Monday, August 31, 2009

August "Scorchers" Send the Summer Off Right

The August "Scorchers" B&C Polls were touted as a challenge, and in the end they were-- although as always, this talented group of B&C aficionados were not deterred in their quest to get these questions right. Only 1 question went without a correct answer being cast, although based on the range of responses-- it seems a number of the queries did provide a healthy dose of difficulty. Times a wastin'-- so here we go with the answers.

Otto Kolodzik was Chief of Police in Middletown, Ohio-- at the time of Clyde's arrest in March of 1932. 2 of the 3 other choices were officers involved that day, and W. J. Sortman-- was one of 2 B&O Railroad Detectives, who were sitting in the back seat of a police cruiser-- when Clyde was spotted on foot. During his 6 hours in captivity, Motorcycle Officer Tom Persell apparently recalled traveling through 8 Missouri towns. The ride of Persell with B&C-- included journeys to Fair Play, Morisville, Golden City, Greenfield, Pleasant Hope, Carthage, Oronogo and Springfield. It seems almost everyone knew that Robert Rosborough was an insurance agent. Thus when Marshall, Texas Chief of Police Clarence Ezell, approached Rosborough to tell him about his stolen car-- he found Bobby at work at his insurance agency, located on East Rusk Street.

In the Wellington incident, Gladys Cartwright was hit in the hand by a shotgun blast, directed toward her by W. D. Jones. It's said Jones fired at her through a window, when he thought Cartwright was reaching for a .22 rifle, while instead-- she was apparently just reaching up to latch the back door of the Pritchard house. 14 pellets entered the back door, and 6 entered her hand. It's been noted all the bones in Gladys' right hand were broken but one, by 5 of the pellets which traveled clear through. However one pellet lodged just above her ring finger knuckle-- cutting the tendon, and permanently ending her ability to bend that finger. I had always envisioned Cartwright, to be an older woman than she was at the time. I've also seen it reported somewhere, that Gladys may have lost some of her fingers as a result of this injury. However there is a photo which exists, of a young and pretty Gladys Cartwright-- holding out her fully intact right hand, to illustrate her injuries. This photo was taken in 1937.

It was hard to disguise the correct answer, by including the description of Blanche Barrow-- as a "a good looking gal in a slinky riding habit", as observed by Louis Bernstein of Platte City Drugs, while Blanche was buying atropine sulphate (a muscle relaxer) and hypodermic syringes. It was already known, a young woman in the gang had serious injuries to her leg. So Blanche's trip to the pharmacy, proved to be a conspicuous event, which aroused suspicion. However it was also true, that the frequent comings and goings between the 2 adjoining garages at The Red Crown raised red flags. So even though this alternative answer involved the added element of cars, which of course were present-- but without the benefit of guidance, as to the nature of these "comings and goings"-- as this story regarding the garages is said to be true, I would have accepted both answers as being correct. And in a departure from past questions, the Platte City question was "not" the only one laced with multiple correct answers. Both John Forbes and Ford Knapp, were included among the choices in the question asking-- who was one of the 2 policemen to hold a struggling Blanche at Dexfield Park?? Thus there was a 2 in 4 chance of naming one of the two-- as both were present. Ted correctly pointed out the multiple correct answers, in the Dexfield Park question within his e-mail to me. Yes Sir, you were correct. Nice going Ted!!

I suppose the gimme question of this bunch was the Pohle Pharmacy question. Everyone knew, that according to Lillian Pohle who served him-- Clyde indeed posed as a veterinarian, in trying to obtain morphine from this Dexter drug store. Apparently in not gaining access to the morphine, Clyde instead purchased peroxide and bandages. As of 2003, this Dexter Pharmacy (re-named Weesner Pharmacy) was still in business. And finally, for the question with perhaps the most spread between answers-- the Orogono bank heist tally. This one wasn't easy, depending on how you interpreted the "haul" which was said to be somewhere between $80 and $115-- and how many ways this bounty was split -- 3. But by involving Nell's recollection of this event, and in isolating only Bonnie and Clyde's monetary take-- these were the important clues in discerning this answer. In Fugitives, Nell stated that in the end-- Clyde and Bonnie only had about $25 for all their troubles from the Orogono heist.

Look for more B&C Polls to be posted soon, to kick off the Fall season on the B&CHB. "Thanks" as always, for your participation.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Clearing Up a Bonnie Poems Mix Up-- Or It's Guinn and Toland, 2 Peas in a Pod

I borrowed a recent post of mine from The Boodles Board, and adapted it to post here as well. As there seems to be some confusion between Bonnie's poem "The Street Girl" and "The Prostitute's Convention"-- believed by some to have been penned by Bonnie, and used by Jeff Guinn within his fictionalized "True Story of Bonnie and Clyde"-- I thought I would help clarify this one here on the B&CHB.

Bonnie is almost certainly believed to have penned "The Street Girl"-- which wasn't the poem Guinn used to "substantiate" his thoughts re: Bonnie being a prostitute. "The Street Girl" which to me, doesn't overtly imply a link to prostitution-- does however reveal a familiarity with drug use, which was a known reality for Bonnie after Wellington. As a dark and most interesting poetic expression, I am admittedly fond of "The Street Girl" and feel it may be Bonnie's best work as a poet. As far as Bonnie having written it, I can assure you-- "The Street Girl" was found in Billie Parker Moon's possession, at the time of her death. It is also the only Bonnie work, believed signed by her. As such, this lost Bonnie poem's provenance-- is considered iron clad. Images (front and back) of "The Street Girl"-- can be found within the B&CHB Photo Album, blog right.

The poem referred to in conjunction with Jeff Guinn's book Go Down Together, is "The Prostitute's Convention". This poem is thought by some, to have been written by Bonnie when she was imprisoned in Kaufman, Texas in the Spring of 1932. Although the story behind this poem is intriguing, I'm not sure it can be proven with any confidence, that Bonnie wrote "The Prostitute's Convention". Never the less, Guinn used it anyway, even though he "didn't know" the correct provenance for it. That poem did "not" come from Marie Barrow via Jonathan Davis as Guinn stated.

The provenance for that poem was known and published in 2006, many years after Marie passed away. The correct provenance, is Kaufman Sheriff's Office guard J. W. Tidwell, who signed the 10 poem grouping of poetry written in a bank book-- of which this poem was included. This book of poetry, entitled "Poetry From Life's Other Side", was allegedly given to Tidwell by Bonnie Parker, while she was imprisoned in Kaufman. It was sold at auction by Bonham's in June of 2006 for $36,000-- reportedly to a collector from England.

ithin their preparation for auction, Bonhams offered the opinion of a memorabilia dealer and handwriting expert, who judged the poetry authentic-- by comparing it to a letter believed written by Bonnie for Clyde, and addressed to Raymond Hamilton as part of Clyde's newspaper war with Hamilton. As many know, I've spent many years authenticating The Bonnie and Clyde Signatures I own. In 2006, when I asked noted forensic handwriting expert Emily J. Will D-BFDE (who had worked on my signatures)-- to look at scans of some of the Tidwell poems I obtained from Bonhams-- she disagreed with the opinion of the Bonham's hired gun. Her opinion was, the very aspects of the handwriting the other gentleman deemed similarities in declaring the poems authentic-- were not unique at all, in that so many would have written in the same style they were trained in within the 1930's. Emily keyed in on what she thought were more unique features of the handwriting-- which she felt didn't jive with the Hamilton letter.

But none of this would have mattered to Guinn, since he didn't know the correct provenance of this poetry anyway. Now whether Jeff legitimately didn't know the correct source for the artifact he was promoting, and just got it wrong-- or whatever his motivation was??-- I cannot say. But that's something I'd really like to know. I asked Jonathan Davis about Guinn's claim, when I saw him in Gibsland this year. Interestingly, Jonathan seemed ready for my question-- then quickly and firmly denied Guinn's assertion, that the poetry including "The Prostitute's Convention"-- had come through Marie via himself.

I don't think there's any credible evidence, to support Bonnie being involved in even casual prostitution-- whether or not, "The Prostitute's Convention" could be proven to be Bonnie's work. Half of the 10 poems within that Kaufman grouping, were not Bonnie's poems anyway-- but instead were said to be traditional poems written by others. Within the auction listing, it's surmised Bonnie may have included these other poems along with hers-- as she may have liked them. It's a "long" stretch to prove a poem autobiographical-- especially one so hard to prove was her's to begin with. I know Bonnie's niece to be none too happy, with the assertions made by Jeff Guinn regarding Bonnie in his book. I myself, support the known history BG (before Guinn) and with the family on this one-- and not with Mr. Fiction. I asked Jeff, since he didn't know the correct provenance of the poem he used as "evidence" in backing a Bonnie prostitution claim-- how he could have felt comfortable in advancing such a claim?? I don't recall getting a viable explanation in return. Only that now famous quote from Jeff-- that "all written history is ultimately best guess" I would ask what nonsense is that!??!

A polite question for all. If you had known what you know now, about the correct provenance of the Tidwell poetry attributed to Bonnie and all the details involved-- would you have felt comfortable pinning the label of a prostitute on Bonnie, based on a poem from this grouping. By the way, I also asked Jeff for a scan of "The Prostitute's Convention"-- so it could be seen how he arrived at his assertion, based on the content of the poem. Unfortunately, Jeff never offered to honor my request. Instead, he referred me back to Jonathan Davis, so he could perhaps obtain a copy from the collector in England. This led me to question whether Guinn actually ever viewed "The Prostitute's Convention" in the first place?? In writing such a comprehensive book on B&C, wouldn't you think within his research, he might have a copy of this poem??

That's another interesting question I've wondered.
Based on Guinn's story of the ambush, his Bonnie assertions-- and astounding philosophical declaration that "all written history is ultimately best guess, and clearly you and I have guessed differently in some instances." (that's the exact quote)-- well others can believe what they want. But I for one, cannot find credibility in Guinn's "true story" of B&C, while fraught with such blatant inaccuracies-- and defined by such an incredibly lax historical credo.

I feel I can draw a close parallel between Jeff Guinn and John Toland, in having advanced such controversial assumptions regarding Bonnie and Clyde History-- without the facts to back them up. Thus I view Guinn as the modern day John Toland. Two peas in a pod. I feel confident in believing the likelihood of Guinn's sensationalized assumptions, being as harmful and influential in the future-- as Toland's claims have been from 1963 until now.

The number one keyword phrase used to enter the B&CHB-- is still Clyde Barrow homosexual. I hope that will change, so history is more sought here than rumor-- at least by those who reach out for a specific B&C topic. It seems John Toland can claim thanks, for that erroneous allegation. If you'd like to view the results of Jeff Guinn's similar gift to B&C History, concerning Bonnie Parker-- just Google Bonnie Parker prostitute, and read through the results you find. And when I hear almost verbatim quotes, coming from some who've embraced Guinn's true crime effort, which I feel in fact isn't-- well I don't know what to say, except I guess mission accomplished!!

It seems Mr. Guinn has succeeded in revising history-- or at least the perceptions of many, without the proof needed to do so. The only problem he has in completing this aim??-- is in getting past those like me, who care about this history intensely-- and who won't let sparse diligence pass for history when it's not. So that's the story of the 2 poems and 2 peas in a pod. Have I lost any of my edge regarding this?? I certainly hope not.

Bailey Tynes "Revelations"-- Hold On To Your Hats (Summer Re-post)

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 1st hand. 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.

Unbeknownst to the Bureau, the Tynes family was well known to both B&C and other Barrow relatives including Cumie and Henry Barrow. From time to time, B&C would visit various Tynes relatives, particularly in Waco, Texas. While there, Tynes relatives would help B&C, although reluctantly. They would sometimes meet under houses out of sight, and perform tasks for the outlaws, 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 a lot. 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 receive phone calls informing them of Clyde's presence. But with such a small force on duty, the Waco police were apparently afraid of Clyde 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 Bureau 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-- it would necessarily place this meeting, prior to the Dexfield Park incident 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 Bureau of Investigation HQ's. "Boots" Hinton confirmed the existence 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 occasion, 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 abruptly 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 as an informant, in helping the Bureau gain information on Bonnie and Clyde-- 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 time 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 wouldn't be allowed to go to town alone-- without one of them being with him. At this point Bailey 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, LA.

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-- Bonnie and Clyde 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 children 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 Tynes, 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 withheld information 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 short of astounding. I have some 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.

Captain Frank Hamer-- A Polarizing Figure From Bonnie And Clyde History (End of Summer Re-Post)

As Frank Hamer incites controversy so routinely within the History of Bonnie and Clyde-- I thought I'd combine a pointed Controversial Quote and post together re: Capt. Frank Hamer.
A Hamer detractor recently wrote this: 

"In my opinion, Frank Hamer w
as 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 comment 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 seemingly mean spirited and short sighted diatribe 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 anyone's judgment-- should have been.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Note of Prayer, Concern and Hope (Updated)

I exchanged e-mails today with a great friend to all, who love Bonnie and Clyde History. For many years, Frank Ballinger has been a driving force, in helping to chronicle the true history of these outlaws. For more than a decade, Frank's website Bonnie and Clyde's Hideout has been a mainstay for this history-- as the preeminent B&C website, period. Some have known of Frank's recent health concerns, and those close to him have abided by his wishes-- not to have it widely known what his circumstances have been. Today Frank said it would be alright for me to let you know, he is now doing better in his fight with lymphoma. He is undergoing Chemo therapy, and thankfully-- his prospects have now improved toward remission.

Some have asked myself and others about Frank, and perhaps couldn't understand why we've needed to be tight lipped. Well please know, we were just honoring the wishes of a friend. Anyway, Frank says it's alright now for his ordeal to be better known. He sounds really positive about things. I have thought of him often, and prayed for him over the course of many months now. I am asking those who share my caring, respect and sentiment for Frank, to please do the same. For a great and honorable man, and stellar friend to this history-- I thank you for contributing your positive energies to this regard.

Update: Frank has now re-established his contact info on the main page of the Hideout. You can e-mail him through that link, or for those who don't have it-- Frank said it would be alright to publish it here--
I would recommend please not going much into B&C talk, as that's not a topic truly on the front burner with Frank at this time. With so many I know who care about Frank, I'm sure he would appreciate hearing from you. For those who would like to comment here as a way to leave a message for him, please feel free to express your good wishes, within the comments to this post. I'll make sure Frank knows where to look.

You know, I often find myself commenting on some B&C controversy or another-- where people sometimes quibble and bicker, and spill their passions and emotions all over the place-- seemingly over such insignificant things, when you consider the bigger picture. If I could please offer a comment here-- Frank Ballinger is a treasure first to his family and then to us as a friend-- and of course also to this history. Sometimes events occur, which should show us what's truly important in life-- so we can find some much needed balance, and help keep things in perspective. To me, this is one of those events.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Meeting To Get It Right-- That Wasn't

Someone's interesting comment on the blog, inspired this post. It was said that when Bonnie and Clyde the movie came out in 1967, this person assumed that when people alluded to something non-heterosexual about Clyde-- it was felt some insider knowledge was in play, which they needed to respect. But now years later-- this individual sees things differently. This comment reminded me of a story I heard, regarding a fateful meeting-- a meeting with the intention of providing historical accuracy for the movie Bonnie and Clyde. But unfortunately this meeting never occurred, as it seems 1/2 the participants never made it-- to this historically important rendezvous.

As many will attest, some of the joys in knowing L. J. "Boots" Hinton, are the many wonderful stories and anecdotes he tells-- and also his down home Texas sayings or "Bootsisms" as some like to call them, which come cascading out of him on a regular basis. Now I'd heard "Boots" tell this story a number of years ago-- so when I read the comment about the movie, I called "Boots" in order to ask him to please recount this story again. Now there "are" some nuances to this tale, which I can't reveal. But don't feel bad-- as the basics of the story, will be insightful none the less.

The story goes that a dinner meeting was arranged by the movie's set director, to include Warren Beatty, Director Arthur Penn, Ted Hinton and "Boots" Hinton. Also in attendance at the Hinton's request, would be the Hinton's family attorney. It was said the purpose of this get together, was for Ted and "Boots" Hinton to provide historical background to enhance the movie's accuracy. However when the Hintons arrived and were seated for their meeting, they were informed that the Director couldn't attend-- as apparently he was having trouble with the rushes. An apology was also issued for Warren Beatty, who it was said couldn't make it, as he was called elsewhere on urgent business. Now for those who are good at reading between the lines, when I say some said to be elsewhere, were thought perhaps not too far away-- that may have a bit to do with some hard feelings that may have ensued, and well-- let's just say you don't mess with a Texas lawman-- especially one who's there to do a job.

So the long and short of it, no meeting-- and no clarification of historical content from the Hintons for the movie Bonnie and Clyde. Now it's been said that a Barrow cousin may have provided some guidance to the filmmakers. However I might question that, as some of the Barrows and Parkers ended up suing, for what were deemed inaccurate portrayals of themselves and their families. Of course the Hamer family also sued, in challenging the film's portrayal of Frank Hamer as a bungling lawman, who was captured and humiliated by The Barrow Gang. The Hamer family sued for 1.75 million dollars. Although the amount of the final settlement was gag ordered by the judge, it's thought the Hamer family was provided a substantial sum in winning their lawsuit. I believe I'm right in saying, all the family member's lawsuits were won vs the B&C production company.

It's perhaps too bad, some couldn't make the meeting that wasn't. And in an odd twist of fate-- in testifying for the Hamer family as the last surviving ambush posse member, and as a lawman who knew the truth regarding Frank Hamer's interactions with B&C (there was only 1)-- Ted Hinton's testimony helped seal the win for the Hamer family vs Mr. Beatty's production company. So in the end, not attending that fateful meeting-- may have cost it's producer plenty, and made it plain for those who know better, that Bonnie and Clyde the movie, although still a classic-- left a lot to be desired in the historical accuracy department. And concerning salacious B&C rumors which filtered into the movie-- I would think that conversation with Ted and "Boots" Hinton, might have cleared all that up rather quickly. My sincere thanks as always, to L. J. "Boots" Hinton for this timely recollection.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

As the Beatles Said-- No Reply

Recently, there have been "dozens" of keyword approaches to the blog, concerning B&C sexual issues-- with the vast majority being homosexual references. Yet with nearly 1000 hits to the blog since the August 8th post concerning this-- I don't believe there's been "even 1" comment advanced, by those who've inquired of these likely erroneous B&C rumors-- in response to my addressing them. This leaves me to wonder why??

As mentioned within my welcome to this blog, I speak my mind here and so can you. Could it be that those who are "caught up" in these rumors, would surf the internet in search of something to satisfy their curiosity-- only to run into this post, and feel disappointed in some way that these rumors may not be true?? Or perhaps as I write this, someone is hard at work creating a response that will soon be forthcoming?? Until there is comment from anyone who believes these rumors true, or further-- who may actually "enjoy" reading about B&C sexual innuendo for the fun of it-- I have to assume there won't be one.

I'm polite but not shy, and can be rather direct-- in my comments defending the importance of accuracy within B&C History. Just ask Jeff Guinn. I felt it important to address these B&C sexual rumors and attempt to discern their origin. The sheer volume of response here, based on people seeking out information concerning these "sordid" innuendos-- I think proves the need for such a post having been written.

I sincerely hope all who read this, who used B&C sexual references to get here-- will read my B&C rumors and innuendos post below, dated August 8th. I would be "very" interested to read comments from anyone, who's both keyed in with a B&C sexual reference-- and also read the related post. Please make your comments here, or below after the August 8th post.

I'm curious to know, whether this fascination with B&C rumor-- has a genuine goal in searching for historical truth?? Or rather-- whether this enjoyment of historically charged gossip, is more attuned to some inherent need for "controversy"-- which many may find a compelling element of B&C lore, whether justified or not.
Do any of you who've inquired of this topic, have comments regarding the content of my post-- formed in conjunction with 3 other B&C Historians?? Have any questions been answered for you?? Have any preconceived notions of B&C sexuality, been affected by reading this expose'-- which reveals the likely source of these "sordid" rumors, which in reality-- seem to have no basis in truth. I would offer my sincere thanks, for such a reply.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Open Question-- What Ever Happened To Sonny Boy??

I've been asked what ever happened to Bonnie's rabbit Sonny Boy-- the Easter gift ultimately said to be destined for Emma Parker?? The other night Jim Knight told me of a story that someone at some point-- said a head of lettuce may have been found in the death car?? I had never heard that story before. One thing now known that wasn't known before the Dallas FBI Files, is that B&C did participate in a family get together near Nacogdoches or Martinsville, Texas apparently on May 5th, 1934. Bailey Tynes reported on this meeting to the Bureau of Investigation as did Frank Hamer, who told of what appeared to be the same clandestine meeting-- in a letter to Dallas SAC Frank Blake dated May 11th, 1934.

This family rendezvous was said to have been with the Barrows, but of course could have included Emma Parker. If Sonny Boy was with B&C at that time, it's conceivable he could have been given to Emma, or passed from the Barrows to Emma later on. As I know of no one who knows the ultimate fate of Sonny Boy, I throw this question out to all.

Does anyone have and ideas, as to what happened to Bonnie's rabbit Sonny Boy??

"Many thanks" to Stefanie over England way-- for recalling the fate of Sonny Boy, Bonnie's pet rabbit. Please view the comments below for the answer.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Surprises Seem Certain-- From the Latest B&C Polls

An eclectic batch of polls, with perhaps surprising results. I'm liking the way the B&C Polls are working now. The difficulty is as it should be to challenge this talented group, and as last time-- even those with strong track records, couldn't run the table. With this group of polls, by my count, everyone was skunked on 2 questions-- which were ones I'm sure many thought they got right. Some may be surprised by a few of the latest answers-- so here goes--

Dudley Castleman was indeed the informant from the Bad Weather Trap post, who hailed from Detroit, TX-- and informed the Texas Hwy Patrol regarding Clyde. I had left him anonymous within the post, in order to reveal him here. There always seems to be a "gimme" within the polls, although I don't plan it that way. It seems this week's question most everyone knew, involved Percy Boyd. He was the hostage B&C were thought to have liked the most. Clyde apparently claimed Boyd had "more guts than anyone he had ever met". Bonnie also liked Percy, and asked the Commerce Police Chief to see that Sonny Boy her pet rabbit-- got to her mother Emma, should anything happen to B&C while Percy was with them. Everly, Iowa was the location where the unique Iowa license plate 13-1234 with it's sequential last 4 numbers was spotted on a Barrow Gang vehicle. Although at first their take was thought to be higher, in the end it was discovered-- they had had robbed an Everly bank of about $700 ($10,500 today).

Ray Hamilton's unfulfilled idea, to shoot Joe Palmer in the back as he slept, was described by Clyde as a "cat idea"-- within a letter From Clyde, likely penned by Bonnie during Clyde's newspaper feud with Hamilton. 3 was the correct number of times, Clyde was known to have fired a weapon when challenged during a bank robbery. These bank shootouts occurred at Lucerne, Indiana, Okabena, Minnesota and Oronogo, Missouri. Clara Rogers of Winslow, Arkansas was 26 years old-- when reportedly attacked by Buck and Clyde. Although there is great debate over this incident, and on his death bed, Buck denied his and Clyde's involvement in this controversial rape and beating-- Mrs. Rogers is said to have positively identified Clyde and Buck, in a statement made to Crawford County Sheriff Albert Maxey.

I've saved the best for last-- the 2 no one got. To this day, no one seems to know for sure, where The Barrow Gang scored their biggest bank heist-- which netted a reported $33,000. Lawrence, Kansas seems the preeminent opinion as the location for this bank job to have occurred. However, despite Ralph Fult's detailed account, of how the gang cased the Lawrence bank, and also with this particular bank having been capitalized for $300,000, making it likely one of the largest banks in the state-- neither vintage news reports nor modern research, can verify this Lawrence bank having been hit for such a large amount. As there were many possible choices, where this holdup could have occurred within the geographic area The Barrow Gang traveled during that time-- there are many theories as to where this sizable haul was seized.
Based on this uncertainty-- "an unknown location" was the correct answer to the greatest heist question. To give this robbery some perspective, allowing for inflation-- $33,000 then, would be worth $465,000 today. When reportedly split 3 ways, the 11K each-- would have equaled $165,000 each in today's terms. A nice day's work.

And the question where I feel most all us will learn something new, including me-- had to do with the number of Barrow Gang hostages. Most chose 7 as the number of hostages. Some chose 9-- I suppose in counting Valley and Marvelle Fellers, who weren't actually taken hostage, transported anywhere and released. Nope, neither 7 nor 9 was correct-- as in reality, the number was many more than that. "Many" as by definition 4 or more?? Yes-- and not all hostages were released safely. I rely on Jim Knight for this info, which he detailed within an e-mail as follows:

Here’s all 11 plus the references - plus a bonus.


Barrow Gang hostages - people who were forced into a car and taken for a ride against their will by Clyde Barrow and/or members of his gang but released unharmed.
1. Son of John Redden, Stringtown OK. My book, page 55 and Atoka, OK paper, 8/11/1932.
2. Joe Johns - Eddy County, New Mexico. My book, page 57.
3. Tom Persell Springfield, MO. My book, page 71.
4. Sophia Stone, Ruston, LA. My book page 83.
5. H.D. Darby, Ruston, LA. “ ” “ ” “
6. George Corey Wellington, TX. My book, page 88.
7. Paul Hardy, Wellington, TX. “ ” “ ” “
8. Harold Anderson, Ft. Dodge, IA, My book, page 99/100.
9. Harry Stark, Ft. Dodge,. IA “ ” “ ” “ ”
10. Joe Gunn, Reed Springs, MO. My book, page 135.
11. Percy Boyd, Commerce, OK My book, page 149.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

When is B&C Passion-- Too Much Passion??

People sure do get worked up over Bonnie and Clyde. There are of course other historical figures and events steeped in controversy, which inspire such an outpouring of personal thought and energy-- but you'd have to admit, that list would be historically impressive. JFK, Martin Luther King, Mandela, Gandhi-- perhaps even Hitler. But remarkably, once one gets rolling-- it seems there's not much that can equal the passion expended, within a debate concerning Bonnie and Clyde. One might ask how in the world 2 Southwestern desperadoes from the Depression Age, ascended to such a lofty position within the "passion purge"?? After all, they were just 2 thieving murdering thugs who deserved what they got and should have been killed sooner. No they're not-- they were crusaders, who stood up for the downtrodden and fought for the oppressed against their oppressors. "See what I mean".

As with any debate, battle lines within B&C square offs are keenly drawn between 2 extremes-- then you have the middle ground. There are the B&C faithful, who "revere" these outlaws for a variety of reasons-- which their detractors can never seem to understand. Then there are the impassioned "defenders of right"-- who perhaps wish they could have grabbed a gun and shot B&C themselves, if damn it-- they were only born sooner. In between you get a better sense of balance, from those who view these individuals and events within context, and attempt as best they can-- to deal with this history "historically". I count myself among these centrists, in considering and commenting on B&C history. On the face of it, what Bonnie and Clyde and other outlaws from their era did was wrong. However-- extreme individuals and events are prone to reality, within times of extreme circumstance. And not many can question, the fact that the Depression Years were unique and extreme times. I often wonder how the people alive today would react, if they found themselves in the same predicaments our forbearers did in the 1930's??

My issue regarding such overt passion concerning B&C-- is that when commenting on B&C History, some let their passion come cascading out-- without bringing historical reasoning with it. To me when you color history to suit your argument, or craft emotionally charged statements to back your claims, then passion is playing too large a role-- and is thrust into a position where rightfully, it shouldn't be. Let's examine some selected statements from a recent B&C exchange:

These two were not blood thirsty criminals, I don't think Clyde Barrow shot anyone out of malice or in cold blood, more or less in a shootout or he was the one who actually never pulled the trigger. Bonnie never shot anyone, it was the times.. the dust bowl days.. bad seeds.

Frank Hamer was a living legend..... a real life Matt Dillon..... had some 60 kills to his credit when he retired from the Texas Rangers..... he preferred to bring his quarry in alive..... but was such a prototypical lawman, he was sent after the most incorrigible criminals..... by contrast, B&C were sadists..... good riddance to bad rubbish.....

Bonnie and Clyde may have been crooks and killers but were saints compared to banks and the United States Government!!!!!!!

White trash legends. How many people did they kill? A dozen? They got off easy.

I love these two! What love... what passion for life!!! Love them both! May they be together in heaven where money is not a big deal anymore. They did what they had to, to survive during those times... and that's okay with me!

Bonnie and Clyde were bad to the bone. God help anyone who got in Clyde's way. He wanted nice clothes, fancy cars, good food. Everyone else did without and worked hard. Not Clyde. He thought he was entitled to kill people and laugh about it. He didn't just murder 12 innocent people. These were people's fathers, sons. husbands, children. He ruined hundreds of lives in order to buy a camera to take these pictures, drive that car, wear those clothes. Plus, he was gay.

They weren't cool or admirable, but human nature has a fascination with crime and criminals. Sympathy isn't always rational. And many "good guys" in our society, while not violent, are found to be unethical and corrupt. It's not an easy situation to clearly sort out. Comment-- I wasn't sure which side to put this one on, so I gave it it's own color. I thought this the best statement of the lot, and one I feel is both insightful and interesting!!

The Bible does not condemn all killing: only murder. Killing a criminal for certain crimes is God's will. Scripture teaches in Romans 13 that the Govt. is God's "minister against them that do evil" and "does not bear the sword (instrument of death) in vain."

Whoa!!-- it seems truer extremes were never reached within a B&C debate. I wonder if that last comment, was also indicative of those who would use swastikas against others-- in support of their views over a current political debate?? May more rational people please prevail-- and come to terms.

Your Honor-- I rest my case!! When is passion too much passion within a B&C debate?? When it's forthcoming in statements such as these.
When I see expressions such as this, I often just shake my head. Too much passion-- not enough fact and way too little thought and reason, to me-- is not the right mix for historical conversation. Although they could be better, I can at least tolerate some statements such as these. But I don't pay any mind as they say, to B&C comments fraught with obscenities and impoliteness. To me, Moronic is the correct term for those who travel that road-- in not truly commenting on history, but instead-- exercising what some would claim as a right of rude but free speech. I just feel that kind of thing, only amounts to hateful banter from empty heads.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Suggestions Anyone??

As I'm quite fluid regarding topics posted for the B&CHB, if anyone has suggestions regarding a post they would like to see, or a B&C topic addressed-- please feel free to comment here. I look forward to your suggestions. Blog keyword entries can be also be useful, in focusing on topics of interest. Along with more controversial ones already revealed, some examples of recent keyword entries include:

> B&C 57 round BAR magazine > Eastham Texas prison abuse 1930's > Easter Sunday shootings Methvin > Clyde Barrow's weapon of choice > Sheriff "Smoot" Schmid > Did Bonnie Parker have an STD?? > 1920's Bonnie and Clyde > Remington 11 "whipit" shotgun > Sowers ambush > Who will play Henry Methvin in the Hilary Duff B&C movie?? > Ted Hinton B&C video > Bonnie Parker Wellington > B&C last phone call LA > B&C Joplin, MO tunnel

Those last 2 are intriguing to me, although I don't know what to make of them. Please let me hear from you, with your suggestions.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Damning Effects of B&C Lore

I'm a bit surprised, my "sordid" innuendos post hasn't inspired more comment. It's certainly a rare week, and sometimes a rare day-- when someone doesn't key into the blog with the phrase "Clyde Barrow homosexual" or some like reference-- as was the case twice yesterday. Sometimes these thoughts seem so ingrained in people's perceptions. I like to think positively, and feel that most who search for info on B&C, have a genuine interest in sorting out historical fact from fiction. However it seems some are stuck believing in the "storied" accounts of the outlaws-- and thus more keenly fascinated by rumors and lore-- than perhaps in getting closer to the truth.

I guess some feel if suppositions are written of in a book-- that publishing these claims somehow legitimizes them, and makes them true. But in reality, it's not the book that makes words true or false. The accuracy of ideas brought forth for publication, rests almost solely with the author-- and to a lesser extent, with proofreaders prior to a book's release. But with more than 50,000 books published each year, you just know accuracy cannot be assured. You might think a book's factual integrity would be more likely within the historical genre, however based on many past examples-- I'm not sure that can be stated with confidence. But I feel I "can" state with confidence, when an author's view is that "all written history is ultimately best guess"-- as was exclaimed by a now famous B&C author, that I think it's fair to say everything's up for grabs-- and by his own admission, who knows what's true and what isn't??

Thanks in large part to John Toland, this now "45" year fascination, with fallacious B&C sexual theory-- I think proves my point, regarding the dangers of recent baseless innuendo being advanced within B&C books and media accounts. I will continue to add my voice to the cause of protecting B&C History from unproven lore-- which only serves to cloud the truth concerning an already fascinating history. I'm willing to bet, this new wave of B&C supposition now being thought of as fact-- will have the same damning and damaging effect tomorrow, as the Toland offerings which so obviously-- still ring loud and clear today.

Now apparently, some shoddy research and a lack of historical diligence, has impressed upon many that Bonnie was a prostitute-- and Hamer seemingly "finished off" Bonnie, with numerous shots fired directly into her from her right side-- using his powerful Colt Monitor machine rifle. As politely as I can say it-- "none" of those claims can be substantiated, and all of that nonsensical supposition can be rebuked-- by reasonable and existing "evidence"-- which has so conveniently been ignored?? I would say "don't get me going"-- but apparently I already am.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

"Sordid" Bonnie & Clyde Rumors and Innuendos Exposed

Bonnie Elizabeth Parker a nymphomaniac-- Clyde Barrow a homosexual-- W. D. Jones homosexual as well-- but never the less, he along with Henry Methvin judged useful gang members-- to drive Barrow Gang cars, assist in robberies & also satisfy Bonnie's aberrant sexual desires?!? Say it ain't so-- but many do, and can't say why?? All they know is they heard it somewhere, or it was intimated in the '67 movie??-- or they read it in some B&C book or another.

And many "keep" insisting-- there's something to these rumors, even though many close to B&C who knew them best-- have dismissed these innuendos as being nothing but creative fodder-- including W. D. Jones, in stating he never heard of these references, until the release of Bonnie and Clyde the movie. But as many know, it "was" the 1967 movie portrayal of the outlaws, which inspired resurgence of Bonnie and Clyde history and lore-- after more than 30 years of B&C having been forgotten. It was also this movie, which inspired the prolific publishing of many new books regarding the West Dallas desperadoes. 

In fact, few books were written about B&C prior to 1968, with the vast majority coming afterward. Fugitives (the families' account)-- was published in 1934-- Assignment Huntsville, the Lee Simmons book was offered in 1957-- and The Texas Rangers by Walter Prescott Webb, published in 1935-- contained a chapter on Frank Hamer, with references to Hamer's tracking of Bonnie and Clyde. I'm Frank Hamer by Jenkins and Frost came out in 1968. Most additional information concerning B&C, was contained within True Crime magazines-- with stories published at various times, but mainly nearer the time of the ambush.

But one thing seems likely-- although there were some vague references within older works where sources weren't the least bit clear, many may not have read much about these particular "sordid" Bonnie and Clyde rumors-- until the 1963 release of John Toland's The Dillinger Days. Toland's Dillinger book was one of many written by the Pulitzer Prize winning author. But one look at his body of work, makes it abundantly clear-- writing of crime wasn't his first love. Indeed Toland's forte, was in chronicling accounts of WWII history. 

Concerning his style, it's said Toland tried to write of history as straight forward narrative, with minimal analysis and judgment. This method may have been developed, from his original goal of wanting to be a playwright. After writing several plays not picked up as stage productions, Toland managed to publish an article on dirigibles in Look magazine. This article was viewed favorably-- and thus his career as an historian was born. John Toland won the Pulitzer Prize in 1971, for his book The Rising Sun-- which through interviews with high Japanese officials who survived the war, chronicles Imperial Japan from the rebellion of 1936, to the end of WWII. Toland was also acclaimed, for his biography of Adolph Hitler, for which he derived his best commercial success. While mainly a non-fiction author, Toland wrote 2 historical novels-- Gods of War and Occupation.

From a True Crime perspective, a listing of Toland's books is revealing--

> Aldolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography > Battle: The Story of the Bulge > But Not in Shame: The Six Months After Pearl Harbor > Captured by History: One Man's Vision of Our Tumultuos Century > The Dillinger Days > Gods of War > The Great Dirigibles: Their Triumphs and Disasters > In Mortal Combat: Korea 1950-1953 > Infamy: Pearl Harbor And Its Aftermath > The Last 100 Days: The Tumultuous and Controversial Story of the Final Days of World War II in Europe > No Man's Land: 1918, The Last Year of the Great War > Occupation > The Flying Tigers > and The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945.

Does anyone see a similarity, in comparing John Toland's
singular true crime effort, nestled conspicuously within his more prolific main interest-- to any modern "B&C" author's writing experiences as well?? To Toland's credit, at least his main experience "was" historical writing.

In the past I've keyed on Toland-- as to my thinking, having been the source of seedy innuendo regarding B&C's sexuality. However for this post, I felt it important to garner more B&C historical firepower. So I contacted noted Historians Jim Knight, Rick Mattix and John Neal Phillips-- to ask for their theories, concerning the source of these B&C sexual rumors. All agreed with my take, that John Toland within his 1963 book The Dillinger Days-- is likely the source of these B&C sexual expressions. Jim, Rick and John Neal-- were most gracious in weighing in with their opinions. Their thoughts combined, yielded the following appraisals in both crediting Toland for these rumors-- and dismissing credibility for these accounts within the light of reality:

John Toland indeed appears to be a major source, if not the only source of the myths of a nymphomaniac Bonnie and homosexual Clyde. As only weak footnotes exist in defending Toland's look into B&C, there is consensus-- that although he was a Pulitzer Prize winning author-- Toland used "considerable" literary license within his Dillinger book in general, and actually may have made up these risque stories concerning B&C. There seems to be no historical basis for these rumors, prior to Toland revealing them. 

I would add what I feel, is the importance of Nelson Algren's 1968 admonishment of John Toland-- for advancing these racy theories without substantiation. To me, Algren's criticism is important and timely-- as it came from a contemporary. Algren calls Toland's Dillinger Days "a volume of conjectures, surmises and easy assumptions". Algren goes on to comment, "one can only marvel at this writer's presumption. Clyde Barrow might have been a latent heterosexual without even his mother knowing".

In defense of Clyde's love and devotion to Bonnie Parker, Algren recounts Clyde's sister's comments that "Bonnie Parker was the answer to a sister's prayer for a wife for a best- loved brother". Algren theorizes that perhaps Toland derived his ideas of aberrant behavior within B&C-- from the W. D. Jones interviews, conducted once he was captured. In saving himself from the electric chair, Jones spun stories of B&C having manipulated and controlled him-- even to the extreme of W. D. having been chained to a tree. I would add, that Jones was also said to have sometimes slept in the same room as B&C-- which could also have contributed to this innuendo. But as Blanche was there to witness sleeping arrangements of the gang, and later wrote of them-- she didn't seem to find anything unusual within the haphazard circumstances the Barrow Gang often found themselves in. 

The young W. D. Jones was known to have idolized Clyde Barrow. My feeling is, although he became a killer due to his association with Clyde-- nevertheless Jones seemed to retain some touch of personal innocence, throughout the B&C years. I agree with Nelson Algren's view, that Jone's tales of manipulation-- could well have inspired the creation of some "great leap" of conjecture within John Toland-- to have caused him to create an aberrant B&C. But exactly how these sexually charged behaviors and cravings were arrived at in Toland's account-- I'm not sure anyone can say??

Some further expressions of Knight, Mattix and Phillips to this debate are that-- Clyde was known to have possessed a dominant personality. It would be unlikely for Clyde to have been thought homosexual-- and still have commanded the respect he did within criminal circles. Back in those days being tough, respected and feared-- would have been incompatible, with known homosexuality within a hardened criminal element. 

There's not much doubt concerning Clyde having been sexually abused while at Eastham. But there appears to be no link from Clyde's abuse while incarcerated, to belief's that Clyde may have changed his sexual orientation due to his Eastham experiences. Regarding the Wade McNabb story, where Floyd Hamilton claimed within his book, that Clyde was thought to have been McNabb's "wife" while at Eastham prison-- Hamilton although believed reliable for some B&C info over the years-- was thought to have been wrong in this account. Indeed McNabb and Barrow, are not known to have been within the walls of the Eastham Prison Farm at the same time.

And regarding Bonnie, although she was known to have been sexually active from a young age-- there apparently exists no bridge from her early sexuality, to any heightened out of control sexual tendencies. John Neal Phillips adds important insights, from some of his many B&C interviews, which can aid us here.  

"None of the many people I've interviewed (who actually knew Bonnie and Clyde) had any idea where the stories of Clyde's supposed homosexuality and Bonnie's alleged nymphomania (let alone the recent claims of prostitution) came from. As Marie put it to me one time, "If Clyde liked boys, what the hell was he doing with that girl (Bonnie) for two years?" Ralph Fults, Jack Hammett, Blanche Barrow, and even Floyd Hamilton described to me a Bonnie and Clyde deeply and utterly in love with one another. And TRUE to one another! Ralph took it further by telling me simply that in the underworld "you didn't mess with another man's girl. And NOBODY messed with Clyde Barrow's girl!" And the emphasis was Ralph's. W. D. Jones was equally perplexed. In an interview with reporter Kent Biffle in the late 1960's, Jones said he could not imagine where the stories about Clyde came from, adding that when he (Jones) was a convict at Eastham he never heard even the slightest hint that Barrow was homosexual, nor did he hear that Clyde had ever been another convict's 'wife'. Jones said the first time he heard such was in 1967, with the release of the movie, "Bonnie and Clyde". That would certainly fit chronologically with the earlier appearance of the Toland publication and its influence on later works, not the least of which would have been the Warren Beatty movie. I hope this helps. Thanks for the opportunity to add my two-or-three cents". 

I would add that even now, with new revelations known regarding STD's being present within the Barrow Gang and perhaps in some of it's followers-- one is still hard pressed to account for the portrayal of such lurid B&C reputations-- without looking to Toland. Unfortunately, other books have also contributed their share of unsubstantiated rumor and innuendo regarding Bonnie and Clyde. I feel there is justification and importance, in addressing some of these additional accounts of unproven lore within upcoming posts. But concerning B&C's aberrant sexuality, it appears that John Toland can firmly be credited-- for these unfounded but "scandalously memorable" innuendos.

It appears to me, that with so many questions concerning these scurrilous rumors asked so often, and accounts of these stories recounted in such a prolific way-- that oddly, there may be an element of B&C watcher, who might actually favor this scuttlebutt being true. I'm not sure why this might be so, but would hope common sense and research-- would win out over any gossip laden desires. I find it unfortunate, John Toland is no longer alive to defend himself, and explain his B&C conjecture. If anyone can locate comments from Toland, concerning his treatment of B&C within The Dillinger Days, I would appreciate your please sharing them with us. I welcome your comments, and feel many may be forthcoming.  

I wish to offer my sincere "thanks" to 3 great historians and friends in Jim Knight, Rick Mattix and John Neal Phillips-- for their gracious assistance, team effort and valuable insights-- into this great debate within Bonnie and Clyde History.