Headline: Rites today for last of Bonnie and Clyde Gang
Publication Date: March 17, 1993
Source:The Dallas Morning News
Region Dallas-Ft. Worth Metro, Texas
Obituary:Services for Ralph Smith Fults, the lastmember of the Bonnie and Clyde gang, will be at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at Grove Hill Funeral Home in Dallas.
Mr. Fults died Monday of complications of cancer at his home in Dallas.He was 82.Though known for his life of crime, he spent his later years as a security guard and often warned young people away from criminal activity.
The native Texan began a long life of crime at age 14, when he stole candy from a general store in McKinney, asaid John Neal Phillips, co-author of Ten Fast Years, a biography and history of the Barrow gang.
For a few years, Mr. Fults robbed stores, and he was placed in the Gatesville Reform School. "He was a master of picking locks; he could pick handcuffs faster than they could put them on.' Mr. Phillips said.
When Mr. Fults was 18, he was sentenced to two years in prison for burglary.He escaped but was recaptured, Mr. Phillips said.
In 1930 at 19, he met Clyde Barrow while being transported to Huntsville.In 1932, both men were paroled and formed the Barrow gang in Denton.The gang, which also was headed by Bonnie Parker, robbefd banks and oil refinery payrolls.
In 1935 Mr. Fults was arrested for the last time.He served nine years in a Mississippi prison.He received full pardons in 1954 frm Mississippi and texas and moved ot McKinney in 1947.For many years, he spoke to young people aout his conversion to Christianity and encouraged them to avoid criminal behavior.
From 1964 until 1984 Mr. Fults was a security guard for Buckner Baptist Children's Home in Dallas, where he encouraged children not to turn to crime.
Survivors include his wife, Ruth Fults of Dallas, a son, two daughters, two sisters, a brother and 10 grandchildren.