Thursday, March 25, 2010

Debunking Bonnie & Clyde Sexual Rumors-- A B&CHB Challenge "Again".

As many know, I've made this challenge before and I'm in that mood again. Seemingly day in and day out, week after week & month after month-- people visit this historical blog as elsewhere, to satisfy some overwhelming & burning curiosity-- concerning Bonnie & Clyde sexual rumors. These rumors mainly revolve around Clyde being homosexual, but have also involved other members of The Barrow Gang. I invite all who visit here for that purpose, to read the August 8th, 2009 post entitled Sordid Rumors and Innuendos Exposed. Within this expose'-- I involved other B&C Historians such as John Neal Phillips, Rick Mattix and Jim Knight to work with me-- in attempting to set the record straight, regarding the sources of these apparently unfounded but beloved?? rumors.

Based on such an intense interest in rumors no one seems to have good evidence for-- I'd like anyone with credible documentation, to support such a claim of homosexuality in Clyde-- or deviant sexual behavior in Bonnie or any member of the Barrow Gang, to contact me. If anyone has valuable info to share, I'll post it here on The B&CHB. Just be aware, if your source is a recently published B&C work-- written by a self styled expert on that Oh So Jolly Christmas Icon-- to me that's not the best source of B&C knowledge. With so much interest in this sordid subject, perhaps it's fair to ask why it almost seems "desirable"-- for Clyde to have been gay in some people's eyes?!? And for Bonnie to have been a nymphomaniac-- and for W.D. Jones and Henry Methvin to have been subservient sex toys (thanks Mr. Toland)-- or for Bonnie to be thought of as a prostitute (thanks Mr. Guinn).

And what about Ray Hamilton, Mary O'Dare and Joe Palmer??-- where are their supporters in all of this?? Hell-- Mary O'Dare has been labeled a prostitute for decades, and no one says much about her. I guess Ray had his own, so he and Mary don't count?? And why not throw in, all the pseudo members of the gang after the Eastham breakout?? What about Hilton Bybee and Jimmy Mullins. Wouldn't they have added to a good time?? I point out the ridiculous, as an illustration of just how ridiculous all of this sordid wonderment sounds.

The closest we seem to come, to knowing anything concrete about the sexual habits of any of The Barrow Gang, stems from 2 sources-- Jimmy Mullins in detailing who had a venereal disease in and around The Barrow Gang (not uncommon in the '30's)-- and From Dr. J. L. Wade, via an interview with his friend Dr. Carroll Rich-- 35 years after Wade's examinations of B&C. Although not noted in his coroner's inquest from 1934, Dr. Wade later revealed both B&C had gonorrhea. Regarding Clyde, to me it's a large leap from having a venereal disease while spending quite some time continuously with Bonnie Parker-- to any claim of homosexuality.

The same could be said of Bonnie regarding a claim of nymphomania. To me, having a venereal disease which was at near epidemic levels during the 1930's-- doesn't equate to abnormal sexual behavior. Bonnie was married previously, and was known to have dated during Clyde's stint in jail. And of course Clyde nearly got married-- but for the wishes of what would have been his future in laws. Clyde's fiance' also denied any deviant sexual habits in Clyde, in declaring him normal. Even in discounting family members, who may not be prone to reveal such things-- no one close to the gang or who was ever close to B&C including their ex-lovers, has even hinted at any sordid habits concerning Clyde or Bonnie.

Blanche's comments regarding W.D. Jones not liking to sleep alone "are" interesting, but I'm not sure what if anything of a nefarious nature-- could be garnered from her recollections, which were not elaborated upon. I suppose what "can" be gained from all of this, is that all present around The Barrow Gang were sexually active young people. That in itself is not unusual. But to build a case for all these rumors which have floated about, and declare them as fact-- much more would need to be known. Thus I invite all supporters of these scurrilous rumors, to take my challenge. I invite you to comment. I welcome your evidence. Or is this just about gossip, and the search for something juicy and adventurous??

I don't know-- but I do know that history is not about rumor, gossip, desire or guesswork-- history is about fact. And as I see it, the facts as are known-- do not support such sordid claims about Bonnie and Clyde.
For some to write seemingly outside of their genres as some B&C authors have done-- either without viable footnotes, or apparently with less than adequate diligence and research-- I feel does a great disservice to this history. In my view, rumors such as those addressed here-- have been proliferated through less than accurate and sensationalized accounts of B&C History.

And for people to believe what is written out of hand, just because the ink is dry somewhere-- I suppose shows the need for many to think more carefully. Also, any attempt to defend guesswork within a "true" account of history, is in my humble opinion-- crap. Those who write autobiographies of mythical figures, might consider working harder to get it right-- when historical writing is involved. By the way Santa Sir-- I'd really like Peace on Earth and a Range Rover this year, if that can be arranged please. I really hope Tonya Holly can get her movie made-- as the "true" story of Bonnie and Clyde, seems so much more interesting-- than some of the B&C fiction that exists now. For more insight on this topic-- please visit the B&CHB Archive, and read the 8/8/09 post
Sordid Rumors and Innuendos Exposed.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March 24th, Clyde's 100th Birthday-- Or Was That Last Year??

March 24th-- marks the birthday of arguably the most iconic of all American outlaws, Clyde Chestnut Barrow. I am making the distinction between 1930's outlaws and gangsters of the '20's-- due to the unique hardships, thrust upon the populous during this time. Although the date of March 24th is not in question, Clyde's year of birth has been debated seemingly since he died.

The most accepted account-- has Clyde being born in 1909. Others look to reported clarifications by the Barrow family, in listing Clyde's correct year of birth as being 1910. It's been said that the Barrow family Bible notes Clyde's birth year as 1910. The story's also been told of
Cumie Barrow being so upset at the death of her son, that she inadvertently gave the wrong year of birth to the stone cutter for Clyde's tombstone. Speaking for myself, I've thought that 1909 was the correct date. But as it was pointed out to me, that this year (2010) may indeed be the 100th anniversary of Clyde's birth-- I felt it would be good to get to the bottom of this long standing controversy.

In preparation for this post, I asked Clyde's nephew Buddy Barrow, if he would please provide his insights concerning Clyde's correct date of birth. Buddy's now told me, he and his aunt Marie had reviewed the family Bible-- which contained errors. It's thought this Bible may have been a replacement, for one that had been in a fire. As such, Marie believed some recollections within the more recent Bible-- may not have been transferred accurately. Buddy's said that through his research, Clyde's date of birth as it appears on his tombstone is correct-- March 24th, 1909. This is verified by the 1910 census, which lists Clyde as being 1 year old. However, Buddy also mentioned, that Marvin's date of birth on his portion of the dual Barrow grave marker is incorrect-- in reading March 14th, 1905. It should read March 14th, 1903. My sincere "thanks" to Buddy Barrow for being so kind, in providing these most useful Barrow family clarifications-- for those who view The B&CHB.

Update-- I've now also learned, that Clyde himself may have aided in this mystery. A story exists from a reliable source, that when Clyde was headed to Huntsville-- he may have misrepresented his year of birth as 1910, to appear to be a juvenile-- in order that he might be placed in the Gateville Juvenile Detention Center, instead of going to the walls. This is supposedly the same incident, where he claimed his middle name to be Champion and exclaimed-- "how does it feel to have a champion in your midst??"

It's been suggested I provide a fitting memorial to Clyde here within this birthday post. However, as I am not into aggrandizing historical figures, and being the centrist I am in relating B&C History-- I feel quite comfortable in letting Clyde's considerable legacy speak for itself, on his birthday.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Streaks Are Meant To Be Broken-- Answers To The Latest B&C Polls

It's that time again-- time to reveal the answers to the B&C Polls. As answers this go 'round seemed all over the lot, somehow I knew that no one also participating in the monthly Poll Contest-- would likely get all these questions right. And that turned out to be the case. I may get some e-mails and phone calls this time, but as James Taylor said-- "that's why I'm here". As I try to use only reliable sources for the B&C Poll questions, but choose not to reveal all of them-- to preserve my ability to continue this favorite feature of many for a good long time, please know I trust in the seeds for these answers.

Some of the sources for this batch of queries were somewhat obscure, but they needed to be-- with the polls having been run through so efficiently, by at least one B&C expert for 2 months in a row. As I thought what fun is that?!?-- I set out with the help of my
compadre' L.J. "Boots" Hinton to try and toughen up the polls. Many of you did well with these questions, but many too may be surprised at some of the answers. So here we go--

Bonnie's father Charley Parker (with corrected spelling)-- died on December 31st, 1914. Many wonder about this, as so little is known about Charley-- but I have it from the family that this date is correct. I purposely added the reference to Charley deserting his family, in attempting to debunk that rumor here. Well I'm sure my phone will be ringing, as many may think Emma never viewed Clyde-- but I'm going with what I believe to be a credible new report, which I quote in saying "Bonnie's mother also attended the funeral and gazed into the open casket at Clyde's face but said nothing". In a letter to W.C. Condit President of the Nebraska Sheriff's Association, Joplin Chief of Detective Ed Portley, said Buck paid Carl Beatty (his spelling) $100 and 2 Ford Model A's for his Marmon. As I've mentioned on occaision, based on info from the Joplin Police files on B&C-- the Marmon was offered as restitution to the families of Harry McGinnis and Wes Harryman.

In a newspaper article from the time, Sheriff Thigpen is credited as saying that initially, Dilbert Darby thought Pretty Boy Floyd, may have been responsible for kidnapping himself and Sophia Stone. Of course later, Darby and Stone got it right by picking out photos of their Barrow Gang assailants. Well, I finally skunked you all on a question again. It was McCamy Campbell Embalmer Tommy McCallum, who reconstructed Bonnie's lower face, which was so badly damaged by gunfire. Although not all the bullets were said to have been removed from either body, it was McCallum-- who for many years, reportedly wore a tie tack made from a bullet taken from Bonnie's body. Concerning the number of cars in the procession from the ambush site to Arcadia, 150 has been published as the estimate. "Boots" said his father Ted Hinton, commented the number was more than 100.

5 was the correct number of aeroplane flights to the Arcadia airport, related to the ambush of B&C. One of those trips, carried Dallas Sheriff "Smoot" Schmid to the event he long anticipated. At least one account, has Buck upstairs on the couch when the shooting started in Joplin. But not according to W.D. Jones-- who said it was Buck who opened the garage door, when all hell broke loose at number 3347 & 1/2 34th Street on April 13th, 1933. What a great address.

Well there you have it-- answers to the latest batch of B&C Polls. I have to double check, but I believe that so far-- the B&C Poll Contest for March is tied. It's good to see an ex-champion re-enter the fray, in competing again for monthly Poll Champion honors. I encourage more who have fun with the polls, to enter the poll contest each month. For instructions on how to enter, please view the paragraph on the polls within the notes section. As March's contest could well go down to the wire, please look for a new group of challenging B&C Polls (March round 2)-- to be posted soon. As always my thanks, to all who vote just for fun-- and also to those who participate in the monthly poll contests. Fun and knowledge are the goals-- of the B&C Polls on The B&CHB.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Was There Really An Aunt "Millie"-- In B&C History??

We all the know the story of Bonnie, Clyde and Ray Hamilton paying a visit to Bonnie's Aunt Millie in Carlsbad, NM in August of 1932. Although there are conflicting reports as to what actually happened, to cause Deputy Sheriff Joe Johns to be kidnapped as a result of their visit-- there's no doubt that Johns was indeed taken hostage by B&C, and later released 15 miles outside of San Antonio, Texas. Most have always assumed, that Aunt Millie Stamps was the Parker relative responsible for alerting Johns-- and thus causing this escapade, or-- that Mrs. Stamps was the unwitting recipient of good police work by the Deputy Sheriff, which made it appear that she had betrayed Bonnie and Clyde.

However, a review of news reports from that time-- seem to reveal no first name mentioned for Mrs. Stamp, as she was called (without the s). It appears Millie's 1st name may have been learned primarily from Emma Parker's recollections in Fugitives. As such, Aunt Millie has been written of for decades, by authors and historians in recounting this renowned story. Emma played down Millie's role in attempting to turn in Bonnie, Clyde and Ray that day-- in as much stating that she didn't believe Millie was responsible for this incident, as it was reported or rumored.

My purpose here, is to state my belief-- that Aunt Millie as so often described within the History of B&C-- may have actually been Aunt Nellie. It is widely believed that in Fugitives, names were changed to protect the innocent-- when told of by the families in 1934. Emma described the relative from the Carlsbad incident as a sister, which is close to true-- but it appears now, that person was not a sister of Emma's named Millie, but rather her sister in law-- Charlie's sister Nellie.

I'm now aware of credible documentation-- which repudiates the existence of a Millie within either the Parker or Krause families. However-- Bonnie's father Charlie Parker did have a sister named Nellie. And interestingly-- it's Nellie who's specifically mentioned within this 1st hand history, as being the Aunt who turned in B&C when B&C visited her. Aunt Nellie is said to have lived somewhere in West Texas. I've found the record of a Nellie Stamps within the 1930 census-- living in Pecos, Texas. Pecos is 86.3 miles from Carlsbad, NM. In 1930-- Pecos to Carlsbad was a pretty straight shot North on Rt 17 to Rt 2. Today, this trip would be made on Rt 285. This woman was born in 1881 and would have been 49 years old in 1930. This info makes sense in comparing the ages of Parker and Krause contemporary relatives during this time period. For example, Emma Krause, who married Charlie Parker-- was born in 1885. Charlie was born in 1882. Thus it seems reasonable, that Charlie's sister Nellie could have been born the year before him.

Furthermore, there's an ominous element within these new revelations, which "could" support a less than peaceful end for Aunt Nellie. In an interview provided on August 17th, 1932-- Deputy Sheriff Joe Johns recounted part of his hostage ordeal by saying "Shortly after leaving Carlsbad, Sunday morning they wanted to come back and kill Mrs. Stamp. She had gone down on her knees and begged them not to hurt me when they left her home. They told her to shut up but they did say they wouldn't hurt me. When they suggested going back and killing Mrs. Stamp I said "Oh don't do that fellows". They didn't say anything but kept right on driving."

Apparently the family too questioned what became of Aunt Nellie. It's my understanding that after noting Aunt Nellie had turned in B&C and that they had escaped-- it was wondered what became of Aunt Nellie??-- as it seems she was never heard of again. Perhaps she was dead?? Perhaps B&C got to her?? Maybe this was just playful family banter-- but based on Joe John's recollection made just days after the incident-- I find these thoughts most intriguing. I've had it asked before, whether Clyde could kill a woman?? But it seems for most, that's a hypothetical quandary both unsavory and untouchable. And would Clyde go as far as to kill a relative of Bonnie's, in knowing Bonnie's penchant for compassion-- or just walk away?? That's a hell of an interesting question??

Based on newspaper accounts I've read of this story, the Stamp home was located near the canal west of Carlsbad. This home is pictured in both olden and modern views, in Winston Ramsey's book-- so apparently it still stands. Recently I was asked, about the woman who's identified as Nellie Gonzales on the U.S. Bureau of Investigation wanted poster-- published just days before B&C were ambushed. To the person who asked, I'm sorry to have taken so long in answering. However based on research leading to this post, I am still unsure who this reported 1/2 sister of Bonnie's is?? That Nellie is listed as being from Harwood in Gonzales County, Texas. Gonzales County is located to the east of San Antonio. However as Nellie Gonzales is listed as Bonnie's 1/2 sister and Nellie Stamp(s) nee Parker was Bonnie's father's sister-- these 2 Nellies couldn't be considered the same person. I will say, the Parker family line seems more shrouded in mystery than the Krause family line-- as less seems known about it.

As I find myself getting into B&C research such as this from time to time, and as this mystery has been of particular interest to me-- I am now seeing what I can learn of Aunt Nellie as related to Carlsbad. I'm contacting historians in that area, and will let you know what I discover from my phone and Internet travels. Hopefully eye witness accounts, public records and additional newspaper articles can be accessed, which will shed new light upon this story.

Even though I'm now aware of this most reliable account, which reveals Aunt Nellie as being the Aunt who betrayed B&C-- I'm interested in learning more about Nellie and the Carlsbad incident. I'd like to learn whether Mrs Stamp(s) stayed in the Carlsbad, NM area for the rest of her days-- when she died-- and how?? Thus try and provide facts, to answer the question of whether Mrs Stamp(s) was perhaps ultimately killed-- for her actions or perceived actions against B&C?? While I'm at it, if I can-- I'll try to learn more about Bill Cobb-- who it's said helped Mrs. Stamp create a diversion, so she could slip off to a neighbor's house to call Deputy Sheriff Johns. I'm sure many would like to know, more about Bill Cobb's participation and recollections at Carlsbad that August day in 1932.

Perhaps the Carlsbad incident can be updated with new insights-- so please stay tuned. Credit along with my thanks to Winston Ramsey, for the photo of the Stamp house in Carlsbad. I wish I knew the date of this photo, as the house looks abandoned by that point. Perhaps I'll be fortunate enough to speak with it's current owners. If anyone has info concerning this topic, I would very much appreciate hearing from you. I welcome your comments.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Blanche Caldwell Barrow Frasure Auction Lot #2-- Blanche's Tea Pot-- Tea With Blanche Anyone?? Winning bid $31.

Now this is an interesting and personal Blanche item, if there ever was one. The item pictured, which looks so good on my kitchen table is Blanche's Tea Pot. Blanche's Executrix and friend of more than 30 years Lorraine Weiser, attests-- that this is the Tea Pot Blanche would serve tea to friends with. It's a nice size Tea Pot, which is brown in color-- with a pearlescent finish. Uniquely, the top of the Tea Pot is rounded, while it's body is octagonal in shape. There's not much else to say, except that after so many years-- it's condition is nearly perfect. There are just the slightest chips within the lip of the spout. An exceptionally nice item owned by Blanche Caldwell Barrow Frasure, meant for use in sharing joy, poignant moments and good conversation. If only this Tea Pot could talk.

Regarding this auction, the same rules apply to this item as were stated for the last. Please review the auction rules which appear within the offering for Blanche's personal check. You can bid by e-mailing me at This is a 2 week auction, which will end Friday March 26th at 10:00PM Eastern (U.S.). I don't know what else to say about these Blanche items, except to hope all with a love for this history-- will partake of these opportunities, to own items owned by Blanche.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Blanche Caldwell Barrow Frasure Auction Lot #1-- Blanche Check-- Winning bid $50.01

Let's start right in with one of the great Blanche items available through these offerings-- a personal check #2200, dated October 16th, 1981. This check is made out to Montgomery Ward and signed by Blanche, as Mrs Blanche Frasure. It's my understanding that in settling Blanche's Estate, 100's of checks like this one were discarded-- in not realizing their potential importance. Thus this could be one of the only remaining checks with Blanche's signature, known to be available. I obtained this check directly from the Executrix of Blanche's Estate, as an item that was owned by her since Blanche's passing in 1988-- until being provided to me recently. A COA signed by Blanche's Executrix, will be included with this item to the auction winner.

This is an interesting piece, in that a handwritten change of address was made on the check-- prior to it's being used. This check was negotiated, and bears a bank stamp on it's verso. As a collector of autographs and B&C Historian-- it's my belief that not a lot of Blanche signatures exist in any form. Autographs are a most personal expression from any historic figure, and a personal check when available-- is often one of the best documents, to assure authenticity of a signature. In this case, this rare check made out and signed by Blanche-- is a great way to own something from a Barrow Gang member. I have just one of these to offer through these auctions. This item was scanned, with only sharpness enhancement added-- to reflect accurately the good condition of this check. This Blanche check is offered as is.

Auction Rules-- This is a 2 week auction. Bidding will be accepted only via e-mail to There is no minimum bid, however I would encourage all to bid with respect for the legacy of Blanche in mind-- in other words, please refrain from frivolous bids. I will update this post with the current bid for all to see. Bidding for this item will close on Friday March 19th at 10:00 PM Eastern Time (U.S.). Bidding is open to all who can view this blog worldwide. No anonymous bids will be accepted, however all bidder identities will remain confidential during this process. Once bidding has ended, the winner will have the option to either be known by name and location or just location-- as in a state or country if desired. For international bidders, please know-- you must be able to accept and I must be able to ship a package to your location without issue.

If for any reason difficulty should arise, where a winning bid cannot be fulfilled-- the next largest bid will be declared the winner. Payment will be in U.S. dollars. Western Union Money Orders, U.S. Postal Service Money Orders or International U.S. Postal Service Money Orders will be the accepted methods of payment. Fair shipping costs, as well as costs for insurance and delivery confirmation-- will be added to the final selling price, payable prior to delivery. All shipped items "must" include a delivery confirmation via the U.S. Postal Service, Fed Ex, UPS or DHL. As these are unique items owned by an historic figure, and with adequate time to decide upon bidding-- all sales are final. All decisions concerning additional nuances of these offerings, including revision of auction rules based on circumstance-- rest solely with myself. I reserve the right to terminate any auction, for fair cause or abuse.

With all of that behind us-- let the bidding begin. Please enjoy this wonderful opportunity, and good luck gang.