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

correctional Facility, escape, escape attempt

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Major Crowson was Known as the long armed man. He was on a horse the morning he was shot. His job was to guard the inmates from running. In those days Men in prison for murder were not allowed to work on outside duties. That morning Joe Palmer and Raymond Hamilton skiped ranks and snuck out to that work team. Crowson was informed after they were out there and he told other guards he would deal with them after work started. Crowson also was a guard when clyde barrow was in jail. Clyde hated major and vowed to kill him some day due to the way major treated inmates. major was going to retire and marry two weeks before he was killed.
he was my Grand father brother. I have paid tribute to him several times in love lady.


May 28, 2024

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