This Day in History: The Death of Bonnie and Clyde


Bonnie and Clyde

Justin Irvolino and Moe Jawish

On May 23 of 1934 both Bonnie Parker (23) and Clyde Barrow’s (25) crime binge ended as the two famous outlaws were both shot to death by Louisiana and Texas state police near Sailes, Louisiana. The officers set up an ambush by a nearby town called Bienville Parish waiting for the two vicious outlaws to pass. When the officers saw Bonnie and Clyde they opened fire on both of them and their stolen car. After the car came to a halt the officers took no chances and bombarded the car with more lead.

Bonnie and Clyde both met in 1930 in Texas, while Bonnie’s husband was in prison for murder. As soon as they both fell in love they were both separated as Clyde Barrow was sent to prison for robbery. Bonnie would visit him every day and would smuggle a revolver into the prison which ended in a failed escape. In 1932 Clyde was paroled and set off with his partner, Bonnie Parker, for a two year slaughter and plunder.

On their journey they would form the Barrow gang that would start out small, robbing small gas stations and convenience stores, until March 1933 where their criminal record would be publicly glamorized. In the city of Joplin, Missouri the couple were hiding out at Clyde’s brother’s house. While they were staying there, police came to investigate the small hideout. Bonnie and Clyde had nothing else to do but to go guns blazing, killing two officers.

Newspapers and magazines like Time romanticized the photos calling the lovers “notorious Texas ‘bad man’ and murderer, and his cigar-smoking, quick-shooting woman accomplice.” Due to many people of the depression age disliking banks and financial institutions, Bonnie and Clyde became “folk heroes” to the public similar to Robin Hood. When the outlaws started to get the public’s attention they got even more from the police. The police would follow them through Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, New Mexico and Louisiana.

The Gang would kill their last officer five days after Easter and take one hostage. The hostage police officer was let go after he was told by Bonnie Parker to make it present to the public that she does not smoke cigars.
Seven weeks after the hostage situation Bonnie and Clyde’s excursion would come to en end with the Bienville Parish ambush. The Barrow Gang was accountable for 13 deaths, 9 being police officers.