Ray Hamilton grew up in the same Dallas, Texas neighborhood as Clyde Barrow, which is where they are thought to have become acquainted. He is mentioned in several crimes with Barrow including the August 5, 1932 gunfight in Stringtown, Oklahoma in which Deputy Sheriff Eugene Moore was killed. Moore and Sheriff Charles Maxwell had become suspicious of the youths at an outdoor country dance. Bonnie Parker, Clyde Barrow and Hamilton were sitting in a car drinking moonshine when the officers tried to investigate and were fired on by the trio. Moore was killed; Maxwell would survive six gunshot wounds and Parker, Barrow and Hamilton would escape unharmed.
On Christmas Day, 1932, Doyle Johnson of Temple was taking a nap after the family Christmas dinner when he was awakened by his wife saying that some individuals were trying to steal his new car, parked outside. Mrs. Johnson yelled for them to stop as Doyle ran to the car, jumped on the running board and struggled with the thief, Clyde Barrow, who fatally shot him. Bonnie Parker, Barrow and W. D. Jones escaped with the stolen car.
Reported in the Galveston Daily News, Galveston, Texas Saturday August 25, 1877:
“A Texas Desperado
WHITING, -ALA, August 24. – Today, as the train was leaving Pensacola, the sheriff, with a posse, boarded the cars to assist two Texas officials to arrest the notorious John Wesley Hardin, who is said to have committed twenty-seven murders, and for whose body four thousand dollars has been offered by the Legislature of Texas. His last murder in Texas was the killing of the sheriff of Comanche County. He has lived in the State of Florida for years as John Swain. Being related to the county officers he has escaped arrest. About twenty shots were fired in making the arrest.
Hardin’s companion, named Mann, who held a pistol in his hand, was killed.”
“John Wesley Harding
Was a friend to the poor
He trav’led with a gun in ev’ry hand
All along this countryside
He opened a many a door
But he was never known
To hurt a honest man.”
“John Wesley Harding” by Bob Dylan