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Sunday, 3 February 2013

Bonnie and Clyde

Clyde Barrow (1909–34) first met Bonnie Parker (1911–34) at the West Dallas, Texas home of Clyde’s friend Clarence Clay on January 5, 1930.

Two months after he first met Parker, Barrow was arrested on seven accounts of burglary and car theft, convicted, and sentenced to two years in jail. Parker smuggled a gun to him and he escaped.

Bonnie Parker was married - but not to Clyde Barrow. Parker had married classmate Roy Thornton at the age of 16. He was serving a five-year sentence for robbery when that whole "Bonnie and Clyde" thing happened.

Bonnie Parker measured just 4ft 11in in height.

Bonnie and Clyde embarked on a crime spree with their gang, which included Barrow's brother and wife. They robbed their first bank—the First National Bank in Kansas—in April 1932. They came out with $33,000, ($530, 000 in today's money).

The Bonnie and Clyde gang committed several robberies and killed an estimated 13 people along the way, including nine police officers. The gang continued to rob and murder until Bonnie and Clyde were betrayed by a friend.

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, sometime between 1932 and 1934

Clyde Barrow was a fan of Ford automobiles. He wrote to Henry Ford saying he drove Fords exclusively "when I can get away with one."

Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed and shot dead by police on a desolate road near their hideout in Bienville Parish, Louisiana on May 23, 1934. Their gunfire was so loud, the police suffered temporary deafness all afternoon.

When news spread of Bonnie and Clyde’s death, a large crowd gathered around the car trying to steal souvenirs. Lockets of Bonnie's hair and strips of her dress were taken. There were also attempts to cut off Clyde’s fingers and ear.

Their story was made into a movie in 1967 starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. The film romanticized their crime spree, creating he image of Bonnie and Clyde as a romantic couple rebelling from authority. It was also highly controversial for the time, pushing the standards of what was acceptable to show on the silver screen.

British R&B/jazz singer Georgie Fame had a hit around the time of the movie's release with "The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde." The song upset some movie fans when it was played on the radio as it gave away the ending of the film.


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