Friday, October 23, 2009

The Latest B&C Polls-- A Walk In the Park or Daunting Task??

It's been quite some time since so few votes were cast for the B&C Polls. This led me to wonder whether this wasn't too hard a batch?? Yet, the 1st person who e-mailed me concerning the poll contest ran the table-- in getting them all right!! Nicely done. As there's only one way to know how challenging these queries were-- here we go.

As usual, there were multiple sources used for the poll questions-- and Joe Gunn was the key to question 1. On February 12th, 1934 at Reeds Spring Missouri, Joe Gunn was walking to town for his weekly groceries. A car full of people stopped, saying they were lost. They "encouraged" Joe to get into the car, which he noticed was full of guns. In helping B&C, Raymond Hamilton and a man they called Gibbons find their way toward Arkansas-- Gunn inadvertently helped them run straight into a roadblock of Galena Sheriff's officers. After an exchange of gunfire, they piled back into the car-- only to be pinned in from behind by the Reeds Spring Marshall and another deputy. After firing on the later group, they drove right at the lawmen in front of them. According to Gunn, as they drove around the officers' car-- Bonnie and Raymond Hamilton showered their car with bullets as they drove past. Joe Gunn noted that Bonnie had cursed a lot, during this expending of lead.

The next question involved the triple gas station robberies at Fort Dodge, Iowa-- which preceded the Red Crown incident. The 3rd robbery of 3 said committed within about 10 minutes time, was Leon Chavalier's Texaco station. As the Barrow Gang started off, Clyde took Justin Chevalier's keys-- to make sure they wouldn't be followed. Justin asked Clyde, if he wouldn't mind throwing his keys out the window down the road-- so he wouldn't need to get another set. Clyde apparently obliged. After these robberies, the gang drove 250 miles south-- and found themselves at another service station about 6 miles south of Platte City, Missouri. Delbert Crabtree was working the pumps, when Clyde asked him about the cabins across the street at the Red Crown Tavern. Although that service station was operated by Kermit Crawford and his sister, it was apparently Crabtree that Clyde asked first, concerning renting the Red Crown cabins.

Ted Hinton can be thanked, as the source for a couple of this round's questions. According to Hinton, Oklahoma license plate 485-370 was spotted during B&C's likely robbery of the McMurrey Oil Refinery at Overton, Texas on November 8th, 1933. After Jim McMurrey was robbed, he notified Dallas Sheriff "Smoot" Schmid, who sent Ted Hinton out to McMurrey's home. After hearing descriptions of the 2 men and tiny good looking woman, Hinton showed McMurrey photos of Bonnie and Clyde. The refinery man, said he was sure B&C were the robbers, and that he would be willing to swear to it in court. That is, until Hinton showed McMurrey the names on the backs of the photos. McMurrey then told Hinton he'd rather just take his lumps and go about his business.

Hinton was also the source of the story of Henry Methvin, being identified as the man who was waiting for sandwiches and soft drinks at the Majestic Cafe in Shreveport, LA-- when he noticed a car outside drive away. It was said Methvin hurriedly left, without his sandwiches. Ted Hinton interviewed the waitress who served Methvin, who identified him from a grouping of photographs. In apparently a related account, Alcorn, Hamer, Hinton and Gault, who were all staying at The New Inn Hotel-- were called down to the Shreveport Police Chief's office to be told about a car, which the police had "spooked" and chased away from the Majestic Cafe that same evening.

It was the photo of Clyde holding Bonnie on his shoulder, that Bonnie reportedly told Emma Parker she liked best-- at the May 8th, 1934 family meeting with B&C. Also Frank Clause, was the burglar Nell blamed-- for sending Clyde down a more serious road of crime, during the time Clyde was dating Gladys. And last but not least, Dexfield Park, opened in 1915. The park included a merry go round, Ferris wheel, go carts-- as well as other rides, a dance hall, cafes, baseball diamonds and the large brook fed swimming pool-- so often depicted. Many thanks as always for your participation in the B&C Polls. And thanks to Winston Ramsey, for the Dexfield Park pic-- and for some info used in this edition of the B&C Polls. Look for another group of polls to be posted, in time for another round prior to the end of October.

1 comment:

Russ1934 said...

Dexfield had go-carts? In 1915? What the hell did they look like, I wonder? Box shaped with little fenders? Thin tires and spoke wheels? These are the kind of thoughts I have when I'm home alone and the power goes out, LOL