For ten or twelve years I have attended the Uncle Earl’s hog dog trials in Winnfield, Louisiana. Each time while traveling along Interstate 20, I pass the Gibsland, Louisiana exit and remember Bonnie and Clyde were killed in the area. One time Jean, some grand-kids, AND I were on the trip and we stopped at a Bonny and Clyde Museum in Gibsland. As luck would have it the museum was closed and we could barely see inside since it was so dark. As one of the kid’s eyes adjusted to the dark we heard a scream. A mannequin was just inches from our grandkid’s face. While passing through Gibsland last week it occurred I had never told any stories about Bonnie and Clyde. After doing a lot of reading on the internet here goes.
Bonnie Elizabeth Parker, October 1, 1910—May 23, 1934, and Clyde Chestnut Barrow, March 24,
1909—May 23, 1934, were American outlaws from the Dallas area. They and their gang traveled,
robbed, and murdered all over the central U.S. during the Great Depression. Although the pair robbed
a dozen or so banks, they normally struck small country stores and gas stations. His group is believed
to have killed nine police officers and several citizens. Besides Bonnie and Clyde there was Buck and
Blanche Barrow, Clyde’s brother and sister in law, as well as Raymond Hamilton, W.D. Jones, Joe Palmer,
Ralph Fults, and Henry Methvin.
Bonnie was Clyde’s partner for about two years and present during more than a hundred felonies.
Her reputation was exaggerated due to a photograph found in one of their hideouts. It showed her with
a cigar in her mouth but in reality she hated cigars and chain smoked Camel cigarettes. Born in Rowena,
Texas she quit high school as a sophomore after meeting Ray Thornton. They were married six days
before her sixteenth birthday. After two years they went different ways and she never saw him again
although she was still wearing her wedding ring when killed. Thornton was in prison when he heard she
had been killed and said that was better than being incarcerated. After her marriage failed in 1929 she
lived with her mother in Dallas and worked as a waitress. One of her regular customers was a postal
worker, Ted Hinton, who later joined the Dallas Police Department. What are the odds that he would be
one of the posse members that ambushed Bonnie and Clyde in 1934?
Clyde Barrow was from a poor farming family in Tellico, Texas in Ellis County. His family moved in a
wagon to Dallas in the early Twenties looking for a better life. In Dallas for the first few months their
home was under their wagon. It was a giant step forward when they were able to buy a small tent. Clyde
was seventeen when he was first arrested. The charge was for not returning a rental car on time. Soon
after his release he and his brother were arrested for possession of stolen merchandise, turkeys. After
his release he began robbing stores, cracking safes, and stealing cars. This led to his entering Eastham
prison in 1930. Due to sexual abuse Clyde killed a fellow prisoner with a lead pipe. This was Clyde’s first
murder. When Clyde was paroled in 1932, a friend said he went into prison as a schoolboy and came out
a rattlesnake. He never got over his ill treatment in Eastham and his goal was to obtain enough firearms
to attack the prison and release all the inmates.
Bonnie and Clyde first met when she was making hot chocolate at a mutual friend’s house in Dallas.
They immediately fell for each other. Little did B&C know their lives would violently end in two short,
but crime filled years. In April, 1932 Clyde was the driver in a Hillsboro robbery where the store owner
was killed. In August, Clyde and two of his gang were at a dance in Stringtown, Oklahoma when the
sheriff and a deputy approached them in the parking lot. The deputy was killed and the sheriff severely
wounded. Christmas Eve, 1932, W.D. Jones was a friend of the family and asked to join the gang when
only sixteen years old. He left that night with Clyde and the next day was initiated as he and Clyde killed
Doyle Johnson while stealing his car in Temple.
Enter 1933. Less than two months after the Temple killing, Clyde killed Tarrant County Deputy
Malcomb Davis when Clyde, Bonnie, and Jones accidentally walked into a trap set for another criminal.
Brother Buck had been in prison and after his release in March, along with his wife Blanche, quickly
joined back with the gang. For a while they hid out on Oakridge Drive in Joplin, Missouri. Here, they had
loud parties and stayed up all night. Clyde’s weapon of choice was a Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) and
it went off one night while he was cleaning it. All the commotion over the last few days led a neighbor
to alert the police. A five man group came in two cars to raid what they thought was a bootlegging
operation. Next week—The Joplin Shootout.
Phyllis Diller Jokes: It’s a good thing beauty is only skin deep or I’d be rotten to the bone. Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight. I want my kids to have all the things I couldn’t have. Then I want to move in with them. Be nice to your kids. They are the ones that will choose your rest home. We spend the first year or two teaching kids to walk and talk then the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up. The best way to get rid of kitchen odors is to eat out.