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Date: February 18, 2008 10:17AM
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rowena, Texas (Bonnie)
Ellis County, Texas (Clyde)
Died May 23, 1934 (aged 23) (Bonnie)
May 23, 1934 (aged 25) (Clyde)
Bienville Parish, Louisiana (both)
This article is about the outlaws. For the film, see Bonnie and Clyde (film).
For other uses see the Popular culture section.
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. 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."
In his article "Bonnie and Clyde: Romeo and Juliet in a Getaway Car,"
the noted writer Joseph Geringer explained part of their appeal to the public
then, and their enduring legend now, by saying "Americans thrilled to their
'Robin Hood' adventures. The presence of a female, Bonnie, escalated the
sincerity of their intentions to make them something unique and individual —
even at times heroic."