W. D. Jones

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William Jones
Jones in 1933
William Daniel Jones

(1916-05-12)May 12, 1916
DiedAugust 20, 1974(1974-08-20) (aged 58)
Cause of deathGunshot
Other namesJack Sherman, Hubert Bleigh, W.D., Dub, Deacon
Conviction(s)"Murder without malice"
Criminal penalty15 years

William Daniel ("W.D.", "Bud", "Deacon") Jones (May 12, 1916 – August 20, 1974) was a member of the Barrow Gang, whose spree throughout the southern Midwest in the early years of the Great Depression became part of American criminal folklore. Jones ran with Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker for eight and a half months, from Christmas Eve 1932 to early September 1933. He was one of two gang members who were consolidated into the "C. W. Moss" character in the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. "Moss was a dumb kid who run errands and done what Clyde told him," he later said. "That was me, all right."[1]

Early life[edit]

James Zeberdie Jones (April 7, 1883 - January 27, 1923) and Tookie (née Garrison) Jones (August 8, 1884 - September 17, 1971) were sharecroppers in Henderson County, Texas with six children: five sons and a daughter. William was their second youngest child. After postwar cotton prices collapsed they gave up trying to farm, and circa 1921-22, in the same wave that brought the Barrow family and hundreds of other poor families from the country to the unwelcoming city, the Joneses settled in the industrial slum of West Dallas. It was a maze of tent cities and shacks without running water, gas or electricity, set on dirt streets amid smokestacks, oil refineries, "plants, quarries, lagoons, tank farms and burrow pits" on the Trinity River floodplain.[2] It was while his family was living in the squatters' camp under the Oak Cliff Viaduct that William, then about five, first met Clyde Barrow, then age 11 or 12.[1]

When William was six years old his entire family was stricken by what was probably Spanish flu,[1] which lingered after the 1918 pandemic in pockets of the United States where unhealthy conditions prevailed.[3] His father and sister died in the same hour,[4] his oldest brother two nights later,[5] all of pneumonia (frequently the coup de grâce delivered by that strain of flu[6]). Tookie Jones and four of her sons survived.

Jones grew up illiterate. Before or after the illness that devastated his family he got partly through the first grade; he recalled that he left school to sell newspapers.[7] He had been friends with LC Barrow, the youngest son of his mother's friend Cumie, since their families' first days in West Dallas. The Joneses and the Barrows were close: when Buck Barrow was to stand trial in San Antonio for car theft, Tookie and her two youngest boys accompanied the Barrows and their two youngest children as they traveled by horse and wagon, 300 miles south, to attend.[8] Both boys had big brothers named Clyde; William's brother Clyde drove his wife and Marvin Barrow's girlfriend Blanche across the country to Tennessee in the summer of 1930 to see Marvin while he was on the lam.[9] The Barrows, too, had been hit by disease in the West Dallas camp: Clyde, his father and his younger sister Marie were hospitalized by something so severe that years later Clyde was rejected by the Navy due to its lingering effects.[10]

Barrow Gang[edit]

By age 15 or 16 W.D. Jones was known to the local police. He hung around the Barrows' service station on Eagle Ford Road, "entertained" older men,[11] and collected license plates for LC's brothers to use on cars they stole;[12] he was picked up in Dallas at least once "on suspicion" of car theft and was arrested with LC in Beaumont, Texas for car theft.[13] On Christmas Eve 1932, Clyde Barrow and his friend Bonnie — already on the run,[14] and glamorous outlaws to W.D. — stopped by home. Barrow was between assistants, and he and Parker brought Jones along with them when they left.[15] The next afternoon in Temple, Texas, in a botched attempt at stealing a car, Jones or Barrow shot and killed the car's owner, grocery clerk Doyle Johnson, a 27-year-old new father. Newspaper accounts reported that the fatal shots came from the passenger side of the car.[16] According to Jones, Barrow used this report to make sure Jones didn't leave the gang.[1] Jones was indicted for Johnson's murder by a Bell County grand jury,[17] but was not tried.[18]

William Daniel Jones, 15, and friend LC Barrow were arrested after disappearing with, then wrecking, a bootlegger's car.[13]

On the night of January 6, 1933 in Dallas, the three stumbled into a trap set for another criminal and Barrow killed Tarrant County Deputy Malcolm Davis,[19] shooting him point-blank in the chest with a 16-gauge shotgun. Jones and Parker were waiting in the car for Barrow and were as startled as the neighbors were when gunfire broke out. Jones "grabbed a gun and began blasting the landscape." Parker shouted to him to stop, that he might hit someone, and she circled the car around the block to catch up with Barrow. Though in his confession to police, Jones said that he was starting the motor while Parker fired her pistol out the passenger window, thirty-five years later, he told Playboy magazine, "As far as I know, Bonnie never packed a gun.... during the five big gun battles I was with them, she never fired a gun."[20] In October 1934 Jones was tried and convicted as an accessory to Deputy Davis's murder as part of an arrangement with Dallas County Sheriff R.A."Smoot" Schmid.[21]

After the murder of Malcolm Davis, Barrow, Parker and Jones lay low. They drove through the hills of Missouri and Arkansas and may have wandered as far east as Tennessee. They made news only on the night of January 26, when they kidnapped Springfield, Missouri police officer Thomas Persell.[22] Twice in early spring they dressed up and photographed each other and their gun collection beside the road.[23] They saw how their pictures came out at the same time as thousands of newspaper readers: in April the rolls of film were captured by police, developed, and published. The playful pictures brought unintended consequences, particularly one of Bonnie Parker squinting defiantly at the camera, her foot planted on the bumper of a stolen car, a gun at her outthrust hip and a cigar hanging from her mouth.[24] Dallas County Deputy Sheriff Ted Hinton recalled that the "brazen pride"[25] displayed in the pictures made law enforcement officers that much more determined to catch them.

The three returned to Dallas on March 24 or 25 and learned that on March 23, Clyde's older brother Buck had been pardoned from Huntsville penitentiary. On the night of March 25 they surprised Buck and his wife Blanche at Blanche's mother's home and persuaded Buck to vacation with them in strategically located Joplin, Missouri.[26]

Joplin, Missouri[edit]

Barrow, Parker and Jones paused on a disused road to take pictures of themselves in the late winter or early spring of 1933.
Parker poses with cigar and is branded by newspapers as "cigar smoking gun moll" based on film found at Joplin apartment

Jones was a combatant in the April 13, 1933 Joplin shootout with law officers in which Constable Wes Harryman[27] and motor detective Harry McGinnis[28] were killed by shotgun.[29] Police estimated that this infamous shootout lasted about one minute, from first shot to last.[30] The most serious injury to the Barrows was to W.D. Jones. He was struck in the left side, possibly by a shot fired through the garage's glass window by Detective McGinnis or through the still-open garage door by Officer Harryman's only fired round,[31] though Officer Kahler of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, recalling the battle in 1980, said that he himself shot Jones below the right shoulder blade, many seconds after the two fatally wounded officers were down.[32] The Barrows fled westward; they stopped once at a gas station for aspirin and rubbing alcohol. They moved Jones into the front seat and wrapped him in the blanket that usually covered the guns; Parker pried open his wound with knitting needles and poured rubbing alcohol into it.[33] In the Texas Panhandle, somewhere near Shamrock or Amarillo, they pulled over to examine their wounds. "Clyde wrapped an elm branch in gauze and pushed it through the hole in my side and out my back. The bullet had gone clean through me so we knew it would heal."[34]

The unexpected viciousness of the apartment dwellers' response, the haul of weaponry recovered,[35] and especially the rolls of film they left behind made the Barrow Gang suddenly wanted and recognizable far beyond Texas. In their immediate descriptions of the gun battle the police officers remembered only two shooters, whom they named as Clyde and Buck Barrow; no witness remembered a third man.[25] Jones was never correctly identified while he was with Clyde Barrow; when he had to introduce himself during his time with the Barrows he used the name "Jack Sherman."[36] From the Joplin photos police variously identified him as Buck Barrow, Pretty Boy Floyd[37] and Hubert Bleigh.[38]

Ruston, Louisiana[edit]

Two weeks later on April 27, in the middle of a car theft in Ruston, Louisiana, still not recovered from his Joplin wounds and perhaps tired of the constant bickering in the car as well as afraid for his life, Jones disappeared from the gang. (A fictionalized version of the Ruston car theft and subsequent kidnapping is the Gene Wilder-Evans Evans segment in Bonnie and Clyde.) According to his statement to Dallas police November 18, "[T]hey [the Barrow brothers] put me out of the car to steal a Chevrolet automobile for them. I saw this was my chance to escape and I jumped in this car and made my getaway and came back to Dallas, Texas." The car he stole in Ruston was found 130 miles away, at the edge of the Mississippi River, in the eastern Arkansas railroad town of McGehee.[39]

Clyde didn't want to believe that the docile W.D. had deliberately abandoned the gang, but to Buck it was obvious, and a relief, that "the kid" had.[40] Jones made his way back to Dallas and spoke with Mrs. Barrow at least once while he was there.[41] In late May the gang sent Blanche to Dallas to bring money and news to the families; Barrow instructed her to bring Jones with her to their rendezvous. When Blanche passed this request on, both mothers were polite, but demurred; Mrs. Barrow told Blanche faintly that "she did not know if he wanted to go with Clyde or not"; LC and Mrs. Parker at least pretended to try to find him. Barrow arranged at least one more meeting, expressly asking his mother to find and return Jones then, but to no avail. Finally he and Parker drove into Dallas and picked him up themselves, on June 8 or 9.[42] In his statement to Dallas police Jones said, "[A]bout two o'clock in the afternoon.... I was walking along the road intending to go down to the lake and to go to a dance at the Five Point Dancehall that night. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow drove up from behind me and stopped. They were in a V8 Coupe....They spoke to me and told me to get in the car and I got in. They asked me if I wanted to go with them, and I told them I did not, and Clyde said I was going anyway, and I did."[43] After this, even when the five-person gang had two cars, "Clyde always wanted W.D. to be in the car with him."[44]

Wellington, Texas[edit]

On the night of June 10, racing to meet Buck and Blanche in Oklahoma, Barrow was traveling too fast to notice a detour sign at the bridge over the Salt Fork of the Red River outside Wellington, Texas. "Suddenly the road disappeared."[45] The car sailed into the air, turning over as it went, and crashed into the dry riverbed, rolling several times and coming to rest on its side. Battery acid poured onto Bonnie Parker, eating away the flesh of her right leg as she screamed and struggled. A farm family came to their aid, but quickly contacted police; "Bonnie told me I fired a shotgun there which wounded a woman in the hand."[46] Barrow and Jones kidnapped the responding officers, Sheriff George Corry and Marshal Paul Hardy, to make their escape.[47]

"Bonnie never got over that burn. Even after it healed over, her leg was drawn under her. She had to just hop or hobble along."[48] Barrow, who limped himself,[49] accommodated the new delays, expenses and detours her disability created in his life without hesitation, and while she healed he or Jones carried her wherever she needed to go.

The gang holed up in a tourist cabin in Fort Smith, Arkansas, tending Parker, unable to move on until she recovered — or died — from her catastrophic injury. "She'd been burned so bad none of us thought she was gonna live. The hide on her right leg was gone, from her hip down to her ankle. I could see the bone at places."[1] During this time Barrow's love for Parker drove him to put his own life on the line several times to try to help her.[50]

Fayetteville, Arkansas[edit]

With Barrow's attention focused on Parker, the problem of acquiring food and rent money fell to Buck and Jones. On June 23, as the two were fleeing the scene of a clumsy grocery store robbery fifty miles away in Fayetteville, they crested a hill on Highway 71 and smashed into the back of a slower moving vehicle. The driver climbed out of his car and grabbed two rocks; the Barrows jumped out of their car, Buck with a shotgun and Jones with a BAR. Town Marshal Henry Humphrey[51] of Alma and Crawford County Deputy Sheriff Ansel M. "Red" Salyers were also on Highway 71, driving toward Fayetteville to investigate the grocery store robbery. In the opposite lane the first car passed them — they waved to the driver, whom they knew — then seconds later came the speeding V-8. They heard the crash and turned around, and at the scene they recognized the V-8's Kansas plate. As Marshal Humphrey drew his gun and got out of the car, Buck shot him in the chest. Jones fired a round from the BAR at Salyers. Salyers ducked behind his car and fired back with a rifle, then as Jones fumbled to reload he dashed toward a farmhouse. Buck's shotgun had jammed; he ran to Salyers's car, yelling to Jones to get Humphrey's pistol. From the farmhouse a hundred yards away, Salyers took aim and managed to shoot off two of Jones's fingertips as the robbers careered away in his automobile. A few miles from Fort Smith Buck and Jones hijacked a couple's car at gunpoint, then realized the roads into Fort Smith were blocked. The car was found abandoned in the mountains.[52] They staggered in the door of the tourist cabin ten hours after they had left. The Barrow Gang packed up what they could and decamped.[53]

The next month, Deputy Salyers drove 500 miles to a hospital in Perry, Iowa, to get a final statement from the dying Buck Barrow. Barrow admitted to Salyers that he had murdered Marshal Humphrey, and that he and the man with him — who he finally confessed was "Jack Sherman"— had been shooting to kill them both.[54] Officer Humphrey's pistol was found in the Barrows' debris at Dexfield Park.[55] In November, Jones told police that he had been stunned in the car crash and his memory of any ensuing action was hazy, but he was confident that only Buck was shooting. He did remember standing in the highway looking for a gold ring he had lost. However, the following February at the harboring trial, Jones read a statement in which he said both he and Buck had killed Humphrey.[56]

Platte City and Dexfield Park[edit]

Always proud of their arsenal, the Barrow gang "shot" it for a posterity they could not have imagined. The cut-down shotgun is one of Barrow's "whippit" guns.[57] The pistol decorating the hood ornament is Officer Persell's.[22]

On July 20 around 1:00 a.m, thirteen lawmen led by Sheriff Holt Coffey,[58] protecting themselves from expected machine gun fire with metal shields, advanced on the double cabin at the Red Crown Tourist Court in Platte City, Missouri. In the ensuing firefight Buck Barrow was shot in the head as he and Blanche ran to get inside the garage. Jones had started the V8's engine but was afraid to open the garage door, then was afraid to help Blanche drag Buck inside.[41] As they flew toward the highway Blanche was partly blinded by shards of glass from the car's exploding windows. Clyde drove them north two hundred miles, running for a long time on flats, then rims, the floor of the car sloshing with Buck's blood. State and federal agents tracked them north following reports of blood-soaked and burned clothes and bandages in fields and on the sides of the road. The Barrow Gang finally hid in a brake of trees at the edge of an abandoned amusement park outside Dexter, Iowa. They attempted to leave the park the next day but, helplessly, returned: Buck's injuries were too severe.[59]

During the night of July 24 nearly one hundred law officers, National Guardsmen and interested, armed, mostly deputized citizens — some with dates[60] — crept up to the edges of the field, and as the sun rose a new shootout began. Parker, Barrow and Jones were badly wounded. Buck, unable to run, was shot six more times, and he and Blanche, who would not leave him, were captured.[61] "Half stumbling, half swimming,"[1] Jones dragged and carried Parker a mile and a half while Barrow fought away the last of the posse. Bonnie told her sister that as she and W.D. hid in the brush, their wounds dripping blood, they heard distant gunfire and then a long silence. Bonnie began to weep and to wish they had a gun with them, so she could die with Clyde. But at last, Barrow crawled out of the woods.[62] Gesturing with an empty pistol he commandeered a car from a farmer and the trio escaped.[63]

They kept driving. Throughout August they plied the back roads from Nebraska to Minnesota to Mississippi, pausing in only the smallest towns to steal fresh cars and money for gas and food. They slept in the cars, parked in remote fields or woods or in ravines;[64] the following winter, Barrow observed that he hadn't slept in a bed or even changed his clothes since his brother Buck was killed.[65] Near the end of the month Barrow and Jones rebuilt the gang's security by robbing the armory at Plattville, Illinois of more BARs, handguns and ammunition.[66]

Jones was as loyal a subordinate as Clyde and Bonnie could have hoped for, but he did not want to accompany them into death or even any farther into pain and fear. They were aware that Jones wanted to leave them.[67] Nevertheless, Jones stayed until Barrow and Parker were well enough to take care of themselves without help before leaving. "I left Clyde and Bonnie after they was healed up enough to get by without me.... I'd had enough blood and hell."[1]

According to Barrow family members, the three made their way back to West Dallas and split up there on September 7.[68] This may have been the story Clyde and Bonnie told. According to W.D., they were forty miles outside of Clarksdale, Mississippi on the night in early September when he saw a way to escape. They had just stolen a new car and Barrow had given him $2.12 to fill its tank. Jones put in a few gallons, then drove ahead as if to find a secluded place to stop and change cars. But when he was out of Barrow's sight he turned down a country road, turned off the car's headlights, and sped up. After a few miles he left the car and fled for his mother's home in Houston.

Arrest and sentence[edit]

Jones kept a low profile after his return to Houston, picking cotton and digging vegetables on area farms to support himself, but on November 16 he was arrested without incident in Houston by Dallas County deputies Bob Alcorn and Ed Caster, who drove him to the Dallas County jail.[69] An acquaintance in Houston had identified him to police as the mystery Barrow accomplice.[1]

It is possible that Barrow coached Jones on what to say if he was ever arrested,[70] or that the two of them agreed on a basic theme for Jones's official story: that Clyde, Bonnie and Buck had done all shooting and robbing and that W.D., a minor child, was an unwilling member of the gang, forced to ride with them at gunpoint, unconscious with fear or trauma most of the time, and chained to trees and car bumpers at night. Jones may or may not have had Barrow's blessing to blame every serious transgression on those who had nothing to lose, but on November 18, 1933, he relayed to Dallas police just such a story.[71]

Dallas possession of an important Barrow Gang member was an ace up the sleeve for the politically ambitious Sheriff Schmid, who kept Jones a secret for ten days, perhaps hoping Clyde Barrow would try to storm the jail and break Jones out. Jones for his part insisted that he was grateful to be safely behind bars.[72] On the night of November 22 the sheriff and his deputies Alcorn, Caster and Hinton bungled an ambush of Barrow and Parker in Sowers, Texas, on the outskirts of Dallas.[73] The Dallas press jeered loudly — even the newsboys hawked the story as "Sheriff escapes from Clyde Barrow!"[74] — until Schmid put W.D. Jones on display. Wide-eyed and "shaking with fear," Jones met the press; his deal with Sheriff Schmid was apparent in the sensational headline, "Saw Clyde Shoot Deputy."[75]

Jones and the sheriff agreed that he would be tried as an accessory to Clyde Barrow's January 6 murder in Dallas of Deputy Davis, which would protect him against extradition to Arkansas for the June 23 shootout on Highway 71 in which Marshal Humphrey was killed. "They tried me for killing a sheriff's man at Dallas," Jones told Playboy in 1968. "Clyde done it, but I was glad to take the rap. Arkansas wanted to extradite me, and I sure didn't want to go to no Arkansas prison. I figure now that if Arkansas had got me, one of them skeletons they've dug up there might have been me."[1]

Jones was in the Dallas County jail on the morning of May 23, 1934, when Barrow and Parker were ambushed and killed on the Sailes-Gibsland road in north Louisiana. When reporters crowded in to tell him the news, he said, "I admit that I am relieved," and shook his head.[76]

At his trial the following October all state witnesses recommended against the death penalty. Jones was convicted of a crime codified in 1931, "murder without malice."[77] Though the district attorney and the prosecuting attorney recommended a sentence of 99 years, on October 12 the jury handed down a sentence of fifteen years.[21][78]

In February 1935 Jones and nineteen other family members and associates of Barrow and Parker were defendants in the federal government's test-case trial en masse for "harboring." He received the maximum sentence for harboring, two years, applied to run concurrently with his Texas sentence.[79] After six years in the Huntsville penitentiary he was paroled.

After the Barrow Gang[edit]

"There's a bullet in my chest, I think from a machine gun, birdshot in my face and buckshot in my chest and right arm."[80] "When I tried to join the Army in World War Two after I got out of prison, them doctors turned me down because their X-rays showed four buckshot and a bullet in my chest and part of a lung blown away".[81]

Deacon Jones in 1973

Jones lived the rest of his life in Houston, for many years next door to his mother. He married, but his wife died in the mid-1960s. He became addicted to pain-killing drugs.[82] After 1967, the year Arthur Penn's romanticized film ignited a new generation's interest in the Barrow Gang, his arrests made the local news.[83] Jones said of Bonnie and Clyde, "[It] made it all look sort of glamorous, but like I told them teenaged boys sitting near me at the drive-in showing: 'Take it from an old man who was there. It was hell.'"[1] Local TV reporters had brought him to see the film.[84]

In 1968 Jones described his life on the run with Bonnie and Clyde in a colorful interview with Playboy magazine[1] and spoke here and there to young people warning them away from the life of crime. Later in the year he filed a petition against Warner Bros.-Seven Arts, charging that the filmmakers, who had never contacted him, had maligned his character by implying that he had played a role in the betrayal of Barrow and Parker. Nothing came of the filing.[85]

"I've never lived it down," he said of his outlaw days. "I've tried but I guess I never will."[80]

In the early morning hours of August 20, 1974 Jones accompanied an acquaintance to a friend's home where she thought she would be given a place to sleep. The friend did not allow her in, an altercation ensued, and at 3:55 a.m. the friend shot Jones three times with a 12-gauge shotgun. "The man told police that Jones was a 'nice' person when sober but that he knew of Jones' reputation and was afraid of him."[86] He was buried on August 22 at Brookside Memorial Park in Houston.

Date of birth[edit]

Marie Barrow, born in 1918, remembered Jones as being the same age as her brother LC, who was born in 1913, and that therefore he was not a minor in 1933. She may have confused Jones's birthday with Ray Hamilton's, May 21, 1913. In 1950 Jones filled out Social Security forms stating that he was born May 12, 1916,[87] the same date he gave Dallas police in his November 1933 confession;[88] in 1968 he told Playboy he was 16 on Christmas Eve 1932 and that Clyde Barrow was seven years older than he.[1] A news article noting an arrest in September 1973 gives his age as 59.[89] His death certificate gives his age as 58 and lists his birthday as May 15.[90] Since he filled out his Social Security forms himself, while a relative filled out his death certificate, it would be safe to assume that his birthday is May 12 — however, May 15, 1916 is the date on his gravestone.[91](NOTE added February 2015) — According to the 1920 federal census of Van Zandt County, Texas, J.Z. (James) and Tookie Jones were parents of the following children: Garrison - age 16; Slennie - age 13; Clyde - age 10; Herbert - age 7; and W.D. - age 3.[92] (Another son, Roy Lee, was born in 1920, after the census information was taken). This supports W.D. Jones' claim of 1916 as his year of birth. He was listed as three years old as of January 15, the day the census enumerator visited.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Riding with Bonnie and Clyde."
  2. ^ West Dallas Neighborhood Development Corporation, Nov. 28, 2000. West Dallas Environmental History. The Texas Senate. Most homes in West Dallas remained without the most basic amenities, and the streets remained unpaved until 1952, when the city of Dallas incorporated it. Phillips pp. 43, 312, 331 fn.4.
  3. ^ The Great Pandemic: Texas The Great Pandemic: The United States in 1918-1919 Archived 2012-02-15 at the Wayback Machine US Department of Health and Human Services
  4. ^ "Father and child die of pneumonia." Dallas Times-Herald, January 28, 1923. Bonnie and Clyde's Hideout
  5. ^ "G.P. Jones Dies." Dallas Times-Herald, January 30, 1923. Bonnie and Clyde's Hideout
  6. ^ "Bacterial Pneumonia Caused Most Deaths in 1918 Influenza Pandemic." NIH News, August 19, 2008. National Institutes of Health Archived 2006-04-10 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Barrow p. 235 fn. 25.
  8. ^ Guinn pp. 39, 147. The 600-mile trip took three weeks each way. The families picked cotton and fruit at farms along the way to earn money to feed themselves. Guinn p. 39.
  9. ^ William Daniel Jones known as W.D. Blanche Barrow Official Website
  10. ^ Guinn pp. 28, 33.
  11. ^ any elucidation of what this is supposed to actually signify, perhaps from the source indicated here? As it is, the quotation marks highlight the statement in rather an odd and unencyclopaedic way.
  12. ^ Phillips p. 338, fn.91.
  13. ^ a b Beaumont, Texas mugshot. FBI file 26-4114 Section Sub A pp. 54-55. "The car we had torn up belonged to a bootlegger who had hired us to deliver his liquor. We got to pulling on a bottle and just hooked 'em with the liquor and the bootlegger's car." "Riding with Bonnie and Clyde."
  14. ^ Barrow was wanted for the April 30 murder of John N. Bucher in Hillsboro, Texas, the October 11 murder of Howard Hall in Sherman, Texas, and the August 5 murder of Deputy Eugene C. Moore and wounding of Sheriff C.G. Maxwell in Stringtown, Oklahoma, and for a number of robberies. Guinn 111-39, Ramsey 51-80. Police had been aware that Bonnie Parker was traveling with him since August 14, when her aunt in Carlsbad, New Mexico identified her so. Guinn 137, Ramsey 66-7.
  15. ^ In his statement to police Jones recalled that he was drunk when Bonnie and Clyde drove away with him and that he had no intention of staying with them longer than overnight; Guinn at page 147 postulates that he begged to come along.
  16. ^ Ramsey p. 80.
  17. ^ The Dallas Morning News, January 23, 1934.
  18. ^ After his arrest in November 1933 Jones gave his version of the events of Christmas Day 1932 to Dallas County police. Although his story did not match a single eyewitness account, it satisfied investigators that he and Barrow had been the two men involved. This exonerated an old Barrow partner, Frank Hardy, who had already been tried once for the murder but had met with a hung jury and was about to be tried again. "Prisoner Says Barrows Killed At Least 6 Men." Associated Press. Unknown newspaper, November 25, 1933. Bonnie and Clyde Joplin Shootout Documents p. 72.
  19. ^ Deputy Malcolm Davis. The Officer Down Memorial Page Archived December 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ Descriptions of the night of Jan. 6: Parker pp. 106-07, Phillips pp. 115-21, Ramsey p. 90.
  21. ^ a b Guinn p. 243, Phillips p. 309.
  22. ^ a b Persell had watched their car slowly cruising the downtown area and suspected an imminent car theft. He stopped them on a bridge, which made Barrow suspect that more police were lying in wait on the other side. They released him unharmed six hours later and fifty miles away, but kept his Russian-made, custom-grip gun, which was next seen in the roll of photographs recovered at Joplin, in one picture hooked over the hood ornament of their latest stolen V-8, in another tucked into Barrow's waistband as Parker holds a shotgun on him and reaches to take it. "Riding with Bonnie and Clyde"; Guinn pp.157-59; O'Brien, Mike. "Book follows bloody trail of Bonnie, Clyde across Ozarks," Springfield News-Leader, January 4, 2004. The photographs: Ramsey pp. 108-13. Persell moved on with his life and never spoke much about the incident, though it came up again decades later, when he let his granddaughters bring him to school for show and tell. "Bank Robbers Bonnie, Clyde Kidnapped Policeman in 1933." Rootsweb: Local History. Originally published in the Springfield Leader-Press, Oct. 10, 1999.
  23. ^ Many of these photographs — "the Joplin rolls" —- are reproduced at Ramsey pp. 108-13. The camera was a Kodak, "probably a No. 2A Folding Autographic Brownie"; Blanche Barrow was convinced it was hers. Barrow p. 227 fn.10.
  24. ^ Though Parker's pose for this snapshot was a comic exaggeration of every gun-moll cliché she could think of, the newspapers selected it to represent the "Bonnie Parker" for whom alert readers should be on the lookout. The picture shocked and titillated the public and branded Parker for the rest of her life and beyond as "Barrow's cigar-smoking gun girl." Inspired, crime magazines and newspapers across the country fleshed out the cartoon characterization of Parker to such a distorted degree that a year later, in April 1934, when their last kidnap victim asked her, "What shall I tell [the papers], Bonnie?" she chose to say, "Tell them I don't smoke cigars." (On page 39 of Ted Hinton's 1977 as-told-to memoir Ambush is the revelation that Parker actually was holding a rose in her teeth, and that the Joplin Globe's art department had painted in a cigar.)
  25. ^ a b "Photographs the Bandits Left Behind." Fragments of unknown newspaper, possibly the Joplin News-Herald. April, 1933. Bonnie and Clyde Joplin Shootout Documents pp. 92, 118, 134, 247.
  26. ^ Barrow pp. 24-35. Joplin's location, only a few miles from three state lines, made it a convenient base for criminals in the days before interstate police cooperation was common. Barrow was familiar with the area. In November he and West Dallas associates Frank Hardy and Hollis Hale had robbed the bank at Oronogo, a farm crossroads near Joplin, of a few dollars. At another area bank the three burst in, ready to rob, only to be told by the lone clerk that the bank had failed weeks earlier. Disillusioned, Hardy and Hale ditched Bonnie and Clyde outside Carthage, north of Joplin, in early December. Guinn pp. 141-43. The Barrow Gang marked Christmas Eve back in Dallas with their families, and that night they headed out with a new helper, W.D. Jones.
  27. ^ Constable J.W. Harryman. The Officer Down Memorial Page Archived December 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ Detective Harry McGinnis. The Officer Down Memorial Page Archived December 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ The Joplin shootout is a Rashomon of conflicting stories. Ramsey at pp. 105 and 107 cites research by James Knight to state that Clyde Barrow killed both officers. Clyde was using a shotgun, as was Buck in the versions that include Buck firing at all. Phillips states that Jones used a shotgun. Officer Kahler said that Jones fired a machine gun directly at him; the blast took off part of the side of the house toward which Kahler was running, Kahler p. 21; however, Phillips says it was Clyde who "stepped calmly through the garage doors", crouched at the corner of the building and shot at Kahler with a shotgun, hitting the nearby house. Jones, of course, told police he didn't shoot anything at all. Though Officer Grammer, Lt. Kahler's partner, later told the Joplin Globe that he glimpsed W.D. Jones and "a woman" firing from the upstairs windows, and Parker told family that she "fired a shot" from upstairs (Barrow pp. 51-2), no other eyewitness testimony supports this and Officer Grammer did not mention it at either coroner's inquest the following day. Phillips p. 128, Guinn p. 398.
  30. ^ Kahler p. 21.
  31. ^ Guinn p. 169.
  32. ^ Kahler pp. 21-2.
  33. ^ Kahler p. 21. Describing the aftermath of the Dexfield Park shootout, Jones told Playboy, "I reckon most folks find it hard to believe we never went to no doctor, but that's a fact. We stole a few doctors' bags out of cars and used that medicine. And we bought alcohol and salves at drugstores. But we couldn't risk going to a doctor and getting turned in."
  34. ^ "Riding with Bonnie and Clyde." Descriptions of the Joplin shootout: Barrow pp. 50-58, footnotes pp. 243-46; Guinn pp. 166-69; Kahler pp.19-25; Phillips pp. 127-30; Ramsey pp. 100-15; U.S. Bureau of Investigation, memo describing Joplin events, May 27, 1933, FBI file 26-4114 Section 1 pp. 208-13.
  35. ^ The guns the Barrows left behind had been stolen from a National Guard armory and included a Browning Automatic Rifle, a kind of gun the local police didn't recognize, either because the make was unfamiliar to them (Guinn p. 172) or because it was an early Barrow scattergun. Bonnie and Clyde's Hideout
  36. ^ This was the same alias Ralph Fults used when he and Bonnie Parker were arrested in April 1932. "Mule Theft Charged to Man and Woman." Unknown newspaper, April 21, 1932. Bonnie and Clyde's Hideout
  37. ^ "Officers Certain of Floyd's Participation in Joplin Murders." Associated Press, unknown newspaper, 1933; "Raider Floyd Is Sought In Deputy Death." United Press. Unknown newspaper, 1933. Bonnie and Clyde's Hideout Joplin Chief of Detectives Ed Portley, however, gave an ambiguous statement: "I want it understood that as far as the Joplin police department is concerned, we are not attempting to associate Floyd in any way with this case." Barrow p. 249 fn.17.
  38. ^ Handwritten note dated May 31, 1933, FBI file 26-4114 Section 1 p. 214. This note passes on a confidential tip given by a prisoner to a Dallas detective. Two months later during her interrogation in the Platte City jail, Blanche, though in hysterics, had the presence of mind to tell interrogating officers that the third man with them called himself Jack Sherman, and suggested his name might be Hubert Bleigh. This caused problems for the real Hubert Bleigh, a petty criminal from Oklahoma some of the Barrows may have known slightly. Barrow p. 288, fn.6.
  39. ^ Barrow p. 61, Ramsey pp. 115-17, Guinn pp. 177-80.
  40. ^ Barrow p. 87, Guinn p. 189.
  41. ^ a b Jones confession.
  42. ^ Barrow pp. 76, 87, 93-94; Jones confession; Guinn pp. 189, 402 footnotes to 189.
  43. ^ Jones confession. If Jones and Henry Methvin are to be believed, Barrow continued this technique of simply intimidating his strayed accomplices back into the fold. Methvin testified at his 1935 trial to a similar incident: in February 1934 Clyde and Bonnie snatched him up from a sawmill where he had started working. "Well he asked me, told me to get in the car with him. I got in the car. I told him I had rather stay there and work..... He said to come with me, and after we left there he said if I ever tried to leave him he would kill me, or find out where my people lived, he might kill them." Methvin v. Oklahoma (selection), p. 35.
  44. ^ Barrow p. 104.
  45. ^ Phillips p. 135.
  46. ^ Jones confession. In some retellings of this story Jones shot the woman's hand off. In reality, by lucky accident, only one of her fingers was nicked. But she was holding her baby, whose head was grazed by a flying piece of window screen. Guinn p. 194.
  47. ^ Descriptions of the Wellington incident: Phillips 135-37, Guinn 191-6, Barrow pp. 262-3. The Texas Historical Commission's marker at the crash site, erected in 1975 but perhaps relying on the 1933 newspaper reports, names Buck Barrow as the man with Clyde and Bonnie. "The Red River Plunge of Bonnie and Clyde." The Historical Marker Database
  48. ^ "Riding with Bonnie and Clyde," Phillips p. 161, Guinn p. 207.
  49. ^ He had amputated his left big toe and part of the second in Eastham prison farm in January 1932 (Guinn pp. 80-1, "Riding with Bonnie and Clyde") and in photographs of him he very visibly favors that foot. Pain from his foot may be the reason he preferred to drive barefoot, as witnesses to the Commerce, Oklahoma shootings noted (Milner p. 128), or in his stocking feet.
  50. ^ Guinn pp. 196-99, Barrow pp. 98-101.
  51. ^ Town Marshal Henry Humphrey. The Officer Down Memorial Page Archived December 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  52. ^ "Hot On Trail of 2 Desperadoes." Associated Press. Unknown newspaper, June 24, 1933. Bonnie and Clyde Joplin Shootout Documents p. 151. Joplin, Missouri Police Department
  53. ^ Descriptions of the events of June 23: Guinn 199-205, Ramsey pp. 142-50, Phillips pp. 138-9. A drawing of the area noting the murder location and the escape route is reproduced at Barrow p. 102.
  54. ^ FBI file 26-4114 Section 1 p. 312.
  55. ^ Guinn p. 229.
  56. ^ Phillips p. 344 fn.28.
  57. ^ "It had a one-inch rubber band he'd cut out of a car-tire inner tube attached to the cutoff stock. He'd slip his arm through the band and when he put his coat on, you'd never know the gun was there. The rubber band would give when he snatched it up to fire." "Riding with Bonnie and Clyde."
  58. ^ To avoid a trial, Blanche Barrow pled guilty to assault with intent to kill Sheriff Coffey, with whom she later became affectionate friends. Barrow pp. 144, 155.
  59. ^ Descriptions of the Platte City ambush: Barrow pp. 109-22, 271-78; Phillips pp. 140-5; Guinn pp. 211-19; U.S. Bureau of Investigation memo describing Platte City and Dexfield Park events, August 17, 1933, FBI file 26-4114 Section 1 pp. 300-25.
  60. ^ Phillips p. 150.
  61. ^ Barrow pp.130-36.
  62. ^ Parker p. 140. Billie Parker Moon wrote that her sister and Clyde had a suicide pact. Barrow p. 285, fn.21, citing unpublished Moon manuscript Bonnie, Clyde and Me, p. 11.
  63. ^ Descriptions of the Dexfield Park ambush: Barrow pp. 122-36, Guinn 220-27, Phillips 150-56, Ramsey 164-86, "Riding with Bonnie and Clyde," U.S. Bureau of Investigation memo pp. 300-25.
  64. ^ Parker p. 142.
  65. ^ Mullen, James. "I Framed Raymond Hamilton's Prison Break!" Startling Detective Adventures. November 1935, vol. XV, no. 88. Methvin Online Four months later, about two weeks before they themselves were killed, he and Parker did lie down for a moment on a bed at Henry Methvin's brother's home, just to feel it. The bed had been handcrafted by Henry Methvin's father Ivy, a skilled furniture maker. Guinn p. 320.
  66. ^ Guinn p. 235; they robbed this armory on August 20. They had robbed the same armory months earlier, with Buck.
  67. ^ Jones told Dallas police that on Christmas Day 1932, as they prowled the streets of Temple, Texas looking at parked cars, he told Barrow he wanted to go home. After the murder of Deputy Davis in January the three spent a merry vacation in the hills together, but when Buck and Blanche joined them the group chemistry changed. He kept his plans to leave to himself, and vanished in Ruston as soon as he was well enough to go. Once back in Dallas he made himself scarce: it was apparent to Blanche Barrow that Mrs. Barrow, Mrs. Parker and LC were protecting him there, and according to his confession he had to be kidnapped back into the gang. At Dexfield, Blanche and Buck encouraged him to escape while he was still unknown (Barrow pp. 126-7).
  68. ^ Guinn p. 235.
  69. ^ Hinton p. 100.
  70. ^ Guinn p. 235, citing Marie Barrow Scoma.
  71. ^ If Barrow did give Jones permission to take this tack, it was kind of him, as well as shrewd — Jones's statement that Barrow killed Doyle Johnson freed Frank Hardy — but it didn't play well socially. Jones was labeled "the Barrow stool pigeon" in the Dallas press; from jail in 1934 Blanche Barrow wrote scornfully, "Guess the poor little innocent thing is free. He should be in his mother's arms with a diaper on." Barrow p. 164.
  72. ^ "Prisoner Says Barrows Killed At Least 6 Men." Associated Press. Unknown newspaper, November 25, 1933. Bonnie and Clyde Joplin Shootout Documents p. 72; Hinton pp. 100-02.
  73. ^ Hinton pp. 100-05, Ramsey pp. 193-95, FBI file 26-4114 Section Sub A p. 54.
  74. ^ Phillips p. 348 fn.28, citing Hamilton, Floyd (1938). Public Enemy No. 1, p. 15; "Clyde Barrow and Wife, Wounded, Escape Trap and Flee Hail of Bullets." The Dallas Morning News, November 23, 1933. NewsBank, Inc.
  75. ^ The Dallas Morning News made sure to observe that Sheriff Schmid "released the Jones story like a true publicity expert." "Shaking with Fear, Prisoner Tells of More Barrow Killings." The Dallas Morning News, November 26, 1933. NewsBank, Inc.
  76. ^ Milner p. 145.
  77. ^ Barrow p. 164. Texas Penal Code, Article 1257c, described here: Smith v. State, concurring and dissenting opinion by Judge Keller. Baker's Legal Pages
  78. ^ "Barrow's Friend Gets Short Term at Jury's Hands." The Dallas Morning News, October 13, 1934. NewsBank, Inc.
  79. ^ Guinn p. 428, footnote to 354.
  80. ^ a b "Bonnie, Clyde Cohort Shotgunned to Death in Houston." The Houston Post, August 21, 1974. Transcribed, Ringgold County IA GenWeb Project
  81. ^ "Riding with Bonnie and Clyde." Officer Kahler of Joplin visited Jones in prison and years later remembered, "The backs of his hands felt like beanbags from the buckshot embedded there. He had five buckshot in his lip, and one side of his face was full too. You could put your hand on it and feel the shot rolling around." Kahler p. 22.
  82. ^ He was partial to paregoric mixed with Jack Daniel's whiskey. In the last year of his life he spent several months in federal prison for possession of 3,000 barbiturates; his supplier had turned him in. Phillips p. 309; "Bonnie-Clyde Gang Member Charged." Unknown newspaper, undated. Bonnie and Clyde's Hideout
  83. ^ "Bonnie-Clyde Gang Member Charged." Unknown newspaper, undated. Bonnie and Clyde's Hideout; "Jones sentenced." The Houston Chronicle, September 14, 1973. Transcribed, Ringgold County IA GenWeb Project
  84. ^ "Barrow Gang's Driver Describes Experiences." The Houston Post, April 13, 1968.Bonnie and Clyde's Hideout
  85. ^ Untitled article. The Houston Post, 1968. His attorney was A.D. Azios, now a judge in Harris County, Texas.
  86. ^ "Bonnie and Clyde driver loses life to shotgun blasts." The Houston Post, August 21, 1974. Bonnie and Clyde's Hideout
  87. ^ Jones's Social Security card application. Bonnie and Clyde's Hideout
  88. ^ Jones confession; Beaumont mugshot notation, FBI file 26-4114 Section Sub A p. 55. The notation, written in pen, amends his age to 16 in 1931.
  89. ^ "Jones sentenced." The Houston Chronicle, September 14, 1973. Transcribed, Ringgold County IA GenWeb Project
  90. ^ Jones's death certificate. Bonnie and Clyde's Hideout
  91. ^ W. D. Jones at Find a Grave.
  92. ^ https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MC9L-WFZ


  • Barrow, Blanche Caldwell, edited by John Neal Phillips (2005). My Life with Bonnie and Clyde. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-3625-1.
  • Bonnie and Clyde Joplin Shootout Documents. Joplin, Missouri Police Department
  • FBI file 26-4114, four volumes of files held by the FBI that document the pursuit of the Barrow Gang. FBI Records and Information
  • Guinn, Jeff (2009). Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 1-4165-5706-7.
  • Hinton, Ted, as told to Larry Grove (1979). Ambush: The Real Story of Bonnie and Clyde. Austin, Tex.: Shoal Creek Publishers, Inc. ISBN 0-88319-041-9.
  • Jones confession, November 18, 1933. Transcribed, W.D. Jones account. Dexter, Iowa Community Website The original transcript of the first part of Jones's confession is reproduced at FBI file 26-4114 Section Sub A, pp. 59–62. FBI Records and Information
  • Jones, W.D. "Riding with Bonnie and Clyde." Playboy November 1968. Transcribed, Cinetropic
  • Interview with Officer George B. Kahler (ret.), 1980. To Serve and Protect: A Collection of Memories (2006). Missouri State Highway Patrol, pp. 16–25.
  • Knight, James R. and Jonathan Davis (2003). Bonnie and Clyde: A Twenty-First Century Update. Austin, TX: Eakin Press. ISBN 1-57168-794-7.
  • Methvin v. Oklahoma (selection). The Trial of Henry Methvin
  • Milner, E.R. (1996). The Lives and Times of Bonnie and Clyde. Carbondale: University of Southern Illinois Press. ISBN 0-8093-1977-2.
  • Parker, Emma Krause, Nell Barrow Cowan, and Jan I. Fortune (1968). The True Story of Bonnie and Clyde. New York: New American Library. ISBN 0-8488-2154-8. Originally published in 1934 as Fugitives.
  • Phillips, John Neal (2002). Running with Bonnie & Clyde: The Ten Fast Years of Ralph Fults. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 0-8061-3429-1.
  • Ramsey, Winston G., ed. (2003). On The Trail of Bonnie and Clyde, Then and Now. London: After The Battle Books. ISBN 1-870067-51-7.

External links[edit]