ON THIS DAY: 23 May 1934 

Bank robbers Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut ‘Champion’ Barrow were gunned down on State Highway 154 south of Gibsland, Louisiana. Bonnie was 23 years old, and Clyde was 25.

Six officers hiding in the bushes fired 130 rounds into the car that Bonnie and Clyde had slowed down to assist a decoy car parked on the roadside. Clyde was killed instantly with a shot to the head. There were so many bullet holes in their bodies that it proved difficult to successfully embalm them. As a consequence of the noise from the shooting, all the officers involved were temporarily deaf for hours afterward.

Bonnie, Clyde, and their gang, the ‘Barrow Gang’, operated during the Great Depression. Both were from troubled backgrounds and spent time in prison for theft. It was after being sexually abused in prison that Clyde’s personality drastically changed. During their short reign of crime, they robbed, took hostages, and repeatedly escaped capture after gunfights.