RAYMOND HAMILTON



May 21, 1913 - May 10, 1935
Raymond Elzie Hamilton was born in a tent on the banks of the Deep Fork River,
near Schulter, Oklahoma. One of six children, to his mother, Alice who's maiden
name was Sara Alice Bullock and his father, John Henry Hamilton, who worked in
a lead smelting plant near Henryetta, Oklahoma.



21 year old Ray Hamilton, who stood at only 5'3" tall and weighing in at 120 pounds,
had accumulated a prison sentenced of 362 years. After his many escapes from prison,
the lawmen had to keep an ever present watch over him at all times.
Known Alias: Floyd Beatty









"MOORE KILLING"

STRINGTOWN DANCE - ATOKA, OKLAHOMA

On Friday August 5, 1932, Bonnie, Clyde and Raymond Hamilton came upon a country dance.
According to Floyd Hamilton, Ross Dyer was also with them and he wanted to dance there.
They decided to join in the festivities and were having a grand ol' time dancing and
mingling in with the other youths. As time went on, they made their way to the car and sat
there drinking some moonshine. Sheriff C.G. Maxwell and his deputy Eugene C. Moore, decided
to investigate the activities of the out of towners. As soon as they approached the car, they
were fired upon. and Sheriff Deputy Eugene C. Moore died instantly with a gunshot wound to
the head, Maxwell, although critically wounded, lived. Some of the youths picked up the officers
weapons and fired upon the fleeing bandits. Bonnie, Clyde and Hamilton escaped unharmed.

NOTE: Stringtown, Atoka, Oklahoma was the birthplace for Edith Ray Clay, Bonnie's sister-in-law.



STRINGTOWN DANCE HALL



Murder site of Atoka County Deputy E.C. Moore August 5, 1932,
Stringtown, Oklahoma. The building is on the west side of US 69.
The dance was held outside on the south side of the building.
Photos courtesy of Joe Watson







STRINGTOWN MEMORIAL MARKER

photo courtesy of Bill Rooth


DANCE HALL SHOOTOUT SITE TODAY


The parking lot where the Sheriff was wounded and the Deputy was killed can be easily seen in the foreground of the photo.
It's located on Hwy 69/75 in Stringtown, OK. A lady there named Taresa is really nice and she is eager to discuss the history
of the site. She has newspaper stories on the walls inside which discuss the shootout which makes it even more interesting!

Click here for larger view
photo courtesy of Bill Rooth





ABDUCTION OF JOE JOHNS


"ESCAPE FROM EASTHAM"




In the early morning hours of January 16, 1934 amid a dense fog rising from the
Trinity River Clyde Barrow along with a man named James Mullens lay in a patch of
weeds waiting for the line of prisoners to assemble at their work areas nearby.

At 7:00 am, the prison work crew had appeared along with their customary escorts
known as "longarm guards". Among them were prisoners Raymond Hamilton and Joe Palmer,
both armed with loaded .45 automatics retrieved from a hiding place near a woodpile.
As the prisoners reached the point near Clyde and Mullens, Ray and Palmer produced
their weapons and began firing on the guards. Major Crowson fired upon Palmer,
inflicting a superficial scalp wound. Palmer returned fire.

One round from Palmer's pistol struck Major Crowson in the stomach, an injury which
later proved fatal. Ray's bullet hit guard Olin Bozeman in the hip knocking him to
the ground. Bozeman was later treated at Huntsville hospital and released. Crowson
age 24 died shortly after. To cover the escaping men Barrow and Mullens jumped up
from their posts and began firing their Browning automatic rifles in the air.

The other prisoners not involved in the escape plan, dropped to the ground in an
effort to avoid being struck in the crossfire. Meanwhile, Bonnie had remained in the
black Ford V8 coupe at a distance of about one mile. Upon hearing the thundering
sounds of gunfire she depressed the car's horn to guide the escapees in the fog
towards the getaway car. Hamilton, Palmer, and Methvin along with two other convicts
Hilton Bybee and J.B French all met up at the small Ford coupe. Just then Clyde and
Mullens approached the group, hearing Raymond complaining that there wasn't enough
room in the coupe to accommodate them all.

Clyde retorted: "shut your mouth, this is my car and I'm handling it".

Although cramped and uncomfortable, they all managed to find their places in the car.
They made their way to Hillsboro by evening and with Clyde driving continued on
dropping off French and Bybee before turning north toward Forth Worth.





To read Major Crowson's dying declaration "CLICK HERE"



RAYMOND HAMILTON'S PRISON MADE KNIFE








RAYMOND HAMILTON'S RECOVERED RIFLE

CLICK HERE







THE SPLIT
Eventually, Raymond Hamilton broke off his ties with the Barrow gang. Bonnie and Clyde
were content with the small robberies that just sustained their daily survival. Raymond
however, had visions of greater wealth and big bank jobs and wasn't content with the small
take from filling station hold ups. After the split, Raymond made it known in a public
statement, that he was in a different league than Barrow. But what really started a riff
between the two outlaws, was that when Clyde was driving, he witnessed through his rear
view mirror, Raymond lining his pocket with money they had obtained from a fresh bank
robbery and also handing some of this loot to his then girlfriend Mary O'Dare who was
seated next to him in the back of the car. Ray stated that he was a "gentleman bandit"
and not to be connected to Clyde Barrow any more.

While in New Orleans, Louisiana, Raymond, along with galpal Mary O'Dare, lived the good life,
staying at the Lafayette Hotel under an alias. While there, he wrote a letter on the hotel's
stationary to his attorney, about his not being associated with Barrow anymore.





RAYMOND'S LETTER




CLYDE'S TELEGRAM





HAMILTON IDENTIFICATION ORDER


HAMILTON IDENTIFICATION ORDER (TWO)


HAMILTON PRINT CARD





"GENTLEMAN BANDIT"






Raymond Hamilton in custody





KATIE JENKINS
alias KATIE KEMPER



Katie had worked in a candy store with Hamilton's sister. Older brother Floyd had
introduced Katie to young Raymond and there was an instant attraction between them.

"Yes, I love Katie Jenkins," "I love her more than anyone else in the world, except my mother" - Raymond Hamilton


Katie Jenkins news article dated February 8, 1935






Raymond poses with his beloved mother Alice




Alice, mother to both Floyd and Raymond Hamilton had the distinction of having two son's listed as Public Ememy No. 1







MARY O'DARE




One time girlfriend of Raymond Hamilton


Called a "washerwoman" by Bonnie Parker and Henry Methvin and considered a "golddigger"
by Raymond's older brother Floyd Hamilton, Mary O'Dare from Wichita Falls was not very
popular with the others in the Barrow gang. Mary unsuccessfully tried to persuade Bonnie
to drug Clyde, rip him off and leave him. As with Billie Parker, Mary too, was sentenced
to one year and one day in the federal prison at Alderson, W. Virginia for harboring Bonnie
and Clyde. Also, in 1938, Mary received a five year stint for narcotics trafficking.
She was first married to a criminal, Gene O'Dare and then married to a Wichita Falls tailor
named Barney A. Pitts. Mary was playing the part of "Moll" to Raymond Hamilton, but was
then looking to reconcile her earlier marriage to Barney Pitts. She was also married to a
criminal named Raymond Tilghman and later married convict Fred H. Holmes. She was the
daughter of Joe Chambless and the sister of criminal Odell Chambless (photo below).
Mary was lastly married to real estate developer Chuck Collins. Mary O'Dare Collins
died at the ripe age of 95 and her ashes were scattered over the California mountains.




MARY PITTS 1935 INDICTMENT ORDER





GENE O'DARE







DMN article dated October 2, 1936






On April 25, 1934 the First National Bank of Lewisville, Texas
was the target for robbers, Raymond Hamilton and T.R. Brooks.
A lengthy chase led the outlaws into the town of Howe, where
they were captured and then taken away by a band of lawmen.

Lewisville Bank Robbery related article


Ted R. Brooks - Ray Hamilton's one-time crime partner


Hamilton and Brooks in custody





GRAND PRAIRIE STATE BANK
On March 19th 1934, Raymond and his brother Floyd,
relieved the Grand Prairie State Bank of over $1,500


Grand Prairie State Bank photo one


Grand Prairie State Bank photo two





RAYMOND HAMILTON'S GETAWAY CAR IN 1935

Following the robbery of a bank in Prentiss, Mississippi, Raymond Hamilton and Ralph Fults
made good their escape in a car belonging to a M.E. Smith, taking Smith and his companion
Ralph Bayless as hostages for the next 24 hours, where they were much of the time locked in
the car's rear compartment. The car was later deserted on the edge of Memphis, Tenn.




NEWSPAPER ARTICLE ONE


NEWSPAPER ARTICLE TWO





THE HARRY MCCORMICK KIDNAPPING


Raymond Hamilton and Ralph Fults abducted Houston Press reporter Harry
McCormick on March 18, 1935. This was in fact a "staged" kidnapping in order
to present their story to the world. McCormick was given $2,000 by the outlaws
to pay for a lawyer to defend Joe Palmer. McCormick was also in on the plan.

First photo below shows the Houston Press reporter in his car. The second photo
shows Hamilton's hand print which was purposely left behind on the windshield of
McCormick's car as proof that it was indeed Raymond Hamilton who was involved.




As McCormick was a noted prison reform advocate, it's no wonder
that he would be sought out by the gang as a trusted outside source.
Ted Hinton, Dallas businessman W.O. Bankston and Harry McCormick
went before the parole board to speak on behalf of Floyd Hamilton.
Years later, as a crime reporter for the Dallas Morning News
McCormick covered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Joe Palmer Page





"OLD SPARKY"

The electric chair that fried 361 convicts between 1924 and 1964


Ray graduated to "Major Crime" when he met Bonnie and Clyde. During an escape
from Prison, Joseph Crowson, a guard was slain. For that crime, Raymond was to die
in the "electric chair." He did, on the evening of May 10, 1935 Raymond and fellow
inmate Joe Palmer, were both to die that evening. Because of Raymond being so upset,
Palmer agreed to go first. Raymond finally composed himself and followed.

Just before the current was applied, Raymond turned momentarily to the assembled
witnesses and said, "Well...goodbye all".

RARE Kansas City Slide Company 1935 Image
Raymond Hamilton being strapped into "Old Sparky"







Hamilton's body loaded into ambulance


Hamilton's Certificate of Death


Hamilton's casket loaded into Hearst





Prison break followed May 10, 1935's execution of Palmer & Hamilton

May 11, 1935 news clipping





Real Detective Magazine Cover July 1935



Father of Hamilton boys dies Christmas of 1935



Collin County Prison





CLYDE MEETS RALPH FULTS





HAMILTON & WALTERS 1938 COCA~COLA ROBBERY