The Day Bonnie and Clyde Came Calling

Trudy Henry and her daughter, Jan Scoggins, at a StoryCorps mobile booth.

Trudy Henry and her daughter, Jan Scoggins, at a StoryCorps mobile booth. StoryCorps hide caption

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An article from 'The Dodge City Daily Globe' dated Sept. 19, 1934. i i

An article from The Dodge City Daily Globe dated Sept. 19, 1934 — a little more than a year after Bonnie and Clyde visited the area. StoryCorps hide caption

itoggle caption StoryCorps
An article from 'The Dodge City Daily Globe' dated Sept. 19, 1934.

An article from The Dodge City Daily Globe dated Sept. 19, 1934 — a little more than a year after Bonnie and Clyde visited the area.

StoryCorps

Late one evening in 1933, Trudy Henry was at home in Dodge City, Kan., with her mother and sister, when a man and a woman drove up to their house. What followed could be seen as an innocent visit — if it weren't for the names of the couple in the car: Bonnie and Clyde.

As Henry recently told her daughter, Jan Scoggins, she and her sister had no idea who this strange man was who had walked up to their porch to talk to their mother. The woman, she recalled, got out of the car, "leaned against the car, crossed her ankles, and stood there while this man came to the front door."

Henry's father had died when she was 11. Her mother, Hattie Foley Connaway, worked as the Register of Deeds for the county to support Henry and her younger sister.

When Connaway answered the door, the man said he was interested in some property and hoped that Connaway could show him the registered deeds related to it.

That was impossible, Henry's mother answered, because it was simply too late. She told him that she would be glad to see him at 9 o'clock the next morning.

"Well, while that conversation was going on," Henry recalled, "the woman standing next to the car whipped herself out a cigar, and lit it up, and began smoking it.

"My sister and I were just appalled at such a thing going on."

The man thanked Connaway, and then he asked her for a drink of water. They moved into the kitchen, with Henry and her sister bouncing along behind.

"I do not recall that he glanced around," Henry said, "but as I grew to an adult, I felt like probably he was looking to see if there were men present, and if there were guns."

He thanked her for the water, and the couple left.

"He did not show up the next day at the court-house," Henry recalled.

"About three or four days later, in the daily paper, there was quite a stir," Henry recalls, "and an article about a couple who had stolen a car from a rancher, and wrecked it."

But only after another article came out did Henry and her family realize exactly whom she had seen. This article had pictures identifying the pair as the notorious criminals Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker.

"We knew immediately they were the people who had visited us at our house. So, we really felt like we were something, getting to see Bonnie and Clyde."

That visit was close to the end of the road for the celebrated criminals. Several months later, on May 23, 1934, the couple was killed in an ambush by police.

Produced for 'Morning Edition' by Katie Simon. The senior producer for StoryCorps is Sarah Kramer.

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