Sunday, December 27, 2009

2009-- A Year Of Bonnie & Clyde Extremes

As 2009 makes it's exit and 2010 is poised to begin, it's time to take note of what this past year has brought to the Bonnie and Clyde historical experience. To me, 2009 was a year of extremes-- involving not only historic milestones and enjoyment, but controversy as well within B&Cdom. 2009 marked the 75th anniversary of the ambush of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. Many varying comments were echoed not only from that hallowed site near Sailes Louisiana, but from near and far-- concerning the "eternal" ambush, who's smoke seemingly still hangs in the air from fateful day in '34.

There's always great passion when the ambush is discussed, of which opinions run the gamut from "they got what they deserved"-- to "it wasn't their fault" and every conceivable position in between. Renewed talk which never really needs renewing was re-kindled-- concerning the brutality and profound events of that unusually hot late May day. Should Bonnie have been killed?? Was Bonnie really pregnant when gunned down?? What does it mean and what difference should it have made, that Frank Hamer was convinced enough that Bonnie was with child-- to have spread the word to other law enforcement officials in advance of the ambush?? Why did the officers use such brutality in annihilating B&C?? Did Prentis Oakley actually see a gun rise above the window before firing that fateful 1st shot?? Etc--etc. There's never a shortage of ambush topics to discuss, but with the 75th anniversary milestone this year-- never a shortage-- never meant more.

Jeff Guinn made his mark on B&C History by releasing his book Go Down Together-- The True Untold Story of B&C. Most know of my pointed disagreements with this here to fore fiction writer, who to me-- continued his legacy, by writing a somewhat fictionalized and overly sensational account of B&C History. My review of this B&C book, can be found within the blog archives. Many have been impressed by Mr. Guinn's offering. I cannot count myself among those who share that viewpoint.

Paul Schneider also weighed in with a new B&C book-- Bonnie and Clyde The Lives Behind the Legend. Although written in a style most need to get used to, Schneider's research seems strong and his factual accounts to me-- set his work apart from Guinn's book. Importantly-- Mr. Schneider is also the first to use updated info from the Dallas FBI files, within a B&C book.

Despite some behind the scenes controversies and odds against it-- The 75th Anniversary of the ambush edition of the Authentic B&C Festival in Gibsland, LA was a grand event. There was great energy and enthusiasm for this year's festival, which due to it's silver anniversary status-- garnered attention worldwide through a myriad of news outlets.

And speaking of Gibsland, on a sad note-- this past Fall we lost one of the grand old gentlemen of Gibsland and B&C History, with the passing of Olen Jackson. Olen will be greatly missed.

2009 also saw great debate over the Dallas FBI files on B&C. Some have criticized these files, but I can't understand why. Dallas field office file 26-4114-- may be the greatest treasure trove of authentic B&C info documented in real time ever discovered. It seems some may not like what these files reveal, based on preconceived notions and loyalty factors not inherent within historical analysis. But to me, misplaced loyalties shouldn't negatively affect these gems of information or their importance. Perhaps some would prefer we go back to the way it was before the Dallas files, when much less was known-- and searching through this history was more like walking down a path in pitch blackness. Not me-- and I'm quite sure not for most, who are objectively interested in the truth regarding B&C History.

And concerning progress within old themes, even after more than 75 years now-- new information continues to be learned concerning a number of B&C points of interest. I am hopeful those who have learned what appear to be mind blowing new possibilities concerning B&C History-- will feel free to disclose these revelations in 2010. 2009 saw the beginning of my investigation into a Bonnie Parker pregnancy. 2010 will see the continuation of this quest. I have learned some remarkable things concerning this long rumored reality??-- and look forward to uncovering more, within an enhanced and renewed effort in 2010.

A few final points concerning 2009 and B&C History-- although I may think of more. 2009 saw a continued splintering of what some call the B&C Community. Now call me old fashioned, but as I view it-- the B&C Community is comprised of an untold legion of people worldwide, who enjoy learning of and discussing this fascinating and poignant history. However for a small group of B&C "insiders"-- the B&C Community is more of a clique, comprised of some B&C family members and those around them-- who don't wish to wander from the inner circle. Within this self serving realm, "outsiders" seem viewed with disdain-- and scorn can often follow. Unfortunately within this more limited B&C Community, it seems just a few individuals can exercise control over others-- who don't wish to lose their status within this vaunted group.

Well I couldn't be more pleased to be "independent"-- and speak my mind freely concerning B&C History, without fear of retribution. 2009 saw the formation of The B&C History Blog. Some are apparently not happy, that I have a voice and a forum from which to speak of this history. Rest assured that I am proud of this forum, where I can provide "you" who I view as the B&C Community-- with useful insights, objective analysis and uncensored commentary concerning B&C History. Concerning the web attacks and threats made against me this year, please know-- I will say what I want to say-- go where I want to go-- and won't be threatened by anyone. I have removed unwanted bullying from this blog for the benefit of all, and will continue to help champion the cause for "truth" within this history.

To close on a most positive note, 2009 has seen significant health challenges for a couple of friends of mine and to many in L. J. "Boots" Hinton and Frank Ballinger. God has blessed these great men and wonderful friends to this history, as they continue to improve from their maladies. I know the continued good wishes of all can be felt by "Boots" and Frank-- so as to be blessed for many years to come.

And finally to my daughter, who is due to bring a new and wonderful young lady into the world and to our family in February-- there's no adversary of mine, who could ever put you down in anyone's eyes-- who knows how wonderful you are.

A Most Sincere And Heartfelt Happy New Year To All--


Saturday, December 19, 2009

What Ever Happened to B&C's Love Letters and Bonnie's Original Poems?? Like Shadows In the Night-- Most Seem to Be Gone Now

As happens from time to time, recently I was contacted with a question as to what happened to B&C's love letters and Bonnie's original poems?? Back in 2006 and 2007, I had conducted extensive searches for these documents. My purpose in scouring for these artifacts, was to aid in scrutiny of The Bonnie & Clyde Signatures. As such I contacted numerous law enforcement agencies, museums and libraries asking where these elusive historical mementos might be?? In 2007 and 2008, I also had the privilege of asking B&C family members about these seemingly lost B&C treasures. I also contacted the Joplin Globe newspaper, as they had published Bonnie's poetry found in the Joplin apartment. I was told the paper no longer had the poetry or famous photographs, and that investigative reporters there-- have been searching for these artifacts for years, but to no avail.

In 2006, Joplin's Chief of Police admitted to me-- that many B&C artifacts once held in their files, had been "pilfered" from within years ago. I also noticed a most telling exchange of letters within the Joplin PD files, between 1930's Chief of Detectives Ed Portley and a man named C.A. Middleton-- who wrote to Portley in 1938. Seemingly Mr. Middleton was searching for Bonnie's poems, to verify their wording for preparation of a Master's Degree thesis. Just 5 years after the Joplin incident and certainly long ago now, Mr. Portley informed Mr. Middleton that Bonnie's poetry was no longer in their files. As with many inquires made back then, Portley referred those wanting to know about B&C possessions to Sgt. George Kahler of the Missouri Highway Patrol-- whom he said would likely have information concerning whatever was being searched for.

In response to the recent e-mail by Ana, I have again contacted a B&C family member to politely ask-- if they know of the whereabouts of any of the B&C love letters recounted in Fugitives in 1934, or of Bonnie's original poetry. Now of course Steve Haas owns Bonnie's poem "The Street Girl" which came from the Parker family. Also, I am aware of a typed onion skin copy of Bonnie's poem The Story of Bonnie and Clyde. But what's "most" interesting about this particular version, is that it has an alternate title-- only 15 stanzas instead of 16, and many of the stanzas are in a different order. Plus alternative & vintage wording can be found within this effort, which in many cases differs-- from the versions published over the years. I believe this to be a "work in progress" version of this poem-- and one which I find most intriguing.

There are many copies of Bonnie's poems available to view, but few originals. And concerning those love letters which I would "love" to see, as they would likely contain numerous B&C signatures for comparison-- I'm sorry to say that unfortunately, your guess is as good as mine. I have searched in the locations I've thought most logical to find them. Perhaps some of these B&C artifacts, which were taken from the seeming safety of police custody-- are now held by "closet collectors". Perhaps the families discarded them long ago in not thinking them important, or maybe in viewing them as unpleasant memories?? However it does seem, that these once numerous letters and poems have vanished. The love letters, which must have been in the families possession in 1934 for use in writing their joint book-- don't seem to be anymore. And it would appear, that perhaps Bonnie's poems were "scoffed up"-- whenever and wherever they were found.

My thanks to Ana from Portugal, for the great question.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

And Yet "Another" Suspect B&C Signature Offering-- Here We Go Again!!

These are important times concerning The Henry Barrow Star filling station Bonnie and Clyde Signatures, and defending these genuine and authenticated signatures-- in light of newly "purported" scripts, which are in need of exposure, documentation and denunciation. I've met a valuable new ally in this regard, who passionately fights against "suspect" autograph mills and their practices-- and reports on such openly, apparently to the frustration of those who cannot risk exposing themselves as being perhaps less than forthright. This gentleman's name is Chris-- and his You Tube expose's are indeed bold and creative. For those interested, I have posted a link to his latest You Tube expose' concerning the alleged B&C signatures pictured above>> blog right for your education and enjoyment.

One of the seemingly cool things about owning authenticated B&C signatures, is that based on this reality-- others approach me with interesting questions concerning B&C signatures with some regularity. One advantage of this circumstance, is that with many "thanks" to those who alert me-- I'm often able to learn of newly "purported" B&C signature offerings early on. Thus was the case again recently, with this "3rd" new and suspect B&C signatures proffering-- which has been presented without provenance, and without forensic backing.

I don't know about you, but of the 3 most recent B&C signature offerings-- this one seems the least convincing right from the get go. Those who know me, know I'm not shy when it comes to expressing my thoughts, and in particular my opinions concerning B&C matters. In November, I received an e-mail approach from an individual telling me of these supposed B&C signatures being presented for sale. This time, the entity offering these "dubious" scripts is called Coaches Corner. From what I can gather, Coaches Corner is a signature house with roots in Pennsylvania, who may conduct most of their business via the internet.

Anyone familiar with collecting legitimate autographs knows, that one tip off to possible issues within the realm of searching out signatures-- is to be wary of exceedingly low prices for remarkably rare signatures. Upon learning of Coaches Corner, it seems most amazing to me-- that they seem to have a knack for obtaining a plethora of really rare signatures, which they often sell at rock bottom prices. They've apparently sold particularly rare signatures such as John Wilkes Booth and Mike "King" Kelly for just a pittance of what they should, when in reality-- one might realistically expect to need their home equity line of credit check book, in order to purchase truly authenticated versions of these scripts.

The last go round, I had commented about the most cursory analysis of "authenticator" Christopher Morales. This time, I approached the "authenticator" of the Coaches Corner B&C signatures-- a man named Ted Taylor of Stat Authentic. Interestingly, Stat Authentic is also located in PA.-- and seems to have a close association with Coaches Corner. But unlike last time in not having the pleasure of dealing with Mr. Morales personally, this time-- I "was" able to interact with Ted Taylor directly via a number of e-mail exchanges. To summarize these encounters, I informed Mr. Taylor-- that based on my experience with the true signatures of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, it's my belief the "purported" B&C signatures offered by Coaches Corner are not genuine.

I first pointed out the striking similarity of this Bonnie Parker signature to the Bonnie Parker Highway Patrol fingerprint card signature, which I feel confident cannot be substantiated. Indeed this alleged Bonnie Parker signature from the Hwy Patrol card, is the only purported Bonnie signature to look like that. Those familiar with The B&C Signatures investigation, know that after considerable research and digging-- no verifiable trace of this "supposed" Bonnie Parker record could be found where it should be, in Kaufman County Texas-- where it supposedly originated in 1932. This alleged fingerprint record, was said to have come from Bonnie's only known arrest in Kemp, Texas. However an exhaustive search, conducted by U.S. Bureau of Investigation Director J. E. Hoover himself in 1933 (just 1 year after this fingerprint record was said to have been created)-- resulted in Hoover's conclusion, that Bonnie's prints may not have been taken by the Kaufman Sheriff's Dept. nor sent to the Bureau as thought.

Within my inquiry, I found this mysterious "artifact"-- to be a Missouri Highway Patrol Museum exhibit. Thus apparently it's denotation as the Bonnie Parker Highway Patrol fingerprint card. This museum also possesses a fingerprint card said to be Clyde Barrow's. It's been reported the Bonnie Parker card was requested by Joplin Chief of Detectives Ed Portley, after the Joplin incident in April of 1933. However a review of the Joplin police files on B&C, reveals no such request by Mr. Portley-- and no copy of this said record within their files. And of course B&C were never arrested in Missouri. Thus with no evidence found to support the existence of this fingerprint record either in 1933 or 2006-- I and others consider this fingerprint card most likely non-authentic.

Plus true Bonnie Parker signatures uncovered in 2006, look nothing like the Highway Patrol fingerprint card signature-- and thus the signature on the Coaches Corner Bonnie script, which looks exactly like the Bonnie fingerprint card signature. I've also commented that to me, the Coaches Corner Bonnie signature-- looks a bit as if a 5 year old tried to copy the Hwy Patrol signature. Even in being a wrong Bonnie signature-- it just doesn't seem impressive.

A Curious Thing-- Concerning the Coaches Corner Bonnie Parker signature, in his defense-- Mr. Taylor stated that Stat Authentic had only "certified" the Clyde Barrow script and not the Bonnie signature. Well that begs the question, how one signature believed genuine-- could be sitting side by side with another signature which couldn't be substantiated, and is likely non-authentic. I have asked Mr. Taylor a number of times now, to please comment on how this could possibly be-- however, he's apparently chosen to ignore this specific question at every turn. Perhaps I can help. If the Clyde Barrow signature was real and the Bonnie not, the only logical answer to this mystery, would be that one signature was added to the other at a different time. Either that, or they're both fakes. With that in mind, one would need to ask in the case of B&C-- who were virtually inseparable for nearly 2 years, how this could be?? In having given credence to the Clyde Barrow signature, I asked Mr. Taylor how he thought Coaches Corner could feel comfortable in selling a pair of signatures-- where one has been deemed similar to known examples, and the other couldn't even be considered for verification?? Unfortunately and again, no response has been forthcoming to this question.

In addition, I also felt it fair to ask Mr. Taylor for his qualifications as a Forensic Document Examiner-- to which no response was forthcoming as well. I can tell you from working with some of the best experts in this field, that legitimate and certified Forensic Document Examiners are most proud of their accreditation's-- and would likely not hesitate to defend their reputations if asked. I wonder if it could be learned as well, which Clyde Barrow signature(s) were examined-- in deeming the Coaches Corner Clyde Barrow signature genuine within this alleged grouping?? It's my belief with slight variation, that the Clyde signature copied to make the Coaches Corner script (as I don't believe the Clyde's real either)-- and exemplar used by Stat Authentic would most likely be Clyde's signature from the Winter King letter pictured above.

One other note-- Mr. Taylor stated to me that Stat Authentic couldn't locate exemplars of Bonnie Parker signatures for comparison to the Coaches Corner Bonnie Parker signature. I found that a curious comment, as both my B&C signatures and Steve Haas' Bonnie poem "The Street Girl"-- have been available to view since 2006. Indeed, just a quick Google search using the keywords Bonnie Parker signature-- would take you where you need to be. So I can't tell you how much diligence was employed, by what are supposed to be experienced "authenticators" at Stat Authentic?? Seemingly not much.

Dumb and Dumber??-- Here's a question. If you knew that 2 legitimate Clyde Barrow signatures were currently being offered for $95,000. and $35,000. respectively, and you believe you have authentic signatures of Bonnie "and" Clyde-- would you sell them for $236.?? Coaches Corner apparently did. That tells me, that either these are incredibly inept businessmen, or unfortunately-- some unsuspecting individual who trusted in these signatures, may end up being disappointed in having purchased them. I suggested to Mr. Taylor, that if he and the proprietors of this signature outlet-- believe in the apparently numerous exceedingly rare signatures they deem authentic such as the B&C, that they should consider buying these signatures themselves and approaching Sothebys, Heritage or Christies with these "treasures". My feeling is they could do much better than to give away signatures for a couple of hundred bucks-- which could sell for tens of thousands of dollars or more. Ah but you see, ultra cheap and unrealistic prices accepted for signatures-- is often one of the great red flags of autograph collecting, and a key to the phrase "buyer beware". The fact that only $236. was garnered for the Coaches Corner B&C signatures, tells me all I need to know-- to prove their "dubiousness".

Out of Bounds-- Here's another question. Should an "authenticator" openly pass judgment on the value of the signatures they review?? One thing that really irked me in dealing with Mr. Taylor of Stat Authentic, was what I believe were inappropriate comments made by him concerning B&C-- and regarding the prices asked for B&C scripts. He not only uttered negative comments concerning B&C in calling them "2 psychopathic killers"-- but also offered his opinion that prices being asked for authenticated B&C signatures were exorbitant. In response I commented, that I didn't think it should be up to an "authenticator" to determine fair market prices for genuine signatures of historical figures, or for someone who's entrusted to pass unbiased judgment on the authenticity of signatures, to provide negative comment as to his personal beliefs about any historical figure he examines.

So just how do this and other prolific signature outlets sell such valuable signatures for next to nothing?? Stupidity?? Naivety??-- or some other reason?? I don't know, I guess it's a mystery-- but perhaps not. I understand just like these alleged B&C signatures, Abraham Lincoln signatures-- have sold for similar prices at internet stores such as this. Surely most would agree, that based on President Lincoln's historical stature-- that authentic Lincoln scripts would fetch much more than a couple of hundred bucks. Ah but you see-- in reality they do.

I suppose what all this comes down to-- is that anyone can sell signatures that someone who's compensated or not, and with limited or no forensic credentials believes are real-- for whatever prices they want. But common sense should dictate there's a huge difference, between truly verifiable signatures-- and ones "believed" authentic, because they resemble either authentic or non-authentic signatures. When all of this gets to the point, where suspect signatures are being used to verify suspect signatures-- then who is anyone fooling??
Apparently just some trusting individuals who lay their money down, in thinking they've made some great deal-- for signatures with COA's which unfortunately, likely have little value. I would encourage people interested in serious autograph collecting, to be wary, wise and above all diligent-- in ferreting out nonsensical signature offers.

As Billy Preston once sang-- nothing from nothing leaves nothing!! Just as the case previously with the Morales "certified" B&C scripts-- saying that a known "exemplar" looks similar to a signature believed to be a fake-- means nothing. And just as in that case, this time as well with the Coaches Corner offering-- no provenance was offered and no accredited forensic examiner provided any real evidence, for backing what must be called "suspect" signatures.

I am impressed that in these callous times, there are those who would challenge what is believed to be questionable behavior concerning questionable historical signature offerings. I commend Chris and others like him, for their caring, guts and diligence. I am proud to add my voice to this important cause. Concerning this latest B&C signatures offering, what can I say-- except that more fakes have apparently landed. If any of these signature outlets offering "purported" B&C signatures would allow comprehensive and true forensic analysis of my choosing, and at their expense since they believe in these signatures so much-- then perhaps I could congratulate them for helping to bring more B&C signatures to light. But I don't believe that to be the case. And I don't see any e-mails or hear my phone ringing-- to take me up on my challenge.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The November B&C Poll Answers, Round 2-- Like Autumn Leaves, a Variety of Questions

As December sets in for the holiday run-- here are November's 2nd set of B&C Poll answers. In a May 9th, 1934 Treasury Department Bureau of Industrial Alcohol document found within the Dallas FBI files-- based on info obtained concerning Jim Muckelroy's farm-- it was said B&C were believed to be visiting their folks 2 or 3 times a month. While staying at the LaFayette Hotel in New Orleans, Raymond Hamilton was thought to have used the alias F. A. Murphy during his time there. According to Blanche Barrow, immediately after Joplin--The Barrow Gang headed to Dallas, so that Clyde and Buck could visit their folks. It was the search for Bonnie Parker's fingerprints, which finally yielded the correct info that she was not Mrs. Bonnie Harding-- but in fact Mrs. Bonnie Thornton.

Interestingly it was Dallas P.D. fingerprint expert Doug Walsh who seemingly secured both the info that the mysterious man shown with Clyde in photos obtained at Joplin was Hubert Bleigh-- but then later, was more correct in identifying the man believed to be Bleigh as in fact being W.D. Jones. Both pieces of information were provided by convict informants. It was about 2 months after the failed Sowers ambush attempt, that Ed Castor walked into the Dallas U.S. Bureau of Investigation offices to offer the Dallas Sheriff's Department help in the hunt for B&C. As Sheriff Schmid always seemed reluctant to give up hope, that the Dallas Sheriff's Dept would bring down B&C themselves, to my way of thinking-- this 2 month delay after Sowers, was in character for the "politician" styled Sheriff. It's my understanding that in reality, concerning true law and order matters, that Bill Decker was closer to being the actual Sheriff than Schmid.

It was Frank Hardy that W.D. Jone's interviews help exonerate, for the Christmas Day 1932 killing of Doyle Johnson in Temple, Texas. And finally-- Robert Thomas of Indianapolis, was the alias Clyde gave, after being captured in Middletown, Ohio on March 18th, 1930. I also would have accepted Claude Barrett as an alias, as on July 19th of '33 license #2-1314 was issued in Topeka, Kansas-- to such a person, who was thought fictitious and believed to by Barrow. This interesting play on Clyde's name certainly makes it possible it was Clyde, however I'm not thoroughly convinced this connection can be made-- based on just the name similarity and info that this license was issued for a 1932 Ford Deluxe V8. It sounds feasible, but was that Clyde?? What do you think??
My thanks as always for your participation in the B&C Polls. Please look for more polls to be posted soon.

Friday, November 27, 2009

"Hey"-- Those Signatures Sure Look Familiar!!

You know, with such good samples of authentic Bonnie and Clyde signatures now available to view-- I guess I'm surprised it took so long, for what are likely new bogus signatures of the iconic Depression Age outlaws to surface. Unfortunately these days, so many autograph mills, seemingly have no shame and hesitation in offering suspect signatures-- often with the backing of suspect "authenticators". Apparently this is so often the game played today, in the autograph biz. "Hey, we don't really know if signatures are real-- but we'll sell 'em anyway, since we can pay someone who'll say they think they could be real."

Well with that mentality, I suppose almost anything goes-- which unfortunately appears to be the case now. "Certificates of authenticity" seem as common now, as the bathroom tissue which lines the shelves in the back room of some autograph concerns-- and unfortunately is often worth just about as much. In fighting this scourge of non-professionalism, and what many might feel is a not so veiled attempt at thievery-- the old adage holds true-- "buyer beware". Now there "are" many reputable dealers, where you can purchase verified historical signatures. But as mentioned last time, even entities such as Christies seem now to be more about the money, in "hedging"-- when it comes to diligence in assuring that authenticity rules-- within signatures transactions. I was going to provide an outline of B&C signature analysis, as well as a detailed history concerning this latest case for this post-- however as it's turned out, I don't feel I need to.

Long story shorter, I was recently made aware of the existence of purported dual signatures of B&C (the signatures on purple paper shown above)-- which others have commented and I agree, look remarkably like the dual signatures of Bonnie and Clyde I possess. These scripts are located in Las Vegas-- and have been offered for sale by a memorabilia outlet called The Art of Music. Upon obtaining an image of these dubious scripts, I spent much time and energy detailing to The Art of Music's management-- why the signatures they are selling, logically are not authentic.

Of course I was pleased, when TAOM seemingly acted with caring and diligence-- in pulling the signatures from sale and view, based on my concerns and pending analysis which I suggested be performed. They initially agreed that scrutiny was needed, but based on the scrutiny conducted-- apparently agreed only to a point. This shortfall became evident, when their good will gesture, quickly turned from caring to insult-- when they rolled out "authenticator" Christopher Morales, who's reputation seems anything but clear. Instead of providing any sort of comprehensive forensic analysis for The Art of Music's B&C signatures, Morales issued a cursory at best, one page certificate. Without providing a "shred" of detail concerning a true forensic analysis, regarding these alleged B&C signatures-- Christopher Morales simply stated that "The individual characteristics and writing habits are consistent with the known writings of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker".

A fox in the chicken coop??-- My response to this supposed authenticators jumble of noncommittal and less than meaningful words-- was that by definition, any forger would be happy to have the backing of Mr. Morale's comments. A careful read of this one line certification (which lacks the benefit of "any" forensic documentation)-- reveals it would indeed support any good forgery-- as well as authentic signatures. Let's see if I can make up a "convincing" statement of my own?? The signature's examined, possess an uncanny similarity to known B&C exemplars-- found within various sources thought reliable. I like my "certification" better-- but neither statement really says anything concrete from a forensic perspective.

More than a slight issue-- Upon examination, there's quite a bit of written criticism available of Mr. Morales and his techniques or lack of them. Indeed from reading quoted statements concerning Morales, his reputation as a document examiner seems questionable at best. Principals at a number of auction and memorabilia houses have expressed opinions in this regard, such as Rob Lifson of Robert Edward Auctions who stated "we will never use Morales". In commenting on Christopher Morales, Mike Hefner of Leland's is quoted as saying "I can't tell you that I've ever seen anything he's authenticated that is actually real". Not exactly glowing words of praise.

Morales was also apparently caught in an HBO "Real Sports" investigation sting, when HBO sent several forged pieces to Mr. Morales-- who authenticated all the forgeries provided him. Concerning his part in HBO's investigation into a number of "authenticators"-- Morales has said he felt he was "set up". My response to that would be, what difference does it make where forgeries come from-- a trained forensic examiner should be able to identify them. Most recently Morales has been involved in a Beatles memorabilia controversy, involving his certification of an alleged Beatles signed guitar-- which some Beatle experts are disputing.

Within his credentials, Morales lists among his experience-- being a Faculty Adviser and Adjunct Faculty Member, of the Forensic Science Department of George Washington University. However according to an article published by
concerning self styled authenticators, they quote M. Schanfield, Phd Professor and Chair, Department of Forensic Science (GWU) as somehow needing to clarify Morales' affiliations with the University.

Upon learning of Mr. Morales, one quote of his really caught my eye. He has apparently said that as long as he has an exemplar, he can determine the authenticity of any signature-- "handwriting is handwriting". I find that to be as cursory as statement, as his forensic analysis seems to be. From working with Forensic Document Examiner Emily Will, I can tell you-- there are often good reasons not to be so cut and dry when examining signatures. A person's signature can change over time. Also human factors such as age, alcohol or drug use, sickness and stress can often come into play within a person's signature. As far as having an exemplar to work with, I guess-- as long as the exemplar chosen isn't fake itself. More on this later.

My take concerning Mr. Morales from what I've seen reported on him, is to state that if these revelations are so, then as Ricky Ricardo once said-- it seems this "authenticator" may have some 'esplainin' to do. As far as I'm concerned, with all the negative comment and controversy apparently swirling about concerning Mr. Morale's reputation as a document examiner, for me the conversation is over-- The Art of Music can stand down, and their "authenticator" can have a seat.

As I've been witness to some of the best forensic professionals and their techniques, in discerning the authenticity of my signatures-- I've come to expect an exceptionally high level of forensic professionalism and skill, in dealing with B&C signature matters. I suppose some of the seemingly self styled authenticators I've run into lately-- can only "wish" to dream of having such skills. As this is the 2nd in a series of expose's, concerning a flurry of alleged and unverifiable Bonnie and Clyde signatures-- which seem to be popping up within trendy memorabilia stores and internet signature sites, let me state my opinion concerning the Art of Music's B&C signatures.

Above you will find 4 examples of B&C signatures. The top 2 are considered authentic. The "Your son" salutation and signature, is from Clyde's Nov 18th, 1931 letter to Cumie Barrow-- written from The Eastham Prison Farm. The dual signatures below that Clyde signature, are the dual signatures of Bonnie and Clyde-- which I've owned since 2006. As many are familiar with the quality of forensic signature analysis and material science testing performed on The B&C Signatures-- I don't feel I need to re-state that wealth of analysis here. For those unfamiliar with the testing performed on my signatures, please review the signatures link>> blog right. Needless to say, the real dual signatures of B&C, have "legitimately" been tested 9 ways to Sunday, with impressive results.

The other scripts shown above, are not thought to be genuine. The yours truly example, hails from the purported Clyde letter to Henry Ford, which at this point-- most seem to believe is not authentic. Please note the striking similarity of the purple signatures-- (as I find myself calling them now) to both my signatures and the purported Clyde signature from the Henry Ford letter. After 4 years of intensive research into the signatures of Bonnie and Clyde, I'm so used to looking at B&C signatures, I can usually pick out which genuine or fake B&C signatures were used to create ones thought bogus.

To me, the purple signatures, appear to be a cross between both real and fake B&C scripts. The positioning of these signatures seems to mimic my signatures. Also Bonnie's signature seems a close recreation of the Bonnie Parker script within my authentic dual B&C signatures. However Clyde's signature appears to employ 2 distinctly different elements-- a very close recreation of the Henry Ford letter signature (minus Clyde's pseudo middle name)-- combined with the unique and completely distinctive "Dallas, Texas" tag which appears within only "one" verified B&C artifact. In fact, the inclusion of this Dallas, Texas addendum-- likely reveals these alleged signature's falsity. As noted within The B&C Signatures investigation, the "only" true example believed to exist of this most unusual Clyde Barrow trait-- appears within my B&C Star Filling Station signatures. As L.J. "Boots" Hinton has provided an affidavit, detailing the source of knowledge concerning this "incredibly" rare personal Clyde Barrow trait (Ted Hinton who knew Clyde)-- it's my belief to copy this trait in a virtually identical way within TAOM signatures-- is a dead giveaway, to these signatures almost surely being recreations.

Indeed, the Dallas, Texas tag beneath Clyde's name, is a "key" element-- and one which those who wish to profit, from offering non-authentic signatures need to wary of. Prior to 2006, it's apparent that only "one" living individual (L.J. "Boots" Hinton)-- likely knew of this "uniquely" rare Clyde Barrow trait, which until now appears only within the authentic B&C signatures. Little did those know, who purport the Las Vegas B&C signatures to be authentic-- that they were walking head long into the teeth of a buzz saw, concerning that element within their signatures. Also note, that the lines of both "purple" signatures appear to be of similar manner and writing pressure-- as if written by one individual. This was not true of my dual B&C signatures, where a discernible depth differential in writing pressure was noted between Bonnie and Clyde's signatures. Indeed in real life, and knowing the slight physical stature of Bonnie Parker when compared to Clyde Barrow-- this would make perfect sense.

When I first saw the image of these alleged B&C scripts, I thought it apparent, that someone had attempted to copy The Bonnie and Clyde Signatures-- but with the twist of blending copies of both authentic "and" non-authentic known B&C signatures. It should be obvious, that it's important to know which B&C signatures are considered real-- before stating any are consistent with known examples. Shouldn't it be the goal to compare only "authentic" signatures to a purported signature?? Within a "very" loose sense, I suppose some could say that any B&C scripts mimic any known exemplars, whether real or forgeries. But that doesn't prove anything. Without detailing "which" known and authentic signatures are being compared to an alleged one, and exactly how-- in my view you cannot portray any judgment short of that as having merit. Then I would say inks, writing instruments and paper analysis needs to be conducted-- as part of material science testing-- to eliminate forgery. To me, creative semantics does not an authentication make.

During my many years in studying the signatures of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, I've come to terms with a few indisputable facts. One of those facts is-- that real Clyde and Bonnie signatures are as rare as all get out. In the 75 years since their deaths, I believe just 9 Clyde Barrow signatures have come to light which are believed authentic-- and just "3" complete Bonnie Parker signatures are thought to be genuine. Indeed an authentic Bonnie Parker signature, may be one of the rarest scripts "ever" sought-- perhaps as rare as William Shakespere's script, which is generally considered the rarest signature on earth. As far as B&C's signatures together are concerned, to my way of thinking-- there's one additional dual set I've seen only an image of, which "could" have a shot at being real. These scripts appear on what seems to be, an old drug store lid of some sort, which was imaged a few years back. If only this example could be located, it could be tested for authenticity. But without this example being found, we can only go with what we know for now-- concerning authenticated signatures.

Some additional facts concerning the Art of Music's purple or rose colored Bonnie and Clyde scripts, which should be known are-- that "no" provenance has been offered concerning any reported source of these signatures. I have asked politely numerous times for this provenance-- but without a response. At first I was told, if I were to purchase the signatures-- I'll learn the provenance. I believe that statement to be unethical. There's no way any responsible and discriminating signature collector, would pay nearly $7500. for signatures they didn't know the provenance of in advance. My belief is as no provenance has been offered, that no provenance is known-- concerning the alleged B&C scripts written on purple paper.

Speaking of money, the asking price of these signatures $7350.-- flies in the face of reality concerning both previously offered and currently available authentic B&C scripts. There are 2 verifiable Clyde Barrow signatures available now for purchase-- Clyde's letter to D.A. Winter King, which is being offered for $95,000. and Clyde's November 18th, 1931 letter to Cumie Barrow which is available for $35,000. Those are of course singular Clyde signatures without Bonnie's signature. For those interested, no matter where my dual B&C signatures travel to be viewed-- they are required to be insured for well more than double, the Winter King letter asking price. Links to these available Clyde Barrow signatures can be found here--

The Art of Deception?? I would hope not. I trust The Art of Music is a reputable firm, who may have just been fooled by one. But I have pointed out to The Art of Music, my feelings as to why I believe they are offering in this case-- signatures which may not be authentic. Unfortunately in response, the best they've been able to do in attempting to justify their position-- is to employ the services of an "authenticator" who's documented and controversial circumstances, seem to create more issues than they solve. I must have made some impression on this memorabilia concern, but perhaps not enough of one. As I own a registered copyright concerning my dual B&C signatures, I am now looking into further options-- in order to protect the integrity of a legitimate pair of B&C signatures.

There's yet another in this series of B&C signature expose's yet to come, so look for that soon. My thanks to those who have expressed their opinions, on these posts concerning questioned B&C signatures. I find it heartening, that so many seem interested in this aspect of B&C History.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Blanche Barrow Items to be Offered--

For those of you who missed the Heritage Gallery's Blanche Barrow Auctions, held in Dallas in 2006-- I have exciting news. Through special arrangement with the Estate of Blanche Caldwell Frasure, it is indeed my pleasure to announce that additional items from Blanche's Estate-- will soon be offered for sale. These offerings will be made via just 2 outlets. A select group of personal items, will be offered exclusively here through The Bonnie and Clyde History Blog-- and it's planned that a wide range of other wonderful items, will be offered through e-bay. This special group of auctions, will be known as The Blanche Barrow Auctions.

Provenance of these items can be assured, as they are coming directly from Blanche's Estate. As I'm sure many would be honored to own something from Blanche, all are welcome to ask questions of me concerning these upcoming auctions. The opportunity to own anything from a Barrow Gang member, has been exceedingly rare. So look for more information as it becomes available, concerning this exciting chance-- to own personal items from such an historic figure as Blanche Barrow.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Re-Emergence of a Bonnie Artifact-- Or Not??

This is the first in a series of expose's-- meant to document recent B&C related signature accounts. As I am one who craves historically based finds, I am always primed with anticipation-- when a suspected new find is revealed. However, in the case of this alleged artifact??-- and also concerning a rash of mysterious cut B&C signatures which have appeared lately-- I don't feel there's much basis to believe in their purported authenticity. My recounting of each of these stories along with the evidence presented, will reveal why I consider these new offerings-- to be less than genuine.

In September of this year, I was contacted by a collector from Canada, who had purchased the photograph shown-- from Christies auction house in New York for $7375. The following was the Christies auction listing--

Lot Description
Bonnie Parker

Exceptionally rare, signed photograph of Bonnie Parker of the famous gangster duo, "Bonnie & Clyde," signed and inscribed in black fountain pen To Esther, Bonnie Parker.It is believed this special inscription was made to Esther L. Weiser of Texas whom was the best friend of Blanche Barrow, the sister-in-law of Clyde Barrow (who was married to Clyde's brother Buck). It was Esther, who after Blanche's death, found her memoirs detailing the time that she and her husband Buck spent with Bonnie and Clyde before they themselves were arrested. A connection can be drawn from these details suggesting that Blanche may have asked Bonnie to sign this photograph to her friend Esther during their time together. The original wire photograph with a press credit stamped on the verso pictures Parker posed with a pistol held to her hip and one leg lifted onto the front fender of the "getaway" car used during their 1930's notorious crime spree. Bonnie and Clyde were both killed by police officers on May 23, 1934. 6½x8½in.

Upon viewing this photograph, my mind raced back in time to my B&C Signatures Investigation. Of the few purported Bonnie Parker signatures known in 2006-- the one script "not" available to view, was said to have been inscribed on an 1930's photo sold at auction years ago. During my inquiry, I had been unable to locate any image of this olden photograph, even with the aid of a major auction house privy to auction databases. So whether or not this newly auctioned photo and signature are authentic, I'm excited none the less-- after many years of studying the signatures of Bonnie and Clyde, to see this image. I believe this could well be, the mysterious Bonnie Parker photo with signature known from years ago-- which has now re-surfaced.

However with that said, I immediate noted a problem with this photo's provenance. As I know Esther Lorraine Weiser, I knew she couldn't have been the Esther depicted on this photo-- and mentioned so prominently in forming the family link to Blanche, within the photo's provenance. Why you say?? Because although it's true that Lorraine as she prefers to be known, was indeed Blanche's close friend and did find and preserve Blanche's memoir-- she was only 7 at the time of Bonnie and Clyde's deaths, and didn't meet Blanche Barrow until 1953. So the very first thing I could do in assisting both the nice lady from Canada (who trusted in this photo's provenance) and Lorraine-- was to contact Lorraine on behalf of this woman, to make her aware of this situation. In response, Lorraine provided an clarification via e-mail for Christies, which I forwarded to them-- stating that in reality, she couldn't have been the Esther this photo was allegedly signed to.

But then a funny thing happened on the road to disclosure. The lady from Canada sent me what appeared to be a "2nd" auction listing she found, for the very same "one" of a kind Bonnie Parker photo-- with a virtually identical description and provenance being offered by an internet auction house. Only this time the asking price was $15,000. How could that be?? That's what I said!! I contacted this auction concern called Got to Have It, to inquire of it's owner as to how they could have the same photo for sale-- which was purchased from Christies, and in the possession of the woman from Canada. As of course logically, there cannot be 2 of the very same item-- unless one or both were non-authentic, it didn't surprise me when this other entitie's owner-- didn't respond to 2 requests for information and clarification.

Now having gone through the extensive processes I have, in authenticating the dual Bonnie and Clyde signatures I possess-- and in having worked with some of the finest forensic experts in their fields-- I know a thing or two about authentic Bonnie and Clyde signatures. I could not state the signature which adorns this newly surfaced photo is genuine. However, there are a number of concerns I've noted-- which I feel call into question the authenticity of this piece. First, it appears to the naked eye, that 2 different inks may have used to write the salutation and Bonnie signature on this photo. Also the wire service stamp on the verso of this pic, shows it to have been printed in New York. One would need to reconcile, how a photo made in NY, could have been signed by Bonnie within the southwestern U.S. during the narrow window of time-- which comprised B&C's reign of terror?? These aspects along with this photo's now unknown provenance (since the stated provenance is wrong)-- to me makes this signature's authenticity, a more remote possibility.

However, as I know full well what it's like to be on the buying end of a controversial signature purchase, I encouraged this buyer to do as I did-- and have this photo analyzed by accredited experts. Who knows, even though this Bonnie signature seems to vary substantially from now known and authenticated examples-- with it not having been forensically scrutinized-- there's still the outside chance to back the integrity of this signature. The question becomes, even though the photo's provenance is wrong-- and the image's creation seems to lessen the likelihood of authenticity, might this signature still be genuine?? I hope very much this photo's owner will find out.

A discernible disappointment for me in this case, was Christies response to their being made aware of having sold an historical photo and purported "rare" signature for nearly $7500.-- in which the provenance was proven wrong. This 243 year old and respected auction house's response, was they noted it was "believed"-- the photo was signed to Esther Weiser. Well I would ask who believed that??-- and made Esther and Blanche key to the provenance, which certainly aided in enhancing the possible authenticity of this signature. Also Christies didn't believe, this lot was a questionable historical piece, and said they sold it as a photograph of Bonnie Parker. With all respect, that's not what Christies' lot description seems to say. I pointed out to them, that a 1930's wire service photo of Bonnie, similar to one say of Amelia Earhart, might sell for perhaps $500. Let's be real-- the only reason this photo of Bonnie sold for what it did-- was due to it's signature.

There's more interesting B&C signature controversy to come-- so stay tuned.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cast For The Story of Bonnie and Clyde-- Rounding Into Shape

I've heard again from Tonya Holly, who says they are working around Hilary Duff's and Kevin Zeger's schedules-- and are slated to begin filming in January. Tonya directed me to a website, which lists the updated cast for the movie. So for all who've expressed support for this exciting upcoming production, here is the cast as it exists now--

Hilary Duff--Bonnie Parker.. Kevin Zegers--Clyde Barrow.. Thora Birch--Blanche Barrow (rumored).. Drew Fuller--Buck Barrow.. Brendan Fletcher--W.D. Jones.. Linc Hand--Raymond Hamilton.. Matt Dallas--Henry Methvin.. Cloris Leachman--Cumie Barrow.. Rance Howard--Henry Barrow.. Dee Wallace--Emma Parker.. Kate Maberly--Billie Parker.. Michael Madsen--Frank Hamer.. Cody Kasch--Joe Palmer.. Lee Majors--Lee Simmons.. Taryn Manning--Mary O'Dare.. Jack McGee--Mr. Methvin.. Natalie Canerday--Mrs. Methvin.. Peter Coyote--"Smoot" Schmid.. Tom Humbarger--L.C. Barrow.. Shawn Ashmore--Ralph Fults.. Richard Tyson--Bob Alcorn.. Donnie Fritts--"Maney" Gault.. Tess Harper--Governor Ma Ferguson.. Lily Matland Holly--Marie Barrow.. Muse Watson--Mr. Pritchard.. Dale Dickey--Mrs. Pritchard.. Dan Beene--Mr. Bucher.. David "Shark" Fralcik--Big Ed Crowder.. Richie Montgomery--unknown role.. Danny Vinson--Bud Russell.. Lindsay Pulsipher--Cousin Mary.. Bob Penny--Doctor.. and Emily Fitzpatrick--Waitress.

My thanks as always to Tonya Holly, for her gracious willingness-- to keep the loyal viewers of The B&CHB, informed on the latest to do with Cypress Moon's production of The Story of Bonnie and Clyde.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Latest B&C Polls Revealed

In a much needed return to history-- here are the answers to the latest batch of B&C Polls. $18. was the correct amount for 60 hours work on Clyde's Proctor and Gamble pay receipt (30 cents per hour). Within one of Clyde's newspaper war letters to Ray Hamilton-- Clyde notes he doesn't trust Mary O'Dare and Hamilton based on Hamilton's persistence in wanting O'Dare to go into town alone, when all were together. According to accounts noted concerning the Joplin Shootout, one of the last events at Joplin-- was Trooper Grammer leaving Harold Hill's house, after calling for backup. It's said as Grammer exited the house, The Barrow Gang was driving away. Concerning Dexfield Park, 72 bullet holes were reportedly found in Ed Stoner's 1933 Ford Sedan, after the Dexfield Park shooting stopped.

Also regarding Dexter, this next one was a touch tricky, in that including the 2 revolvers present-- it's said there were 36 pistols found in the Barrow car after the shootout. The Wellington question, had to do with the distance the Barrow Gang car traveled-- when it left the road and crashed. Although this distance is now less, in 1933-- the distance to the Red River bed at Wellington was believed to be at least a 30 foot drop. As the Red Crown Tavern burned in 1967-- it was 34 years until the end of the road, for that B&C landmark. And finally in hopefully a most interesting question-- concerning the February 1st, 1934 bank robbery at Knierim, Iowa-- The Fort Dodge Messenger and Chronicle noted "It has been learned since the bank robbery that three men and a woman were in the bandit's car when it raced out of Knierim after the robbery. The woman, it is believed, is "Suicide Sal" Parker, the cigar smoking gun-woman, who is Clyde Barrow's companion."

My thanks to Winston Ramsey for the Dexter gun layout pic. I hope all enjoyed this latest edition of the B&C Polls. Please look for another challenging group of B&C questions, to close out November right. Thanks as always, for your participation in the polls.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Respect-- Versus The Right To Know

As many are aware, I have wanted for some time to do a respectful article on Buster Parker. The reason is simple-- there have been repeated calls over the years, for information regarding Bonnie's brother from those interested in Bonnie and Clyde History. But even with this heightened interest, little is known of Hubert Nicholas Parker. In May of this year, I gave a talk at Gibsland-- where I highlighted numerous accounts from the now public Dallas FBI files on Bonnie and Clyde. One of these accounts involved Buster, and his U.S. Bureau of Investigation interview concerning the outlaws.

I especially wanted to speak of this newly released account, for the benefit of Buster's daughter-- who was present in the audience that night. I wanted to recount Buster's reported offer to put Clyde on the spot to save Bonnie. Now many might feel this gesture on Buster's part completely logical-- however the facts concerning the Parker's Bureau interview and Buster revelation, hadn't been revealed prior to release of FBI File 26-4114. I thought the re-telling of this account, was important for the historians gathered-- and also felt it might provide a source of pride for the Parker family. All went well that night, and from my viewpoint continued as such-- until months later, when I asked to learn more of Buster. I wanted to learn more if I could, about the character of the man-- so that in recounting my Gibsland info here, I could help provide additional insights into a B&C historical figure-- who has been shadowed in obscurity for so long.

Even though my focus was a respectful biographical approach, and even though I asked politely-- difficulty arose with the family apparently feeling I was being intrusive in wanting to learn more of Buster. Even as such, a
poignant overview containing many sensitive details concerning this gentleman-- was provided to me by a family member.

Within the telling of any history, sometimes there are places you just can't venture-- out of respect for others. And when historically based confidences are shared, just as in most cases in life-- confidences should be upheld. As many know, I've spent much time over the past year or so-- fighting the "good fight" for Bonnie Parker's reputation, against a couple of authors (both past and present)-- who in my view have made it a point not to be respectful, and to malign Bonnie without cause, justification or valid evidence. In response, some have further knocked Bonnie-- in asking why I would protect the reputation of a killer?? and someone who had such little reputation to begin with. I have felt those to be crass comments, made by some unaware of the true history of these outlaws. Then of course, we transgress into the argument of how Bonnie should be treated, based on the realities of her actions.

Conversely, there are those who are glad I've taken up this fight for Bonnie-- against some less than diligent tellers of fiction. These feelings have revolved around the point, that no matter Bonnie's faults and involvement in this history-- Bonnie didn't deserve to be slandered. And so the debate rages. It seems sometimes you just can't win-- and you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't. But let me say loud and clear, that I have no regrets in supporting Bonnie-- when it's been the right and honorable thing to do. And for the record, the Parker family has thanked me for my help in this regard. For that overture on their part-- I wish to say how much I appreciate those kind thoughts.

With many often protecting closely held information regarding a number of B&C subjects-- you might think that invariably a philosophical tug of war could evolve, between the element of respect and people's historical right to know. My feeling concerning this is simple. Where "historical" matters are concerned, "at some point" before the truth is lost-- the truth should be revealed. Now considering trusts that could be involved, that may take some time. But eventually, I would prefer to see the truth come out. I'm not sure people with an insider's view of the truth, should have the right to leave history wrong. However pertaining to purely "personal" info concerning historical figures and their families, just as with your family or mine-- that knowledge should be a family's business-- and should be respected. With the way things are today concerning "reality everything"-- I'm sure many feel my views archaic, but those are my old school values none the less.

Some have apparently expressed concerns that I would even write a Buster Parker post. But as I plan on doing little differently from last May's Buster expression in Gibsland-- I wouldn't worry. As you'll see, the post which will appear soon-- is not at all about slinging dirt. That worry has surprised me, as much of my entire being-- has been dedicated to fighting against those who have slung B&C dirt. Indeed many expressions from me, concerning combating scurrilous rumor and innuendo-- can be found here and elsewhere. My strong and consistent actions concerning this subject, and over a considerable time are a matter of record-- and haven't wavered. I may have been told a goodly amount concerning some issues surrounding this post-- but that was neither my goal nor my choice in being told. And rest assured-- that certainly doesn't mean I would reveal matters, which in my humble view shouldn't be revealed.

Rather what will follow shortly-- is the story of a brother, who apparently loved his sister very much. Enough to risk a killer's wrath, and stand up for his family's honor-- against what he felt was wrong. The upcoming post concerning Buster, was always meant to be one in a series of articles published here-- concerning the B&C informants, which I discussed at Gibsland. As such I've posted to the blog, articles concerning Bailey Tynes, Hattie Crawford, Informant B, The Sowers Informant and soon Buster Parker. I have also posted here, remarkable unknown insights into Bailey Tynes and his involvement in B&C History-- which Tynes family members gave me permission to reveal. My thanks again to the Tynes family for being so open, in contributing such important knowledge to this history. Concerning Buster Parker, I will be able to relay some basics, but it's the family's wish that more not be known.

Even 75 years later, there seems to be a staunch sensitivity concerning the telling of B&C History. In my view, sometimes this sensitivity is warranted and sometimes it's not. I always encourage those who have valuable information which could change this history to be more correct, to please let it be known-- without advancing prolonged reasoning as to why this cannot happen. I am sensitive to the fact that confidences and family concerns "are" indeed important. Also there may be personal concerns, which can inhibit revelations with the greatest intention of finding daylight. After all, we're all human. But when you stop and think about it, time can be the great enemy of truth. So when the time is right, I call on all who can provide reliable untold accounts of B&C History-- to make their knowledge known.

The Buster Parker post, concerning his early 1934 Bureau of Investigation interview will be up soon. This post will include brief insights into the man, learned from various sources including public access programming-- but will also remain respectful to the wishes of the family-- and stay true, to my standards of right and wrong. I feel I should have no qualms in presenting important aspects of B&C History-- especially ones already accessible to the public. Some might wish their relationship to history, as dictated by events which occurred so long ago-- to be different. In a way for some, I wish that could be true as well. But history is what it is, as determined by others who lived before us. And for those of us who tell of history-- doesn't that same reality, hold true as well??

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Sowers Informant-- The Charlie Stovall Theory Faces New Realities

It's Sunday morning-- I've got my tea, and here we go. I had a spirited discussion last evening, with someone I respect immensely within the telling of this history. It seems the case that lately, I must be terribly controversial with my statements concerning B&C History. Either that, or perhaps it just might be-- that some beliefs once thought sacred, are now harder to reconcile in the face of new evidence.

Invariably-- almost any discussion concerning the Sowers ambush will turn to the informant, rumored since November 1933 to have been a reality. Last night's discussion was no different, with the conversation focused on Charlie Stovall-- as perhaps being the man who without knowledge of their identities-- put B&C on the spot. Some have maintained that Mr. Stovall in seeing suspicious characters near his land, alerted Ed Castor-- who met with "Smoot" Schmid and the boys-- which led to the Sowers ambush. The Charlie Stovall theory advances the notion that good police work, which included the break of Charlie alerting the authorities-- resulted in the Sowers waylay. The Dallas FBI Files paint a much more involved picture of Sowers events. I would politely suggest it likely, that the good police work in question-- included the use of a well placed informant, from within or close to the families.

A number of documents from that FBI file, which remained confidential for 75 years-- support the ambush being a well planned trap which took some time to develop, "and" which benefited from insider information. It's noted Dallas Deputy Sheriff Bob Alcorn, had an informant close to either the Parker or Barrow families-- who supplied information concerning B&C clandestine family meetings. To test the strength of their informant's information, Sheriff Schmid and Deputy Alcorn, spied on 2 family get togethers with B&C in advance of Sowers preparations being made. Convinced their informant's knowledge was good, apparently the ambush was on, for the next B&C family get together.

Based on the Bureau's informant (Red Webster) who knew "Smoot"-- the U.S. Bureau of Investigation had spied on Schmid and Alcorn spying on B&C. It's spelled out within a file document, that the Bureau chose not to act against B&C at either initial clandestine meeting-- out of respect for Schmid's upcoming ambush attempt. So with all respect, I don't know at this point how it can be thought that Charlie Stovall was the key Sowers protagonist. Despite Mr. Stovall's daughter doubting her father's participation-- he my well have contacted Ed Castor, which further aided the ambush. However, in my view, Mr. Stovall could not have known in advance the details of the 2nd Sowers meeting held the night after Cumie's birthday celebration. Nor could W. D. Jones-- who was in jail and likely unable to be helpful, regarding this particular family rendezvous.

Now Marie apparently made it clear, that Sowers was the only time B&C had met with their families in the same location twice. But I've also heard it said that in recent years, that assertion was rebuffed-- in stating the location of the 2nd night's meeting, may in fact have been different from the first. Either way, Mr. Stovall's comments could have proven useful. However for my money, there's just too much specific information within the FBI files to be ignored-- concerning the Sowers informant. The informant admittedly was said to be close to the Parker or Barrow families, and without much doubt-- information provided, led a Sheriff's posse "precisely" to where B&C arrived the night of November 22nd, 1933.

Ah but now we get to the good part-- the credibility of the FBI Files. It seems "when needed"-- the credibility of the Dallas FBI files is placed in doubt to support arguments made. These arguments are almost always long held beliefs, that the FBI Files might shatter-- in revealing their long held secret information. I find it "preposterous" to believe that those files which were meant only for internal use, and designed to aid in the successful capture of B&C by documenting events which occurred, were falsified. If the Bureau released misinformation "to the public"-- in an attempt to either snooker criminals, or aggrandize their successes in the face of failures-- I could see that being true. That form of propaganda should then be discounted, as likely holding little validity. But secret internal files, meant for their own use-- being made less useful by lacing them with falsehoods. I just don't think so. That makes no sense to me what so ever.

I say with the greatest respect, that those with well entrenched beliefs need to be willing to accept change, when new and credible evidence dictates that change is warranted. And for those who harbor secret information regarding Sowers or other B&C historical accounts, which could change this history to be more correct-- I would hope at some point, they will consider advancing such knowledge. I understand family elements can come into play. I also understand, there are confidences involved which are hugely important. Believe me when I say, that I too know considerably more than I can tell concerning some B&C subjects-- so that holds true for me as well. However in the future, there will likely be times when the release of information withheld, "can" be made-- and when those times are right, I encourage all with important B&C information-- to please make it known for this history.

As always, I would welcome you comments.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Time For Vigilance

Who ever said participating in B&C History was easy?? It "should" be easy to discuss history without some sort of hate and venom being advanced-- "and" without the distractions necessitated by these issues. But unfortunately, within the B&C community-- that's not always the case. Those who know of my passion for this history, know of my aversion to those who make hate filled rants an art form-- in turning apparent inabilities to cope, into creative and cruel attacks on others. This attempt at poisoning the B&C historical waters through the use of lies, manipulation and deceit-- can be a vicious and pathetic display of needless rhetoric.

In the past, I have voiced my condemnation of those who would attempt vile character assassinations-- and called for those who proliferate such activities, to be sanctioned. Despite such calls for reason, I have been witness to a number of good people being targeted in heinous and self serving attacks. Sometimes those in question, will go to great lengths in expending deplorable behavior to hurt others.

Recently, I've found myself the focus of such an attack. I believe I was targeted, because I rejected a former friend, in taking issue with his unsavory actions toward others. But it's hard to tell, as sometimes in this person's mind it seems there can be issues present-- which in reality, aren't reality. Whatever reasons were chosen, the recent attacks on myself and The B&CHB have been particularly hurtful-- in that they "were" advanced by someone I once called a friend. But lost friendships are no excuse for vitriol. It became apparent early on, that the target of these salvos was my reputation-- just as the reputations of others have been targeted by this individual, so viciously in the past. As I take both this history and my reputation seriously, I was in no mood to compromise either-- in resolving this issue in any other way, than to put down this hatred.

Those who lie so easily to promote themselves and hurt others, are the worst kind of offenders-- in that they use misinformation to sway people's opinions away from the truth, and into a narrow game of deceit. Based on this person's considerable talent in expounding hate, I might suggest he seek out a job within a vengeful and heated political campaign, where unfortunately-- character assassination is an accepted form of warfare. But within this historical context, there is "NO" room for this sort of despicable behavior.

Message boards can be places where harmful expression is allowed to fester-- as those mediums for discussion create the perfect harbor, for those who lie in wait to dispense hate. Just this year, I commented at length as Blanche's Hangout-- a good B&C message board went down by the bow, based on hateful expressions. But within my outcry in deploring hate there, I had it wrong. The cause was just, but unfortunately-- I misidentified the antagonist. I as others were fooled by this clever manipulator, who seemingly works hard at causing harm to others. After the hurt and lies leveled at me this go round, I am convinced this was the case in the past.

Now this same individual who has attempted to malign me here, is spouting his lies and hatred on another message board. There are many good people on that forum I call friends. I trust these good folks will do all they can, to make sure they don't fall victim-- to the same maliciousness that brought down Blanche's Hangout. I hope those on the side of good-- will remain vigilant. For some who are holdovers from Blanche's Hangout, this sort of thing must seem all too familiar-- as it's apparent the same individual, always seems to be at the center of these controversies. And for those who have seemingly embraced the "evil cause", and feel it is I who am FOS-- I would say patience is a virtue. Just wait-- and you'll see.

I for one won't be silent, in the face of abhorrent behavior which continues to afflict B&C forums including my own. There is good in the world and there is bad-- there is right and there is wrong. I will continue to side with the truth, and stand by those who believe in what is good about this history. I will leave it to my detractor-- who is now the nemesis of enough individuals to be an historian's club, to lay example of what not to do in life. On a positive note, it's my sincere hope-- that will change.

But as my detractor would have some believe he is not proliferating this exercise in terror-- for the record, I've received 14 new insulting e-mails from him in the past 2 days-- all before I completed this post. Those are in addition to a flurry of activity, over the past week. Normally I might say thanks for caring, but in this case-- could this much activity be considered an obsession with hate?? As someone wise once said-- enough is enough!!

A special note: As it's been said by he with little regard for the truth, that my apology to Debbie Moss is somehow fake and insincere. I want it to be known, my apology couldn't be more sincere. But as my gesture also reveals my feelings concerning the true nature of this hurtful individual, I'm not surprised that even an apology-- would be targeted by hate. I hope you are well Debbie, and I wish peace to all.