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The Hideout in Joplin
The Famous Cigar Photo
W.D. Jones and Bonnie
On April 13, 1933, two police cars arrived at the rented
apartment to confront the bootleggers. Immediately,
the gang started firing, killing one officer and fatally wounding
another. Leaving most of their possessions behind, they jumped into
the car and sped away, stopping only to pick up Blanche, who had
been trying to catch her fleeing puppy! In the encounter, W.D. Jones
had been shot in the side, Buck had been hit by a ricochet and a
bullet that struck Clyde had miraculously been deflected by a suit
Behind them were left a small arsenal, some of Buck and Blanches
personal papers, such as their marriage license and his parole papers.
There was a poem written by Bonnie and a camera with several rolls
of exposed film. Many of the famous photos seen today of Bonnie
and Clyde were taken from those rolls of film, which were developed
by the Joplin Globe newspaper. Among them was the picture of Bonnie
with a cigar in her mouth, enough that the press could use in helping
paint a picture of a demented person when describing Bonnie. The
facts are, Bonnie smoked Camel cigarettes, never cigars! Following
the Joplin shootout, the Barrow Gang became big news.
Their photos were in the newspapers and on wanted posters in every
Post Office in the country. They were spotted in areas of Texas
and Louisiana north to Minnesota. Everyday life became tedious at
best and they had to travel with the knowledge that at anytime,
someone could identify them and report them to the authorities.
In April, 1933, in Ruston, Louisiana, they kidnapped Dillard
Darby and Sophia Stone while stealing Darbys car. They drove
the couple a distance from the abduction scene then released them,
giving them enough money to return home. During the kidnapping,
Bonnie learned that Darby was an undertaker and commented, "Well,
one day maybe you'll work on me!" This kidnap and release pattern
had been repeated several times by the gang. These little acts of
kindness were told of in the papers, also, but the publics
attitude toward Bonnie and Clyde was based more on the violence,
the murders of police officers and civilians. It was apparent to
the general public that the Barrow Gang would kill anyone!
In May, 1933, they robbed a bank in Lucerne, Indiana, followed
by another bank in Okabena, Minnesota.
Life on the run was difficult with two couples living in one car
and W.D. Jones driving. Arguments developed and an air of general
discontent developed among the gang. At some point in May of
1933, W. D. Jones used the car he had helped steal from Dillard
Darby to get away from the gang. He was gone until around June
SALT FORK RIVER ACCIDENT
Seven miles north of Wellington, Texas, in the early evening of
June 10,1933, farmer Sam Pritchard, his wife, daughter and
son-in-law were sitting on the front porch of their farm home when
a Ford Sedan, traveling at a high rate of speed, went past. Driving
the car was Clyde Barrow and his passengers were Bonnie and W.D.
Clyde failed to see detour signs along the highway, directing traffic
to a new bridge across the Salt Fork River. The old bridge had been
removed. The car left the highway and turned over in the almost-dry
riverbed. Clyde and W.D. escaped the car, but it appeared Bonnie
was trapped. As the car caught fire, Clyde and W.D. worked feverishly
to free her. Bonnies right leg was severely burned. So serious
and painful were the burns that Bonnie would never walk properly
again. Her right leg contracted and she either hopped on one foot
or Clyde carried her.
Immediately following the accident, Sam Pritchard and his son-in-law,
Alonzo Cartwright ran to the scene, about two hundred yards from
the Pritchard home, to offer assistance. They moved Bonnie into
a bedroom at the Pritchard home. Pritchard became suspicious of
the three and quietly asked Alonzo to go get the sheriff. Collingsworth
County Sheriff George Corry arrived at the Pritchard home, accompanied
by Wellington City Marshal Paul Hardy. They immediately walked through
the house and saw that Bonnie was in very serious condition, lying
in one of the bedrooms. At this point, the lawmens main concern
was getting Bonnie to proper medical attention.
As the lawmen returned to the front porch, they found themselves
staring down the barrels of firearms held by Clyde and W.D! At that
point, they were handcuffed and Clyde then fired into the tires
of Alonzo Cartwrights car to flatten them. At one point, Clyde
asked the lawmen, Have you ever heard of the Barrow Boys?
This was a grave mistake; it told lawmen their names, plus the fact
that they would be shopping for medical supplies to treat Bonnie's
Clyde, Bonnie and Jones used Sheriff Corrys car to escape.
In the earliest reports of this incident by eyewitnesses, W.D. Jones
was incorrectly assumed to have been Buck Barrow.