Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Francis "Two Gun" Crowley

'Put a Lily in My Hand!'

Duringer began to panic when the ammunition ran low, and he joined Walsh under the bed. Crowley paced the apartment alternately ducking bullets and pumping rounds into the crowds below. Hundreds of bullet holes peppered the walls of the room. The windows were shattered and the ceiling was in danger of collapse. The smell of tear gas filled the air and a dense fog filled the fifth floor. Every few minutes, Crowley heard cops scattering on the roof above. He fired a burst into the ceiling periodically to keep them on the move.

The bedroom where Crowley faced his final showdown with police (police crime scene photo)
The bedroom where Crowley
faced his final showdown
with police
(police crime scene photo)

"You're yellow!" he screamed at Duringer and Walsh under the bed. During a brief lull in the assault, Crowley sat down on the bed and wrote a letter to be read after his death.

"When I die, put a lily in my hand, let the boys know how they'll look ... I hadn't anything else to do, that's why I went around bumping off cops! ... Take a tip from me to never let a copper go an inch above your knee ... as soon as you turn your back they will club you and say the hell with you ... I'm behind the door with three thirty-eights!"

Walsh, taking her cue from her boyfriend, also decided to record her last thoughts for posterity. As Duringer, still cowering under the bed, reloaded with the last of the ammunition, Walsh began her letter.

"If I die and my face you are able to see, wave my hair and make me look pretty...Do my nails all over...I use a very pale pink...I always wanted everybody to be happy and have a good time ... I had some pretty good times myself ... Love to all but all my love to Sweets (Crowley)!"

Just as Walsh finished her letter, a new barrage of tear gas canisters crashed in through the windows. She screamed while Crowley picked up the bombs and threw them back at the police. Several cops saw him throw the canisters and they fired a burst from their machine guns. Crowley took several hits and was knocked to the floor.

The crowds had become uncontrollable and there was a real danger that pedestrians would be hit by the continued gunfire. Police brass put together a squad of tough, seasoned cops who made their way up to the fifth-floor apartment. After listening at the door for several minutes, they decided to make their move. They broke down the door and rushed inside. Crowley, caught completely by surprise, aimed his .38s at the cops and pulled both triggers. Nothing happened. He was out of ammo. Cops knocked him to the ground, kicking and cursing. Crowley was shot four times and bled profusely. Duringer and Walsh were unharmed. Both were dragged screaming from the burning apartment. When police later examined Crowley's weapons, they discovered that one of the guns belonged to murdered police officer Fred Hirsch.

On West 90th Street, the crowds had gotten so large, more police had to be called in. When Crowley was brought down in a stretcher, bleeding and defiant as always, spectators cheered his capture. He was tossed into an ambulance, which started over to Bellevue Hospital. As Crowley lay strapped to the gurney, cops found two fully loaded automatic pistols strapped to his legs. The barrels of the weapons were inserted into his socks and the butts were taped to his calves. "Two Gun" intended to shoot it out in the ambulance and make his getaway at the first opportunity.

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