On the Trail of Bonnie and Clyde : Then and Now

By Winston G. Ramsey
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So wrote one newspaper editor of the period when reflecting on the career of America's notorious crime duo - Bonnie and Clyde.

To be more accurate we should refer to Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker; for Bonnie met and latched onto Clyde after he had already begun his career in crime. They soon became inseparable lovers yet no gangster's moll ever became as famous as Bonnie Parker.

They were a product of the Depression years when a crime-wave, fuelled by Prohibition, gripped the United States. The Barrow gang, whose hangers-on changed frequently, lived by robbing banks, stealing cars and holding up stores and filling stations. Clyde personally participated in ten of the twelve murders of which the gang is accused, and he most probably personally pulled the trigger on seven people.

Once Clyde had blood on his hands there was no going back, yet his miraculous escapes from police road-blocks and at least nine pitched gun-battles earned him a reputation of invincibility. Only through the betrayal of a former gang member were he and his lover gunned down in a carefully staged ambush to bring to an end their two-year crime spree.

Separating fact from fiction, this is the first publication which revisits the scenes of all their known and proven crimes across 500,000 miles of the American Midwest and Southwest. Presented in After the Battle's usual 'then and now' format, 70 years on we picture the locations of the robberies and shoot-outs . . . and seek out graves of those who died . . . lest their victims be overshadowed and forgotton by the legendary exploits of Bonnie and Clyde.



1929 . . .
November 29 - DENTON, TEXAS: Robbery of the Motor Mark Garage — Buck Barrow sentenced to 5 years in the State Penitentiary at Huntsville. Clyde Barrow meets Bonnie Parker.

1930 . . .
March 11 - McLennan County Jail, Waco, Texas: Clyde, in prison following robberies in Waco, escapes from jail and travels to Ohio.
March 17-18 - Middletown, Ohio: Robberies and wild chase to escape police ends in Clyde's capture.

1931 . . .
October 29 - Eastham Camp 1, Weldon, Texas: Clyde in the notorious Texas jail, allegedly kills his first victim.
GANGLAND AMERICA: Jack 'Legs' Diamond killed.

1932 . . .
March 25 - Dallas, Texas: Break in at the Simms Oil Refinery.
April 18 - Mabank, Texas: Attempted break in and gun-battle — Bonnie captured, imprisoned at Kemp and Kaufman.
April 20 - Celina, Texas: Burglary of local stores.
April 25 - Lufkin, Texas: Robbery of gas stations.
April 30 - Hillsboro, Texas: Robbery and murder of storekeeper John Bucher.
July 29 - Grand Prairie, Texas: Robbery of interurban station.
August 1 - Dallas, Texas: Robbery of the Neuhoff Packin Company.
August 5 - Stringtown, Oklahoma: Murder of Deputy Sheriff Eugen Moore.
August 13-14 - Carlsbad, New Mexico: Kidnapping of Sheriff Joe Johns.
August 15 - Victoria/Wharton, Texas: Vehicle theft and gun-battle with police.
October 11 - Sherman, Texas: Murder of shopkeeper Howard Hall.
November 30 - Oronogo, Missouri: Bank hold-up and gun-battle.
December 25 - Temple, Texas: Attempted vehicle theft and murder of Doyle Johnson.

1933 . . .
The Depression — Hill County Jail — Charles Lindbergh.
January 6 - Dallas, Texas: Murder of Deputy Sheriff Malcolm Davis.
January 26 - Springfield, Missouri: Kidnap of police motorcyclist Tom Persell.
March 11 and 18 - Baxter Springs, Kansas: Robbery of local store.
March - Marshall, Texas: Theft of Robert Rosborough's car which features in the well-known series of photographs of Bonnie and Clyde and W. D. Jones.
March 31-April 13 - Joplin, Missouri: Gun-battle — murder of Detective Harry McGinnis and Constable John Harryman — the photographs recovered by police at Joplin.
April 27 - Ruston, Louisiana: Vehicle theft and kidnapping of Dillard Darby and Sophia Stone.
May 12 - Lucerne, Indiana: Bank robbery in which the town is shot-up.
May 19 - Okabena, Minnesota: Bank robbery with the town being machine-gunned during the getaway.
June 10/11 - Wellington, Texas: Car crash in which Bonnie is injured and subsequent kidnapping of Marshal Paul Hardy and Sheriff George Corry.
June - Foray into Arkansas: Robbery of store — gun-battle with police and murder of Marshal Henry Humphrey.
July 7 - Enid, Oklahoma: Theft of weapons from National Guard Armory.
July 18 - Fort Dodge, Iowa: Hold-up of three gas stations.
July 18-19 - Platte City, Missouri: Gun-battle with police. Buck Barrow greviously wounded.
July 20-24 - Dexfield Park, Iowa: Gun-battle with police. Buck and Blanche Barrow captured.
Theft of weapons from National Guard Armory.
November 8 - Overton, Texas: Robbery of McMurrey Oil Refinery.
Texas Interlude: Clyde's mother's birthday party — intimate family photographs.
November 22 - Sowers, Texas: Ambush by police and gun-battle — W. D. Jones arrested — the Kansas City massacre — the banks they did not rob — Alcatraz.

1934 . . .
January 16 - Huntsville, Texas: Prison break-out and murder of Major Joseph Crowson.
January 23 - Rembrandt, Iowa: Bank robbery.
January 26 - Poteau, Oklahoma: Bank robbery.
February 1 - Knierim, Iowa: Bank robbery.
February 12 - Reeds Spring, Missouri: Gun-battle with police.
February 20 - Ranger, Texas: Theft of weapons from National Guard Armory.
February 27 - Lancaster, Texas: Bank robbery.
April 1 - Grapevine, Texas: Murder of Highway Patrolmen H. D. Murphy and Edward Wheeler.
April 6 - Commerce, Oklahoma: Gun-battle with police and murder of Constable Calvin Campbell.
March 19 - Grand Prairie, Texas: Bank robbery.
April 16 - Stuart, Iowa: Bank robbery.
April 29 - Topeka, Kansas: Theft of the 'Death Car'.
May 3 - Everly, Iowa: Bank robbery.
May 23 - Ambush at Gibsland, Louisiana: The death of Bonnie and Clyde.
The Funerals of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.
Order code
After The Battle
Hardcover: 204 pages

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