Death for Bonnie and Clyde

ARCADIA, Louisiana (AP) — *Fifty bullets from the guns of old-time Texas Rangers and country sheriffs yesterday ended the murderous career of Clyde Barrow and his blonde gunwoman, Bonnie Parker, in an ambush laid in the woods of a graveled by-road south of here.

Acting on an underworld tip, the officers, led by the nerveless manhunter, Frank Hamer, for 30 years a Texas Rangers, laid a trap for Barrow and his woman, who believed they were going for a rendezvous with an ex-convict associate. Instead they drove their small sedan into a trap and six officers pumped 167 bullets into the car. Fifty shots struck the bandits.

Mortally wounded, Barrow attempted to fire at the officers, but death overtook him before he could pull the trigger.

Bonnie Parker, hard, straight-shooting, boasting female gunwoman, died with her head between her knees with a machine gun across her lap. She was famous as a cigar-smoking woman, but when she died she clutched a package of blood-soaked cigarettes in her left hand.

Fingers of her right hand, the trigger hand which was her proud boast, were shot away by the officers’ bullet.

The officers gave the bandits the same medicine they had meted out to their victims in more than a dozen fights and raids against the law in which twelve men were killed. In many of the fights, Bonnie Parker stood side by side with her outlaw associate and shot it out with the officers, each time successfully until today.

When the officers ceased fire and approached the car, they found Barrow full of bullets, slumped against the steering wheel with his head hanging out of the window. Bonnie Parker was slumped forward beside him, dead from many bullets.

With the bodies lying just as they were, the car was towed to Arcadia where an inquest was held. The bodies were then put on public exhibition until they were claimed by relatives who took them to Dallas for burial.

Bonnie Parker was identified by a tattoo mark [on her right leg, above her knee, showing two hearts and a name, thought to be that of her former husband]. She wore diamond rings, an expensive wrist watch and a holy cross around her neck under her dress. She was clad in a red dress, red shoes and a red and white hat.

Barrow had $507 on his person and was wearing colored glasses, one lens of which was shot out. Barrow was identified positively by a missing big toe on his left foot.

The car contained a regular arsenal and several blankets, leaving the impression the pair frequently had slept in the car. Automobile licenses from a dozen states were found in the machine, which was almost new. It bore a 1934 Arkansas license plate.

The incongruity of the criminal mind was demonstrated by discovery that Clyde Barrow, while not toying with machine guns and revolvers, was a saxophone player. Nestled between guns and ammunition, a saxophone with several pieces of sheet music, was found in the automobile.

More interesting to officers, however, were two riot guns, three submachine guns, eight automatic pistols, a .38-caliber revolver and 2,000 rounds of ammunition.

* The medical examiner found 17 entrance wounds
in Clyde Barrow's body, 26 entrance wounds
in the body of Bonnie Parker.


The cigarettes should have been a clue that perhaps Bonnie Parker's cigar-smoking image was bogus.

Many months earlier, on January 26, 1933, Clyde and Bonnie abducted a Springfield policeman, Tom Persell, releasing him six hours later.

Asked about his experience, Persell told reporters:

“Clyde was a good-looking fella, but I can’t say that Bonnie was anything to look at.”

HE SAID there was lots of profanity during their six-hour ride.

“They were both good at that. They cussed and discussed the police department. They didn’t have one good thing to say for the law enforcement officer. They talked about how police had mistreated everybody.

“They questioned me as to what kind of equipment we had — cars, guns. I liked, and said we didn’t have much.

“They also talked about a gun battle they’d been in over at Oronogo where they robbed a bank. Bonnie smoked all my cigarettes."

AGAIN, no cigars.

And, yes, they often slept in whatever car they had stolen. Their clothes were dirty, so were their bodies, because personal hygiene was no longer part of their routine.

Considering the life they led after the Joplin shootout, it's a wonder they didn't die of terminal carsickness.

For more on the ambush