NOTE: This is an archived article. Phillip McClendon is now the (current owner)

While in Joplin, James R. Knight had a very nice visit with DeWayne Tuttle
who owns the property where the Bonnie and Clyde shootout and killing of the
two officers occured. Mr. Tuttle has owned the property since 1968, and drew
Mr. Knight a diagram of the apartment's original floor plan. It has since been
remodeled inside. He also told him how the garage doors worked, explaining
how they rolled to one side on an overhead track. He graciously allowed Mr.
Knight to take some photos of the inside of the garage layout where the shots
came from that had killed the officers.  

Mr. Knight tells the Hideout, that DeWayne Tuttle is a "salt of the earth"
kind of guy, but he does get abused from time to time, by those taking pictures
and being rude in general, and who don't have any manners, knowledge or sense
of history about the place. He gets tired of that, and that's understandable.
He also gets a little tired of folks who go on and on about Bonnie and Clyde,
without acknowledging that two good policemen were shot down there in the
line of duty.

When Mr. Knight was first there a couple of years ago, he had made a point
of knocking on his door and asking if it would be ok to take some pictures,
and tried to be on his best behavior. A pilot himself, Mr. Knight found
common ground for conversation with Mr. Tuttle who is a retired Air Force
Master Sergeant and a former Flight Engineer on B-17s and B-29s. They both
talked airplanes for a while, and when Mr. Knight returned again this time,
he was remembered. Mr. Tuttle agreed to have his picture taken in front of
the apartment and kindly allows me to share Mr. Knight's findings with the
visitors to the Hideout.


James R. Knight photo

Mr. Tuttle poses in front of his Joplin apartment.

James R. Knight photo

In this photo, you are standing against the back wall, near the west side,
and looking  toward the doors (south). The staircase to the second floor is
to your front right. This would be approximately the position of Clyde Barrow
and/or W.D. Jones at the beginning of the shootout with the Joplin Police.
It was almost certainly from this position or a little to the left, that
Constable Wes Harryman was shot and killed to open the fight. Harry McGinnis
being mortally wounded a few seconds later.

W.D. Jones was wounded in the side very near this spot also, by a bullet from
either Harryman's or McGinnis's gun. This garage is not large. Most modern
automobiles will not fit through the doors, so it is now used as a store room,
as you can see by the boxes. As the shooting began, there was a Ford Roadster
and a Ford Sedan in the garage. That left very little room to maneuver - only
very narrow lanes between the cars. The actual opening for each door is only
7'6". The entire front of the apartment measures 26'6". 

The garage doors were where the paneling is now - just behind the lawnmower. 
Looking at the old photo in the Hideout, you can see that the original doors
had two panels per opening. The panels were hinged in the middle, and moved
on an overhead track towards the center post, turned the corner, and ran back
towards the rear. You can see the center post in the picture. You can also see,
resting on the top of the post, a steel beam running down the center of the
garage, from front to back. There is a second post in the middle of the garage,
just out of the picture to the left.  The track the doors traveled on ran down
each side of this beam. Knowing how the doors worked, you can now visualize
Harryman running up and trying to stop the door from being closed, being shot,
and McGinnis firing through the glass panes before being hit as well.
James R. Knight photo

This photo was taken from just inside the extreme right edge of the right 
hand garage door, and is looking across the front of the garage towards west. 
The door you can see, is the door that opens onto the landing at the foot of 
the stairway that goes up to the second floor. This is how the women got into
the garage and into the getaway car without being exposed to much gunfire.

HIDEOUT NOTE: Phillip McClendon has since become the current owner.
Mr. McClendon is now remodeling the two-story building and decorating the interior in a 1930s mode.
He has ripped out the carpet exposing the original wood floors and possess two of the original doors,
the bathtub, sink and fixtures as well as the original glass doorknobs. He has plans to lease out the
residence for weekend and week-long getaways sometime in the next few months. He is adding central air
and heat. The owner is also gathering information concerning the structure's history and the violent
events which had occurred there in 1933. He is fairly certain the building will be added to the list of
protected historic sites in the next year or so and be fitted with an appropriate brass plaque.


On March 31st Blanche and Bonnie paid a month's rent, as a deposit on this home at 2314 Virginia Ave.
After having second thoughts, they got their deposit back from the owners, Mr. and Mrs. Ellis Smith.
Who knows? had they rented this dwelling, this could have been the scene of a shoot-out, or possibly there
might not have been any action here, and the Bonnie and Clyde story might have turned out altogether different.


Images shown below are at the same address as seen above.
The whole neighborhood was totally destroyed by the tornado.
The Joplin hideout of Bonnie and Clyde was spared in this storm.

Joplin Tornado damage