Thomas Persell; Kidnap Victim of Outlaws Bonnie and Clyde
Thomas Persell, 81, a policeman kidnaped by Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow in 1933. Persell, who was a 25-year-old motorcycle officer on the evening of Jan. 26, 1933, rode with the notorious couple and accomplice W. D. Jones toward Joplin, Mo., as the outlaws were looking for a vehicle to steal. After six hours, he was released unharmed about 12 miles from Joplin but without his Russian-made .45-caliber revolver, which later appeared in famous portraits of Bonnie and Clyde. Persell did not learn who his abductors were until three months later when the Barrow gang was involved in a shoot-out in Joplin that left two officers dead. In Springfield, Mo., on Monday of a stroke.