Raymond Hamilton – Hanging With the Barrow Gang

Raymond Elzie Hamilton

Raymond Elzie Hamilton

Raymond Elzie Hamilton, aka Floyd Beatty An associate of the Barrow Gang, Raymond Hamilton was one of the best-known desperadoes of the 1930s.

Born in a tent near Schulter, Oklahoma, to Alice and John Hamilton on May 21, 1913, Hamilton was one of six children. He was raised in Dallas, Texas, and as a young man, he met Clyde Barrow and went on to join the Barrow Gang. He participated in the killing of Undersheriff Eugene Moore in Stringtown, Oklahoma, on August 5, 1932. Raymond was eventually captured and was serving 266 years in prison for auto theft, armed robbery, and murder at the Eastham prison farm north of Huntsville, Texas. However, in January 1934, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker raided the farm and fed him and four other prisoners. One of the other escapees, Joe Palmer, killed a guard and caused a series of events that led Texas Prison System Chief Lee Simmons to issue a shoot-to-kill order against Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker.

The diminutive 5’3″ tall man soon took up with Mary O’Dare after her outlaw husband, Gene O’Dare, was serving 99 years in prison for bank robbery. Bonnie, Clyde, and other gang members were not fond of Mary O’Dare, characterizing her as a prostitute and gold digger. Clyde Barrow snubbed the 19-year-old girl whenever possible and often called her “washerwoman” to her face. Raymond soon fell out with Clyde Barrow when he and Mary were caught stealing money after a robbery. Raymond and Mary soon left the Barrow Gang. However, he was soon captured on April 25, 1934. He was sent to the Texas State Penitentiary, Huntsville, where he was executed on May 10, 1935, for the murder of the guard in the earlier escape from Eastham Prison. As Hamilton walked calmly to the electric chair, his last words were, “Well, goodbye all.” He was preceded to the electric chair by Joe Palmer.


© Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated November 2022.

Also See:

20th Century History

Bonnie & Clyde – Stars of the Public Enemy Era

he FBI and the American Gangster

Gangsters, Mobsters & Outlaws of the 20th Century