The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

January 3, 2012

Bonnie, Clyde guns await auction gavel

JOPLIN, Mo. — Want to own a tommy gun once toted by Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow?

Prospective bidders will get that chance during a gun auction later this month in Kansas City.

Also on the block is a 12-gauge 1897 model Winchester shotgun that was used by the outlaws.

The weapons are believed to be among those seized after a raid April 13, 1933, at the outlaws’ apartment hide-out near 34th Street and Oak Ridge Drive in Joplin. Until recently, the guns were displayed in the Springfield Police Museum.

The guns have been in the family of Mark Lairmore and his sisters, of Springfield, since the Great Depression. A police officer at the time of the raid in Joplin gave the weapons to their great-grandfather, who was a Tulsa, Okla., police detective at the time. His name also was Mark Lairmore.

“They were the major draw of the museum, and I don’t think they were all that anxious to give them up,” Lairmore said in a statement released by the auction house, Mayo Auction and Realty.

“But my father and grandfather have also passed away, so the sentimental reasons to hold them are no longer there,” Lairmore said. “I feel it’s time for someone with an appreciation of antique guns and the history behind these guns to own them and care for them.”

Lairmore said a newspaper account about the time of the raid documented how a police officer by the name of Thomas Persell had been kidnapped and held by the outlaws in their car.

Said Lairmore: “They bragged to the officer about having stolen the tommy gun in Ohio. The serial number on my gun is the same as the one that was listed as stolen in Ohio.”

Lairmore said the guns were “a gift from one policeman to another. There was no reason to invent a fairy tale to go along with it. What’s unfortunate is, we don’t know who that policeman was. If we did, we might have an airtight case. But we don’t.”

Text Only
Local News
  • Carthage prepares for Marian Days

    The 37th annual Marian Days celebration will start in two weeks, and planning is well under way for the event that will bring tens of thousands of Catholics of Vietnamese descent to Carthage.

    July 23, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: It’s not Mayberry, but Carthage is close

    When I was a kid, I wanted to live in Mayberry. In a way, I suppose I still want to live in Mayberry, the fictional town featured in the classic Andy Griffith show of the 1960s.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Miami council waives fees for barbecue event

    The Miami City Council voted Tuesday to waive $3,750 in usage fees for Miami Elks Lodge No. 1320 for an upcoming barbecue championship at the Miami Fairgrounds.

    July 23, 2014

  • Joplin couple indicted in child porn case

    A federal grand jury indicted a Joplin couple Wednesday for alleged sexual exploitation of a second child in addition to a girl who was the subject of a preceding indictment of the husband for allegedly producing and distributing child pornography.

    July 23, 2014

  • Galena council rescinds landfill decisions

    The Galena City Council voted Wednesday to rescind decisions it made two weeks ago regarding a proposed landfill at Riverton.

    July 23, 2014

  • Missouri attorney general defends his support of Amendment 1

    With a large cornfield behind him and campaign signs all around, Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster appeared Wednesday at the David Collard farm to tout Amendment 1, an Aug. 5 ballot measure that would make the “right to farm” part of the state constitution.

    July 23, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription

    Starting Friday, those who purchase pseudoephedrine and related products in Pittsburg will need a prescription to do so.

    July 22, 2014

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read


Have you ever served as a volunteer for your state's conservation department?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter