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.