WRECK IN WELLINGTON, TEXAS APRIL 9, 2015 by Eddie Trapp

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WRECK IN WELLINGTON, TEXAS APRIL 9, 2015

Continued from last week. The Bonnie and Clyde gang was hiding out in Joplin, Missouri when a

neighbor called the police about all night, loud parties. The unfortunate officers had no idea who

they were dealing with. Although taken by surprise, Clyde, Jones, and Buck quickly killed a detective

and wounded a constable. Bonnie used her Browning Automatic Rifle to keep a highway patrolman

pinned down behind a big oak. Buck’s wife was chasing her dog, Snowball, down the street and the

gang stopped the getaway car long enough to pick her up. Jones was wounded in the side and another

bullet was deflected by Clyde’s coat button. Many items were left inside the hideout, things like Buck’s

marriage license and his parole papers, a large arsenal of weapons, poems by Bonnie, and rolls of

undeveloped film.

The film was developed and found its way to the newspapers. One showed Bonnie with a cigar in her

mouth and a pistol in her hand. On their way up north they kidnapped Dillard Darby and Sophia Stone in

Ruston, Louisiana after stealing Dillard’s car. Several hours later the pair was released on the side of the

road with enough money to get back home. Bonnie told them to tell the newspapers that she did not

smoke cigars and she was just clowning around in the picture. In May they had about a year to live. They

robbed a bank in Okabena, Minnesota and tried to rob another in Lucerne, Indiana. By now they were

so well known they could not eat in restaurants or stay in motels. Camping and cold baths in creeks for

them was normal. Originally B&C were considered “good” outlaws like Robin Hood but as the killings

increased, public attitude began to change. On June 10, 1933 near Wellington, Texas, Clyde missed a

turn at a construction site and flipped the car. Bonnie’s leg was severely burned, either by the fire that

broke out or by acid from the batteries under the front floor board. Her burns were third degree and so

severe her muscles contracted, causing her leg to “draw up.” Near the end of her life she could barely

walk and either hopped or was carried by Clyde.

While trying to let Bonnie’s leg heal they stayed in a motel in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Buck and

Jones got bored and drifted over to Alma, Arkansas and tried to rob a store. Town Marshall Henry D.

Humphrey was killed in the attempt and the gang had to leave the area. On July 18, 1933 Bonnie and

Clyde had less than a year to live. Along with Jones and Buck they were staying in a motel in Platte City,

Missouri. Buck and Clyde went to a pharmacy and bought medicine for Bonnie’s leg. All the druggists

for miles had been alerted for anyone making that kind of purchase. At 11:00 that night the sheriff led

a group of officers to capture the gang but the BAR outgunned the posse as before. The escape wasn’t

quite perfect though as Buck was hit on his forehead, blowing out a chunk of his skull. His brain plainly

showed. Blanche also suffered from broken glass in both eyes.

Five days later the gang was camped near Dexter, Iowa and Buck was so bad that Clyde dug a grave

for him. People passing by saw all the bloody bandages and called the sheriff. Lawmen and over a

hundred spectators surrounded the camp. Clyde, Bonnie, and Jones escaped on foot. Blanche and Buck

were captured. Buck was shot in the back and died five days later. The three outlaws kept on the move

for a few weeks then decided to go to Texas to visit their kinfolks. Jones went on to Houston to see

his mother and was promptly arrested. B&C had only five months to live when they broke into Clyde’s

hated Eastham prison, releasing old gang members Raymond Hamilton and Henry Methvin. This was

such an embarrassment to lawmen they set up a special team to search for, and kill, any of the gang

they could find. Leader of the group was retired Texas Ranger, Captain Frank A. Hamer. For twenty years

he had been the image of the “One Riot, One Ranger” motto. In his career he was credited with killing

53 outlaws and receiving 17 wounds. Hamer got on the trail February 10 and it was the beginning of the

end for Bonnie and Clyde. Next week. The end of the road.

Coincidence section. While talking to Clinton Harrington last week I was getting some information

from him and needed to write it down. I always keep a little spiral notebook in my shirt pocket for times

like that. I started feeling in all my pockets and felt like Detective Columbo back years ago. He always

wore a suit then a big, long coat on top of that. No telling how many pockets he would go through

before he found what he was looking for. I mentioned Columbo to Clinton and he had never heard of

him. Clinton left and I went to my recliner to flip channels a while. Within two minutes I came across an

old episode of Columbo. I checked the guide button and it showed another episode of Columbo coming

up next. I hadn’t seen any of them in a year I bet.

A man noticed a cat drinking milk from a bowl in front of a small grocery store. He noticed the bowl

was a valuable antique. Went into the store and offered ten dollars for the cat. An ugly cat with one ear

chewed off. The grocer wouldn’t take ten dollars so in desperation the man offered a hundred which the

grocer took. As the buyer walked outside he hollered at the grocer, “I’m just gonna take the bowl too.”

The grocer hollered back, “No, that’s my lucky bowl. I’ve sold twenty seven cats this month.”

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Author: Staff Reporter

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