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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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