Friday, May 18, 2012


5/23/1934,  - "Gone But Not Forgotten," just like Clyde's tombstone says!  Betrayed by gang member Henry Methvin and his family in exchange for not being prosecuted for numerous Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas crimes that include murder, notorious outlaws Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow are ambushed at 9:15 in the morning by a heavily armed posse consisting of Arcadia Sheriff Henderson Jordan, Deputy Paul M. Oakley, Texas Deputies Bob Alcorn and Ted Hinton, and Highway Patrolman B.M. Gault that is led by legendary former Texas Ranger Frank Hamer (reputed to have killed over 53 men in gun battles while being wounded 17 times).

            The posse ... top L to R, Hinton, Oakley, Gault ... bottom L to R, Alcorn, Jordan, Hamer

Hired three months before to track down the bandit duo after they are responsible for the murder of a prison guard when they spring a group of their convict friends from Eastham Prison Farm in Texas, Hamer makes the right decision in selecting a wooded country road between the towns of Gibsland and Sailes in Louisiana for his attack.  

                                 The narrow lane where the ambush takes place

Driving a stolen Ford V-8 with Arkansas plates, the unaware outlaws (Clyde is wearing a dark pair of sunglasses while driving in his socks, Bonnie is munching on a ham-and-cheese sandwich as she reads a motion-picture magazine) make the fatal mistake of stopping along the road to assist Methvin's father Ivan, who pretends to be changing a flat tire.  Known for shooting his way out of trouble, no request of "SURRENDER!" is made, and when Clyde seems to sense trouble and shifts the car into gear, the posse unleashes a deadly fusillade upon the duo from their automatic rifles, shotguns, and pistols ... 167 bullets that turn the Ford into a metal Swiss cheese hearse (hit 45 times, Clyde loses a hand in the slug shredding of his left side, while Bonnie is holed 23 times, the holes are so numerous that the local undertaker, C. F. Bailey has difficulty keeping embalming fluids in the dead bodies).

                                                          Death car
                                                            At the morgue

The law finally triumphant, the wrecked car and its bloody contents (besides the corpses, police find the Ford contains license plates for 17 different states, Clyde's saxophone, a Kodak camera, numerous maps, clothes, and an arsenal that includes three Army rifles, two sawed-off shotguns, a revolver, eleven pistols, and 2,000 rounds of ammunition) are taken to the nearby town of Gibsland, where the presence of the infamous bandits causes schools to empty and businesses to shut down for a day of morbid partying (beer prices go up from 15 cents to 25 cents, and a concession of ham sandwiches sells out), and when word of the killings swirls through the region, swelling the population from 2,000 to 12,000 in a few hours.

                                    Some of the car's booty

As Bonnie Parker stated in her poem, The Trail's End ... "Some day they'll gone down together) ... May 23, 1934 is that day!

                                                     Happier times

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