Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bonnie and Clyde Q&A-- Can a Map be Shown, of All the Places B&C Visited While On the Run??

Someone recently asked about a map showing all the places Bonnie and Clyde visited while on the run from the law. Now that's a tall order. All of the known places-- sure, that could be done. But all the places?? That would be tough. The Barrow Gang traveled a great deal in eluding the law. One of the key elements thought to have kept Clyde and his loyal paramour alive, was Clyde's ability to travel fast and travel far. One of the realities in examining Bonnie & Clyde travel patterns-- was that there seemed to "be" no discernible pattern to Bonnie & Clyde's movements. Many feel Frank Hamer figured out a pattern to the outlaw's travel, which helped the Texas lawman track down B&C. But based on the team effort we now know existed among lawmen-- I wonder how much of that Hamer accolade was lore, and how much was truth??

"Boots" Hinton has told me, that according to his father Ted-- every morning Dallas Sheriff "Smoot" Schmid would have Sheriff's Department secretaries cut out news articles on Bonnie & Clyde, for officers involved in the case to learn of B&C sightings. Even though these huddles of Sheriff's officers such as Decker, Alcorn and Hinton concerned sightings which were likely a day or 2 old-- apparently the boys in Dallas tried to anticipate B&C's movements, based on their reported locations.


For my money, one of the best of the Dallas FBI file documents on B&C, is Hilton Bybee's interview-- where he reveals the travels of the enlarged Barrow Gang after the Eastham breakout. As Bybee's info helps figure out B&C's travels-- try this one on for size. Note the haphazardness and doubling back within this relatively short period of time.

Beginning on Tuesday January 16th, The Barrow Gang visited Hillsboro, traveling country roads-- then onto Rhome via Grapevine. While in Rhome, Clyde, Raymond and Bonnie went into Dallas. The gang spent the night on a country road near Wichita Falls. Next, traveled into Oklahoma. Then turned back and got a car that night (Wednesday)-- at Vernon. Drove all day (Thursday) in Oklahoma and decided to come back to Texas and rob a bank. Then returned on Thursday night, staying near a river. It was onto Frisco on Friday. Next they visited McKinney for groceries. Friday night Palmer and Methvin went to Hugo to case stores and rob a filling station. Clyde was upset about the small haul ($7.00)-- and drove country roads to DeQueen, Arkansas on Saturday. Then the gang hit Fort Smith. Got a paper at a Fort Smith drug store Sunday morning, and headed back to Oklahoma. 'Stayed Monday night on country roads in Oklahoma.

Next reportedly they went up into Joplin, Missouri-- staying around Joplin and that country due to the good gravel roads. 'Got $400. in a small town nearby. Bonnie cut the money. Then it was onto Texarkana Tuesday night-- and Shreveport on Wednesday. 'Came through Fulton-- then to Caddo Lake, Oil City, Marshall and Terrall. Clyde, Bonnie and Hamilton then went back to Dallas. Next it was onto Decatur and Alvarado-- McQueen, Wichita Falls and Electra-- then to Vernon and headed for Lubbock but changed their minds. Thank goodness a break-- where were we??

Terrall, Vernon, Spring Lake-- Joplin, Lubbock, Amarillo, Wichita Falls-- Vinita, and Vega-- WOW!! Now imagine being the law, and trying to figure out a pattern to The Barrow Gang's speedy meanderings based only on reported sightings. Thanks much for the question. I hope this one example of Barrow Gang travels as reported by Hilton Bybee, shows the need for perhaps a case or 3 of multi-colored push pins, with which to dot the landscape in explosive clusters-- to help fill a map with Barrow Gang movements.

1 comment:

BarefootOkieGal said...

Considering that Clyde drove like a bat out of hell, there's no telling where all they went! Even on those horrible roads of the time, Clyde could and would drive almost 1,000 miles a day - and probably not in a straight line, either.

Also, even if someone were able to put together all the B&C sightings, there's no way to guarantee that all sightings were genuine. Remember when they heard a report that Bonnie had been spotted in a hospital in Denver, I think it was?

So - between Clyde's known driving abilities and the fact that there were a lot of sightings that might not have been sightings at all, it would be almost impossible to figure out where all they did travel... that was their goal, after all. To drive, just drive, until they died.