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Bonnie Parker was born on the first day of October in 1910, in Rowena, Texas. Bonnie was an excellent student and the second of three children. An avid fan of Romance and Confession magazines, she wasn't the typical stereotype of a killer, much less a serial murderer. Standing at four foot ten inches, she married Roy Thornton. She got a tattoo on the inside of her thigh of two hearts with their names intertwined. But a year later they split up. She then went to visit a friend in West Dallas, were she came to meet Clyde Barrow.
Clyde Barrow was born in Telico, Texas, on March 21, 1909. Clyde was the youngest of eight children and little over a year older than his future spouse. Clyde never made it past the eighth grade. Clyde stood lower than average height at five foot six and three quarters of an inch. His father was a share cropper and hers was a bricklayer. His father soon opens a grocery store, and he quits school to sell stolen turkeys with his brother Buck.
Bonnie soon learns of Clyde's criminal endeavors as the law comes looking for him and he is sent him to Denton, Texas for charges of stolen merchandise. They law didn't have enough proof and transferred him to Waco Texas where he confessed to several car thefts. He was sentenced two years on each count, but then he was allowed to serve them concurrently.
Bonnie still visited him daily, and on one of these trips she smuggled in a colt to Clyde and his cell mate. That night they escaped, although freedom was short lived. They were captured in Ohio and Clyde was sentenced to 14 years. He was pardoned in 1932, after the intervention of his mother. He soon returned to Bonnie and they left in none other than a stolen car. He kept himself busy with Robberies, and Bonnie was soon drawn into the plots.
In Wellington, Texas, their stolen Ford plunged off a bridge and Bonnie was pinned underneath. Some local farmers saved her as the machine caught fire. Although her leg would never be the same, it leg soon became deformed, and needed medical attention. As they were trying to reach her parents, the sheriff got wind of it and created an ambush, riddling their stolen car with bullets and hitting both Bonnie and Clyde in their legs. Nevertheless they still escaped.
On Easter Sunday, Clyde and his current accomplice killed two highway patrolmen who thought that they needed help. Five days later they killed an Officer in Commerce, Oklahoma and kidnap another. Bonnie soon had her priorities a little messed up. They let the officer go, but not until Bonnie requested that he tell the public that she doesn't smoke cigars. Less than a month later, these fugitives will be laid to rest.
"Her decision to share her life with Clyde Barrow seems to have arisen from two primary and possibly linked causes: her genuine love for him and her fascination with criminals and criminality." (Treherne 91)
Bonnie was more than likely dominated by Clyde. Known by many criminal psychologists, there ability of violent antisocial men to elicit strong love and dominate women who offer it. Bonnie once said that she despised Clyde, because he was a cheap and viscous thug. It is difficult to understand how she could first say this and the love him so deeply.
"The three of them went to rob a grocery store. Buck told me what to do if he should be shot and killed, or shot. But if something ever happened to him, I would not have left him to go home until I was able to see him and do all I could for him. I was always afraid Clyde would just run away and leave him if there was trouble." (Barrow 66-67)
In their endeavors, Bonnie and Clyde weren't always alone. In 1933, they were joined by Clyde's Brother and his wife Blanche. Out of all of the accomplices, only one survived past early adulthood and was the only one to publish a written account. As she was blinded by love, she joined her husband and brother in law in a nation wide crime city. Being partially blinded in Platte City, she evaded capture with Buck while another posse a few months later captures the foursome, killing Buck. Bonnie and Clyde escaped, leaving Blanche as the grief stricken survivor.
May 23, 1934, came to be known as the final day of Bonnie and Clyde. They were atop a hill hidden with a few other vigilantes, waiting for an ambush. Before they knew what had them, there car was riddled with more than 167 rounds, with more than 50 of them passing through both Clyde and Bonnie, and then out the passenger side door. They had been fired upon with high velocity, steel jacketed bullets. Bonnie was only 23 years old, with Clyde being a mere 24.
All the fingers on Bonnie's right hand had been shot off, as they laid on a pack of bloody cigarettes. Inside the car numerous arsenal items were found, including a saxophone, Browning automatic rifles, shot guns, pistols, and more than 3,000 rounds of ammunition. Also were license plates from 8 states. The car was towed into Arcadia, Louisiana, with their bodies still inside. They were placed in the rear room of the embalmers furniture store. The crowds were so uncontrollable, that the caretaker had to squirt embalming fluid on them to keep them back.
"Clyde Barrow was buried next to his brother Buck on a bare slope in the West Dallas Cemetery. At the graveside the press of the crowd was so great that the family mourners who could get to it were nearly pushed into the open grave. Nell Cowan could get no closer than forty feet to it. As the crowd dispersed, a low-fling plane dropped a gigantic floral wreath.
Ted Hinton was present at his victim's funeral. He had known the Barrow's since his childhood in the squalid streets of West Dallas. Joe Palmer was there also. He had risked capture and the electric chair to pay homage to the man who "was good" to him and "always toted fair." (Treherne 211-212)
This shows that even though they were notorious outlaws, yet many still loved or even cared about them. Just as famous outlaws attended Barrow's graveside, risking capture to pay there respects to a man well worth knowing.
"The funeral of Bonnie Parker took place the following day, Saturday, May 26, 1934, in South Dallas. "Neither was she buried next to her lover, as she had predicted in her poem. Mrs. Parker was reputed to have said that "Clyde had her for two years and look what he did to her."
Emma Parker used the money from an insurance policy on her daughter's life to give Bonnie a respectable burial. Bonnie's mutilated hair was waved and curled into its former neatness. Her nails were manicured
Bonnie's sister was brought under police escort to the funeral service. She was still being held for her supposed involvement in the Easter Sunday murders of two highway patrolmen." (Treherne 211-212)
If you were to ask me I think that there must have been a family history of violence past down through the generations of the Parker Family. Although she was an accomplice to Clyde, her still loved and cared about her. It meant something to Mrs. Parker that she wasn't to be buried with Clyde seeing already how he supposedly messed up her life.
Twenty-three people were taken to trial, on accounts of harboring Bonnie and Clyde.
Barrow, Blance. My Life With Bonnie & Clyde. 1st ed. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2004.
"Bonnie and Clyde." An American Tragedy of the Depression Era. . Census Diggins. 17 Dec. 2005 .
"Bonnie and Clyde." Famous Cases. . Federal Bureau of Investigation. 17 Dec. 2005 .
"Depression Era Duet." Outlaws and Thief's. 2005. Crime Library. 17 Dec. 2005 .
Parker, Bonnie. "The Poem." Bonnie and Clyde . Crime Library. 17 Dec. 2005 .
Treherne, John. The Strange History of Bonnie and Clyde. 1st ed. New York: Cooper Square Press, 1984.
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"The Story Of Bonnie And Clyde." 123HelpMe.com. 05 Jul 2015