Feature Video – 23rd May – Bonnie and Clyde

The feature video on the MIRC website for this week is presented on the anniversary of the day that the wanted outlaws, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, were killed in a police ambush as they were driving a stolen Ford Deluxe along a road in Bienville Parish, Louisiana. They were being hunted in the aftermath of the murder of three policemen. Two of these policemen were motorcycle police, H. D. Murphy and Edward Bryant Wheeler, that were shot down on a country road and witnessed by a farmer who lived nearby, in April of the same year. Sadly, for Officer Murphy, it was his first and last day on motorcycle duty. William Schieffer was that witness and in this newsreel he describes the shooting.

It was this event that apparently turned the tide against the couple, fuelled by Scheiffer’s account, which got widespread coverage in the press.  This graphic account, coupled with recent photos found of the couple showing off their gun collection, encouraged press reports to hound them as gun toting vigilantes and especially tarred Bonnie as the heartless ‘moll’. Schieffer stated that Bonnie stood over the body of an officer, finishing him off by rolling him over and firing into his chest. However further witnesses claimed they saw a tall man firing shots into a body on the ground. Scheiffer’s ever-changing story was soon discredited, but not in time for Barrow and Parker. After this event, the massive negative publicity, against Parker in particular, accelerated the public clamor for the extermination of the remaining elements of the Barrow Gang.

This featured video was a newsreel that came out just after these slayings at the intersection of Route 114 and Dove Road near Grapevine, Texas, now the neighboring city of Southlake. This event warrants the end of the downfall of the outlaws ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ and predicted by Bonnie herself, in a poem found at one of their hideouts:

“Some day they’ll go down together

And they’ll bury them side by side

To few it’ll be grief,

To the law a relief

But it’s death for Bonnie and Clyde.”

You can watch the feature video, entitled ‘The Hunt for Bonnie and Clyde’ here.

 

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