Friday, February 4, 2011

Just the Thing to Kick Off the New Year Right-- The January 2011 Bonnie & Clyde Polls

I tried to keep things within the realm of easy research, for the 1st batch of 2011 Bonnie and Clyde Polls. So continuing within that vein of simplicity-- here we go. Homer Glaze and Mrs. L. G. Butler, were both said to have witnessed the killing of Howard Hall at his Little's grocery store in Sherman, Texas on October 11th, 1932. When Mr. Hall protested what was apparently Clyde Barrow's abusive and aggressive treatment of him-- Mr. Hall was shot 3 times in the chest. For those who say Clyde wasn't a cold blooded killer and just killed when he had to, the Howard Hall killing is perhaps revealing and fuel for the fire of debate-- as Mr. Hall was reportedly shot a 4th time while dying on the ground. Anger, cursing and abusiveness were noted, culminating in Clyde being indicted for the Hall killing with malice in December of '32.

Contrary to what might seem obvious for the owner of a combination jewelry store, filling station and garage-- John Bucher's training was said to have been as an optician. One can envision the "fine eye" of an optician-- as being useful to a jeweler. 3 filling stations, were reportedly robbed by The Barrow Gang in rapid succession on July 18th, 1933 at Fort Dodge, Iowa. However, it seems in addition to robbing the 3 stations and kidnapping 2 of the station attendants along the way-- some overlooked the 4th robbery committed by Clyde and the gang in Fort Dodge. That of Justin Chevalier, brother of the Texaco owner Leon Chevalier. Justin was relieved of the keys to his car, apparently to prevent the car from being used to trail the outlaws. In one of those amazing Barrow Gang stories, Justin reportedly asked Clyde to throw his keys out the window down the road-- so he wouldn't need to replace them. This "good deed" of a request, was reportedly honored by Clyde.

High powered rifles were said to have been the weapons used by Burley Wetsel and Carl Capp, to fire upon the Barrow Gang as it exited the scene-- after robbing the Farmers & Miners Bank in Oronogo, Missouri on November 30th, 1932. The machine gun fire which was returned in retaliation for the gas men's volley, was said to have just missed Wetsel. Although there seems nothing truly definitive to go on-- a comparison of photos with Emma Parker standing next to Bonnie (who was reportedly just shy of 5 feet in height)-- and Cumie Barrow standing next to a 5 foot 1 inch Blanche, seem to show Emma to be the taller of the Bonnie & Clyde mothers. Although both a teller and a customer at the Henry & Sons bank in Lancaster, Texas, couldn't positively identify Clyde Barrow and Ray Hamilton as the robbers of their bank that late February day in '34-- Clyde's newspaper feud with Ray Hamilton seemed to reveal all that needed to be known to implicate them. Even though 4 vehicles were said used in an elaborate plan to evade the law-- it was Henry Methvin believed to have been at the wheel, when Clyde and Ray exited the bank.

And in a question I though some might get but didn't-- Dr. James Wade's coroners office was in Arcadia-- but his personal practice was located in Gibsland. The burned out remains of his physician's office, is located just across the street from what was Ma Canfield's Cafe-- now occupied by The Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum. I've found an article in the past noting that Dr. Wade's clinic had burned-- but I've never been able to determine when this destruction occurred. Within photos I've taken while in Gibsland, archived here in the B&CHB photo gallery-- in the right shots, you can see the scorched empty space which evidence notes (with the remains of 3 different tile floor patterns visible)-- that the vacant area once housed 3 storefronts. As I understand it, Dr. Wade's practice was located in the far left space.

And finally concerning Joe Gunn and his experience with The Barrow Gang at Reeds Spring, Missouri in February of '34-- it seems the most widely held belief based on interviews with Mr. Gunn, had him walking "to" the store when picked up by the gang near Fred Tolbert's farm. Therefore, he would likely not have had his groceries with him, when apprehended by a powerfully armed and formidable Barrow Gang lineup that day.

Many thanks as always, for your participation in the B&C Polls. Look for the February polls to be posted soon.

1 comment:

BarefootOkieGal said...

It's interesting to me how Clyde operated - it's true that he would not kill a person unless he felt he had to, but he appears to have had one of those hair-triggers that very well might have made him feel that he was justified in killing anyone who stood in the way of him getting what he wanted! It sounds as if Clyde was nervous and when poor Mr. Hall protested, it triggered that vicious streak in Clyde. No, Clyde was no angel - if he had ever learned to master his temper, though, it's possible that he would not have been a killer. Many people have noted that Clyde would really rather run than fight; in this case, though, it definitely wasn't running that Clyde had in mind.

Clyde's temper is definitely something that would have been taken into consideration by the ambush posse - they had to know for a fact that if Clyde were not killed immediately, he'd be mad as could be and the possibility for yet more dead police officers was a distinct one.