Edward Wheeler and H.D. Murphy Memorial

A memorial park dedicated to H.D. Murphy and Edward Wheeler was established here in 1996, which is located in Southlake, TX. Easter Sunday, April 1, 1934, near this location on West Dove Road, notorious killers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow shot and killed two state troopers, Wheeler and Murphy. Wheeler and Murphy got off their bikes next to Parker and Barrow’s automobile because they thought someone driving there needed help. They got shot as they were approaching.

Even though Frank Hamer had been keeping an eye out for Bonnie and Clyde, this episode served to “crank up the volume” on his chase. Although the memorial is mostly accurate in its depiction of the shooting, Bonnie Parker had nothing to do with it. That doesn’t exonerate her, though, because she was still there when Clyde Barrow and Henry Methvin did their deed.

Jeff Guinn claims in his book “Go Down Together” that Clyde Barrow, Bonnie Parker, and Henry Methvin were the three people in the automobile on Easter morning. Methvin tagged along with Bonnie and Clyde when they went to Dallas to visit Methvin’s family. It didn’t occur to them as they drove from Louisiana to Dallas in early March that Methvin’s parents were seeking to cut a deal with Hamer and other officials to have their son exonerated for crimes he’d done in Texas and for his escape from the Eastham Prison Farm. Throughout the next month, the trio frequently visited the Barrows and Parkers, and on March 30, Clyde announced that he and the two women would be taking a short trip but would be back in time for Easter on April 1.

Joe Palmer, a member of the Barrow Gang, momentarily caught up with them while they were returning to Dallas. After parking near Dove Road, Palmer took a ride back to Dallas to inform Clyde’s father, Henry, and Bonnie and Clyde’s friends, the Parkers, of where they could find the couple later. In the form of a pet rabbit, Bonnie surprised her mom with a cute little gift.

When Clyde heard on the radio that occasional Barrow Gang member Raymond Hamilton had kidnapped someone, he relaxed a little. Without a doubt, the law enforcement would be keeping an eye out for Hamilton. While Bonnie and Clyde dozed in the front seat, new gang member and nervous wreck Methvin hung out nearby with his BAR.

Around 3:30 p.m., three motorcycling police officers were spotted at Dove Rd. as they rode west on Highway 114 into Roanoke. Polk Ivy, the senior officer, drove ahead of Wheeler and Murphy and was the first to totally bypass Dove Rd. However, Wheeler and Murphy noticed an automobile in the area and, assuming it needed help, made their way towards it.

Clyde, having been made aware of the presence of the two officers, prepared to do what the gang had done before: try to catch the officers off guard (neither Wheeler nor Murphy had upholstered their weapons) and then abduct them, eventually releasing them to safety at some distance. Methvin mistook Clyde’s murmur, “Let’s take them,” for a direct order to fire because he was unfamiliar with Clyde’s methods. Methvin killed Wheeler with a BAR shot to the head, and Clyde, realizing that they were now committed, shot Murphy with a shotgun. Clyde later told his loved ones that Henry Methvin fired another shot at Murphy, killing him.

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