Jan Fortune was my Great Aunt and wrote the book the big B&C movie was based on. Living in Dallas Tanta knew both families and got lots of detail from them.
The ambush they drove into was a murder. No attempt was made to get them to surrender and was payback for taking the Ranger prisoner and then posing him for pictures and then mailing the photos to the Dallas paper which delighted in printing them .
I've read a considerable amount about Bonnie and Clyde over the years, including a couple of great books written in the last few and I never read a word about them holding a Texas Ranger.
That was only in the movie and the movie makers got sued successfully by Frank Hamers family for the fake depiction.
Had Clyde Barrow gotten a chance he'd have killed a hated Ranger.
As for the ambush, Bonnie & Clyde had punched their own ticket after killing so many lawmen and innocent people.
When you're a mad dog, you get put down.
Bonnie and Clyde had proven many times that they had no trouble killing cops, so in a case like that a lawman would be stupid to give them a chance to use Clyde's BAR and Bonnie's Browning Sweet Sixteen shotgun.
By that day's standards they were cop killers and no one wanted to duck a burst of armor piercing 30-06 bullets from a BAR.
I doubt a modern SWAT team would have done much different.
Even today, when you get people that dangerous and kill crazy......
Well, they punched their own tickets.
Tanta, in the foreword to Fugitives - the story of Bonnie and Clyde, makes no pretense they were Depression era Robin Hoods. No, she maintained they were what they were; killers and thieves who deserved to die. She got her information from Emma Parker, Bonnie's mother and Nell Barrow Cowan, Clyde's sister.
My only misgivings concern the authenticity of the firearms portrayed. While Clyde Barrow famously used a BAR, the trailer seems to show Hamer using one frequently. Although I might have missed it in some of the momentary glimpses of scenes, I didn't see the ranger using the iconic rifle that he brought to the ambush, the Remington Model 8 in .35 caliber.
Hamer did occasionally use a Colt Monitor in .30-06 to do "heavy work." The BAR was a popular rifle but the NFA of 1932 made it too expensive for mere civilians which turned a $5 shot barreled shotgun on to a major crime for a bootlegger and a SC case.
Hamer did occasionally use a Colt Monitor in .30-06 to do "heavy work." The BAR was a popular rifle but the NFA of 1932 made it too expensive for mere civilians which turned a $5 shot barreled shotgun on to a major crime for bootlegger Miller and a SC case.
When Hamer and the Dallas detective were assigned by the governor to go after them, the state issued Hamer two BAR's from the Texas National Guard armory.
It's still unclear as to just what Hamer was using that day, the BAR or the Remington. Different books have it both ways.
One thing appears to be a fact, the ambush was initiated by a Louisiana deputy who fired the first shot and hit Clyde square in the side of his head killing him instantly.
He was the first man on the end of the line of lawmen.
As the car continued to roll forward everyone else opened up.
Contrary to popular belief, Clyde only robbed one bank and that was before he met Bonnie.
Their usual robbery was of small country stores and gas stations.
The take was just enough to buy hamburgers and gas.
Near the end they were living out of stolen cars and witnesses said they stunk like skunks.
That's a real take down from the glamorous movie.
Clyde was good at two things..... killing people and driving fast and long.
He could drive better then most any lawman and was known to drive hundreds of miles on back country roads in marathon drives that could get them far away from lawmen hunting them.
The Dallas detective told Hamer that one reason Bonnie and Clyde escaped so often was that many lawmen were using the Thompson SMG and pistols, and the .38 and.45 slugs didn't penetrate the heavy Ford steel bodies very well.
That's why they borrowed the BAR's from the Texas Guard.
The armor piercing 30-06 bullets would go all the way through.
I can't remember if it was John Dillinger or Clyde Barrow that wrote a letter to Henry Ford telling him how much he liked the Ford V8 and always preferred to steal Ford V8 cars.