The 45-caliber, fully automatic Thompson submachine gun believed to have been seized from outlaw couple Bonnie and Clyde’s Joplin hideout in 1933. (AP-Yonhap News)
Missouri (AP) ― Eighty years after their Depression-era robbery and murder spree captivated the country, Bonnie and Clyde continue to fascinate crime and history buffs.
At least that’s the hope of a Missouri family selling a pair of rare weapons believed to have been seized from the outlaw couple’s Joplin hideout in 1933. The weapons are owned by the great-grandchildren of a Tulsa, Oklahoma, police detective who was given them by a police officer involved in the April 13, 1933 raid. The 45-caliber, fully automatic Thompson submachine gun ― better known as a Tommy gun ― and 1897 Winchester 12-gauge shotgun had spent the past 40 years in relative historical obscurity, stored in a Springfield police museum that didn’t acknowledge the cache’s pop culture significance.
“People can’t get enough of Bonnie and Clyde,’’ said Robert Mayo, a Kansas City auctioneer handling the Jan. 21 sale for the descendants of former Tulsa detective Mark Lairmore. “We’re fascinated by people who do bad things.’’
One of the owners, a great-grandson also named Mark Lairmore, said the family wants to turn the weapons over to “someone with an appreciation of antique guns and the history behind these guns.’’