Today in History- Police kill famous outlaws Bonnie and Clyde

Interesting facts that I found about Bonnie and Clyde:

Big trouble comes in small packages.

According to research by John Guinn, a reporter for the New York Times and author of Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde, Bonnie stood at only 4’11, while Clyde was 5’3.

Toes are optional for a criminal.

Clyde was so desperate to break out of his 14-year sentence at the Eastham State Prison Farm and escape the sexual abuse he was suffering from his cellmate that he cut off his own big toe and some of the second. He claimed it was an accident and hoped for parole, unaware that his mother had already convinced the judge to release him just two weeks later. As a result, he had a distinct limp and had to drive cars in just his socks.

They never got rich off their spoils.

Bonnie and Clyde and the gang preferred to hit up smaller grocery stores and gas stations. That meant their pockets weren’t all that full, usually only taking home about $5.

According to Smithsonian Magazine, they even resorted to robbing the occasional gum-ball machine.

Photos were stagged even then.

Bonnie never smoked cigars and never shot a gun. Undeveloped photos found at the gang’s hideout were used to paint the picture that Bonnie was knee deep in the killing and looting. However, her primary job was navigation and driving.

They were not good people.

According the FBI website, at the time they were killed in 1934, they were believed to have committed 13 murders, and several robberies and burglaries. Barrow, for example, was suspected of murdering two police officers at Joplin, Missouri and kidnapping a man and a woman in rural Louisiana. He released them near Waldo, Texas.

Numerous sightings followed, linking this pair with bank robberies and automobile thefts. Clyde allegedly murdered a man at Hillsboro, Texas; committed robberies at Lufkin and Dallas, Texas; murdered one sheriff and wounded another at Stringtown, Oklahoma; kidnaped a deputy at Carlsbad, New Mexico; stole an automobile at Victoria, Texas; attempted to murder a deputy at Wharton, Texas; committed murder and robbery at Abilene and Sherman, Texas; committed murder at Dallas, Texas; abducted a sheriff and the chief of police at Wellington, Texas; and committed murder at Joplin and Columbia, Missouri.

A gang members dad is who tipped off the police.

In January 1934, Bonnie and Clyde help bust Henry Methvin and four other inmates out from Clyde’s old residence: the Eastham State Prison Farm. According to FBI records, it was Henry’s family who tipped off the Texas Rangers, who gathered the posse that ultimately gunned down the notorious couple.

Even in death, people wanted a piece of their lives.

After being shot multiple times — some claim over 100 bullets between them — passersby near the death scene attempted to take parts of the couple’s body, notably trying to snag Clyde’s trigger finger. Authorities were able to fend the mob, but not before a persistent man cut off some of Bonnie’s hair, swatches from her dress, and one of Clyde’s ears.

The funeral was one for the books.

The bodies were taken to a local funeral home, operated on in the back of a furniture store in nearby Arcadia, Louisiana. Ironically, the undertaker Dillard Darby and his assistant Sophia Stone had been kidnapped by Bonnie and Clyde earlier. Bonnie laughed when she found out what Darby did for a living and said that, who knows, one day, Darby might work on them!

Darby indeed embalmed their bodies, although not without some difficulty. The bodies had so many bullet holes in them that the embalming fluid kept leaking out. But they were able to make them presentable enough for an open casket funeral.

Clyde is buried in Western Heights Cemetery in Dallas, next to his brother Marvin Ivan (Buck). It’s estimated that 30,000 people came to see his body at the Sparkman-Holtz Brand funeral parlor and/or attended the funeral.

Bonnie was buried in northwest Dallas at Crown Hill Memorial Park. It’s estimated that 40,000 to 50,000 people lined up to see her body. In fact, so many people attended the funeral that the family had trouble reaching the gravesite.

So, what do you think? Modern day Romeo and Juliet or one of the worse type of criminals- careless and thoughtless?

If you are enjoying Today in History, please feel free to subscribe to my newsletter where I will visit myths and legends from around the world, highlight books and authors that I have found, and share some inside details to my current books. 

What are your thoughts?

Powered by

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: