Bonnie and Clyde; killed on this day, 1934

Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker

The infamous Bonnie and Clyde were killed by police on May, 23, 1934 near Sailes, Bienville Parish, Louisiana after one of the most intense manhunts of their time.

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were wanted for multiple cases of murder, robbery, and kidnapping when police caught up to them. (Bonnie was actually married to a man convicted of murder, and in prison, during her time with Clyde, and her legal name when she died was Bonnie Thornton.)

The two led law enforcement on a long manhunt, spanning from Chicago, Arkansas, and Texas – eventually culminating in federal involvement when the FBI found the duo had used a stolen car to cross state lines, thus committing Interstate Transport of Stolen Property. 

The two got together in 1930 in Texas. Bonnie was 19, and and Clyde was 21. 

Bonnie and Clyde were pretty much doomed from the start, when Clyde went to jail for burglary, and Bonnie helped him escape by getting a gun to him. 

Clyde didn’t stay free long, and, after being recaptured, was sent back to prison. Clyde was paroled in 1932, and the two got back into trouble fairly quickly. 

The pair stole cars in the beginning, but would eventually commit burglaries, bank robberies, and would be suspected of committing an astounding 13 murders, including two Missouri police officers, two Texas officers, and a sheriff in Oklahoma. The two were so outrageously bold, they even kidnapped a deputy sheriff and a police officer during their spree. The Barrow gang reportedly killed as many as nine law officers. The two would also wound two Texas prison guards and killed in, when they helped five inmates escape from a prison farm.

Their spree ended when officers fired at least 130 rounds into the stolen car they had been using, killing both Bonnie and Clyde on the spot. 

Louisiana officers had received information that the two were headed to a “safe house” Bienville Parish, and they set up for the duo. After waiting two days, the stolen car finally arrived in the area. 

Officers had enlisted the help of the father of gang member Henry Methvin, who had parked on the side of the road in hopes the two would stop to help him when they saw him.

At 9:15 AM on May 23, Clyde pulled over after seeing their buddy’s father stranded on the side of the road, but officers fired upon the stolen vehicle before the two could get out of their car. The two had such a reputation for violence that the six police officers who were waiting for the pair – four from Texas, two from Louisiana – didn’t give them a chance to react. Both were killed as they sat in the stolen Ford. 

Stolen Ford occupied by Bonnie and Clyde when they were killed

Officers found the two had three stolen Army rifles, two sawed-off shotguns, a machine gun, twelve pistols, and hundreds of rounds ammunition inside the vehicle.

The official coroner’s report stated Bonnie was shot 26 times, and Clyde was hit by 17 rounds.

Visit the History Channel for more on the two.

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