The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969 Page: 483
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Hamer was noted for his honesty, his courage, and the fact that
he made careful plans before making an arrest. In 1928 the Texas
Bankers' Association, a powerful organization in the state, became
alarmed at the growing number of bank robberies and the failure of
the courts to convict or punish the accused robbers. In an attempt
to solve the problem the bankers' organization published posters
FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR
DEAD BANK ROBBERS NOT A
CENT FOR LIVE ONES
About a month later two officers killed two men who were appar-
ently planning to rob a bank in Odessa. A short time afterward two
potential robbers were killed in Rankin, and there were killings in
other Texas towns. The Texas Bankers' Association was pleased and
paid the awards in each instance.
Frank Hamer, however, felt uneasy about the situation and con-
fided his suspicions to Walter Prescott Webb. The circumstances
involving the killings appeared peculiar to him, and he became con-
vinced that the robberies and killings were framed. He attempted
to get legal action against the men who were engineering the killings,
but accomplished nothing. He then appealed to the Bankers' Asso-
ciation but the group was adamant, and Hamer later gave his story
to the press. In this action he was opposing an organization that rep-
resented most of the wealth of Texas; but following his leadership,
the public outcry finally became so great that the association modi-
fied the rewards according to Hamer's demands.
Hamer was known as a brilliant law enforcement officer before
he accepted the task from Lee Simmons, the general manager of the
Texas Prison System, of tracking down Clyde Barrow and Bonnie
Parker. Hamer spent 1o2 days on that case and it came to an end
on May 23, 1934, near Arcadia, Louisiana. It had been agreed among
the six officers, four from Texas and two from Bienville Parish, Lou-
isiana, that Barrow and Bonnie would be taken alive if possible. The
trap worked perfectly. When the order was given for Clyde and
Bonnie to throw their hands up, they reached for their guns, and
when they did, the six officers shot as a unit.
Before this incident there was talk of merging the Rangers with
the Highway Patrol and Hamer's success in tracking down Barrow
and Parker may have prevented the merger of the two agencies.
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969, periodical, 1969; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/m1/317/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.