Saturday, June 27, 2009

The "Latest 8" B&C Poll Answers

I don't know what I have do to stump some of you-- but you can rest assured, I'll be hard at work again soon along with "Boots" Hinton-- in forming new and challenging poll questions. The answers to this week's group of B&C Polls are as follows: The Joplin Files were needed for many of this weeks queries. Although St. Louis was also mentioned, and it was said B&C at one time ended up in Chicago-- regarding the train trip immediately after Joplin, it was Cleveland, Ohio which was mentioned as a destination. In that regard, it was a cab driver from the Welch Transportation Company-- who reported to police, he felt it could have been Bonnie and Blanche, who were in his cab. These women were picked up on E. 79th Street in Cleveland-- said they were from Dallas, and were on their way to Columbus, Ohio. Within police correspondence, it was thought the Barrow Brothers may have remained in St. Louis, and would meet up with Bonnie and Blanche later. It was Ray Hamilton who used the colorful quote, in being out of women, out of money and out of ammunition-- when surrendering to Bill Decker.

Speaking of Raymond Hamilton-- he, Bonnie, Clyde, Henry Methvin, Joe Palmer and Hilton Bybee were all indicted for the Ranger Armory break in. By that time W.D. was already in custody, and thus it was W.D. who didn't participate in that particular crime. By June 15th, 1934 B&C were dead-- and Hamilton & Bybee had been re-captured and convicted of more serious crimes. That left only Henry Methvin and Joe Palmer still at large. Speaking of armories, it was the Beaumont, Texas Armory thought hit by Clyde, which was instead discovered robbed by Raymond Hamilton. And speaking of weapons-- the BAR is one powerful military machine gun. Within the Dallas FBI Files, the BAR was noted to be deadly at 3 miles. And speaking of lawmen (well the segways had to end somewhere)-- Theo Money (what a great name) was the Sheriff of Scott County, Arkansas at the time of the Joplin shootout. And finally from lawmen to bootleggers, M. Dodd from Malakoff, Texas possessed a number of cool advantages-- which could have been useful to Clyde. He was said to have a well organized bootlegging business, a number of tough and loyal henchmen-- a landing strip and a private and quite silent aeroplane-- and in addition, he had a number of mine shafts on his property, which it was noted, would be a good place to hide out. Please look for more B&C Polls-- to be posted soon.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Bonnie Parker Highway Patrol Fingerprint Card Fact Or Fiction??

Its sometimes asked whether Bonnie had her mugshot taken, when arrested in 1932?? As no mugshots of Bonnie have surfaced in 75 years now, the answer apparently is-- it doesn't appear so. Also related to Bonnie's arrest, questions are asked about the intriguing image above. The Bonnie Parker Hwy Patrol fingerprint card, has seemed shrouded in mystery for decades. When this image 1st appeared and where it originated, I'm not sure is known. But now based on documentation found within the Dallas FBI files-- compelling new evidence may prove, the fingerprint card as pictured above, never existed in 1934?? There in lies the heart of this mystery. What exactly is this image, and is it authentic??

When I first purchased The B&C Signatures, I received an e-mail, cautioning me that Bonnie's signature within the dual signatures, didn't match Bonnie's script on the Hwy Patrol fingerprint card. Although I had examined this curiously plain artifact, within my initial inquiry into the signatures, my thought was-- with so few Bonnie signatures available with which to compare, and with Clyde's signature exhibiting such striking similarities to known signatures-- I decided to deal with the Hwy Patrol fingerprint card, within a more detailed investigation later.

I traced Bonnie’s "Highway Patrol" fingerprint card as its known, and discovered this unusual document to be a "Missouri" Highway Patrol Museum exhibit. Stories have circulated for years regarding the source of this alleged fingerprint record. It seems most often reported, that Bonnie's prints were requested by Joplin Chief of Detectives Ed Portley, after the Joplin shootout. However this account is questioned by some, as this incomplete card possesses only partial prints-- and "none" of the expected police identifiers or fingerprint classification codes, which should be present on a valid police record. Also, no copy of this card nor a request for it, seems present within Ed Portley's Joplin Police files. My interviews with Kemp, Texas and Kaufman County police, historians and administrators, yielded no evidence which remains, to support this mysterious fingerprint card having any basis in fact-- from Bonnie’s only known arrest in April 1932.

Since within our inquiry, at first-- we weren’t sure which "Highway Patrol" was being referred to within the artifact’s title, we needed to discover whether in 1932, the newly formed Texas Highway Patrol, could have played a role in Bonnie Parker’s arrest or confinement. Interviews with Kaufman County historian Dr. Horace P. Flatt as well as Kemp Texas officials, revealed the Texas Highway Patrol likely had no involvement in Bonnie’s arrest or transport. Having eliminated a logical and "primary" source for the Bonnie fingerprint card, we later found this now dubious record-- to have been provided by the Missouri Highway Patrol. Of course as is known, Bonnie was never arrested in Missouri. Capt. Christian Ricks of the Missouri Highway Patrol Museum, was most gracious-- in providing a copy of Bonnie’s fingerprint card, along with a card for Clyde as well.

Although Clyde’s card seems more complete, again no police agency identifiers are present which "should" be. Unfortunately, what are said to be Bonnie’s left fingerprints are faint on the Missouri Highway Patrol card, and "only" her left prints are usable from her Bienville Parish death fingerprint card-- as her right hand was so badly damaged from the ambush. Also, Bonnie’s signature from this card bears little resemblance, to her signatures revealed from a family source-- written upon the verso of Bonnie's lost poem "The Street Girl". Unlike the Hwy Patrol card, "The Street Girl" has an assured provenance. It was Bonnie's signatures from "The Street Girl"-- which were used in comparison to the Bonnie signature within The B&C Signatures. Emma Parker cast further doubt on The Highway Patrol fingerprint card, when in Fugitives she said Bonnie was fingerprinted only once-- upon death.

That's where the investigation stood, into this mysterious historical or non-historical artifact, until the release of Dallas FBI file 26-4114 in 2008. Thankfully, within the pages of this remarkable file, there are numerous references to the Bonnie Parker fingerprint card in question-- said created in Kaufman, Texas. Upon reviewing these documents, I learned I had been in some pretty good company-- in wanting to gain further insights into Bonnie's reported fingerprint record. In reading these FBI records, it became clear that in 1933 and 34, the U.S. Bureau of Investigation, spearheaded by an effort by J. Edgar Hoover himself-- was involved in the hunt to substantiate, a reported Bonnie Parker fingerprint record.

As Bonnie hadn't formally been issued identification orders through the Bureau, Hoover seemingly wanted Bonnie's fingerprints, in order to expand the scope of the charges against her. As such it was apparently procedure, to include known fingerprint records within identification orders published. Hoover had contacted the Bureau's Dallas field office, in order to obtain information regarding her prints. Hoover was provided a response, stating Bonnie's fingerprints were reportedly provided to the U.S. Bureau of Investigation-- by the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office at the time of her arrest in Texas. It was further learned, that Kaufman Deputy Sheriff Dunnen-- stated that he himself took Bonnie's prints, and forwarded them to the Bureau on or about June 16th, 1932. However after a Bureau search at Kaufman, and additional searches within Bureau records, no trace of Bonnie's fingerprint record was found.

Thanks to this search, Bonnie's married name known to the Bureau as Mrs. Roy Harding-- was discovered to be erroneous. Harding was a real person and convict friend of Bonnie's husband Roy Thornton. However for some reason, the Bureau had Bonnie's married name wrong-- from the inception of their complaint against B&C. Having discovered this error, seemingly all possible combinations of Bonnie's given and married names were used, to further search for Bonnie's fingerprint record. Finally on April 3, 1934, Hoover states that a careful search of identification unit files, does not indicate any fingerprints of Bonnie Parker-- were transmitted on April 20th, 1932 by the Sheriff's office at Kaufman Texas. Although the discrepancy in dates between Hoover's April 20th date and Deputy Sheriff Dunnen's June 16th admission remains unknown-- never the less Hoover's message is clear. The Bureau's exhaustive searches, failed to uncover a Bonnie Parker fingerprint record.

Of course any number of possibilities could be true, regarding this supposed Bonnie Parker fingerprint card. This card made without proper identifiers, could have been lost or misfiled, and re-discovered later. Also as Bonnie was known to have been quite bright, she could have provided a false signature on this card. It's also quite possible, in 1932 the Kaufman Sheriff's office in not realizing the importance, of a then unknown Bonnie Parker-- didn't follow through and take her prints. Thus when her importance became known, and with others searching for her prints, it became CYA time in Kaufman. Its also conceivable Portley was sent the original, and thus no copy remained in Kaufman when Hoover searched?? However this theory wouldn't explain, why the copy said sent to the Bureau couldn't be located. Or perhaps a "replacement card" for the one never taken, was contrived after the fact, and thus became the card received by Portley-- which ending up in Missouri Hwy Patrol custody.
Based on the evidence as it exists now, perhaps that's a fair assumption. But even so, one would need to ask how 2 quite similar and flawed B&C fingerprint cards, ended up in Missouri-- when Bonnie's couldn't be located within an extensive search as late as April 1934, and Clyde's card seems to have no noted source what so ever??

The Bonnie Parker Highway Patrol fingerprint card is a great B&C mystery. It appears the Dallas FBI files, have confirmed our findings from the signatures inquiry, regarding this mysterious artifact. Today as in 1934, it seems no credible evidence exists, to support this supposed Bonnie Parker fingerprint card as having validity.
If anyone has additional information or ideas regarding this mystery, I would welcome hearing from you.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A Most Unfortunate Continuation-- Different Forum, Same Shame

I truly don't like spending valuable time, better spent recounting exciting history-- in needing to address deplorable behavior, related to the now defunct Blanche's Hangout message board. But it seems the hate driven banter which just won't go away, has now been imported to Gangsterologist-- where some of the Blanche Board loyal, have apparently gone to commiserate. First I wish to express my thanks to those good souls, who have been kind enough to inform myself and others-- of these needless expressions of ill will, apparently directed toward myself, and a select few for reasons unknown. As I'm always busy, trying to make The B&C History Blog the best it can be for all, I have little time to deal with such matters.

I don't wish to demean this forum by commenting much more regarding this, other than to say everyone is entitled to their opinions regarding the demise of Blanche's Hangout. There was no concerted effort-- no conspiracy-- and no desire I am aware of-- to see Blanche's Hangout go down. That decision rested solely with the moderator, of what was once a good B&C outlet. That message board being abruptly discontinued as it was-- was to my knowledge, a surprise to all. The hateful comments "still" being circulated now, by those who led there-- and condoned by some who participated-- is proof positive of the issues I have spoken of before. I have tried to be polite in expressing my concerns re: this, and the concerns of others as described to me. Perhaps within this age of malcontent and "reality everything", some may like seeing this sort of exchange. However I want all to understand, that I'm not proud of the need to comment such as this, instead of writing of history within this space-- which I know, is the focus of all who visit here. I sincerely apologize to so many, who must be wondering what's going on-- within the B&C historical community??

I've always felt good people act in ways which can be admired. Hate is spread by haters. Those who gossip and employ rumor and untruths, for whatever purpose-- shouldn't do so. To me, the ability to accept responsibility for one's actions or in actions, without complaining-- and without exacerbating a situation by spreading untruths, is to me-- just being a good person, regardless of the debate. I would term these new expressions disturbing-- as these "impressions" have no basis in fact-- and unfortunately now seem personal, and tinged with what appear to be feelings of paranoia and a depravity for reality?? How about enough is enough with the hateful comments. For those involved in exhibiting this behavior who may read this, I would ask-- wouldn't it be better for all, if time were now spent positively, in re-establishing Blanche's Hangout-- rather than trying to justify blame, for whatever reason?? Also is it fair to ask, as many feel B&C were made martyrs, could it be the goal of some now-- to be thought of as message board martyrs as well??

I feel it most unfortunate, that Blanche's Hangout is no more. I've expressed my beliefs openly through the Boodle's board, about this for all to see-- which include my feeling that Blanche's Hangout should be re-started. I wish those well who participated there, and who led that board. These are my actual words and thoughts, which based on being delivered from this forum, all can be assured-- are authentic. My thanks to all, for your time and patience-- for a situation which shouldn't be. Now back to the history of Bonnie & Clyde. I now feel I owe you a new historical post ASAP-- so look for one soon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Great Depression and Bonnie & Clyde

Many cite the Great Depression and embittered anti establishment feelings spawned in America during those years, as a reason or contributing factor-- for the advent of outlaws such as Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd and others. Although Clyde's life of crime actually began as a petty thief in 1926, The Depression is almost always equated with the rise of Bonnie and Clyde. I agree with the premise, that anger generated within the general populous in the '30s-- combined with a newly developed tolerance for lawlessness, within those who wouldn't normally support violence and rebellion-- resulted in the environment necessary, to foster the rise of the dust bowl desperadoes.

I believe these "people's heroes" (whether or not they viewed themselves as such)-- were born from The Great Desperation and uncertainty of those most unique times. Although in my view, The Depression cannot be considered the "end all" argument, in supporting any measure of sympathy for the actions of The Barrow Gang-- especially in having killed so many-- there must be a "balance" struck in viewing them, based on an understanding of the times in which they lived. Some call today the Age of Lawlessness. I would respectfully disagree. I view the 1920's and 30s as the true Age of Lawlessness in America. Nonsensical crackdowns on the populous such as the establishment of prohibition, combined with an ineffectual government and then, with "all hell" breaking loose economically-- seemed legitimate reasons for people to have become "fed up" and rebellious. Times were tough-- and people then were a reflection of their times.

Today, comparisons are drawn between The Great Depression and our current economic condition. Perhaps the following facts regarding these darkest of times in America, will be helpful in showing-- that although things could be better now, the economic realities of today cannot compare-- to the tremendous plights experienced three quarters of a century ago. A reality not often expressed, is the length of time The Great Depression lasted. Having begun late in 1929, the last of President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal 2 support programs-- wasn't discontinued until 1943, when the war economy of WWII took hold. It's important to understand, that the depression of the 1930s was a worldwide economic downturn of catastrophic proportions.

Some Facts about The Great Depression in America--

> 13 million people became unemployed > In 1932, 34 million people belonged to families with no regular full-time wage earner > Industrial production fell by nearly 45% between 1929 and 1932 > Home building dropped by 80% between the years 1929 and 1932 > In the 1920s, the banking system in the U.S. was a nearly $50 billion enterprise, which accounted for nearly 50% of GDP > From the years 1929 to 1932, about 5,000 banks went out of business > By 1933, 11,000 of the 25,000 banks in the U S had failed > Between 1929 and 1933, U.S. GDP fell around 30%, and the stock market lost almost 90% of its value > Over one million families lost their farms between 1930 and 1934 > Between 1929 and 1932 the income of the average American family was reduced by 40% > Nine million savings accounts had been wiped out between 1930 and 1933 > 273,000 families had been evicted from their homes in 1932 > There were two million homeless people migrating around the country > Over 60% of Americans were categorized as poor by the federal government in 1933 > In the early 1930s, more people emigrated from the United States than immigrated to it > And although overall crime rates fell during this period, murder rates rose-- both within domestic disputes and robberies.

As a comparison-- in 1932, the U.S. population was 124,840,471-- and the unemployment rate was 23.6%-- 13 million people had become unemployed since 1929-- In 1932 alone, the GNP fell a record 13.4% en route to a 31% total decline-- and the top tax rate was increased from 25 to 63%. Today the U.S. population has topped 300,000,000. Since December 2007, the GDP has fallen 2.5%-- the unemployment rate is currently 9.4% with 9.5 million unemployed. Perhaps we should count our blessings. The Depression years were "indeed"-- tough and desperate times.

A question??-- If times today were to become as bad as they were so many years ago-- do you feel we as citizens would react any differently to those pressures, hurts and heartaches?? Its something to ponder. I would welcome your comments.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

B&CHB Comments And Responses

Helena said... Hello all! First things first, I would like to congratulate you on your blog. I really like it, but there is a problem: I'm Portuguese and I don't understand English enough (it's my boyfriend who translates my messages).

Well, I am a recent fan, and I'm "desperate" searching for something that may clear out some things. In other way, could you please provide me with some information? All that a recent fan would like to know of, like biographic data or psychological traces. I can easily read a simple text, with light contents, since I barely speak/write your language.
Thanks in advance! Regards-- June 17, 2009 4:33 PM

"Hello Helena". With so many international visitors to this blog, some of whom may be new to B&C history-- I thought it important to answer your question, in a way which might help others as well as yourself. I'm happy to help all I can. However, I'm not sure how I can recount such a large amount of history, within the summary you desire. I might suggest you or any new fan to this history, begin by exploring Frank Ballinger's B&C's Hideout website. A link to this truly "exceptional" B&C site, among others-- can be found on the right of the blog. Much of the info on Frank's site, is divided into topical segments-- which would be a good way to learn. Then perhaps you could pick up one of the many fine B&C books, which have been published over the years. I would suggest Fugitives, or whatever affordable version of the 1934 classic you can find-- as a good starting point. The Signet paperback version of Fugitives, is called The True Story of Bonnie and Clyde. Jim Knight's book Bonnie and Clyde A 21st Century Update, is also an excellent choice-- where the story of B&C is truthful, comfortably told and well written. Of course, stick with The B&C History Blog for accurate and balanced B&C info-- posted within a wide range of topics.

Thanks for your question.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Latest B&C Poll Answers

I truly think I'm getting the hang of this now. I believe both a desired level of difficulty and enhanced method of phrasing questions is meshing now-- into even better B&C Polls. As such, here are the answers to this latest batch of queries.

The Hotel register with the Clyde alias of Roy Bailey, was discovered in Pawhuska, OK. Clyde bragged to George Corry and Paul Hardy after Wellington, about being obliged to kill 6 who had attempted to capture him. As an aside, since this admission was made in only June of '33, perhaps it could be a revelation to those who question Clyde having killed, and how often. After Wellington, Clyde wanted to return to their burned out car-- to retrieve license plates he felt could help the law track them. However in the end, they decided not to go back-- as Bonnie objected and in effect overruled Clyde. In observing the Barrow Gang in action, Sheriff Corry was able to recount, that Bonnie played an active role in gang logistics and decision making. According to the American Funeral Director magazine article, in 1934 Bonnie's casket reportedly cost $1000. Comparatively, a similar casket today would cost $15,000-- and thus her's seemed a loving gesture for Bonnie by her family. And within the same article, related to his funeral-- it's said 6000 people were thought to have viewed Clyde, while 30,000 were believed to have viewed Bonnie. Thus 5 times more people were thought to have viewed Bonnie than viewed Clyde.

"Thanks" to all for your participation in the polls. Look for all new B&C polls to be posted soon. I always seem to think each new group of questions, will be the most challenging yet. But I often find myself proven wrong, by this talented group.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Captain Frank Hamer-- A Polarizing Figure From Bonnie And Clyde History

As Frank Hamer seems to incite heated controversy so routinely, within the history of Bonnie and Clyde-- I thought I'd combine a Controversial Quote and post together-- regarding Frank Hamer. A Hamer detractor recently wrote this:

"In my opinion, Frank Hamer was one pitiful excuse for any kind of a role model, much less "hero". He was arrogant, cold-blooded, and very very deceptive. What is there to admire about these 'special' qualities of his? And he was a criminal himself, till someone gave him a badge and the authority to lay down the law in any way he saw fit. The only reason he was bestowed with this power in the first place is because he was such a big brute of a man he could easily intimidate anyone, just by his size. And from that point on, he exercised his 'right' to flagrantly abuse this power, and he did so to the hilt. If there was anything honorable about Frank Hamer at all, I sure can't figure out what the hell that might be."

My response to the diatribe above, is to say I would agree that Capt. Frank Hamer may not have been a Saint to some, but he certainly "deserves" more respect and balance, than a mean spirited and short sighted comment can provide. Hamer did enjoy a distinguished career as a Texas Ranger, and was instrumental in contributing to the capture of Bonnie and Clyde-- like it or not. The preponderance of objective historical evidence, obviously and strongly supports the basic truths of Hamer's lifetime of accomplishments.

Frank Hamer was known to dislike corrupt politicians and those who broke the law. He began an on and off again career with Texas Rangers in 1906. He also took on an assignment away from the Rangers, in order to serve as a federal prohibition agent-- for the purpose of preventing illegal liquor from entering the U.S. In the 1920's Hamer became known, for bringing law and order to lawless oil boom towns in Texas. Although within these early endeavours just as noted in the ambush of B&C, some of his tactics were questioned-- Frank Hamer was "known" for getting tough jobs done, related to putting an end to lawbreaking and strike breaking etc. Apparently these actions and results were deemed acceptable during his time. He also helped end monetary corruption in 1928, by helping to stop The Texas Banker's Association Reward Ring.

In 1930, Hamer was involved in the Sherman Riot-- where he was assigned the daunting task, of protecting George Hughes, a black inmate accused of sexually assaulting a white woman. A lynch mob had formed to storm the courthouse in Sherman, TX -- in order to exact their own brand of justice, and hang Hughes without benefit of a trial. A rumor was circulated via a newspaper reporter, that the Governor of Texas had issued orders, that no one be shot in defending this prisoner. Some of the angry mob feeling empowered by this knowledge, rushed the stairs which Frank Hamer and his Rangers were defending.
After giving fair warning in saying he didn't believe the report-- as he felt the Governor would never issue such an order, which would leave him no ability to accomplish his mission-- Hamer personally shot those who advanced on him, in order to get at Hughes. Hamer's efforts along with his small group of Texas Rangers were successful-- until the point where the mob burned the courthouse, in order to get their way. This mob eventually enacted their "justice"-- on an already dead George Hughes. I don't know about some, but to me-- Frank Hamer's gallant actions, in defending the rights of a man who's hours were likely numbered, is my favorite Hamer story.

Hamer's participation at the ambush of B&C, along with that of the other 5 lawmen present-- will be debated, as long as there is interest in these iconic outlaws. As I've said before, the '30s were "different" and desperate times. Things didn't seem fair, on either side of the law. But that's the way it was-- like it or not. The lawmen shot the hell out of B&C-- sanctioned by their governments, who trusted them to get the job done-- in whatever way it could be accomplished. And they did-- without condemnation from the powers that be.

Was Frank Hamer a tough and brutal lawman?? I'm not sure we'd be talking about him all these years later if he wasn't. Were the killings of Bonnie and Clyde an assassination?? In my view yes-- as how could you call the carnage which occurred otherwise?? Was the ambush an acceptable act, to stop the bloody rampage of B&C-- who were involved in the killings of more than a dozen people (mostly lawmen)?? In those times yes-- but again, that's the way it was. Perhaps Hamer's most controversial act was in helping kill Bonnie Parker, who it now seems clear he at least
"believed" to be pregnant-- as supported by revelations from the Dallas FBI Files. This too, is an act surely deserving of much debate-- for years to come.

One of the most important attributes of an Historian, or others keenly interested in an historical subject-- is the ability to always realize and "understand" the times and "tenor" of the times being discussed. Otherwise, how can you make any intelligent statement, regarding the history you are recounting?? In my view, its wrong to interject the morals and socially accepted behaviors of another time (such as today)-- into the history of yesterday. Revisionist history is a dangerous thing, amongst those who consider themselves knowledgeable-- concerning this or any other history. Its better and proper, to allow yourself to travel back in time within your mind, and consider the evidence of history objectively "as it was"-- and not as it could, or in any one's judgment-- should have been.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pics From The 2009 Authentic Bonnie & Clyde Festival Lorraine Joyner Memorial Historian's Meeting

Historian's meeting host and moderator Ken Holmes-- makes his way around the 185 B&C aficionados present, to introduce some folks-- and gather B&C stories of interest.
That's Harrison Hamer sharing an Historian's meeting moment with Tonya Holly-- in the blue shirt. If anyone has photos of Tonya Holly's presentation-- please let me know. I would very much like to post one within this montage.
John Neal Phillips tells of Clyde's struggles at The Eastham Prison Farm.

Jimmy Ray Gillman provides insights into the Louisiana connection, within the story of B&C. It doesn't get much better than this.
Special guest speaker Sue Joyner (with applause)-- after recounting her impressions regarding how the festival has grown, and how her mother Lorraine would be proud. Sue said when you see people with cameras taking pictures of trees (where something of interest once stood)-- they're probably B&C Historians. That's really funny-- and true too.
Yours truly having at it. Dallas FBI File 26-4114 with its many "wonderful" revelations regarding B&C-- was my topic.
A clever dual shot. From the slide, you can tell I'm speaking of Bailey Tynes. I suppose you might say, some have heard me speak before.
Dixie and Karron-- A B&C Festival moment. Friendship is what its really all about.
After a year of advance work and preparation for all-- "Mission Accomplished". The 75th Anniversary of the ambush edition, of the Lorraine Joyner Memorial Historian's meeting-- was a great success!! I think I've crashed. "Is it OK to be tired now"??
Shelley and Jimmy Ray-- after a "meeting to remember".

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Blanche's Hangout-- No End To The Shame Commentary

Well you knew at some point, this was bound to happen on The B&C History Blog-- with it now necessary for me to use the blog, for pointed commentary related to B&C historical community housekeeping. I find it unfortunate this post needs to be written, but as some debates are fueled by honor and a belief in what's right-- sometimes you must digress to fight the good fight. The Bailey Tynes and L. A. Kindell info posted below is important to this history. So I hope after perhaps reading this account of my needing to deal with some B&C community nonsense and shenanigans-- you will spend your time, exploring other places on the B&C History Blog-- where the history is. As always, my thanks for your support.

You know, I'm a good guy. I'm honest-- I care-- and I usually won't choose to step into disputes, which don't directly involve me. I believe in taking the high road whenever possible. "However"-- every man has his limits. And I've now reached mine, regarding doings on Blanche's Hangout-- the B&C message board. In my view, this vestige of limited expression and childlike behavior, has reached a new low-- involving the heinous condemnation of both a respected B&C researcher and friend. As such, I cannot sit idly by without comment. I preface these expressions, by saying there are many fine individuals who participate not only on Blanche's Hangout-- but also on The Boodles message board, and here on The B&C History Blog as well. For those involved in these B&C outlets, please know my comments are aimed at a choice group of die hard B&C fanatics, who cannot seem to find any balance in forming their B&C opinions-- and who don't seem to desire a peaceful coexistence, with those who's opinions differ from their own. Others I trust know who you are, know your rightful place within wonderful B&C discussions-- and know how much I respect you, and your opinions.

Usually, threads on B&C message boards, involve a fair exchange of thoughts expressed in a polite manner-- free from personal attacks and nonsensical issues. When B&C are involved, discussions regarding this history "can" be spirited-- but are often cordial and intellectually stimulating. Well apparently not on Blanche's Hangout. There, a simple "Hey, what do you think"??-- can quickly morph into a vengeful, spiteful and downright vicious personal exercise in apparent hatred. And with supervisory guidance seemingly lacking, or asleep at the switch until it's too late-- these skirmishes can spiral out of control, into what would likely be fisticuffs, if the distances involved weren't so great.

I used to participate on Blanche's Hangout. However not just once but "twice"-- I was asked to modify or curtail my honest expressions, and attempts to speak or get at the truth-- objectively, fairly and politely. Finally the moderator of this board, said she'd heard too many complaints about me-- and asked me to participate no longer. However, since I had received "so many" e-mails and messages from members there, praising my style and posts-- I could only feel, these complaints were in reality, made by just a few narrowly minded insiders there. By the way, as the style and content of my posts hasn't changed-- for those familiar with me here, I would ask that you be the judge-- of my fairness and objectivity, in reporting on Bonnie and Clyde history.

Anyway-- an "over the top" unabashed love and adoration of Bonnie and Clyde often seems the rule, not the exception at Blanche's Hangout. Apparently, few divergent viewpoints are tolerated there for long-- before banishment and censorship can become a most unfortunate possibility and sometimes stark reality. Perhaps I have traveled back in time to pre- war Germany in 1939 or The Soviet Union during the cold war-- or to China well just about anytime. Perhaps I'm stuck in some time warp, and unknowingly-- cannot escape it?? No-- that's not the case. This "is" America in 2009 isn't it??

I have read through the entire thread sent to me regarding this latest war on Blanche's Hangout. My opinions are as follows: The ability of some to read and disseminate all the overly pro B&C information possible from a plethora of books, articles, videos and the like, over whatever period of time-- in no way equals-- the good, valid and important historical research, conducted over a number of years now by Tommy Methvin. Tom is a knowledgeable and well versed ally of this history. But beyond that, the insights he has learned in researching the Methvin family's involvement within the history of B&C-- are uniquely important. And in particular, his working closely with B&C Historian Jimmy Ray Gillman, on the Louisiana connection within B&C history-- which involves the end game for B&C and those who affected it-- cannot be ignored. As I am privy to many of the revelations which will be soon be exposed, based on "17" years of research-- I can tell you Jimmy and Tommy's upcoming book Waylaid-- The House Bonnie and Clyde Built, will surely be an important B&C work. The information revealed there-- "will" change Bonnie and Clyde history.

Great Researcher/Historians such a Tom Methvin, write of and contribute important historical information and valid opinion to this history. Fanatics on "either" side of the B&C fence-- are often instrumental in inciting passionate debate. With such "fervent" passion thrown about in either loving B&C or detesting them, sometimes the logic employed within these arguments is insightful-- but if overly impassioned, frankly can border on being delusional. As I've said many times-- its my belief a more "balanced" view of this history, in between the 2 extremes-- is likely closer to the truth. But one thing's for sure-- those who always support a singular point of view, without wavering-- and who ignore valid opposing logic and realities-- "ARE" closed minded. I would say its best to deal with
the facts as they "were"-- and not attempt to color them, based on any current B&C fandom-- as if using a 64 pack of crayolas to angrily re-write history. This level of irrational B&C "fervor" in my view, impedes objective reasoning, and although expressed as opinion-- without "some" element of logical balance, only diminishes the credibility of it's expounders.

I had prepared more on this, and will be happy to cite and answer specific quotes and examples, of these nonsensical attacks and tirades-- evident on Blanche's Hangout if prompted. I will also say to some in particular there, if you would care to identify yourselves-- you're welcomed to come here and debate me anytime, or I will come to you-- whichever you prefer. At this point, apparently someone needs to help a few of you find your place-- as you and Blanche's Hangout are out of control-- out of bounds-- and out of free passes from me.

Both myself and others, respected within the B&C community, find the personal diatribe directed at Tommy Methvin on Blanche's Hangout "disgusting". Some objective B&C voices, now aware of this unsavory behavior-- have added their views to mine. It's been expressed to me that it's a shame, this B&C message board which started out as a good board-- has gone steadily downhill. Additional comments made have pointed out, that there are a couple of objective voices, who try to see both sides of the historical issues there-- and who are plainly disturbed at the personality issues which exist. But most telling of the comments of which I agree-- has been the statement that its wrong of the Blanche Board Moderator, to allow this abuse of Tommy to continue. And it's "downright hypocritical as well, considering she's censored you (meaning Winston) and others." On a personal note, I wish to say how much I appreciate this kind expression-- from an Historian I respect greatly.

These recent singularly sided rantings, exhibited by some narrow minded voices, who've apparently become the spokespersons for the B&C Hero Worshipers Society as seems to exist on Blanche's Hangout-- are perhaps a telling commentary, on where some B&C debate rests today-- seemingly in the gutter. The title of this post is Blanche's Hangout-- No End To The Shame. I call on Debbie Moss who although we've had our differences-- is by all appearances a good and caring person, and who's an important contributor to this history in her own right-- to seize control of her message board. I can only hope, she will chastise those who exhibit an overt lack of self control, and who seem to have no qualms, in directing hateful disrespect toward others-- who love this history as much as they do. It seems to me, that passion exhibited within this history, should be fine and welcomed-- but disrespect and hatred should not.

In closing I ask a simple question-- if banishment and censorship are the appropriate penalties for expressing honest and polite viewpoints on Blanche's Hangout-- then what are the penalties please, for the abhorrent behaviors of some of the chosen disciples of this board, who are now exposing it for what it truly is-- or are they?? I am hopeful Blanche's Hangout can rebound, and regain the respect it once possessed-- and "without" the nonsense, disrespect and censorship apparent there-- it would truly deserve. We need B&C message boards, as they are important forums for disseminating B&C history-- but not at the expense of honor, civility and historical integrity. Surely that cannot be the goal, of any B&C historical outlet.

Thank goodness for this comment by two caring members of Blanche's Hangout--

"From heartbreak some people have suffered; From weariness some people have died; But take it all in all; Our trouble's are small; Till we get like Bonnie and Clyde; life IS too short. we are all friend's here, let's just debate, and not make personal attack's. if i were new to the blanche board, i would think this was an argument between an old married couple. HA-HA-HA!!!"

A nice sentiment and lighthearted attempt at reconciliation. My thanks to you Ted and Karron for this peaceful expression. You are to be commended, in trying to bring some perspective and civility to these issues. But I fear the problem there-- may be more pervasive than even your kind words can affect. In situations such as this, I always say its the "Captain"-- who sets the tone for his or her ship and crew. And when your ship's sprung a leak, to me-- its time for the Captain to act.

Update-- I'm pleased to say the Captain acted, but in my view did the wrong thing in banishing Tom Methvin, while not even acknowledging issues with his arrogant and historically slanted detractors. More banishing, more censorship-- and perhaps with the wrong message sent. My view is, when you have 2 individuals who have squared off, and serious issues exist which affect the integrity of your forum-- the fair thing to do, would be to treat both combatants equally. If one goes-- both should go. I guess in this case, it was judged fair to protect some from the chosen fold-- while nixing a more objective voice for this history. Now and once again-- apparently a purifying of views there. I guess when all agree on everything, there will be nothing left to do-- but have a barbeque or something. Drinks anyone!??! I can only hope for a better balance for Blanche's Hangout in the future.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Another Bailey Tynes photo.

Bailey Tynes circa 1930-- along with his sons Bailey Edwin Tynes Jr in the front seat of their car-- and Harold Patrick Tynes looking over Bailey's right shoulder. The little tyke walking behind the car, is Bailey's nephew Warren Tynes. Many "thanks" to the Tynes family, for my use of these historic photos. A perhaps more personal photo of Bailey, can be viewed below-- in a May 30th post.

Photos of Bailey Tynes and other Tynes relatives are Copyright © 2009 by A. Winston Woodward. All rights reserved. Photos may be reproduced only by permission, with credits given to the Tynes family-- and A. Winston Woodward. Thank you.
Bailey was one of 8 children. Pictured here, is Bailey Tynes' youngest brother Clarence Burean Tynes, along with his wife Thelma.

This Tynes relative, from the Walker side of the Barrow family-- is thought to possess a likeness to Clyde Barrow. Clarence and Thelma are the caring pair, who watched over Bailey's children-- while Bailey was working with the Bureau. That's a "loving" look from Thelma-- if ever there was one.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bailey Tynes "Revelations"-- Hold On To Your Hats

In speaking with the Tynes family in preparation for my talk at Gibsland, I discovered some truly "remarkable" information, expressed by Bailey himself over the years-- regarding his covert activities with the U.S. Bureau of Investigation, in reporting on Bonnie and Clyde. These stories were relayed to me, by 4 Tynes family members. One of these individuals is a great nephew of Bailey's, who heard Bailey relate many of these accounts himself-- and thus 1st hand while alive. Bailey was known as a great story teller, and among the ghost stories and such he would tell the Tynes children-- he would also relate for the teenagers and adults, stories of his time working as a lawman-- and spying on his own family. No one knew whether Bailey's stories were "tall tales" or not until recently-- when in contacting his family, I was able to prove to them, that these remarkable accounts of his working with the FBI-- were indeed true. None of the accounts I will relate to you now, appear within the FBI's Dallas Field Office files-- which make them all the more insightful.

The Tynes family was well known to both B&C and other Barrow relatives including Cumie and Henry Barrow. B&C would visit various Tynes relatives, particularly in Waco, Texas-- from time to time. While there, Tynes relatives would help B&C reluctantly. They would sometimes meet under houses out of sight, and perform tasks for them, such as going to local stores for needed supplies. At least one Tynes family member didn't think much of Clyde. B. C. Tynes described Clyde as a "trashy thug"-- and would help him a little but not alot. He didn't want Clyde hanging around his kids. But when B&C showed up, what could the Tynes family members do??

Waco police were aware when B&C were in town. They would get phone calls informing them of Clyde's presence. But with such a small force on duty, the Waco police were apparently afraid of Clyde, Bonnie and the gang. Those on duty would call in off duty officers to bolster their force-- but never confronted B&C. This info was relayed by retired Waco police Capt. Bobby Joe Fulwhyler, (now deceased) who was a member of the Waco P.D. in 1933. My thanks to the Waco, Texas Police Dept.-- for these insights.

Bailey Tynes, who was originally from Center, Texas-- was involved with B&C much earlier than the FBI realized. Bailey was known to have met with Clyde, Bonnie, Clyde's brother, his wife-- and a man with initials (W. D. Jones) near the "big thicket" (The Davy Crockett National Forest)-- which is in East Texas, near Louisiana. With Bailey having met with this most famous incarnation of The Barrow Gang-- this would necessarily place this meeting, prior to Dexfield Park in July of 1933.

When Bailey went to the FBI building in Dallas, he would enter an adjacent building, go to the basement-- and go through an underground tunnel to enter FBI HQ's. "Boots" Hinton confirmed the existance of this tunnel and secret entrance, which he himself used along with his father Ted years ago-- to enter the same building.

B&C came to Bailey's house in Waco on certainly more than one occaiasion, to spend the night. B&C were said to have been paranoid and very sporadic. They kept no schedule. They would sleep some and leave in the middle of the night. Notes were left by Clyde for Bailey, thanking him for his hospitality. This of course left Bailey in quite a spot. For at the same time Bailey was working for the Bureau, in helping them with information about B&C-- B&C would show up asking Bailey for help. Bailey was said to have been in fear for his life-- in hoping Clyde didn't figure out he was working for Bureau, against them.

This leads to another story, where Bailey may have actually run with B&C for a short period to Southern Louisiana. It was said he camped out with B&C there. Apparently even Bailey wasn't trusted. As such it was reported, Bailey wasn't allowed to go to town alone-- without one of them being with him. At this point Bailey was said to be fearful, that he was suspected of being a spy. This story may be likely, as Clyde was said to have had relatives in Southern Louisiana-- at Baton Rouge or Fields.

But perhaps the most remarkable revelation expressed to me, was that Bailey told of yet another B&C ambush trap having been set-- by the U.S. Bureau of Investigation!! Bailey had planned to meet B&C near a Pecan orchard or wooded area-- and had alerted the Bureau in advance, in order to put B&C on the spot. According to Bailey, Bureau agents were stationed there, and were waiting in those woods for B&C. But as often happened with the elusive pair-- they never showed, for what could have been a deadly and fateful meeting. I asked John Fox about this. His take was if this trap had been set-- that Bureau Agents would likely have attempted to capture Bonnie, Clyde and whomever else was with them. I also asked about an interesting question asked of me-- as to whether an order had ever been issued by Bureau Director J. Edgar Hoover, not to kill a woman-- which could have come into play here, within a capture attempt of Bonnie Parker. Dr. Fox told me to his knowledge as FBI Historian-- no such orders were ever issued. I don't know about all of you-- but I get chills thinking of this newly uncovered revelation.

Bailey was said to have been a soft spoken and kind man, who felt B&C needed to be stopped. He was apparently not trying to be a hero, and was never admonished for spying on his own family. During this period, in realizing the danger to himself-- he handed his kids over to his brother Clarence Burean Tynes and wife Thelma, for safe keeping. Bailey was a single dad at the time, and made sure while spying on B&C-- that his kids wouldn't be placed in harm's way.

Based on this newly discovered family information on Bailey-- one is left to wonder about this fascinating and mysterious figure from B&C history. I now believe the B&C sighting account uncovered by the Bureau, while later investigating Bailey. According to info uncovered in trailing Bailey, he had told a relative that while reporting to the Bureau from the Barrow residence-- B&C showed up there. The date of this meeting as reported by the Bureau Agent, coincides with the date of one of Bailey's Barrow residence reports. Curiously, Bailey never notified the Bureau of this fact-- at least not on paper. As revealed in the Dallas FBI Files, Bailey provided quite good and detailed info to help capture B&C-- but there is evidence, that he also may have held back info, which could have been important. One is left to ask why?? In the end B&C were captured, and Bailey went on to live a long life. He passed away in 1977 at the age of 84.

My sincere thanks to the Tynes family (Laura, Mark, Daryl and Dennis)-- for sharing with me, these wonderful revelations regarding Bailey. Without a doubt, my favorite secretive info revealed within the newly released FBI files on Bonnie and Clyde, involves Bailey Tynes. What a story-- what revelations!! I feel for the Bureau to have placed an informant within the Barrow home, was nothing less than astounding. I have additional info on Bailey-- and hope to learn even more in the future. I hope you've enjoyed hearing-- about this fascinating figure from B&C history.

Bailey Tynes revelations and info-- Copyright
© 2009 by A. Winston Woodward. All rights reserved. Thank you.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

"Controversial" Quotes-- Equal Time

To be fair-- another quote from the same CBS message board comments on B&C. The battle lines drawn re: B&C are always remarkable. Thus this quote.

"Do you guys even hear yourselves? Your minds might be a nice place to visit but I should would hate to live there. They were criminal punks and they got what they deserved. Its just too bad it did not happen sooner."

Another B&C History "Controversial" Quote

I couldn't resist posting this one-- which is a response to the CBS Sunday Morning B&C piece aired last week. What do you think of this "Controversial" quote?? Please comment, by clicking on comments in white box below. And a quote is a quote-- I won't correct spelling errors.

"Hamner was a punk not a hero. He would be included in the 270,000 police brutality videos on u-tube if he were alive today. Long love Bonnie and Clyde. When a system evolves that makes men sleep under a wagon and beg for food (especially when there is more than enough to go around) then anything goes. Most of the cops killed were hunting them. That's the way hunting should be, two sided"

Saturday, June 6, 2009

B&C History Poll Answers-- For This Go Round

You know, these B&C poll questions are hard for me to judge sometimes. Some questions I feel will be challenging, won't stump this group. Then some, I think will be relatively easy, apparently seem perplexing sometimes. There's just one solution-- I need to get 'ol "Boots" on the phone again tomorrow, for some tweaking in the B&C polls department. So look for an all new batch of polls. This round's poll answers are as follows:

According to the August 17th, 1933 report, on the Red Crown and Dexfield Park incidents in the Dallas FBI Files-- Sheriff Coffey was hit in the little finger, on the side of his neck and slightly in the shoulder-- none of which wounds were serious. So as far as known, Coffey was hit 3 times. Its a good thing he had his iron shield, which was hit several times. Buck Barrow was said to have been hit by a .45 caliber round. Bonnie Parker was a petite young lady. She was known to have been just under 5 feet tall, weighed about 90 pounds-- and according to Marie Barrow via "Boots" Hinton, wore size 3 or 3 1/2 shoes. Durant, OK was the 1st of 2 locations, where Ted Hinton and Bob Alcorn had to issue B&C a free pass, based on Smoot Schmid's directive of non-engagement with civilians present. According to Buddy Golston who was on the wood pulp truck, there were 12 individuals present at the ambush of B&C-- the 6 officers, B&C, Ivy Methvin and "3" not 2-- on the wood pulp truck, as is often reported. Perhaps someone would know-- but to my knowledge, the 3rd person on the truck, as stated by Buddy-- has never been identified. It was Cam Gunter and her child, that were kidnapped by Raymond Hamilton and Mary O'Dare-- the day before Easter 1934. They were later released unharmed. Millie Stamps was Bonnie's aunt on her fathers side-- from Carlsbad, NM. According to "Boots" Hinton-- Little Man was Ted's nickname for Clyde.