On this day in 1934, the notorious American outlaws Bonnie and Clyde were fatally shot by the police. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, widely recognized as the most renowned outlaws of the “public enemy era” in America between 1931 and 1934, embarked on a spree of robberies across the United States during the Great Depression, alongside their gang.
Bonnie first crossed paths with Clyde when she was just 19 years old. At the time, her husband, whom she had married at the tender age of 16, was serving a prison sentence for murder. In 1932, Bonnie joined forces with Clyde and their associates in the Barrow Gang, engaging in bank robberies across multiple states, although they occasionally targeted smaller establishments as well. Throughout their fugitive days, the gang displayed a brazen disregard for law enforcement, resulting in the deaths of at least nine police officers and four innocent civilians.
The duo gained nationwide notoriety, with Bonnie, in particular, earning a fearsome reputation as a chain-smoking, machine-gun-wielding criminal in the media of the time. Her image was further cemented in the public consciousness when a photograph depicting her brandishing a cigar and a handgun, discovered by the police in one of their hideouts, was widely circulated.
In 1934, Bonnie and Clyde orchestrated a daring jailbreak, liberating some of their fellow gang members from a prison in Texas by launching a machine gun attack. This audacious act caught the attention of former Texas Ranger Frank Hamer, who was subsequently enlisted to pursue and apprehend them. Hamer successfully trailed the fugitives to Louisiana, where the couple fell into a police ambush set up among the bushes. Tragically, Bonnie and Clyde met their demise in a barrage of gunfire, enduring a staggering onslaught of more than 130 rounds.