Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thursday, July 20, 1933

I read some magazines and sewed on the machine. Daddy went over to Raiferts' to play pinochle. Mother was sick.

Red Crown Tavern and Tourist Court
Platte County, Missouri

Built in 1931 by Parkville, Missouri, banker and developer Emmett Breen
at the junction of US 71 and Route 59 (now 1-435), the Red Crown was the site
of the July 20, 1933 gun battle between lawmen and outlaws Bonnie and Clyde and
three members of their gang. The outlaws made their escape, but would be tracked down
and cornered four days later near Dexter, Iowa, and engaged by another posse.

Uncharacteristically, Clyde Barrow was looking for a place the gang might hole up for
several nights. It was his usual practice to keep moving and never spend more than one
night in any given spot, but the previous weeks had been difficult. Bonnie had been badly
burned in a car wreck and two gang members had bungled a robbery and killed a town marshal.
With the police after them, they needed a place to stay that was out of the way. Unfortunately
for the gang, the clerk was suspicious of them from the beginning of their stay, and soon the
sheriff and numerous other lawmen descended on the two rooms at the back of the Red Crown.

All five members of the gang got away, but not without consequence. Blanche and Buck Barrow
got the worst of the shootout: his head wound would prove mortal, and flying glass would leave
 her blind in her left eye. Buck died in Iowa and Blanche was captured there. As for Bonnie and Clyde
and W.D. Jones,they got away again (on foot this time) to rob and fight another day.

(The shootout at the Red Crown was depicted in the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde, though the
sign on the motel in the movie reads "Platte City, Iowa," not Missouri.)

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