- (Photo:REUTERS/Herwig Prammer)
Guns thought to be used by American outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, were sold Saturday, for $210,000 to an unknown bidder.
Bonnie and Clyde were outlaws during the Great Depression, that became famous during the "public enemy era" that occurred from 1931-1934. The duo is thought to have robbed banks, gas stations and small stores in addition to committing more than a handful of murders.
The two guns sold at auction were a .45-caliber sub-machine, or Tommy gun for $130,000 and a 12-gauge 1897 model Winchester shotgun for $80,000. Both guns were purchased by an online buyer from the East Coast and were among 120 guns sold Saturday during an auction that lasted less than half an hour.
Despite the short length, Robert Mayo, owner of the auction house reported that the auction was an exciting one. "There was definitely an energy in the room the closer we got to selling the Tommy gun,'' said Robert Mayo, to the Joplin Globe. "As we were ramping up, people were getting excited. There was a sense of being a witness to history.''
The guns were left behind by the Bonnie and Clyde and the Barrow gang after a shootout with the law in 1933. The shootout resulted in the deaths of two police officers, although all of the gang members were able to escape. Officers later collected the guns from the apartment in Joplin, as well as a camera revealing snapshots that would go on to create the infamous image of gangsters at the time.
The collected photographs were some of the first to be published by the media. One depicted Bonnie chewing on a cigar and holding a pistol. According to historian Jeff Guinn, it was Bonnie that allowed the gang to reach universal fame, portraying a different image of women at the time.
According to the Globe, the guns were previously owned by the Lairmore family, descendants of an Oklahoma detective. Michael Brown, who was familiar with the Barrow gang legend, told Reuters that the gun sold was quite unique. "There are very few guns with the historic value of that one," Brown said.