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The other side of Bonnie and Clyde

Like millions of Americans, I tuned into the story of Bonnie and Clyde for the past two nights to watch a dramatized, sanitized, and romanticized history of two of America's most famous criminals.  While I'll leave criticism over the quality of the program as a program to more eloquent television critics, I will take the time to say how deeply disappointed I was to see two petty, cop-killing criminals once again turned into heroes.  The fact that America continuously turns a blind eye to the depravity and heinousness of these two, not to mention the likes of Floyd, Capone, and Dillinger; turning them from societal derelicts into heroes, is disgusting at best. 

That said, while I could spend hours ranting about society's (that's us) approach to individuals like Bonnie and Clyde, I think rather than give them one more minute of our collective attention, I'll instead call your attention to 9 men who are much more deserving of our time and our thoughts, and who constantly get forgotten in the B&C legend.

 

Deputy Sheriff Eugene Clyde Moore, Atoka County Sheriffs Department. EOW: Friday, August 5, 1932

Deputy Sheriff Eugene Moore was shot and killed by the Bonnie and Clyde Gang when Deputy Moore asked them, and several intoxicated friends, to put a bottle of whiskey away.

Deputy Sheriff Moore arrived at at a dance with Sheriff C.G.Maxwell. The dance was held at an outdoor pavilion in Stringtown, Oklahoma. Spotting a suspicious vehicle parked behind the bandstand with two men sitting inside, Sheriff Maxwell and deputy Moore approached the car and saw an open container of whiskey. Sheriff Maxwell announced to the two men "You can consider yourselves under arrest," not knowing the two men were Clyde Barrow and Raymond Hamilton, both wanted for murder. Barrow and Hamilton both opened fire on the two lawmen wounding Sheriff Maxwell and killing Eugene Moore before he could draw his weapon.

Deputy Moore was survived by his wife and three children. He is buried in the Rose Hill Cemetery, Calera, Bryan County, Oklahoma. Moore reputedly took the job as Sheriffs Deputy in order to feed his family during the depression.

 

Deputy Malcolm Davis, Tarrant County Sheriffs Office. EOW: Friday, January 6, 1933

Police were investigating a bank robbery in which Odell Chambless, a friend of Clyde Barrow's was involved.  It was rumored that he might show up at the West Dallas home of Raymond Hamilton's sister Lillie McBride. The lawmen had hoped to apprehend Chambless should he show up there. Lillie's sister told the officers that Lillie wasn't home. (she had actually been visiting Raymond, who was in prison at the time) The lawmen opted to remain at the home, in the hopes of catching the fugitive.

At around midnight a car slowly pulled up to the McBride house and then drove away, however moments later it had returned. A dark figure, later determined to be Clyde Barrow, exited the car and approached the porch of the McBride home. When Barrow realized that it was a trap he pulled out a shotgun and fired at the window. Deputy Davis ran to the front of the house just in time to catch the second blast from Barrow's weapon. When the shooting began, the Barrow car took off. It was believed to be occupied by either Odell Chambless or Bonnie Parker and W.D. Jones. Clyde Barrow ran into the darkness and made good his escape. Deputy Malcolm Davis died from his injuries before reaching the hospital.

Deputy Davis is buried in Grapevine Cemetery, Grapevine, Tarrant County, Texas.

Detective Harry McGinnisJoplin Police Department. EOW: Thursday, April 13, 1933

Detective Harry McGinnis and Newton County Sheriff's Department Constable J. W. Harryman were killed in a gun battle with the notorious outlaw gang led by Bonnie and Clyde. Detective McGinnis, Constable Harryman and several other area officers had gone to their hideout to investigate what they thought were bootleggers. Instead, they had stumbled upon Bonnie and Clyde. Both Detective McGinnis and Constable Harryman were shot and killed.

Detective McGinnis was predeceased by his wife and is buried in Deepwood Cemetery, Nevada, Vernon County, Missouri.

 

Constable John Harryman, Newton County Sheriff's Department. EOW: Thursday, April 13, 1933

Constable John Harryman and Detective Harry McGinnis of the Joplin Police Department were killed in a gun battle with the notorious outlaw gang led by Bonnie and Clyde. Detective McGinnis, Constable Haryman and several other area officers had gone to their hideout to investigate what they thought were bootleggers. Instead, they had stumbled upon Bonnie and Clyde. Both Detective McGinnis and Constable Harryman were shot and killed.

Constable Harryman was survived by his wife and is buried in Saginaw Cemetery, Saginaw, Newton County, Missouri.

Marshal Henry Humphrey, Alma Police Department. EOW: Monday, June 26, 1933

Marshal Henry Humphrey was shot and killed by the notorious outlaw gang led by Bonnie and Clyde.

Marshal Humphrey was working the night shift and in the early morning house of June 22, 1933, two men captured Marshal Humphrey as he was making his rounds outside the Commercial Bank building in downtown Alma. They bound Marshal Humphrey with baling wire, stole his flashlight and pistol, and broke into the bank where they went to work securing the bank safe. Law enforcement didn’t realize until later that it was the Barrows that stole the safe.

The next day, June 23, 1933 Marshal Humphrey got a call from his office alerting him that there had been an accident on the old highway going through Alma. He was given the license number and was notified of another robbery in Fort Smith at Brown’s Grocery, and a car theft. Crawford County Deputy Sheriff Ansel “Red” Salyars, a friend of Marshal Humphrey’s, offered to go with him. Due to the urgency, they took Deputy Salyars’ car.

As the Marshal and Deputy Salyars drove north on Highway 71, they passed a slower-moving blue Chevy truck driving south; seconds later a Ford Sedan sped by them, also going south. The Sedan disappeared over a hill and the officers heard a loud crash as the Sedan rammed into the back of the Chevy truck. Marshal Humphrey quickly turned around and rushed to the accident. He then realized the Sedan was the car they were looking for - it was Buck Barrow and W.D. Jones, who had robbed the store and stolen the Sedan. The gang quickly recovered from their crash and grabbed their guns as Deputy Salyars’ car approached and blocked the road.

Marshal Humphrey drew the Smith & Wesson .38 revolver he had borrowed from his brother-in-law, as his weapon had been stolen the day before, and as he appeared out the door of the vehicle, Buck Barrow shot him full in the chest with buckshot and he fell into the ditch. Two or three minutes of gunfire erupted between Deputy Salyars and the suspects before Buck’s shotgun jammed or was empty.

Deputy Salyars took this opportunity to find cover and ran toward a house nearly one hundred yards to the west of the scene. The second suspect fired at him but missed, although bullets passed through the house and barn and nearly hit a man working in a nearby strawberry field.

As Deputy Salyars re-loaded, Buck and W.D. ran to the Deputy’s car where Marshal Humphreys was still laying, grabbed the wounded Marshal’s gun and drove away. The Marshal was taken to the hospital and on June 26, 1933 he died after having only been with the agency two months.

Marshal Humphrey had been with the agency for only two months and was survived by his wife and three children. He is buried in Alma City Cemetery, Alma, Arkansas. The City Complex Building in Alma has erected a plaque commemorating the Marshal for his service and sacrifice.

 

Major Joe Crowson, Texas Department of Criminal Justice. EOW: Saturday, January 27, 1934

Major Joe Crowson was shot and killed by members of the Bonnie and Clyde Gang as several members of the gang were making a prison escape. Bonnie and Clyde had smuggled weapons inside and were waiting outside with machine guns during the escape. As Major Crowson rode up on a horse he was shot and killed. The two prison escapees were executed for the murder approximately one year later. Major Crowson is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Lovelady, Houston County, Texas.  

Patrolman H.D. Murphy, Texas Department of Public Safety - Texas Highway Patrol. EOW: Easter Sunday, April 1, 1934

22 year old Patrolman H. D. Murphy and 26 year old Patrolman Edward Wheeler were shot and killed on Easter Sunday by the notorious outlaws, Bonnie and Clyde.

The two patrolmen had stopped their motorcycles believing a motorist needed assistance. As they approached the vehicle, the two outlaws opened fire with a shotgun and handgun, killing both officers. Patrolman Murphy had served with the Texas Department of Public Safety for 6 months and was survived by his fiancee. He is buried in the Old Palestine Cemetery near Alto, Texas.    

Patrolman Edward Wheeler, Texas Department of Public Safety - Texas Highway Patrol. EOW: Easter Sunday, April 1, 1934

26 year old Patrolman Edward Wheeler and 22 year old Patrolman H. D. Murphy were shot and killed on Easter Sunday by the notorious outlaws, Bonnie and Clyde.

The two patrolmen had stopped their motorcycles thinking a motorist needed assistance. As they approached the vehicle, the two outlaws opened fire with a shotgun and handgun, killing both officers. Patrolman Wheeler had served with the Texas Department of Public Safety for 4 years. He was survived by his parents and four siblings and is buried in Grove Hill Memorial Park, Dallas, Texas. In 2011 Patrolman Wheeler was honored by the Texas Department of Public Safety on the 77th anniversary of his death.

Constable William Calvin Campbell, Commerce Police Department.  EOW: Friday, April 6, 1934  

On Friday, April 6, 1934, fugitives Bonnie Parker, Clyde Barrow and Henry Methvin mired their car down on a muddy road near Commerce. A passerby observed guns in the car and notified police. Chief of Police Percy Boyd and Constable Campbell, 61, went to investigate. As the officers approached the stuck car the fugitives Barrow and Methvin began firing at them with Browning Automatic Rifles. A bullet struck Campbell’s abdomen, piercing his spinal chord and killing him instantly. Wounded, Boyd was kidnapped by the fugitives who released him the next day.    Two sons and five daughters survived Campbell, a widower.

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