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 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.