Purported Bonnie and Clyde guns sells for $210K - KMOV.com

Purported Bonnie and Clyde guns sells for $210K

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Two guns thought to have been used by bank-robbing fugitives Bonnie and Clyde have snatched $210,000 at a Kansas City auction.

The Joplin Globe (http://bit.ly/A9BRHg) reported it took less than 15 minutes of bidding Saturday to sell the pair of rare weapons believed to have been seized from the outlaw couple's Joplin hideout in 1933.

An online bidder from the East Coast paid $130,000 for the .45-caliber, fully automatic Thompson submachine gun --  better known as a Tommy gun. The same bidder paid $80,000 for the 1897 Winchester 12-gauge shotgun. Mayo Auction, of Kansas City, was not given permission to release the name of the buyer.

"There was definitely an energy in the room the closer we got to selling the Tommy gun," said Robert Mayo, owner of the auction house, in a telephone interview Saturday.

Their previous owners were the great-grandchildren of a Tulsa, Okla., police detective who was given them by a police officer involved in the raid on April 13, 1933. The weapons had spent the past 40 years stored in a Springfield police museum.

Two law enforcement officers died during a shootout at the Joplin apartment where the couple and members of their gang were holed up, but all the members of the Clyde Barrow gang escaped.

The police raid also yielded a camera that produced widely distributed photos of the criminal lovebirds, cementing the image of Bonnie Elizabeth Parker as Barrow's cigar-chomping, gun-toting moll. Those photos, first published in the Joplin newspaper, were the first public depictions of the couple. Both were killed little more than a year later by pursuing police in rural Louisiana.

The tie between the guns and the outlaws isn't airtight. But the Missouri family that had owned the weapons said the serial number on one of the guns matches one listed as stolen in Ohio and described by a police officer who survived a Barrow gang kidnapping.

Mayo said the family was happy with the price and that both guns went to the same buyer.

"This was by far the most exciting auction we have ever conducted," Mayo said. "To see something with this kind of history, there was so much excitement."

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