Read Bonnie and Clyde’s savage letter to Raymond Hamilton

Raymond Hamilton
Raymond Hamilton

A vengeful letter from Clyde Barrow to fellow outlaw Raymond Hamilton goes to auction this week.

The letter, from RR Auction, was handwritten by Bonnie Parker on Barrow’s behalf shortly before their deaths in May 1934. The auction house estimates its value at $40,000 or more.

Mailed to the Dallas County Jail, the letter accuses Hamilton of stealing money from the gang following a bank robbery in Lancaster.

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I should have killed you then I would have saved myself much bother and money looking for you.

Barrow also accuses Hamilton of cowardice, calling him “yellow.” And he calls Hamilton’s girlfriend, Mary O’Dare, a “prostitute” and “rat.”

Raymond Hamilton grew up in the same West Dallas neighborhood as Barrow, and they went on to become partners in crime.

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In January 1934, Bonnie and Clyde orchestrated Hamilton’s escape, along with several other prisoners, from the brutal Eastham prison farm near Houston. During that escape, a guard was killed, and that resulted in the “shoot-to-kill” order on Bonnie and Clyde, which would lead to their violent deaths four months later.

They had a falling out with their former partner sometime after springing him.

Hamilton died in the Texas electric chair in May 1935, almost a year after Bonnie and Clyde’s demise.

Find photos of the letter and the full text here.

As a bonus, check out this July 1934 letter from Clyde’s mother, Cumie Barrow, to Texas Ranger Frank Hamer asking for him to give her son’s guns back. She was a piece of work, that Cumie. The letter, which was written on Cumie Barrow’s behalf by her son in law, is via the Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum.

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