Thursday, April 29, 2010

Billie's Journal-- Revelations Only a Sister Could Tell

In researching and recounting Bonnie & Clyde History, I can't help but be excited whenever new revelations come to light. But within this elusive history-- newly unearthed facts from the depths of time, which possess both unquestioned provenance and reliability-- are few and far between.

In 2006, a 14 page document was sold via the Blanche Barrow Heritage Auctions-- which I believe few realized the striking importance of. Somehow like a Stealth Bomber slicing through the night, this family held artifact which was submitted for auction by a member of the Parker family-- seemed to evade all detection. And unless you were the lucky individual who purchased this remarkable B&C artifact-- one might wonder how anyone else would ever know, what was contained within this seemingly overlooked treasure??

But "most" fortunately-- copies were made of this extraordinary document. This item was Billie Parker's 1st hand account, of her recollections concerning her sister Bonnie Parker. As it turns out, these 14 pages of Billie's remembrances of Bonnie-- were just part of a larger grouping of Billie's "handwritten" journal notes. Billie's other journal entries, map out an exceptionally detailed and historically valuable family history-- of both the Parker and Krause families. Billie's family history, not only provides all the necessary links to lineage (including some obscure ones)-- but also provides terrific personal insights, into the human characteristics of a multitude of family members.

As many will recall, I recently published a post concerning the true identity of Millie Stamps. That post was made possible, based on an excerpt from Billie's journal. As I was furnished with a copy of Billie's handwritten family history, with profound "thanks" to Bonnie's niece Rhea Leen Linder-- I felt comfortable in recounting the Nellie Parker Stamps story, in order to help clarify Carlsbad B&C History. However concerning Billie's notes on Bonnie, although I had 2 sources for the contents of this info-- in my being hellbent on providing truth concerning B&C History, I wanted to be "sure" I could obtain a copy of these particular Billie journal entries-- before recounting aspects from them. Therefore my caution in not publishing this post, prior to viewing Billie's handwritten account.

Through this and upcoming posts-- I look forward to revealing some most remarkable stories concerning Bonnie and Bonnie & Clyde, as told by Bonnie's sister Billie the old fashioned way-- in segments as in vintage serials or magazines. I will "not" paraphrase Billie, but instead-- let her words say it best-- verbatim, exactly as she wrote them. You may note some aspects of Billie's journal, contradict published accounts including Fugitives. I'll leave it up to all, to absorb these differences when compared to printed versions of B&C History. But for me, I see "no" reason-- not to give considerable historic weight to these 1st hand handwritten accounts-- from the person who likely knew Bonnie best. Also "special" attention should be paid, to truths concerning Billie's children-- as who would know better, than their mom?? Within this once closely held family information, you'll also learn the "true" cause of Jackie and Buddy's deaths. For it was not a stomach ailment-- as has often been reported.

So please enjoy the 1st installment of Billie remembers Bonnie-- as this particular story is quite remarkable. I hope you'll also look forward, to upcoming Billie's journal accounts concerning Bonnie. This initial account shows a profound caring, and willingness to take what would have been a unique risk on the part of B&C-- to bring love and joy to a little boy-- Billie's son Buddy Mace. Would Clyde have been bold enough, to pull a horse trailer with a horse inside-- and venture into Dallas for the sake of a loved one?? Apparently yes. This story also documents 1st hand-- one of the more fascinating aspects within B&C History-- Bonnie's reported premonitions. Here Bonnie's premonition regarding the death of Buddy is revealed in chilling detail, along with what seems to be proof of the accuracy of her forewarning. So sit back and enjoy in Billie's words, this segment which I call--

Buddy's Pony & Bonnie's Premonition

As Billie tells it-- "Bonnie worshiped my children-- I have seen her take pictures off the walls & let them pat & play with them. She couldn't bear to let a baby cry. They bought my little boy his first tricycle-- Christmas eve she brought it to the porch & put it down-- She stood there for a moment-- Little Buddy saw her & cried out Momma, Bonnie's home-- I saw her." Bonnie had to leave for she was afraid someone was around the house. It broke her heart not to see him. We tried to convince him it was Santa-- But he always said it was Bonnie-- We didn't see her that nite. But we knew she had left the tricycle."

"Months after then they had planned on getting Buddy a Shetland Pony--They talked about it & kept looking for one. Finally they found the one they wanted. Clyde talked to the man & told him he would go get a trailer & be back the next week. Every(thing) was O.K. with the man. It took Clyde several days to find a trailer. He told the man to get it in good condition & they would pick it up the next day."

"The next morning Clyde was rushing Bonnie so they could go pick up the trailer. But she just kept sitting there staring into space-- finally she said we don't need the trailer for Buddy's Pony-- for Buddy died last nite. Clyde didn't question her for he knew of her premonition-- He started to Dallas-- It took them 2 days & nites to get to Dallas. Then they were told that both my children Buddy and Jackie had died from Polio."

"That hurt Bonnie so much she began Blaming her self for everything that happened. Finally she snapped out of it when mother confronted her with the fact that I had become so bitter I wouldn't talk to any one. I didn't believe in any thing or any body-- I wouldn't go to meet Bonnie, I wouldn't talk with any one. Mother told me, Bonnie said if I wasn't present the next trip she was coming in-- I knew she would, so I was there. She said Billie what are you trying to do-- kill mother-- can't you see what you're doing to her? Haven't I done enough?? Billie I would be willing to die to morrow if I could go home to nite & spend the nite, just telling mother how much I love her & ask for her forgiveness now, you have that chance. But what are you doing but crucifying her?" Bonnie could always straighten me out."

"That was in the fall of the year. I saw Bonnie at least once a month, from then on-- Winter months was always the hardest on us all. I would find mother roaming thru the house nite after nite. She would always say-- oh I wonder if she is warm, or sick or hungry. I just can't lay in a warm bed wondering where & how she is. My mother was only 46 years old at this time. This was in the winter before Bonnie was killed in the Spring-- May 23rd."

To be continued-- with earlier remembrances. I don't know about you, but for me-- it doesn't get much better than this. The only thing I suppose which could be better, would be to have Bonnie and Billie alive to re-live this account. But of course, Billie's words are "wonderful" as a just alternative. I've been assured by the Parker family of the validity of Billie's journal. It was family held, and found among Billie's possessions upon her death. Also for those who knew Billie, her most distinctive "backwards slant" to her handwriting is tell tale-- for Billie was right handed. As such, provenance of Billie's Journal is iron clad-- and as this document is now out of family hands, I have family permission to recount it's treasures.

My sincere "thanks" to the Rhea Leen Linder (Bonnie Ray Parker) and the Parker family, and also to the source of the color copy made from the original-- who wishes to remain anonymous. Anonymity within this context, never stops me from saying "Thank you". Look for more from Billie's remarkable writings, coming soon to The B&CHB. One note-- as underlining is not available within my version of blog post editing?!?-- I have italicized what are singly and then doubly underlined words within Billie's text.

Monday, April 12, 2010

I Met Clyde and Bonnie-- A Letter From Ella J. Holland

Published here in it's entirety, is Ella Holland's story of having shared a ride with Clyde Barrow, Bonnie Parker and Ray Hamilton in early 1934. This is the letter Ella wrote in 1996, which I believe was 1st published in the May 2001 "On the Road to Gibsland Barrow--Parker Newsletter". My thanks to Shelley Mitchell for this wonderful recollection for all to enjoy. And thanks to Ken Holmes, for including this poignant account of B&C in the Gibsland newsletter. You rarely know with stories concerning Bonnie & Clyde, whether many are indeed true or not. For me, this remembrance seems too sincere not to be true. I welcome your comments. As Ella Holland tells it--

"About the time I started school in 1930 things were happening around Dallas, Texas. So what? To me that was like in London, England. I didn't know who Clyde Barrow or Bonnie Parker were. I can't say if this was in January or February of 1934. But I would have been twelve years old. But it was not long before Clyde and Bonnie were killed. My brother Webster and I left the house and before we got far it began to mist a fine rain and then the rain began to freeze in our hair. Neither of us wore a cap. We had decided to turn back. Web was crying and I was getting colder. We paused in the middle of the road on a red clay hill we called the Joe Williams hill. Just then we heard the sound of a car.

The lady smiled and asked if my brother and I would like a ride. She looked so warm in her dark coat with a fur collar and a matching small brimmed felt hat perched on her head. Her hair was short and she was made up like a queen. Her voice was so nice as her dark gloved hands helped me get seated by her and gave a man in the backseat instructions on getting Web inside and pulling a blanket over him to get him warm. The man in the backseat smiled at brother and asked what his name was and just made small talk to a kid. But Web noticed he had a blanket on his lap like a child wrapped in it, so he asked, "Is that your baby?" The man patted the blanket and told Web, "Yes, this is my baby. Would you like to see my baby?" Of course he got excited and replied. "Oh yes, could I?"

The nice looking man dressed in a sort of light gray plaid suit and gray hat leaned over closer to the small dark man that was driving and said "Clyde, the boy wants to see my baby. Should I show it to him?" to which Clyde replied "I don't care." The rest of the ride there wasn't another word from this young man, just grunts or such to the lady who talked to me and then to the man said what cute kids we were and that they ought to take us with them so that they would have little girl and a little boy. But I did not hear an answer. He was very quiet. But back to the baby.....When the man laid the blanket back of course I had to look back to see the baby too. Only there was no baby..... I had never seen a machine gun before but I knew what I was seeing was a Gatlin gun. He pulled the blanket back over the gun, which was aimed toward the left back window. I did not get excited. It never did cross our minds the danger we were in. We were too young to know who we were in the car with, and I am still glad for if we had we may have shown our fright. If we had started to cry, then they would not have put us out at the schoolhouse where the teacher would have known that something was wrong and asked questions.

As we rode on the talk was light and when we got to the school house instead of going like people usually did, they went down the side of the school yard and turned right in front headed toward Fairplay and the Henderson and Carthage Highway and stopped; on the far corner of the school yard. Then Bonnie caught hold of my jacket and she handed me a green stick of Double Mint gum. "But let me tell you something before you go. When we picked you up we had an idea. If we took you with us no one would have shot at us with two sweet children held up at the windows. But we could not do it, so we are letting you out. We are on the run, so don't tell anyone who you rode with until you get home. I mean no one" I promised. Then she told Raymond Hamilton to open the door for brother. She called us sister and little brother all the time. When Web was out she told me, "Now little sister I have one more thing I want to ask of you," and in a soft but strict voice she said "Now little ones, as long as you live, don't ever get into another car with someone you don't know. Promise? Hear me; do you promise?" I said "I promise," then she bent over and squeezed my hand and kissed my cheek. Then she freed my hand and said "Now run along," and waved goodbye to us. And believe me, neither of us told anyone until we got home.

I believe we felt like we had a secret that we could only tell Mama and Daddy. And we kept this secret. That evening they were so busy trying to get us warmed up until they wouldn't listen to us until we got warm and were fed. But I finally got Mama to listen to us and guess what; she went into shock and fainted, and Daddy had to work at bringing her back. And when he asked her what had caused her to faint, she started crying and then both started to ask us things. We were afraid to tell them for we felt we had done something wrong and they would not be pleased. But gradually they got us to tell them from start to finish.

She had on some make up but not a lot; she was just pretty. For the movie Bonnie was a blond. But even at this time I know a first cousin of Bonnie's. Have known him since 1950. We were neighbors here in Longview where we still live---not together, just friends. But he says Bonnie was never Blond, unless as a disguise. But when Daddy got Mama calmed down and we were assured that it was important that we told them exactly what was said and happened because there was people like we described and they were bad. They robbed and killed and they knew we were not just making up a story as I thought they didn't believe us.

But my brother and I did not dwell on the incident and our parents told us to forget about it if we could. We felt like if we told the neighbors or our friends they would shrug it off as a bad joke. What would the bad outlaws be doing out on the narrow roads where we lived? One car had to pull over into the ditch almost if it met another to let the other one get by. But mostly it was wagons on our dirt pig trails. But come spring: let me tell you first. North of our place was a large track of land. A real forest. It was owned by a brother and sister. People who used wood burning stoves could go in and cut wood or fence posts.

These woods are called the Big Woods. When we rode with Bonnie and Clyde would have been during the cold, rainy weather like in February before they were killed in May. But I am sure she introduced him as "our friend Raymond Hamilton." But that time the law was so close until I guess they had to lay low for a time and they drove over a dirt wagon road way into the big woods located north of our house. In the spring when people began to get out, a friend of my parents and a young man who was to help him went into the big woods to cut some fence posts. They saw car tracks and even though the rain had left the impressions dim, they were curious and decided to look around. They found four tires stacked one on the other, tin food cans, campfire coals, and all the leavings of about two weeks' camp out. But most interesting were newspapers, Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth, and Shreveport, all stacked neatly.

I wonder after so many years, how did they get out and pick up those papers without someone seeing them go out or come back in? But when it turned cold and rainy they knew they had to get out of there so so my brother and I got a ride to school. This had to be in January or February of 1934, and they were killed May 23. When I heard that they had been killed and how, I broke down and cried like a baby. Then Mama and Daddy could not get me to stop. I woke up in the night crying and I'd start to cry during the day. I have seen their car on display here in Longview some years ago. I parked my car on the parking lot at Treasure City on Highway 80 and started in the front door and then I came to a short stop. What were the people looking at? Then I saw a sign: "See Bonnie and Clyde's Death Car."

I started toward the crowd to see it. And then I remember running. Right back to my car and to this day I can't remember what I went to Treasure City to buy. But I went back home and cried again after the twenty five years since it happened. Now it has been sixty-two years and I turned seventy-four the fifteenth of this month, June, nineteen and ninety-six. I feel old and tired. My brother Webster went to war and died in battle September 24, 1944, just barely twenty years old. Mama and Daddy have been gone a long time, My husband (Odell Holland) died twelve and and a half years ago. I have four children and eight grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. I have lived a long time, worked hard, and have seen a lot. But very few people can say they rode three miles in a car with Clyde and Bonnie. About five years ago I went to visit my daughter in Monroe and she took me to Arcadia, Louisiana. We just drove through, but I finally saw right where they died. Of course everything has changed I know---but for me it ended a desire to go the last mile with them. I don't uphold their way of life, but it was an experience."

Thursday, April 8, 2010

"Hey Coach's Corner"-- What's Next, Alleged Bonnie & Clyde Signatures Cheaper by the Dozen?!?

Ah it's Spring-- the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming and the warmth of the Sun-- is providing renewed hope for Summer. And along with this change of seasons, you guessed it-- it's time again to defend the only truly authenticated scripts of B&C, and profile yet another indefensible pair of alleged Bonnie & Clyde signatures-- from some memorabilia seller with perhaps a less than stellar reputation. This time it's Coach's Corner, returning with their 2nd "suspect" B&C offering in 6 months. How "do" they do it?!? As this is the 4th of these profiles I've done, some background is useful here, before discussing Coach's Corner's latest B&C offering.

Just last December, I profiled what were clearly "dubious" alleged B&C signatures, sold by this notorious
Souderton, PA based memorabilia outlet. A search of the Internet, revealed numerous articles and internet expose's concerning not only this seller-- but many memorabilia sites, which have been accused of less than upstanding tactics concerning the sale of historic signatures.

I addressed my concerns with one of Coach's Corner's "authenticators"-- Ted Taylor from Stat Authentic. I found it interesting Mr. Taylor certified the Clyde signature among the pair, but wouldn't verify the Bonnie?!? Although Mr. Taylor was pleasant enough, I found my e-mail exchanges with this self styled authenticator a fruitless exercise. It was clear to me that Ted Taylor knew little of B&C signatures or their values, and that Coach's Corner couldn't defend their purported B&C scripts-- based on such a cursory examination and without provenance. I guess their B&C signatures just materialized out of thin air?? But without provenance, which is so important in determining the credibility of historic scripts-- who's to say these alleged signatures didn't come from the forked tip of a forger's pen??

True forensic document examiners, hold accreditations such as from The Board of Forensic Document Examiners (BFDE) or The Forensic Specialties Accreditation Board (FSAB). Perhaps it's revealing to quote Mr. Taylor's qualifications as posted on his Stat Authentic website-- "Jeff Stevens and Ted Taylor have over 75 years of hobby experience-- running shows, collecting autographs, designing collectibles, hosting signing sessions, etc. What we give you is our best opinion. We will VERIFY that a signature is/or is NOT authentic based on our experiences over the years". Well in "my" best opinion, that description offers neither the right experience or accreditation, to authenticate historic signatures of the rarity and magnitude of a Clyde Barrow or Bonnie Parker.

Concerning this 1st dual B&C offering, it was illogical-- that Stat Authentic would back the purported Clyde signature, but not support Bonnie's-- when both sat side by side on the same piece of untested paper. Mr. Taylor stated they couldn't locate exemplars for Bonnie's signature. That's strange-- as of course 3 really good examples do exist-- within my known dual B&C signatures, and on the verso of Steve Haas' known Bonnie Parker poem "The Street Girl". Ah-- but to use known and authentic Bonnie Parker scripts for comparison, would have disqualified the Coach's Corner B&C signatures from any claim of authenticity. To the trained eye, it was clear the Coach's Corner Bonnie script was nothing more than a copy of the debunked signature-- from the Bonnie Parker Highway Patrol fingerprint card.

Many are aware of this alleged B&C artifact, which after much research begun in 2006-- I consider non-authentic. My conclusion was later confirmed, as having also been voiced by J. Edgar Hoover in 1933. The newly uncovered Dallas FBI files on Bonnie and Clyde, contain a number of documents concerning the Bureau's exhaustive search for this alleged Bonnie Parker fingerprint card. Based on a search led by Hoover himself, among Bureau records in Washington and through an investigation in Kaufman, Texas-- Hoover concluded it was apparent that no fingerprints of Bonnie Parker were taken by the Kaufman Sheriffs department, and forwarded to the Bureau as stated. As Bonnie was arrested only once in Kaufman County in 1932, and later no billed and released-- no other source of this rumored fingerprint card could have been the case. Of course only her left hand prints were available, when fingerprinted in death in May 1934-- and no signature would have been possible.

So I guess you could call Stat Authentic's "authentication" of Coach's Corner's 1st B&C signatures offering (Clyde only-- but "Hey what about Bonnie")-- a case of "selective" non-forensics. But they don't seem to use much cutting edge forensic analysis over at Coach's Corner anyway. Instead, they seem to rely on "authenticators"-- who rely mostly on comparisons to known exemplars. I suppose if that's the narrow standard employed by some to judge the authenticity of historic signatures, my suggestion would be to make sure the exemplars your using-- aren't forgeries themselves!!

Interestingly, Coach's Corner advertised that only Clyde's signature had been authenticated-- but that Bonnie's was "just as nice". Now there's a quality description of a signature "so" rare -- that just 3 complete verified examples are known to exist!! And now they've rolled out the "nice" lingo yet again, in touting their latest B&C treasure. But at least knowing this, might reveal the mentality of the sellers at hand here. I suppose it would be expected, that in the end-- these quite questionable scripts would sell for next to nothing, which they did.

Something that troubled me in exchanging e-mails concerning B&C signatures with Ted Taylor-- was his choice to characterize Bonnie and Clyde as pathological killers, and criticize the prices asked for known and authenticated Clyde Barrow signatures. I suppose the proper response to such crass and non-professional comments might be-- "Well then, what's a Hitler signature worth"?? Discussion of criminal intent is proper in historical terms, but seemingly out of place within a forensic discussion. I felt it most odd, that someone hired to pass judgment on the authenticity of alleged historical signatures-- would make negative personal comments concerning the potential source of those signatures. I view that as a conflict of interest, if not a telling commentary on perhaps Mr. Taylor's worth-- as an "authenticator" within the scheme of things here??

For the record, the asking price for Clyde's Frank Hardy letter including Clyde's fingerprints is $95,000. and $35,000. is being asked for Clyde's November 18th, 1931 letter to his mother Cumie Barrow. Letter.html True examples of Clyde's signature are exceedingly rare-- and Bonnie's extraordinary script, is flat out one of the rarest ever sought. So I'm sorry to disappoint you over at Coach's Corner, but real Clyde Barrow signatures don't sell for 200 bucks. And the $95,000. and $35,000. prices, asked for Clyde's rare script, are for Clyde by himself. Add Bonnie-- and I suppose state your price. I've been asked many times, what I would sell my dual signatures of B&C for. I have a ballpark figure in my head, but needless to say it's not within the Coach's Corner range. It's important to note that entities such as this, with their lack of diligence and bargain basement prices-- have trouble garnering respect, when compared to major auction houses within the historical signatures marketplace. But make no mistake, the affects of these sellers is felt in a negative way-- concerning their potential impact in devaluing truly authentic pieces.

And now onto the current Bonnie and Clyde offering from the vaulted Coach's Corner. Please view the photo attached. My 1st comment is, for a memorabilia shop who sells purported super rare signatures as if they were candy-- can't you take a photograph that's in focus?? Perhaps it's more desirable, that an image illustrating such remarkably rare alleged signatures be out of focus-- so people can't see them clearly?!? This latest purported B&C is remarkably similar to the December offering-- same wrong Bonnie signature, seemingly copied from the Highway Patrol fingerprint card-- and same Clyde signature of sorts, easily copied from a number of sources. But unlike their last B&C offering, no claim of authenticity and no forensic testing is mentioned.

Concerning these latest alleged B&C signatures let me say this. January 15th, 1957
was a Tuesday. So when I say I was born on a Tuesday but "not last Tuesday"-- I mean what I say. I am rarely fooled by shams, shenanigans, hood winkers or insincere people-- and I'm not fooled by this. Nor should anyone else be. Here's the listing for the current Coach's Corner supposed Bonnie & Clyde--

I'm never quite comfortable making a statement such as this-- except that it's true. I am now within my 5th consecutive year of focused research and experience, in discerning the signatures of Bonnie and Clyde. In owning the only truly authenticated signatures of B&C known to exist, along with the help of some of the world's finest forensic experts-- I possess unique knowledge concerning the scripts of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, which perhaps no one else can claim. My investigation into the rare signatures of these iconic outlaws, remains the only coordinated inquiry into this specialty known to date.

In my e-mail to Lee
Trythall, co-owner of Coach's Corner I told him I found this 2nd offering of purported signatures of B&C, both remarkable and offensive. I asked Mr. Trythall to state the provenance of either professed B&C signatures Coach's Corner has offered. I also asked specifically, for the forensic testing performed on their signatures-- ie: inks, paper, writing instruments, energy dispersive x-ray spectometry and "true" Forensic handwriting analysis-- not just someone's opinion, in comparison to certain exemplars which are often fake themselves. I asked if he would stake his reputation on the authenticity of his B&C offerings, by having them examined as I did-- in authenticating my dual signatures of Bonnie & Clyde.

As many know, I utilized the services of the world renown McCrone Group of Chicago-- who performed the material science testing on The Shroud of Turin and specifically their Senior Research Microscopist Joe Barabe-- who led a team of McCrone scientists in authenticating the inks in The Lost Gospel of Judas. I also employed an equally renown and independent Forensic Document Examiner in Ms. Emily J. Will D-BFDE to perform the Forensic signature analysis for my signatures. Among a myriad of impressive professional accomplishments, Ms. Will may best be known as the CDE hired by CBS-- to authenticate the President George W. Bush National Guard Papers. It was Emily Will who discredited those bogus Pre-Presidential documents, which led to a firestorm of media and political fallout-- resulting in perhaps early retirement for one rather famous Anchorman, and the firing of the CBS Producer who hired Ms. Will. Those are my experts Mr. Trythall-- who've you got??

I suppose "authenticators" like Christopher Morales. Morales is the authenticator with the checkered reputation, who was used by The Art of Music in Las Vegas-- to try and back purported B&C signatures I fought against last Fall. I went toe to toe with The Art of Music as well, over "their" indefensible B&C signatures. I am attaching a link here on Christopher Morales, as it appeared in Autograph Magazine. This article on Morales is titled Christopher Morales: The Forger's Best Friend. Within this article "remarkably" it's Lee Trythall of Coach's Corner who rebukes Morales saying-- "There are authenticators whose work seems better". "There are guys who are more qualified." But then just this month-- who does Coach's Corner use to back it's controversial cut Beatles piece?? None other than Christopher Morales. What does that tell you?? Hell-- is there a bed big enough for all these guys??

Here's a simple question I've asked before in debunking fake B&C signatures, and which I asked Lee Trythall. If anyone truly believes they have authentic B&C scripts, why are they themselves not taking them to a major auction house and cashing in-- instead of seemingly just giving them away, to people who may not know any better?? I suppose the answer is "volume". Coach's Corner always seems to have a "slew" of reputedly rare signatures for sale, at dirt cheap prices. But how could that be?? The answers is, if all these signatures were real-- it can't be.

One might ask from a business point of view, whether Coach's Corner wouldn't be better off financially-- selling their purported signatures via major auction, rather than taking the tact they do?? Of course they would if they could-- unless a lack of brains is an issue. But that's provided their signatures could be independently verified-- and apparently in the vast majority of cases, they can't. By the way, regarding my now 4 e-mails to Lee Trythall-- just as in Beatles 65, you guessed it-- No Reply.

It pays to have friends who care to alert you, when something like this-- which could affect the integrity of something you hold near and dear comes to light. It's said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But that's not true concerning artwork or autographs. Fakes can be a problem, as they have the potential to undermine the integrity of originals-- by creating doubt as to what is real and what is not. Forged signatures have been an issue for decades, but never more than now-- when the Internet creates quick and voluminous opportunities for scammers to peddle their wares freely, and without oversight.

There are few safeguards in place to protect the public, except through the dedication of loyal industry publications and individuals-- who care about this fascinating and most enjoyable hobby. I
applaud these crusaders for good, be they from the media, autograph industry-- or just honest and dedicated autograph collectors. But also don't forget, the collection of historic signatures is very much about the preservation of history-- so there's added importance in upholding the integrity of a legitimate artifact. For you see, there's no history in a forgery. Hopefully in the future, stringent regulations will be enacted-- to force unscrupulous sellers out of the historical signatures marketplace.

Back to Coach's Corner-- I don't feel I have to do much to debunk their current B&C offering. The Bonnie is wrong-- and the Bonnie's together with a dubious Clyde. So unless some miracle happened, where a non-authentic signature somehow became paired with an authentic one-- then both must be fakes. It's amazing, how almost identical and easily debunkable supposed B&C scripts keep popping up at Coach's Corner. Hey an endless supply!!-- but of course that can't be true. This one's not even noted to be authentic, or backed by any "authenticator" touting unspecified exemplars.

Sometimes when attacked, I understand certain autograph entities and "authenticators"-- like to issue threats and orders, to stop negative comments from being published about them. Rest assured if that were to happen to me, I would make sure the source and "forensic" testing of every document ever sold by that outlet-- or "authenticated" by an "authenticator" be made public. I would also bring a counter action-- for damages to my authenticated B&C signatures, for which I hold a copyright. I doubt very much, those busy selling or backing "rare" $200 historical autographs, would want to travel that road.
There are currently dozens of articles and videos available accusing this entity and others of far worse than I have. I would imagine if push came to shove, any discovery process would be quite insightful-- in finally uncovering the shrouded sources of thousands of questioned signatures.

I wholeheartedly support the efforts of those, who fight against what are sometimes called signature mills-- who offer "rare" and "valuable" autographs at nonsensical prices. I'm pleased to lend my voice and expertise to this fight. Schemers beware-- I "will" defend my authenticated B&C signatures against all "suspect" signatures. Through a well documented and publicized investigation now into it's 5th year, and within the bounds of available forensic science-- I feel I've proven my B&C signatures. Now it's up to those who sell "dubious" super rare signatures for a couple hundred bucks-- to prove theirs. "Really" prove them-- not just use self styled pseudo proof from their "in" crowd.

I can't hope to influence the self regulation of signature outlets, concerning exercising proper due diligence regarding all their signatures. But I can call on this entity and others, who market highly questionable or bogus Bonnie & Clyde signatures without legitimate authentication-- to stop marketing them. Historically and forensically, if a Bonnie and Clyde signature can't be backed-- it shouldn't be portrayed as genuine. No pseudo forensics-- No semantical fluff-- No nonsense. A detailed report on my signatures, can be found blog right>> The following are additional articles on this topic-- including Coach's Corner's BBB ranking. Thanks for your time, and as always-- "Buyer Beware".

Monday, April 5, 2010

My Sincere "Thanks" to All

April 5th marks the 1 year anniversary of The Bonnie & Clyde History Blog. I wish to extend my sincere "thanks" to all-- for your loyalty and participation in this Bonnie & Clyde forum. B&C History is "unique" history where passions run high, and the love for it's stories run deep.

I take pride in making sure what is reported here concerning B&C History, is truthful yet compassionate-- direct but rarely absolute. There's a lot of play in this history, as there's so much we don't know-- and may never know for sure. However I am convinced, there are still revelations to be unearthed and revealed. Concerning this please know-- through my research I will continue to do all I can to find these gems of stories, and present a quality Bonnie and Clyde forum-- built upon the standards of integrity & truth. Nearly 20,000 hits from 75 countries in a year says a lot. Many "thanks" for your continued support. --Winston

Friday, April 2, 2010

The "Tie Breaker" B&C Polls Revealed

In honor of Bonnie's rabbit Sonny Boy-- who's so important to the "Tie Breaker" poll questions, I've posted a photo of something he would appreciate. Most who visit The B&CHB, vote for the B&C Polls just for the fun and enjoyment of them. Then there's that select group of hard core Bonnie and Clyde enthusiasts, who like to politely duke it out-- for the pride of B&C knowledge, as exercised through the monthly poll contest held here.

In the past, B&C Poll Championships have often been decided by narrow margins. But in March for the 1st time, this contest of B&C information, resourcefulness and playful combat ended up tied. Thus I worked up four "Tie Breaker" polls to sort things out, and offered these questions to all for fun as well. Some commented regarding the difficulty of this select group of polls, although I knew with a little research-- they weren't that tough. And as it turned out, the March Poll Champion aced them all. Nicely done!! Also as I'm finding out, it seems for some-- just trying to figure out the subtle hints I often incorporate within The B&C Polls, is a challenge unto itself. My "thanks" for that.

Unlike my usual and purposeful mixing of poll sources, this group of polls all came from the same source. As such, this group of B&C queries was a Dallas FBI Files treasure hunters challenge. Also as April was upon us-- all of these questions had the common theme of being from April 1934 reports. Question 1 dealt with Henry Methvin's tattoos and scars. It was the April 9th, 1934 Division of Investigation alert to all peace officers, from their El Paso, Texas field office-- which detailed then current descriptions of Bonnie, Clyde and Henry. Henry's description included mention of a tattoo-- a dagger with the word Love on his right forearm, and also noted a large burn scar on his left shoulder. This info could also be found within Frank Ballinger's B&C Hideout, for those who searched there.

Question 2 had to do with the tracking of Ray Hamilton after his escape from jail in the Spring of '34. Ray had been spotted in New Orleans, and was believed to have visited an Optician there to have glasses made. He and Mary were then witnessed boarding a train to Chicago. As such, SAC (Dallas) Frank Blake notified Melvin Purvis concerning the movements of Hamilton. To my knowledge these correspondences from Blake, were the only ones made to the famous G-Man within the Dallas files.

The clues of April 1934, the bloody necktie and head of cabbage-- should have alerted all to the fact, that the car mentioned in the next question-- was indeed the car Percy Boyd was kidnapped in. The bloody necktie was personal to Percy. However, the most personal item "to the outlaws" of the many inventoried items found within that car-- had to have been the head of cabbage, as that was food for Bonnie's rabbit Sonny Boy. Also found in the car were partly eaten carrots, and other evidence that a rabbit had been transported. As is known, Bonnie made the request to Percy Boyd, that if anything were to happen to her during their time together, that he please deliver Sonny Boy to Emma.

And the last question also contained a telltale clue, which was the "reliable source". In later years, W. D. Jones ended up with a drug problem, but to my knowledge-- we only know of this from non-personal sources such as newspaper articles. But back in '34-- another member of the Barrow Gang besides Bonnie, apparently did end up on drugs-- and it was his sister who revealed this lesser known reality. It was the April 24th, 1934 report from Barrow cousin and Bureau informant Bailey Tynes, in which he discloses this info to Federal Agents. In this spy's "remarkable" disclosures from within the Barrow residence, Tynes states that on April 23rd, Mr. Barrow revealed that Maggie Ferris, Ray Hamilton's sister-- said that she and Mary O'Dare had been searching for Ray for about a week, but that Ray had not shown at the appointed place. Maggie said Ray had become a hop head, and was using narcotics to excess. Just another of the multitude of valuable revelations, contained in the Dallas FBI file on Bonnie and Clyde.

So there you have it-- the answers to the "Tie Breaker" B&C Polls. Please look for the April polls to be posted soon. Beyond those who vie for the monthly B&C Poll Contest-- I hope "all" who visit here, will have fun and learn new things about Bonnie and Clyde by voting in the B&C Polls. I hope everyone will participate in this favorite feature of many, on The B&CHB.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Was Grapevine the Turning Point??

The photo here-- shows the spot of the Grapevine murders. This is the modern day turnoff from TX Hwy 114 where the dual killings occurred-- near the crest of the hill on the far side of the road. April 1st, marks 76 years since the Grapevine murders, which many feel turned the tide of public opinion against Clyde & Bonnie-- and thus spelled the beginning of the end for the outlaws. By that juncture in 1934, not only was a determined posse on their heels-- due to the embarrassment to law enforcement from the Eastham breakout, but due to Grapevine-- the murders of a young H.D. Murphy and Edward Bryant Wheeler seemed to shock the senses of the populous, once perhaps more than evenly split in favor of Barrow. The effects of the Grapevine killings seemed swift, as law enforcement is said to have been galvanized by the deaths of such young officers. Wheeler had been on the force for just 4 years-- and for Murphy, although he had seen weights and measures duty-- April 1st, 1934 was his very 1st day on motorcycle patrol. The photo

B&C legend has it that Clyde had tried a number of times via Joe Palmer, to set up Ray Hamilton for death-- based on a falling out Clyde had with Ray, over a bad split of the Lancaster Bank monies. Although Clyde had been unsuccessful previously, on this particular Easter Sunday-- his plan had a chance to work. Clyde, Bonnie, Henry Methvin and Joe Palmer arrived at about 10:30 AM and parked just off Texas Highway 114. The 5th passenger in the Barrow car that day, was Bonnie's rabbit Sonny Boy-- whom she planned to give to her mother Emma.

Meanwhile for their Easter morning, Ray Hamilton and Mary O'Dare had just released Mrs. Cam Gunter and her child-- after having kidnapped them the night before, soon after Mary had wrecked the car she and Ray were traveling in. After releasing Mrs. Gunter, Ray had stolen a new Ford sedan-- which ironically was virtually identical to the Barrow Gang car, right down to the yellow wheels. By then, Ray and Mary were headed from Houston to Dallas, unaware of the fate that might await them. Clyde had sent Joe Palmer to Dallas to alert the family concerning where to meet them. That left Clyde, Bonnie, Henry and Sonny Boy in the car parked about 100 yards off the main road.

The rest of the story as they say is history. About 3:30 PM Motorcycle Officers Wheeler, Murphy and Polk Ivy approached while on patrol. While Ivy went on ahead, Wheeler and Murphy turned off the road to investigate a black car they spotted in the distance. Most believe in mistaking Clyde's instructions, Henry Methvin open fire killing Wheeler. Murphy in hurriedly trying to load his shotgun which he carried unloaded-- was then felled by Clyde. One of the more interesting aspects of this story to me, is the sheer firepower apparently levied by Clyde and Henry-- in killing these 2 officers. News accounts from the time, list the spent shell casings found as including-- (3) 16 gauge shotgun shells, (5) .45 caliber auto shells, (3) 12 gauge shotgun shells and (1) rifle shell (thought to be from a BAR).

However next to the slain officers, the greatest immediate impact of the Grapevine incident-- may have been to Bonnie Parker. A report from a witness named William Schieffer, who lived several hundred yards away-- had Bonnie standing over the body of Officer Murphy and finishing him off, by rolling him over and firing into his chest. However Mr. and Mrs. Fred Giggal, who were following Wheeler and Murphy when they turned off-- then had heard shots and doubled back-- claimed they saw the taller of 2 men fire shots into a body on the ground. Never the less for Bonnie, it was too late. Once the newspapers got a hold of the Grapevine story-- Bonnie had been labeled a cold blooded killer.

Now whether Grapevine was the turning point, and beginning of the end for Bonnie and Clyde is debatable. Many believe it was Eastham which spelled the end for Barrow and his paramour. My take is-- that because Eastham had caused a physical posse to be sent out against them, which would claim their lives-- that Eastham was indeed the beginning of the end. But if that's true, then the outrage that was Grapevine-- sealed the deal.