Witness Recalls Bonnie And Clyde Stealing "Death Car" In Topeka


TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)_ Many people might have heard of the infamous criminal couple Bonnie and Clyde, but many people might not realize their link to the capital city!

Eighty years ago, the outlaws stole what what become known as their "death car" from a home in Topeka.

Ken Cowan has lived in Topeka since 1926. 80 years ago, he says he and his friends were minding their own business when he saw history in the making.

Bonnie and Clyde-the couple infamously known in the 1930's for their dozens of bank and gas station robberies and their killing rampage of police officers and civilians...

"They were pretty wild, they killed several people," says Ken.

In 1934, the criminal couple stole a brand new 1934 Ford V-8 sedan at 2107 SE Gabler in Topeka. Ken Cowan was 7-years-old at the time, he says he and his friends were playing in a grassy lot across the street.

"One of the older boys said a lady was standing on the running board looking for a car with keys in it and they left the keys in that 34 Ford," says Ken.

That lady was Bonnie Parker.

The owner of the car, Ruth Warren, yelled out to the boys.

"Yeah, she said 'did you see anybody take our car?'...So, they rolled in it and took off," says Ken.

Bonnie and Clyde took off to Louisiana where a team of law enforcement officers ambushed the duo, firing 160 shots into the car, killing them.

Ken says the car was brought back to Topeka a few weeks later.

"On the left side, there was damage from the bullet holes, 160 bullet holes! And that was the end of it. They wanted to make sure they got 'em," says Ken.

Ken is now 87-years-old. The car was most recently sold for 250 thousand dollars. It's on display at Whiskey Pete's Casino in Primm Nevada.


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