Why Bonnie and Clyde were able to continue their criminal activity for so long without being stopped


Bonnie and Clyde were notorious outlaws during the early 1930s in the Midwestern USA, known for their recklessness and apparent romantic relationship. Why do you think Bonnie and Clyde were able to continue their criminal activity for so long without being stopped? If you were a law enforcement agency, how would you have stopped Bonnie and Clyde? Make sure the writing assignment is one page in length, double spaced.

Sample paper 

Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde were able to escape capture for a lengthy period due to one major reason. Territorial jurisdiction was the key factor in hindering the capture of the notorious outlaws. Territorial jurisdiction refers to authority limiting law enforcement officers – whether working as local, state, or federal officers, to dealing with crimes within their jurisdictions (Government Publishing Office, 2017). As such, a law enforcement officer cannot cross his/her territorial jurisdiction to make an arrest without obtaining an arrest warrant from the respective state. Various states have different provisions or exceptions with regard to the territorial jurisdiction rule. In addition, territorial jurisdiction applies differently to city, county, state, agency, and federal law enforcement officers (Government Publishing Office, 2017). For instance, County and City Officers may arrest a person outside their jurisdiction when the person suspected of committing a felony is in a continuous flight outside the territory. County and City Officers may have to obtain a warranty of arrest to pursue a criminal who fled their state and into another.

Bonnie and Clyde exploited the territorial jurisdiction rule by moving across different states, while committing crimes in the various states. There was lack of proper coordination among police departments from different states to ensure the arrest of the gang. The lack of coordination in making the arrests made it easier for the gang to move across different states while committing crimes. As a law enforcement agency, it would be possible to stop Bonnier and Clyde by improving coordination in police departments across states. Through improved coordination, it would be possible to create a task force comprising of officers from different states to track the gang. The task force would have the mandate to move across jurisdictions without the need for arrest warrants. A task force would be more effective in tracking the notorious gang.


Government Publishing Office. (2017). Legal division handbook 2017. S.l.: U S GOVT PRINTING OFFICE.