The Real Bonnie & Clyde

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Bonnie Parker (October 1, 1910 – May 23, 1934) and Clyde Barrow (March 24, 1909 – May 23, 1934) were notorious outlaws, robbers and criminals who travelled the Central United States during the Great Depression. Their exploits were known nationwide. They captured the attention of the American press and its readership during what is sometimes referred to as the “public enemy era” between 1931 and 1935. Although this couple and their gang were notorious for their bank robberies, Clyde Barrow preferred to rob small stores or gas stations.

Though the public at the time believed Bonnie to be a full partner in the gang, the role of Bonnie Parker in the Barrow Gang crimes has long been a source of controversy. Gang members W.D. Jones and Ralph Fults testified that they never saw Bonnie fire a gun, and described her role as logistical. Jones’ sworn statement was that “Bonnie never packed a gun, out of the five major gun battles I was with them she never fired a gun.” Writing with Phillip Steele in The Family Story of Bonnie and Clyde, Marie Barrow, Clyde’s youngest sister, made the same claim: “Bonnie never fired a shot. She just followed my brother no matter where he went.” In his interview with Playboy magazine, W.D. Jones said of Bonnie: “As far as I know, Bonnie never packed a gun. Maybe she’d help carry what we had in the car into a tourist-court room. But during the five big gun battles I was with them, she never fired a gun. But I’ll say she was a hell of a loader.”

Bonnie and Clyde were among the first celebrity criminals of the modern era, and their legend has proven durable. Certainly Bonnie knew how to enhance the pair’s popular appeal by manipulating the media, and newspapers were quick to publish her poem “The Story of Bonnie and Clyde”. Her other poetry, especially “Suicide Sal”, shows her flair for an underworld vernacular that owes much to the detective magazines she read avidly. According to writer Joseph Geringer, Bonnie appealed to the out of work and generally disenfranchised third of America shattered by the Depression, who saw the duo as a Robin Hood-like couple striking blows at an uncaring government. In an A&E Network-produced Biography on the two bandits, historian Jonathan Davis expresses a similar thought, pointing out that “Anybody who robbed banks or fought the law were really living out some secret fantasies on a large part of the public.”

Hollywood has treated the pair’s story several times, most notably 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde, directed by Arthur Penn. A romanticized film version of the tale, Bonnie and Clyde, which starred Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, was critically acclaimed and contributed significantly to the glamorous image of the criminal pair.

Beatty and Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde (1967)


24 Responses to “The Real Bonnie & Clyde”

  1. classic.

  2. So true. They are effing legendary.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  3. wow this sounds like muya

  4. Holy crap–I was looking for pictures of Faye Dunaway as Bonnie and up popped your blog–How are you guys? 🙂
    -Joey Urqhart/Lacey Riddler/Ellie 😀

  5. they were true gs she stuck wuth him no matter what

  6. they r my fuckin heroes.. i want to keep their alive!!!lets go 4 bonnie and clyde

  7. wow this pic really help me with my musical. Its called Bats. and we are doing all sorts of criminals and i got chosen for bonnie and now that 1967 photo really helped me with the costume.

  8. My fiance and i are dressing up like Bonnie & Clyde for Halloween and needed an pic to make sure our costumes were legit. Thanks!

  9. thats us babe :]

  10. Me and my boyfriend consider ourselves the modern day Bonnie and Clyde.


  12. well i love them tehir something i look up too. yha their are alot of couples who i would see now a day witch remind me of bonnie and clyde one of them is me and my boi we got 1more year out of 5 till he is free from those bars LOVE U BABE and love u too bonnie ans clyde and all the gurl who stuck to their man like true riderz. much love and respect..

  13. Excellent movie and well played by all actors. I had the opportunity to see one of the Model A Ford cars on display outside at Planet Hollywood in Niagara Falls Ontario. I believe the car is a 1928 or 1929 Tudor Sedan but has 30-31 wheels and head lights. To bad they don’t fully restore the car back to it’s original condition.

  14. woow; so bonnie & clyde are non-fiction? o___o”

  15. You are all a bunch of idiots, you are the reason why american culture is so bad now. Bonnie and clyde were a bunch of wannabe gangsters, who are a disgrace to american history. Since when was killing, murder and robbery glorious? you are just as dumb as they are. Peace out.

  16. Nel nena get it str8 it is what it is qNO?…
    Simon so Run-Up-Oh-Shut-Up

  17. Silent&Traviesa = |bONNIE&CLYDE|

  18. […] The Real Bonnie & Clyde « Bonnie & ClydeMegan Tubbs said this on January 21, 2010 at 2:11 pm. Me and my boyfriend consider ourselves the modern day Bonnie and Clyde. Leah said this on January … […]

  19. wow

  20. Bonnie and Clyde were great. They only did what they had to because of the great depression. So what it they robbed banks and store ect. No one has a right to judge them. All I can say is they are my heros. Its takes guts to do what they did. And when they were killed I think it was wrong how the coos did it. Shooting at the car while hiding they didn’t even have the guts to face Bonnie and Clyde.

  21. Thank you so much! this helped me alot on a school report!

  22. Hmm it seems like your site ate my first comment
    (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m
    thoroughly enjoying your blog. I too am an aspiring blog blogger but
    I’m still new to everything. Do you have any points for newbie blog writers?
    I’d definitely appreciate it.

  23. Bonnie and Clyde is awesome

  24. Those 2 were heroes

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