Prison Guard Major Joe Crowson

Prison Guard Major Joe Crowson

Texas Department of Criminal Justice - Correctional Institutions Division, Texas

End of Watch Saturday, January 27, 1934

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Major Joe Crowson

Prison Guard Major Crowson succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained 11 days earlier during an escape attempt at the Eastham Unit Unit.

He was shot by members of the Bonnie and Clyde Gang as several members of the gang were making a prison escape. Bonnie and Clyde had smuggled weapons inside and were waiting outside with machine guns during the escape.

As Guard Crowson rode up on a horse he was shot and wounded. The two prison escapees were executed for the murder approximately one year later.

Guard Crowson is buried in Evergreen Cemetery, Lovelady, Houston County, Texas.

The Bonnie and Clyde Gang was responsible for the murder of law enforcement officers in four states - Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas - between 1932 and 1934. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow started their criminal career by robbing banks and quickly became notorious murderers wanted for the murders of nine law enforcement officers.

The two criminals were finally shot and killed in Louisiana when they were ambushed by a task force of Texas and Louisiana officers.


  • Age 33
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Tuesday, January 16, 1934
  • Weapon Rifle; Machine gun
  • Offender Both shot and killed


Most Recent Reflection

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I recently watched “The Highwaymen” which is the story of the hunt for and the eventual justice brought to Bonnie and Clyde. This film, in my humble opinion, unlike the previous movies, acknowledges and shows respect for the Law Enforcement Officers who lost their lives to these animals and does not show them to be any kind of folk hero. It was long overdue.

Though the name of each and every Officer is not mentioned, some are and I believe the sacrifice by all is honored.

God Bless you Prison Guard Major Crowson, and may your eternal rest remain ever peaceful, Brother.

Ptl. Jim Leahy, Jr.
Harvard University Police Department

April 8, 2019

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