this day in crime history: may 23, 1934

She was an honor student with a talent for creative writing. He was an ex-con and habitual criminal with a preference for Fords and Browning Automatic Rifles. On this date in 1934, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were ambushed and gunned down by a posse led by (semi)retired Texas Ranger Frank Hamer.

Further reading:

Crime Museum: Bonnie & Clyde

Wikipedia – Bonnie and Clyde

The Bonnie and Clyde Festival in Gibsland, LA

“The Story of Bonnie and Clyde,” a poem by Bonnie Parker

Frank Hamer at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame

9 thoughts on “this day in crime history: may 23, 1934

  1. John Boessenecker wrote a biography of Hamer that came out recently. He was definitely the kind of guy to call on for dealing with trigger happy hoods (and a lot different than the Denver Pyle portrayal, which prompted a lawsuit from Hamer’s widow).


  2. John D.:
    Always good to read about Bonnie & Clyde.
    And to Richard B.:
    I will have to check out that bio on Hamer – sounds like THE man to get the job DONE (considering he was a Texas Ranger…and NOT “uncle Jesse”).
    Good call.

    Roll safe out there.


  3. Their criminal career is chronicled in two pretty good books. Public Enemies, by Bryan Burrough, tells their story, along with that of their contemporaries Dillinger, Nelson, Floyd, Kelly, and Karpis and the Barker boys.
    Another book, Go Down Together by Jeff Guinn, is exclusively about them and is a great read. I can’t vouch for their accuracy, but they seem to agree about everything. I highly recommend both books.
    (Incidentally, from what I’ve read, they were never called “Bonnie and Clyde” until the 1967 movie came out. Before that they were always called “the Barrow gang.”)


    • I’ve heard of Guinn’s book, but haven’t read it. I read Burrough’s book and thoroughly enjoyed it. The movie was a bit disappointing and focused mostly on Dillinger. It probably would have fared better as a mini-series on cable.


  4. I have intended to read GO DOWN TOGETHER but have not done so yet.

    The death of Bonnie and Clyde was good riddance to bad rubbish.


    • B&C have been romanticized in recent years — especially since the release of the 1967 film — but in truth, they were dirtbags. Clyde was a trigger-happy nutjob, and Bonnie had to have had a few screws loose in her noggin to throw in with a guy like that.


  5. There are some of Frank Hamer’s amazing items that just went up for auction through heritage auctions some of his personal items including items related to Bonnie and Clyde
    Legends of the west signature auction
    You can go to and search Frank Hamer


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