Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Surprises Seem Certain-- From the Latest B&C Polls

An eclectic batch of polls, with perhaps surprising results. I'm liking the way the B&C Polls are working now. The difficulty is as it should be to challenge this talented group, and as last time-- even those with strong track records, couldn't run the table. With this group of polls, by my count, everyone was skunked on 2 questions-- which were ones I'm sure many thought they got right. Some may be surprised by a few of the latest answers-- so here goes--

Dudley Castleman was indeed the informant from the Bad Weather Trap post, who hailed from Detroit, TX-- and informed the Texas Hwy Patrol regarding Clyde. I had left him anonymous within the post, in order to reveal him here. There always seems to be a "gimme" within the polls, although I don't plan it that way. It seems this week's question most everyone knew, involved Percy Boyd. He was the hostage B&C were thought to have liked the most. Clyde apparently claimed Boyd had "more guts than anyone he had ever met". Bonnie also liked Percy, and asked the Commerce Police Chief to see that Sonny Boy her pet rabbit-- got to her mother Emma, should anything happen to B&C while Percy was with them. Everly, Iowa was the location where the unique Iowa license plate 13-1234 with it's sequential last 4 numbers was spotted on a Barrow Gang vehicle. Although at first their take was thought to be higher, in the end it was discovered-- they had had robbed an Everly bank of about $700 ($10,500 today).

Ray Hamilton's unfulfilled idea, to shoot Joe Palmer in the back as he slept, was described by Clyde as a "cat idea"-- within a letter From Clyde, likely penned by Bonnie during Clyde's newspaper feud with Hamilton. 3 was the correct number of times, Clyde was known to have fired a weapon when challenged during a bank robbery. These bank shootouts occurred at Lucerne, Indiana, Okabena, Minnesota and Oronogo, Missouri. Clara Rogers of Winslow, Arkansas was 26 years old-- when reportedly attacked by Buck and Clyde. Although there is great debate over this incident, and on his death bed, Buck denied his and Clyde's involvement in this controversial rape and beating-- Mrs. Rogers is said to have positively identified Clyde and Buck, in a statement made to Crawford County Sheriff Albert Maxey.

I've saved the best for last-- the 2 no one got. To this day, no one seems to know for sure, where The Barrow Gang scored their biggest bank heist-- which netted a reported $33,000. Lawrence, Kansas seems the preeminent opinion as the location for this bank job to have occurred. However, despite Ralph Fult's detailed account, of how the gang cased the Lawrence bank, and also with this particular bank having been capitalized for $300,000, making it likely one of the largest banks in the state-- neither vintage news reports nor modern research, can verify this Lawrence bank having been hit for such a large amount. As there were many possible choices, where this holdup could have occurred within the geographic area The Barrow Gang traveled during that time-- there are many theories as to where this sizable haul was seized.
Based on this uncertainty-- "an unknown location" was the correct answer to the greatest heist question. To give this robbery some perspective, allowing for inflation-- $33,000 then, would be worth $465,000 today. When reportedly split 3 ways, the 11K each-- would have equaled $165,000 each in today's terms. A nice day's work.

And the question where I feel most all us will learn something new, including me-- had to do with the number of Barrow Gang hostages. Most chose 7 as the number of hostages. Some chose 9-- I suppose in counting Valley and Marvelle Fellers, who weren't actually taken hostage, transported anywhere and released. Nope, neither 7 nor 9 was correct-- as in reality, the number was many more than that. "Many" as by definition 4 or more?? Yes-- and not all hostages were released safely. I rely on Jim Knight for this info, which he detailed within an e-mail as follows:

Here’s all 11 plus the references - plus a bonus.


Barrow Gang hostages - people who were forced into a car and taken for a ride against their will by Clyde Barrow and/or members of his gang but released unharmed.
1. Son of John Redden, Stringtown OK. My book, page 55 and Atoka, OK paper, 8/11/1932.
2. Joe Johns - Eddy County, New Mexico. My book, page 57.
3. Tom Persell Springfield, MO. My book, page 71.
4. Sophia Stone, Ruston, LA. My book page 83.
5. H.D. Darby, Ruston, LA. “ ” “ ” “
6. George Corey Wellington, TX. My book, page 88.
7. Paul Hardy, Wellington, TX. “ ” “ ” “
8. Harold Anderson, Ft. Dodge, IA, My book, page 99/100.
9. Harry Stark, Ft. Dodge,. IA “ ” “ ” “ ”
10. Joe Gunn, Reed Springs, MO. My book, page 135.
11. Percy Boyd, Commerce, OK My book, page 149.


Anonymous said...

hi winston, i think when WE are filaiiy are able to find out just hoe many BANK'S were robbed by clyde & co, some are going to be surprised!!!

Anonymous said...

you know something tom? i would like to know that also. clyde barrow seemed to me like a universal robber. i dont think it really made a whole lot of differance to him. however, i have never heard of him ever going back after a bank robbery to pay the banker back, for not reporting the crime like it was said he done to a service station operator after robbing the man after the malcolm davis muder in west dallas.

Anonymous said...

hey tom, would it also surprise you to know how many grocery stores and gas stations they robbed?

Anonymous said...

perhaps clyde knew (like his own pappy) that fillng station operators sold more than gas and oil, HA HA. in all seriousness, that much i will agree with you on this issue, to a certain point. i really think all armed robbery sucks. but that is what some people do, however, keep in mind, dillinger, baby-face, the barkers, and old creepy robbed mom and pop stores as well.

Anonymous said...

hey tom, there is no excuse for any kind of robbery. mom & pop stores, banks, garages, and so forth. and no, moon-pies and soft drinks are not what i meant. but that was funny!