|ON SALE NOW - See Below|
escaped Texas' death row the same day John Dillinger was killed
in Chicago. Along with Clyde Barrow he was one of the most hunted
criminals in America during the first half of the 1930's.
Raymond Hamilton was born in a tent along the banks of the Deep Fork River near Schulter, Oklahoma on May 21, 1913, and died in the Texas electric chair in Huntsville on May 10, 1935. From those humble beginnings in eastern Oklahoma to that final walk in the death house at the age of 21, Hamilton lived an impoverished, nomadic childhood followed by a sensational, tragic, short-lived adulthood.
Raymond's father had abandoned the family in Oklahoma, but later, when Raymond was seven, called for them to rejoin him in Dallas. The father, John Hamilton, deserted the family again -- this time for good. They were left in West Dallas, an unincorporated neighborhood that was a breeding ground for criminals. It was here that Raymond met and became friends with Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, both several years older than Raymond. The resultant West Dallas gang captured headlines in the Southwest and nationally for several years during the early - and mid-1930's. They left a trail of murder, robbery and escape of unparalleled proportions.
Like many in West Dallas, Hamilton's crime career began small time with bicycle thefts and other petty thievery. From there he graduated to car theft. Then came major robberies with and without the Barrow gang. Bonnie and Clyde aided Raymond in his dramatic escape from the Eastham prison farm near Weldon, Texas. Following Barrow's and Parker's slaying at the hands of officers in May of 1934, Hamilton made a daring escape from the Texas death house the following July. Raymond went on a wild crime spree following the death house break and was finally recaptured in April of 1935 in the Fort Worth rail yards. He and Joe Palmer, a confederate in some of his robberies and escapes, were executed 35 days later. Raymond Hamilton is buried in Elm Grove Cemetery in east Dallas.
This biographical chronicle traces Raymond's life from the humblest of Oklahoma, West Dallas, and southwestern Dallas County beginnings to a criminal career that involved some of the most sensational escapades in Texas.
has written for The Arlington (Texas) Daily News, Vision Magazine
and other publications. He works in community relations and
public information for Texas Utilities in Glen Rose, Texas.
Underwood is now selling a signed, dated and personalized copy of
his book. The price is $20 in the United States and $30
outside the US. Send check or money order to:
Sid Underwood is available to visit schools, libraries, bookstores and groups.