The end of Bonnie and Clyde

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Bonnie Parker and Clyde Champion Barrow, aka Bonnie & Clyde are often portrayed as some sort of Robin Hood style heroes, , in fact they were ruthless criminals with very little regard for their victims.

They were two young Texans whose early 1930s crime spree forever earned them infamy  in US and world history. Their names have become synonymous with an image of Depression-era chic.

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They were violent criminals who were active in the Mid- and Southwest between 1932 and 1934. The FBI,then called the Bureau of Investigation, began to investigate “Bonnie and Clyde” and their fellow gang members after Barrow stole an automobile in December 1932.

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The public was fascinated by the couple and their gang, partially because it was a rarity a woman was involved in crime leave alone a murderous crime spree. A fact that is often forgotten is that Bonnie Parker was actually a married woman. when she met and teamed up with Clyde, her husband Roy Glen Thornton who she married when she was 16. He was sent to prison in March 1933 for a number of offences and was killed in 1937 in prison.

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Bonnie and Clyde loved posing for he camera, I suppose in 2018 terms we could call them ‘Selfie junkies’ and if social media would have been around in the 1930s I am certain the pair would have been willing participants in sharing their criminal exploits via the various social media platforms.

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They were seen as some sort of folk heroes however public opinion turned against Bonnie and Clyde after reports of the murder of two motorcycle cops on Easter Sunday, 1934.

On April 1, 1934, Bonnie and Clyde encountered two young highway patrolmen near Grapevine, Texas. Before the officers could draw their guns, they were shot. On April 6, 1934, a constable at Miami, Oklahoma fell mortally wounded by Bonnie and Clyde, who also abducted a police chief, whom they wounded.

A week later on   April 13, 1934, an FBI agent, through investigation in the area of Ruston, Louisiana, received  information which definitely placed Bonnie and Clyde in a remote section southwest of that community. The home of the Methvins was not far away, and the agent learned of visits there by Bonnie and Clyde. Special agents in Texas had learned that Clyde and his companion had been traveling from Texas to Louisiana, sometimes accompanied by Henry Methvin.

The FBI and local law enforcement authorities in Louisiana and Texas focused on arresting  Bonnie and Clyde, whom they strongly believed to be in the vicinity. It was learned that Bonnie and Clyde, with some of the Methvins, had staged a party at Black Lake, Louisiana on the night of May 21, 1934 and were due to return to the area two days later.

At approximately 9:15 a.m. on May 23, the posse, concealed in the bushes and almost ready to concede defeat, Bonnie and Clyde appeared in an automobile and when they attempted to drive away, the officers opened fire. Bonnie and Clyde were killed instantly.

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The Barrow Gang is thought to have been responsible for the deaths of 13 people, including nine police officers.

While the couple wanted to be buried next to each other  Bonnie’s mother, who had disapproved of her relationship with Clyde, had her daughter buried in a separate Dallas cemetery. Clyde was buried next to his brother Marvin underneath a gravestone with his hand-picked epitaph: “Gone but not forgotten.”

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Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre

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The St. Valentine’s Day massacre—the most spectacular gangland slaying in mob history—was actually somewhat of a failure.

Al Capone had arranged for Chicago mobster George “Bugs” Moran and most of his North Side Gang to be eliminated on February 14, 1929. The plan, probably devised by Capone’s henchman “Machine Gun” Jack McGurn, was simple and deviously clever, but Capone’s primary target escaped.

 

 

The Plan

A bootlegger loyal to Capone would draw Moran and his gang to a warehouse under the pretense that they would be receiving a shipment of smuggled whiskey for a price that proved too good to be true. The delivery was set for a red brick warehouse at 2122 North Clark Street in Chicago at 10:30 a.m. on Valentine’s Day.

Capone arranged to distance himself from the assassinations by spending time at his home in Miami while the heinous act was committed.

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The Morning of February 14, 1929

That snowy morning, a group of Moran’s men waited for Bugs Moran at the warehouse. Among them were Jon May, an auto mechanic hired by Moran; Frank and Pete Gusenburg, who had previously tried to murder Machine Gun Jack McGurn; James Clark, Moran’s brother-in-law; and Reinhardt Schwimmer, a young optometrist who often hung around for the thrill of sharing company with gangsters. Moran happened to be running a bit late.

When Moran’s car turned the corner onto North Clarke, he and his lackeys, Willy Marks and Ted Newbury, spotted a police wagon rolling up to the warehouse. Figuring it was a bust he watched as five men—including three dressed in police uniforms—entered the warehouse. With the arrival of the “cops,” Moran and Co. scrammed.

The Massacre

Inside the warehouse, Moran’s men were confronted by the hit men disguised as policemen. Assuming it was a routine bust, they followed instructions as they were ordered to line up against the wall. The hit men then opened fire with Thompson submachine guns, killing six of the seven men immediately. Despite 22 bullet wounds, Frank Gusenberg survived the attack but died after arriving at Alexian Brothers Hospital.

 

 

After the attack, the uniformed perpetrators marched their plain-clothed accomplices out the front door with their hands raised, just in case anyone was watching. Capone’s hit men piled into the police wagon and drove away.

The Aftermath

The newspapers instantly picked up on the crime, dubbing it the “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.” The story appeared on front pages around the country, making Capone a nationwide celebrity. While Capone seemed to revel in his new fame, he also had to deal with the new level of attention from federal law enforcement officials.

George “Bugs” Moran knew Capone wanted him killed and pegged the crime on him right away. “Only Capone kills like that,” he said, though authorities had no concrete evidence. Capone was in Florida and his henchman McGurn had an alibi of his own. No one was ever tried for this most spectacular slaying in mob history.

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I am passionate about my site and I know a you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks

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