The gang’s evasion from the authorities didn’t last long. Blanche was already suffering from a previous battle when she was hit in the eye with flying glass segments and nearly blinded. Then on 24 July, the Barrow gang was ambushed. Buck was shot several times and both he and Blanche were captured. The badly injured Buck died in hospital five days later.
The next couple of months would witness a bloodbath as the gang were ambushed, escaped and then killed a prison guard when they raided Eastham prison to free fellow gang members Raymond Hamilton and Joe Palmer. During the fracas it was Palmer who shot and killed the unfortunate victim. It was this kind of cold hearted killing, particularly of civil servants that toughened the authority’s view of bringing the gang to justice, dead or alive.
On 1 April 1934, Clyde Barrow’s reputation for ruthlessness was cemented when he and fellow gang member Henry Methvin turned their guns on two highway patrolmen in Grapevine, Texas. The incident confirmed an understanding between FBI agents and the Louisiana authorities to deal with Bonnie and Clyde in a manner that would remove them from continuing to be a public menace.
End of the Road
It was a quiet, uneventful day on 23 May 1934 when Bonnie and Clyde were driving down a back road near their hideout at Bienville Parish, Louisiana. Unbeknownst to them a posse of four Texas and two Louisiana officers led by ranger captain Frank Hamer were lying low, waiting. Hamer had been on the gang’s tail ever since February of that year when he had been given a directive from the Texas Department of Corrections to eliminate Bonnie and Clyde.
Hamer, along with other agents had visited Barrow gang member Henry Methvin’s parents’ house in Shreveport, Louisiana to ascertain the gang’s movements. The Methvin’s house had been designated as a safe house and rendezvous by Clyde in case the gang became separated.
On 23 May, Hamer and his posse were waiting patiently in thick bushes for Bonnie and Clyde to turn up on Highway 154 between Gibsland and Sailes. They had already been there for a day and were close to abandoning the plan when they were finally rewarded with the sight of Clyde’s stolen Ford V-8 approaching.
First Clyde stopped to talk to Methvin’s father Henry, standing by a truck, prearranged by Hamer to distract Clyde and steer him in sight of the rangers’ guns. Within seconds the rangers opened fire, delivering around 130 bullets into Bonnie and Clyde.
Clyde died instantly with a single shot to the head administered by ranger Prentis Oakley. But Bonnie was heard to scream in pain as the bullets hit her, pebbledash fashion, ripping her and the car apart. The lawmakers reloaded their guns, alternating from automatic rifles to shotguns and then pistols as the car came to a halt and ran into a ditch. Even as it came to a stop the guns kept firing.