We're all familiar with Bonnie and Clyde, especially in the Texas panhandle and western Oklahoma. Another gang came through the area before them, and they were just as ruthless.
The Kimes-Terrill Gang were known far and wide for jail breaks, murder, and several bank robberies all across the region.
It All Started In Tulsa, Oklahoma
You have to go back to the 1920s in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was there that things really get started.
During that time, Ray Terrill was working with the Central Park Gang in Tulsa. He found himself working alongside the sons of the infamous Ma Barker.
After a short stint in jail after attempting to rob a bank, he participated in the last recorded train robbery in the state of Oklahoma.
In 1926, after escaping prison, Terrill decided to go and form a new gang. Eventually he would meet up with the Kimes brothers.
The Kimes Brothers, Life In Prison, And An Escape
The Kimes Brothers were keeping themselves busy robbing banks during this time. They terrorized communities all over Oklahoma. Eventually, they were cornered by authorities and a shootout ensued.
When the smoke settled, Deputy Perry Chuculate was dead. The brothers took a sheriff and a second hostage, then attempted to make a break for Arkansas. They never made it.
They were both wounded in a second gunfight with police and gave themselves up. George Kimes was sent to the state penitentiary in McAlester, OK. Matt Kimes was in Salisaw, OK when he was broken out of prison by Ray Terrill.
At this point, the Kimes-Terrill gang came into existence. It wouldn't last long though. The gang split when cornered by police in Joplin, Missouri. Terrill was apprehended. Matt Kimes made his way to Kansas.
Matt Kimes, The Cotton Top Walker Gang, And The Texas Panhandle
Matt Kimes wound up getting involved with another gang, the Cotton Top Walker Gang. They unleashed hell on Hutchinson County.
Authorities received a tip that the Cotton Top Walker Gang would be targeting a bank in the area. Two deputies arrived on the scene, and lost their lives. Deputy Sheriff Almer Terry, and Deputy Daniel Kenyon were shot and killed by the gang who just wrapped up robbing a bank.
That was in January of 1927. For the next several months, Kimes would continue his spree before heading to Arizona. He was finally apprehended in Flagstaff.
Three years later, by the most reliable accounts, Bonnie and Clyde would meet for the first time. You know the story from here.