BOYD was kidnaped (sic), after he was wounded by a blast of machine gun fire, but was released.

BARROW, the PARKER woman and METHVIN were in the car.

Several months afterward, METHVIN engineered a trap at Gibsland, La., in which BARROW and the PARKER woman were riddled with gunfire.

METHVIN had escaped from the Texas penitentiary with BARROW's help.

At his first trial, the jury was unable to agree on METHVIN's guilt. The convict testified he was asleep when the killing, blamed on him by officers, took place. He said he was sleeping in the rear of the car when he was awakened by the firing, and found that BARROW had killed CAMPBELL. The court swept aside this testimony as not warranting a reversal.

No Compulsion

[illegible] under compulsion likewise was turned down by the court.

BOYD testified against METHVIN, but admitted he did not know who fired the fatal shots in the gun battle on April 6, 1945. METHVIN denied he had fired on CAMPBELL. BOYD was released near Fort Scott, Kan., after a wild ride with the three desperadoes.

For his part in arranging the BARROW-PARKER ambuscade which ended their criminal careers, METHVIN was rewarded with a pardon by former Gov. Miriam A. FERGUSON of Texas. He then was arrested and returned to Oklahoma to face charges.

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Henry METHVIN was released from prison and placed on parole in March of 1942. According to his later statements, he led a "peaceful life" until he was arrested in Bossier City, Louisiana when he stepped from an automobile with a sawed-off shotgun in his hands after waging a fight in a night club. Believing that he a target of revenge for his part in the deaths of Bonnie and Clyde, METHVIN habitually armed himself while out in public. On October 19, 1946, METHVIN was incarcerated in the Bossier City jail, held on charges of drunk driving and the armed robbery of two automobiles. Henry METHVIN died on April 20, 1948, at Sulphur, Louisiana, when he attempted to crawl across the tracks under a Southern Pacific passenger train just as it began to pull away from the station. According to authorities upon completion of their investigation, the incident was an accident brought on by METHVIN's reluctance to wait for the train to move away from the street crossing. It was also revealed that METHVIN was intoxicated at the time of his death. Henry METHVIN was interred at Coushatta, Louisiana.

Henry's father Ivy T. METHVIN was found lying in serious conditon along a Shreveport road, the victim of a hit- and-run driver on December 21, 1946. Several people thought that Ivy was beaten for his part in the Bonnie and Clyde's ambush. He died from his injuries on January 2, 1947.

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Percy Boyd.jpg Percy BOYD, pictured at right, who had been taken captive at Commerce, Oklahoma in 1934, announced on May 3, 1937 that he had "this job long enough and think it's time to give someone else a change to have it." After stepping down as the chief of police, BOYD accepted a position with a Tri-State mining company. He was later elected clerk of the Commerce board of education. Later, BOYD admitted that although he had faced several gun battles during his career in law enforcement, he had only received one injury when a bullet grazed his head, leaving him dazed and held hostage by BARROW, PARKER, and METHVIN. Percy BOYD died on August 15, 1945 of a heart ailment. He was forty-one at the the time of his death.

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Holt Coffey.jpg

Holt COFFEY was born on August 2, 1891. He was elected sheriff of Platte County, Missouri from 1933 until 1937. After serving as Platte County sheriff from 1933, 1937, Holt COFFEY was elected sheriff again, serving from 1941 to 1945. He purchased the Red Crown Tavern, the site where he exchanged gun fire with the BARROW gang in 1934, owning the property until 1950. In 1956, COFFEY served as a county commissioner. He died at the age of 72 in 1964.

Nancy COCKRILL commented that her father, Holt COFFEY, would have not minded that he was for the most part forgotten by historians. "It never occurred to him to prove his manhood because he just always a strong man. There never was any question," she said. The Red Crown Tavern burned down in 1967. What little bit that did remain was stripped clean by souvenir hounds.

Nancy stated that her father was concerned about the BARROW gang's legacy. She explained, "The mere mention of the word [Bonnie or Clyde] seems to excite people. What people don't remember is how scared everyone was of them at the time. . . It became a very serious matter to try and trap them."

COFFEY told his daughter, "One of these days they're goning to make a movie on Bonnie and Clyde. The only thing that bothers me is that they're going to be portrayed as cute. . .and maybe they were before they stepped over the line and became killers." COFFEY often likened Bonnie and Clyde as "mad dogs." "Just once," COFFEY told his daughter, "I'd like for them to publish the names of all the people Bonnie and Clyde murdered. That would put things in more perspective."

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Dallas County deputy sheriff Ted HINTON died in 1977 and was interred at Sparkman-Hillcrest Cemetery in Dallas, Texas. Published two years after his death, HINTON's book Ambush stated that he and the other five officers broke the law by kidnapping Henry METHVIN's father and forcing him to help set up the ambush on Bonnie and Clyde. Others proclaim that METHVIN entered into the deal so that he could obtain a pardon for his son.

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After Clyde BARROW and Bonnie PARKER's deaths, public sentiment turned against Frank HAMER, outraged when eyewitness accounts reported that Bonnie had suffered an agonizing death. HAMER turned down substantial money on principle to tell his life story. Historians have remembered HAMER as one of the last "true western" lawmen in the classical sense.

During the 1930's HAMER worked for various oil companies and shippers as strike breaker, preventing strikes and breaking up union protests. Businessmen considered HAMER a hero while unions thought he was merely a hired thug. Governor Coke STEVENSON called HAMER into Ranger duty in 1948, asking him to help "check" U.S. senate election returns in Jim Wells and Duval Counties. Despite the investigation, STEVENSON lost to Lyndon B. JOHNSON by 87 votes. After this, HAMER retired to Austin, Texas. Frank HAMER died on July 10, 1955 and was interred at Memorial Park in Austin, Texas.

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Deputy Sheriff Robert F. "Bob" ALCORN died at the age of 67 and was interred beside his wife Norma H. at Grove Hill Cemetery, Dallas, Texas. His epitaph reads, "At Rest."

The town of Gibsland, Louisiana hosts an annual "Bonnie and Clyde Festival." Nearby, a monument has been erected at the spot where Bonnie and Clyde died on Highway 154.

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SOURCES:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clyde_Barrow
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blanche_Barrow
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_Barrow
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bonnie_Parker
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Hamilton
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._D._Jones
texashidout.tripod.com/fults.html
tmethvin.com/henry/
biography.com/notorious/crimefiles
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holt_Coffey
debez.com/blanche/buck.html
debez.com/blanche/blanche.html
officerdown.html

Photographs courtesy of "Officer Down" Website, Library of Congress, and fbi.gov/libref/historic/famcases/clyde/clyde.htm
Glen CALDWELL article courtesy of Mrs. Andy (Joyce) JOHNSTON

Written and submitted by Sharon R. BECKER, August 2008

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