Monday, August 31, 2009

August "Scorchers" Send the Summer Off Right

The August "Scorchers" B&C Polls were touted as a challenge, and in the end they were-- although as always, this talented group of B&C aficionados were not deterred in their quest to get these questions right. Only 1 question went without a correct answer being cast, although based on the range of responses-- it seems a number of the queries did provide a healthy dose of difficulty. Times a wastin'-- so here we go with the answers.

Otto Kolodzik was Chief of Police in Middletown, Ohio-- at the time of Clyde's arrest in March of 1932. 2 of the 3 other choices were officers involved that day, and W. J. Sortman-- was one of 2 B&O Railroad Detectives, who were sitting in the back seat of a police cruiser-- when Clyde was spotted on foot. During his 6 hours in captivity, Motorcycle Officer Tom Persell apparently recalled traveling through 8 Missouri towns. The ride of Persell with B&C-- included journeys to Fair Play, Morisville, Golden City, Greenfield, Pleasant Hope, Carthage, Oronogo and Springfield. It seems almost everyone knew that Robert Rosborough was an insurance agent. Thus when Marshall, Texas Chief of Police Clarence Ezell, approached Rosborough to tell him about his stolen car-- he found Bobby at work at his insurance agency, located on East Rusk Street.

In the Wellington incident, Gladys Cartwright was hit in the hand by a shotgun blast, directed toward her by W. D. Jones. It's said Jones fired at her through a window, when he thought Cartwright was reaching for a .22 rifle, while instead-- she was apparently just reaching up to latch the back door of the Pritchard house. 14 pellets entered the back door, and 6 entered her hand. It's been noted all the bones in Gladys' right hand were broken but one, by 5 of the pellets which traveled clear through. However one pellet lodged just above her ring finger knuckle-- cutting the tendon, and permanently ending her ability to bend that finger. I had always envisioned Cartwright, to be an older woman than she was at the time. I've also seen it reported somewhere, that Gladys may have lost some of her fingers as a result of this injury. However there is a photo which exists, of a young and pretty Gladys Cartwright-- holding out her fully intact right hand, to illustrate her injuries. This photo was taken in 1937.

It was hard to disguise the correct answer, by including the description of Blanche Barrow-- as a "a good looking gal in a slinky riding habit", as observed by Louis Bernstein of Platte City Drugs, while Blanche was buying atropine sulphate (a muscle relaxer) and hypodermic syringes. It was already known, a young woman in the gang had serious injuries to her leg. So Blanche's trip to the pharmacy, proved to be a conspicuous event, which aroused suspicion. However it was also true, that the frequent comings and goings between the 2 adjoining garages at The Red Crown raised red flags. So even though this alternative answer involved the added element of cars, which of course were present-- but without the benefit of guidance, as to the nature of these "comings and goings"-- as this story regarding the garages is said to be true, I would have accepted both answers as being correct. And in a departure from past questions, the Platte City question was "not" the only one laced with multiple correct answers. Both John Forbes and Ford Knapp, were included among the choices in the question asking-- who was one of the 2 policemen to hold a struggling Blanche at Dexfield Park?? Thus there was a 2 in 4 chance of naming one of the two-- as both were present. Ted correctly pointed out the multiple correct answers, in the Dexfield Park question within his e-mail to me. Yes Sir, you were correct. Nice going Ted!!

I suppose the gimme question of this bunch was the Pohle Pharmacy question. Everyone knew, that according to Lillian Pohle who served him-- Clyde indeed posed as a veterinarian, in trying to obtain morphine from this Dexter drug store. Apparently in not gaining access to the morphine, Clyde instead purchased peroxide and bandages. As of 2003, this Dexter Pharmacy (re-named Weesner Pharmacy) was still in business. And finally, for the question with perhaps the most spread between answers-- the Orogono bank heist tally. This one wasn't easy, depending on how you interpreted the "haul" which was said to be somewhere between $80 and $115-- and how many ways this bounty was split -- 3. But by involving Nell's recollection of this event, and in isolating only Bonnie and Clyde's monetary take-- these were the important clues in discerning this answer. In Fugitives, Nell stated that in the end-- Clyde and Bonnie only had about $25 for all their troubles from the Orogono heist.

Look for more B&C Polls to be posted soon, to kick off the Fall season on the B&CHB. "Thanks" as always, for your participation.


Anonymous said...

What was the deal with the riding clothes for Blanche anyhow? I seem to recall in her memoirs something about it being easier to move around in than a dress, but they had trousers and walking shoes for women back then. Why did she choose to wear something so conspicuous? Anyone know?

Russ1934 said...

Who has this photo of Gladys Cartwright showing her hand?
Is it available to view?

A. Winston Woodward said...

Hello Russ-- The pic of Gladys Cartwright, can be viewed on page 137 of Winston Ramsey's-- On the Trail of Bonnie and Clyde Then and Now.

For those unfamiliar with the Ramsey book-- this exceedingly excellent B&C resource, uses many news accounts from back in the day as supportive narrative text-- along with modern retrospective analyses, "and"-- includes a "bevy" of rare and fabulous comparative photos, from both the old days and today. This gem of a B&C work, actually shows (in detail) the locations involved in B&C History, and is filled with B&C info-- presented chronologically from the earliest days until the end. I would recommend this B&C volume to all. It costs about $60 bucks, but to me-- is worth even more.

Russ1934 said...

To Anonymous who asked about Blanche's riding clothes, I am
certain that I read somewhere
that she had spent time around
horses and liked to ride them,
but I can't remember where I saw
this. Winston might know.

A. Winston Woodward said...

As Ted owned a motorcycle and sidecar, those were his motorcycle pants-- or as "Boots" likes to call them, "motorcicle" pants.

Moriarity88 said...

I'm new to this B&C history but have a question about the ambush. Based on the location of bullet holes in the death car, it appears that the source of the shooting was from the left and above the drivers side and also there is a considerable number of bullet holes in the right front windshield. Were there two shooting vantage points?