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Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker are back among us — sort of — thanks to a Netflix movie,, "The Highwaymen," starring Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson as the two Texas Rangers who came out of forced retirement to set the trap that finally put an end to the crime spree of Bonnie and Clyde. It's a good film, probably the most factual ever made about the outlaw pair. This is what I learned when I did my own research a few years ago.
 

Clyde Barrow (who looks like a Vulcan in an early mug shot, above) is best remembered today as the crime partner of Bonnie Parker.

However, during his erratic and violent crime spree — from February, 1932, to his death in May, 1934 —he was either identified as one of the bloody Barrow brothers, or as a desperado and wanted killer. Newspaper stories mentioned he traveled with a cigar-smoking gun moll, but her name didn't necessarily appear in the story.

The thing is, Bonnie Parker didn't actually smoke cigars. She stuck one in her mouth for what almost certainly was a gag photograph that inadvertently fell into the hands of police, who made it available to the press.

Even after there was evidence Ms. Parker chain-smoked only cigarettes and had asked at least two men to spread the word she did not smoke cigars, the press refused to let facts interfere with their colorful description of the outlaw. (Those two men were among the several people abducted by Bonnie and Clyde, then released a few hours later.)

AS FOR Marvin (Buck) Barrow, he was a criminal a lot longer than brother Clyde, who was six years younger, but Buck's reputation wasn't known beyond parts of Texas until he made the mistake of throwing away a golden opportunity to go straight.

In 1931, more than a year after he had escaped from prison, he voluntarily turned himself in. His wife, Blanche, and his family had talked him into it, and, on March 22, 1933, when Buck was pardoned by Texas Governor Miriam"Ma" Ferguson, Blanche was hopeful she and her husband would lead a normal life.

Unfortunately for Blanche, Buck's brother Clyde was on a rampage. The Barrows had always been penny ante robbers — starting with chickens and turkeys — though mostly at first they stole automobiles and sold them to shady dealers.

BUT WHILE Buck was in prison, Clyde added a new crime to his resume — murder. By the time Buck foolishly agreed to rejoin Clyde, supposedly for a little rest and recreation in Joplin, Missouri, the younger Barrow brother was wanted for five murders.

Clyde Barrow would remain a failure as a robber, partly because he thought small, sticking up places that didn't have much money, including the dozen or so banks on his record.

I found estimated loot from seven Barrow bank jobs. The total was $11,598, and that usually was split at least three ways.

By contrast, in 1934, after John Dillinger was gunned down by federal cops, the Associated Press published what they labeled the outlaw's "financial report" — 13 bank robberies that netted the Dillinger gang $302,739.

So Clyde Barrow was strictly a bush league bank robber. As for Bonnie Parker, she almost always sat in the car while Clyde and and his partners — who included, at various times, Raymond Hamilton, Ralph Fults, Joe Palmer and Henry Methvin — entered the banks.

WERE IT NOT for a few photographs of Bonnie Parker and her attempts at poetry, she and the Barrow boys might be forgotten today.

Even then, they were barely above the radar until 1967 when Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty brought Bonnie and Clyde back to life in a movie that clicked with the public.

Bonnie Parker's name had been used in two previous films, but the first, "Public Enemies" (1941), made her a screwball heiress played by Wendy Barrie, and in the second, "The Bonnie Parker Story" (1958), she was machine gun-toting gangster played by Dorothy Provine, but the name of her partner was Guy Darrow, played by Jack Hogan.

NEEDLESS to say, the Dorothy Provine film did nothing to promote the legend that grew out of the 1967 film. That one caught on so well, in part, because it was one of the few serious, big-budget attempts to look at Depression-era outlaws. "Pretty Boy" Floyd, "Baby Face" Nelson and "Machine Gun" Kelly were featured in films, but most of them were low-budget, exploitation productions.

But "Bonnie and Clyde" was well-mounted, if miscast and misleading. Beatty was considered a major star, and Dunaway would soon be so regarded.

Gene Hackman, one of our best actors, was cast as Buck, and Estelle Parsons would win an Oscar in her role as Blanche. Actually, Dunaway would have been better cast as Blanche Barrow, who was badly served by Parsons' performance. John Neal Phillips, who interviewed Blanche Barrow for his book, "Running With Bonnie and Clyde: The Ten Fast Years of Ralph Fults," said she told him, "That movie made me look like a screaming horse's ass."

THE FILM did what many movies have done, it created composite characters for the purpose of simplification. Some of the things attributed to Blanche were actually done by a woman named Mary O'Dare, the girl friend of Raymond Hamilton, a sometime-member of the Barrow gang.

Mary O'Dare and Hamilton, in my mind, are a more interesting duo than Bonnie and Clyde, but neither is present in the movie, which also merged teenager W. D. Jones and an older outlaw, Henry Methvin, into a fictitious character called C. W. Moss (Michael J. Pollard), and did such a great disservice to Jones, that he attempted to sue the filmmakers.

That disservice was making it appear that Jones had double-crossed Clyde Barrow, setting him up to be killed, when that actually was the work of Methvin. Jones and Blanche Barrow were among the few people who had run with the Barrow gang and lived long enough to see the movie. So did Mary O'Dare, but she was probably grateful to be left out of it.

DUNAWAY and Beatty were a bit too old for the parts they played, and much too big. Beatty, at six-feet-two-inches, is eight inches taller than the real Clyde Barrow, a relatively slight individual. Dunaway is five-foot-seven-inches tall, while Bonnie Parker was about four-feet-eleven and very thin.

Physically, the best two actors for the film, had it been made in the early 1940s, would have been Veronica Lake (four-foot-eleven) and Alan Ladd (five-feet-six). Mickey Rooney (at five-foot-two) would have been well cast as Ray Hamilton, who was only an inch taller.

As mentioned, Bonnie Parker carried a false reputation that grew out of an undeveloped roll of film she and Barrow left behind when they were chased from a hideout in Joplin, Missouri, in April, 1933. When the photographs were developed and printed in newspapers, Bonnie Parker became known as a cigar-smoking gun moll who was a crack shot. Two of those photographs were particularly memorable:

IT'S FUNNY how people appear in old photos. The Bonnie Parker holding a gun on Clyde Barrow (above, left) could believably be described as his grandmother. She looks better in the photo on the right, but that one came back to haunt her because of the cigar stub.

Much has been written about Bonnie and Clyde, and a lot of it undoubtedly is false. I had not intended to delve this deeply into the lives of two truly despicable people, but I was stunned by the amount of material available online, and the apparent devotion of those who maintain Bonnie and Clyde websites.

Also, I recently watched a tale about Bonnie and Clyde on PBS's "American Experience," a fine series. But I didn't put much stock in many of the things said by descendants of the Barrow family, particularly that Clyde Barrow felt bad about killing people, claiming it was always in self-defense, which simply was not true.

THIS DOCUMENTARY also regurgitated that nonsense about life being so bleak during the Depression that people (1) rooted for outlaws who robbed banks and (2) followed their exploits because there wasn't much else happening.

Clyde Barrow killed people who didn't willingly give up their cars or the goods they sold at their stores or because they were wearing a badge. The banks he robbed were hanging by a thread. Nothing in the press at the time made him out to be heroic, and Bonnie Parker was usually referred to simply as his cigar-smoking gun moll.

To be aware of Barrow and Parker, a person had to read the newspaper. But a person who read the newspaper would have been aware of many people and things that were more interesting, because 1933 was one of the most newsworthy years in American history.

There was no shortage of women in the news, even for those only interested in murders and robberies. Accused in the juiciest murder trial of the year was Jessie Costello, a young Massachusetts widow and mother. At the heart of one of 1933's weirdest cases was 62-year-old Dr. Alice Lindsay Wynekoop, who killed her daughter-in-law. And one of the most unbelievable murders was committed in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, by a 13-year-old girl.

Bonnie Parker's adventures paled by comparison with what Eloise Wehrborn de Wagner-Bousquet was up to in the Galopagos, and the ongoing soap opera-mystery involving singer and stage actress Libby Holman. The most glamorous gun moll of the year was Eleanor Jarman, who went on to become a real-life fugitive, a la Richard Kimble, but she remained missing until the end.

And if you were looking for heroic women, there was no shortage, starting with Eleanor Roosevelt, our new (and very different) first lady. Making headlines throughout the year was Anne Morrow Lindbergh, bouncing back from the unspeakable tragedy of her son's kidnapping and murder in 1932, and accompanying her famous husband, Charles Lindbergh, on an incredible series of flights. Also on the scene: Amelia Earhart.

I have to believe that in 1933, and even up to their deaths in 1934, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were small potatoes. (It was much bigger news in '34 when John Dillinger and Pretty Boy Floyd were killed.) But there is no doubt Bonnie and Clyde rule today.

IN AN EFFORT, to make sense of the last 27 months in their sorry lives, I've compiled a chronological list of key events for Clyde and Buck Barrow, Bonnie Parker, Blanche Barrow, and some members of the Barrow gang.

I've included links to other websites, some of which go into incredible detail about events listed below. (The most interesting Bonnie and Clyde website I found, with many pages of fascinating stuff, is just a click away.)

So here is my story of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, and I'm sticking to it. Sure, I'll probably be sent some contradictory "evidence," but at this point I don't want to read anything more about these two losers.

March 14, 1903: Marvin Ivan Barrow is born, third child of Henry and Cumie Barrow, who would have four more. Because he is a wild, untamed boy, he is nicknamed "Buck."
March 24, 1909: Clyde Chesnut Barrow is born in Telico, Texas. (Later he often will be identified as Clyde Champion Barrow; see Wanted Poster at the top of the page.) He is the fifth of seven children, goes to school until he is 16, and would like to be a musician. He plays the guitar and the saxophone.
October 1, 1910: Bonnie Elizabeth Parker is born in Rowena, Texas, the second of three children. A few days before her 16th birthday, in 1926, she marries 17-year-old Roy Thornton, a petty criminal.
January 1, 1911: Blanche Iva Caldwell is born in Garvin, Oklahoma. At 17, she weds John Galloway, but the marriage is short-lived.
May 12, 1916: William Daniel (W. D.) Jones is born in Henderson County, Texas.
December 1926: Buck Barrow by now is a petty criminal, and Clyde follows in his brother's footsteps. They are arrested with turkeys they had stolen with the intention of selling them for Christmas. Buck, who has been stealing cars and selling them, goes to jail for a week.
November 11, 1929: Buck Barrow, 26, twice married and divorced, and the father of three young children, meets Blanche Caldwell, 18, who is hiding from her husband, John Galloway.
November 29, 1929: Buck's romance with Blanche is cut short when he is shot and captured after committing a burglary in Denton, Texas. He is sentenced to four years in a state prison facility.
March 8, 1930: Buck escapes from the Ferguson Prison Farm near Midway, Texas, and goes to his parents' home in West Dallas. Two months earlier, Clyde, who'd been building a criminal resume since 1926, is arrested again, for auto theft, and sent to Eastham Prison Farm. He escapes soon afterward, is caught and returns to prison in April.
July 3, 1931: Buck and Blanche are married in Oklahoma. She and his family want him to turn himself in and resume his prison sentence.
December 27, 1931: Buck surrenders at the Huntsville penitentiary.
February 2, 1932: Clyde Barrow is paroled from prison by Texas Governor Ross Sterling. While in prison Barrow, using an iron bar, smashes the head of inmate Ed Crowder, who'd raped him. Another inmate, Aubrey Skelley, takes the blame for the murder. Barrow leaves Eastham with a deep hatred of the prison system, determined not to be taken alive. (Skelley will be a key figure in a 1934 prison break engineered by Clyde Barrow from the outside.)
March 1932: Clyde Barrow, Ralph Fults and Raymond Hamilton rob First National Bank of Lawrence, Kansas. Fults and Barrow became friends at Eastham; Hamilton is a sometime associate, but he and Barrow never get along.
April 19, 1932: Bonnie Parker and Fults are arrested during a hardware store robbery. Parker does not participate, but waited in the getaway car. Held in jail for six weeks, her case is dropped and never goes to trial.

April 30, 1932: Clyde Barrow and Raymond Hamilton rob a grocery store and filling station on the outskirts of Hillsboro, Texas. Proprietor J. W. Bucher, 60, is killed. Left alive is Bucher's wife, Martha. A few years later Hamilton will claim it was Barrow who murdered Bucher.

August 5, 1932: Sheriff C. G. Maxwell and Deputy E. C. Moore confront Barrow and Hamilton in a parking lot in Stringtown, Oklahoma. Barrow and Hamilton start shooting; Moore is killed, Maxwell seriously wounded. Several sources say Bonnie Parker also was present; other sources say she was visiting her mother at the time.

October 8, 1932: Hamilton, on his own, robs First State Bank in Cedar Hill, Texas, getting $1,400. On November 25, he returns with Les Stewart and robs the bank again, making off with $1,800.

October 11, 1932: There's a grocery store robbery in Sherman, Texas. Proprietor Howard Hall is killed. A clerk identifies the robber as Clyde Barrow, who later denies he was in Sherman on that date. This remains one of the murders attributed to Barrow.

November 30, 1932: Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker rob the Farmers & Miners Bank in Oronogo, Missouri, their first bank robbery together. Their take: $115. Two men at the bank fire shots as they leave.
December 26, 1932: Clyde Barrow kills Doyle Johnson in front of Johnson's home in Temple, Texas, while stealing a car. Watching, in another vehicle, are Bonnie Parker and 16-year-old W. D. Jones, who unwittingly had joined the gang three days before.

January 6, 1933: Clyde Barrow, Odell Chambliss and Les Stewart rob the Home Bank of Grapevine, Texas, near Dallas. That night Barrow, Bonnie Parker and W. D. Jones visit the West Dallas home of Mrs. Lilli McBride, sister of Raymond Hamilton, who was in Hill County jail, awaiting trial as an accessory to the Bucher killing. Police investigating the robbery are waiting, but Barrow, carrying a shotgun, notices the lawmen inside the house, fires both barrels and kills Deputy Sheriff Malcolm Davis. Barrow and friends escape. Barrow will later deny he committed this murder, but Jones will tell police a different story.

January 26, 1933: Barrow, Bonnie Parker and W. D. Jones abduct Springfield, Missouri, Motorcycle Officer Tom Persell, who had ordered them to stop after he noticed them behaving suspiciously and chased after them. The outlaws take Persell on a meandering, six-hour drive before releasing him, minus her service pistol.

Asked about Bonnie and Clyde, Persell tells a reporter, "Clyde was a good-looking fella, but I can't say Bonnie was anything to look at." He said both of them cussed a lot.

March 22, 1933: Buck Barrow is pardoned by Texas Governor Miriam A. "Ma" Ferguson to ease prison overcrowding and because he is "a model prisoner." Despite objections from wife Blanche, Buck accepts invitation from brother Clyde to join him at a rented house in Joplin, Missouri, where he, Bonnie Parker and W. D. Jones will be staying for awhile.
March 23, 1933: Raymond Hamilton escapes Hill County jail, but his freedom is short-lived, and he is sent to Eastham Prison Farm.

April 9, 1933: Clyde and Buck Barrow, entering through an open window, level a shotgun at "Shorty" Bacon, night watchman at the Neosho Milling Company in Neosho, Missouri, about 15 miles south of Joplin. Bacon, whose wife was keeping him company, gives up his keys.

While one brother keeps an eye on Mr. and Mrs. Bacon, the other goes to the office where a safe is kept. It takes two hours, but the safe is finally opened and the office thoroughly searched. The Barrow brothers return to a rented garage apartment in Joplin with $111 in cash and diamonds worth $600. (That figure will be raised when the diamonds are recovered by police four days later.)

April 13, 1933: Joplin police, suspicious of the people renting a garage apartment on Oak Ridge Drive, decide to investigate. What follows is a gunfight that leaves two lawmen dead. The Barrow gang shoots its way out of the place, but in their haste leave behind several things that prove interesting to police — and the public.
April 19, 1933: There is a burglary at the Plattville, Illinois, armory. Taken are several weapons belonging to Company E, 129th Infantry, Illinois State Guard. This may well have been the work of Clyde and Buck Barrow to replace weapons left in Joplin.

April 27, 1933: The Barrow gang is in Ruston, Louisiana, intending to rob a bank. Clyde wants to steal a car for the getaway. W. D. Jones uses this opportunity to flee, stealing an auto that belongs to H. Dillard Darby. Jones' opportunity arises when Sophie Stone, 25, who witnessed the theft, offers Mr. Darby a ride, and they speed off after Jones, but are intercepted and abducted by the Barrow brothers, Bonnie Parker and Blanche Barrow. They drive north into Arkansas and release their prisoners. Bonnie Parker gives them five dollars for transportation back home.

May 12, 1933: A story in the Syracuse Journal says "Two men and two women bandits made an unsuccessful attempt to hold up the Lucerne (Indiana) State Bank. One of the women had an automatic rifle and fired it as the gang was leaving the bank empty-handed."

Shots fired by the female bandit wound two women, one in front of the bank, the other in her home near the bank. The two male bandits also fired guns inside the bank after a cashier ignored their command to stick up his hands. The casher dove into the open vault, apparently closing it before the bandits could enter.

This failed bank robbery attempt is believed to have been made by Clyde and Buck Barrow, which indicates Blanche Barrow may have participated, and that either she or Bonnie fired a shot with an automatic rifle. Despite her growing reputation, there is little reliable evidence Bonnie Parker ever shot at anyone.

May 19, 1933: Two men rob First State Bank of Okabena, Minnesota, of $2,500 and escape in a car with two women. Convicted for the crime are Tony Strain, 32; his wife, Mildred; his brother, Floyd Strain, 28, and Alice “Stormy” Martin, 25. Strain, a resident of the Okabena area, was a suspect in several Minnesota robberies, but he and the others deny this particular crime. Today it is widely believed Clyde and Buck Barrow did it. If so, it was one of their more successful bank jobs.

There are some, including Blanche Barrow in her memoirs, who said Clyde Barrow occasionally wrote letters to police on behalf of people he knew were innocent of crimes he had, in fact, committed. He wrote no letter on behalf of the Strain brothers.

June 4, 1933: American Weekly, a Sunday newspaper supplement owned by William Randolph Hearst, features a story about Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, using photos left behind in Joplin. American Weekly claims to be the most widely read publication in the world. The legend of Bonnie and Clyde is born, but it grows slowly.
June 8, 1933: Annoyed because W. D. Jones has refused to return to the gang, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker drive to Dallas and fetch him. Jones considers himself their prisoner.
June 10, 1933: While driving with Bonnie Parker and W. D. Jones near Wellington, Texas, Clyde Barrow misses warning signs at a bridge under construction and flips the car into a ravine. Parker sustains third-degree burns to her right leg, either from a gasoline fire or battery acid. The leg is disfigured and she is unable to walk for weeks. Even after her burns heal, she has difficulty getting around.
June 23, 1933: With Clyde Barrow tending to Bonnie Parker, Buck Barrow and Jones are sent to steal money during a stop in Arkansas. After a botched robbery attempt, they have a gunfight with police on the road between Alma and Fayetteville. Buck Barrow kills Arkansas City Marshal Henry D. Humphrey.
July 7, 1933: Clyde and Buck Barrow steal weapons from an armory in Enid, Oklahoma.
July 20, 1933: Buck Barrow is fatally shot when lawmen raid the gang's hideout at the Red Crown Tavern near Platte City, Missouri. The gang manages to escape, but Buck's days are numbered. Three lawmen are wounded, none seriously. For more on the Red Crown hideout.
July 24, 1933: Buck Barrow is wounded again in a shootout near an abandoned amusement park outside Dexter, Iowa. Buck Barrow and his wife, Blanche, are captured. A photograph of Blanche (below) becomes famous. Bonnie Parker, nursing burns from the June 10 auto accident, has to be carried by Jones during a torturous escape.

July 29, 1933: Buck Barrow dies in a Perry (Iowa) hospital after confessing to the murder of Marshal Humphrey. Blanche will be tried in Missouri for the attempted murder of Sheriff Holt Coffey in Platte City. She is convicted and sentenced to ten years in prison.

September 4, 1933: Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker are said to have been in Meade County, Kansas. A man named Alva Trummel claims to have been kidnapped by the Barrows at this time. It's possible given Trummel's descriptions, that this gang was led by Harvey Bailey and Wilbur Underhill, the latter a more formidable and feared outlaw than Clyde Barrow, but one whose days also were numbered.

If W. D. Jones is correct about the next item on this list, then the Barrow gang did an incredible amount of zig-zagging during their travels. it's a wonder they didn't die of terminal carsickness.

September 7, 1933: According to Jones, he escaped Clyde Barrow again, this time in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Given money to buy gasoline, Jones drives off and heads for his mother's home. He says later this was the last time he saw Bonnie and Clyde.

November 16, 1933: Jones is arrested in Houston, and sent to Dallas, where he becomes the prisoner of Sheriff R. A. "Smoot" Schmid.
November 23, 1933: Dallas Sheriff R. A. "Smoot" Schmid lays a trap for Bonnie and Clyde in a rural area just outside Grand Prairie. Bonnie and Clyde escape, embarrassing Schmid, who responds by announcing he has former Barrow gang member W. D. Jones in custody, something he kept secret in case he failed to apprehend Barrow and Ms. Parker.

November 27, 1933: Murder charges are filed against Jones for the killing of Doyle Johnson in Temple, Texas, last December, and the fatal shooting of Deputy Sheriff Malcolm Davis in West Dallas on January 7.

January 16, 1934: From the outside, Clyde Barrow organizes an escape at Eastham State Prison Farm. Assisting on the inside is Aubrey Skelley, took the rap for the murder Barrow committed while he served time at Eastham.

Breaking free are inmates Joe Palmer, Raymond Hamilton, Henry Methvin, and W. H. Bybee. Opportunistic J. B. French, serving a twelve-year hitch, joins the others, but is recaptured the next day.

For a more detailed explanation of the breakout and the aftermath.

January 23, 1934: With the four escaped convicts as members of the new Clyde Barrow gang, the First National Bank of Rembrandt, Iowa, is the first target, netting them $3,800, one of Barrow's best payoffs, even after it is split five ways. Bybee leaves the gang and will be caught a week later.
January 26, 1934: The Barrow gang robs Central National Bank of Poteau, Oklahoma. The payoff: $1,500.
February 1, 1934: For some reason, Barrow and his pals consider Joplin, Missouri, a vacation destination. That's where Joe Palmer takes a break while the rest of the gang rob State Savings Bank in Knierim, Iowa. Palmer had the right idea because Barrow, Methvin and Hamilton net only $307, some of that contributed by an unfortunate customer.
February 13, 1934: Clyde Barrow, Bonnie Parker and a man believed to be Raymond Hamilton shoot their way through southern Missouri between Springfield and the Arkansas line. Twice they are confronted by lawmen, twice they prevail, escaping uninjured. They abduct two men along the way, releasing them about eight miles south of Berryville, Arkansas.
February 19, 1934: Barrow, Hamilton and Methvin re-arm themselves by breaking into the National Guard Armory in Ranger, Texas.
February 27, 1934: Barrow, Hamilton and Methvin rob R. P. Henry & Sons Bank in Lancaster, Texas, and take away $4,176. They argue about the split, Hamilton insisting that if Bonnie Parker gets a full share for sitting outside in a car, so should his girl friend, Mary O'Dare. This is not the first time Miss O'Dare is at the center of an argument. No friend of Bonnie Parker, she nonetheless had urged her to leave Barrow. Bonnie doesn't, but Hamilton does, taking Miss O'Dare with him. Barrow writes a letter to Hamilton, saying he should have killed him for taking money that didn't belong to him.
March 7, 1934: Roy Thornton, long estranged husband of Bonnie Parker, attempts to escape Huntsville penitentiary with four other prisoners. Three of the prisoners are shot. Thornton surrenders when the shooting starts. Three years later Thornton is killed in another escape attempt.
March 29, 1934: Barrow, Methvin and Palmer go to Gladewater, Texas, to abduct Wade Hampton McNabb, a furloughed inmate and a long-time enemy of Palmer, who wants revenge for prison beatings. Palmer kills McNabb and dumps the body in Waskom, Texas, near the Louisiana border.

April 1, 1934: Easter Sunday. Barrow, Bonnie Parker and Methvin are on a dirt road, near Grapevine, Texas. They are approached by two Texas State Highway motorcycle patrolmen. Barrow and Methvin draw weapons. Seconds later, lawmen E. B. Wheeler, 26, and H. D. Murphy, 23, are dead.

Farmer William Schieffer, standing about 100 yards away, witnesses the event, and sees one of the gunmen walk over to the fallen policemen and continue to shoot them while they are on the ground. Schieffer will tell investigators those shots were fired by Bonnie Parker.

Police will claim this must be true, saying several cigar stubs were left at the scene, all with small teeth marks, meaning Bonnie Parker had smoked them. The cigar-smoking myth lives on.

Methvin, later admits he fired those shots, saying Parker approached Wheeler and Murphy afterward, but only to see if they were still alive and in need of aid.

April 6, 1934: Barrow's car gets stuck in the mud near Commerce, Oklahoma. Constable Cal Campbell, 63, and Police Chief Percy Boyd approach. offering to help. Barrow or Methvin shot at the policemen, fatally wounding Campbell.

A truck comes along and the driver pulls Barrow's car out of the mud, and is sent on his way. Barrow and Methvin take Chief Boyd hostage for 14 hours, dropping him off unharmed at Fort Scott, Kansas. Parker asks Boyd to tell the world that she does not smoke cigars.

But what Boyd says afterward only adds to her image as one very tough, very hard outlaw. In claiming that Bonnie Parker was the real boss of the gang, Boyd added:

“She gave orders and Barrow obeyed. Bonnie carried a machine gun across her lap while Barrow did the driving. I think she has done most of the killings for this murderous pair.”

April 16, 1934: Barrow and Methvin steal $1,500 from First National Bank in Stuart, Iowa, while Bonnie Parker waits outside.
May 3, 1934: In what will be their final bank robbery, Barrow, Methvin and Joe Palmer get $700 from Farmers Trust & Savings in Everly, Iowa. Palmer then goes his own way, while Methvin, whose father is negotiating a deal on his behalf with federal authorities, invites Clyde and Bonnie to hide near his parents' home in Louisiana. The trap is set.

May 23, 1934: An estimated fifty bullets rip into Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, another 110 puncture their car on a gravel road south of Arcadia, Louisiana. State police and Texas Rangers, with cooperation from Henry Methvin and his father, wait in ambush, and for once Barrow can't fight or drive away.

The two fugitives are dead, but their legend has a growth spurt. There's not much to say on their behalf, though some folks, mostly family members, are furious over the way they were killed. Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, not bashful about taking credit, defends his action, saying Barrow and Parker were given the same chance they gave most of their victims.

August 15, 1934: It is reported in Austin that Henry Methvin received a conditional pardon for information that led to the deaths of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. While cleared of previous crimes in Texas, in February, 1935, he will be sentenced to a year in prison on a charge of harboring fugitives.

Later he is extradited to Oklahoma and found guilty of the April 6, 1934 murder of Constable Campbell. He is sentenced to death, but a year later that sentence is commuted to life imprisonment. On March 20, 1942 he is paroled.

He has scrapes with the law in the years ahead and dies on April 19, 1948 when someone knocks him unconscious and leaves him on railroad trucks to be run over by a train. Some will say this was retaliation for what he did to Bonnie and Clyde, but there's no evidence this was the case.

October 31, 1934: Dallas police charge twenty-year-old L. C. Barrow, younger brother of Buck and Clyde Barrow with being the leader of a gang of robbers. Like his brothers, L. C. thinks small. Police say the victim of his latest robbery was a druggist who handed over $23, which was divided up among several men who accompanied Barrow.

L. C. Barrow has been in trouble before. He was convicted of automobile theft, but his five-year jail sentence was suspended. (See letter below.)

Appropriately, his mother, Mrs. Henry Barrow, is appearing with a traveling show in East Texas, with Mrs. Emma Parker, mother of Bonnie Parker. They lecture on the theme, "Crime Doesn't Pay." And they should know.

February 26, 1935: A Federal Court jury in Dallas convicts fifteen relatives and friends of the late Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker on a charge of conspiracy to harbor fugitives from justice. Five other defendants in the case who previously had pleaded guilty.

Sentences range from two years in Leavenworth (for Floyd Hamilton, brother of outlaw Raymond Hamilton); to one year in Federal penitentiary (for Henry Methvin), and 30 days in jail (for Mrs. Emma Parker, mother of Bonnie Parker). Lightest sentence is handed Marie Francis, sister of Clyde Barrow: one hour in the custody of the United States marshal.

May 10, 1935: Two convicts and a guard are slain and six men wounded in Texas penitentiary system disturbance after Raymond Hamilton and Joe Palmer are executed in the electric chair for killing prison officer Major Crowson in a 1934 break engineered by Clyde Barrow.

The disturbances are at Huntsville prison, where fighting breaks out and one convict is killed, and at nearby Eastham prison farm where one convict and a guard are killed. Three convicts manage to escape.

September 4, 1938: Mrs. Henry Barrow, 65, and her nephew, Lewis Francis, 32, are shot by "Baldy" Whatley in front of the Barrow filling station in Dallas. Whatley is retaliating after a barroom fight he had with L. C. Barrow earlier in the evening. L. C. had just been released from Huntsville penitentiary.

Dear Jack,

Let me help you with a couple of facts.

1.)  Louis Francis was not Cumie Barrow’s nephew as reported. His relationship was through Joe Bill and Norman Francis. They were brothers. Louis was not kin to the Barrows.

2.)  LC did  not commit the robbery of the drug store. He was railroaded by the police who wanted him gone. The drug store was robbed by a Francis cousin, Byron, who stated that he robbed the man and the man knew him. He did not look like LC. After speaking with the police, the druggist changed his description and said LC did it.

Sincerely,

Ben Hendrickson (Francis)
Carrollton, Texas
January 3, 2018

August 20: 1974: William Daniel Jones is killed after a confrontation with another man named Jones (no relation). Involved are a woman looking for a place to sleep, too much booze and a drug deal gone bad.
December 24 1988: Blanche Barrow dies at the age of 77. She is buried under the name "Blanche B. Frasure," honoring her third husband, Eddie Frasure, whom she married in 1940, soon after her release from prison. She had kept record of her time with the Barrow gang. In 2004 her memoirs are published as a book entitled, "My Life With Bonnie and Clyde."
 
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