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.


Shelley said...

As the 3-month reigning champ (and "hardcore B&C enthusiast"!) - I'd just like to say that it was my pleasure, as always, to run the table and ace those sometimes ambiguous questions you ask, Wins!

Occasionally, I already know the answers - but it's always much more fun when I don't! Although obscure info, I already knew of Ray's drug problem. Most of us know Clyde hated druggies - and hated James Mullens, who was one. Mullens also happened to be a friend of Ray's. I'm thinking maybe Mullens helped turn Ray into a "hophead" - which, subsequently, could have helped bring about the demise of his association with Clyde. Don't think he had this drug problem prior to going to Eastham - and meeting Mullens. Just another theory!

The FBI Files are indeed a treasure trove of both trivia - and more important information. But at the same time, much false information was also given by numerous informants of highly questionable authority. In most cases, it is fairly easy to weed out those bogus reports. But in other areas, the truth remains as elusive as ever. We all continue to dig for answers, but in many cases the truth will never be known. Not by the Feds; not by anyone. B&C may be long dead, but their mystique will never die. Somehow, I think that would please them.

A. Winston Woodward said...

Hi Shelley--

Yours is a playful comment, which will serve to make me buckle down and strengthen the B&C Poll questions even more. I don't feel there's anything ambiguous in the least, regarding my questioning. There is always a clear cut answer. But I suppose if too much is read into these questions, then they could appear more complicated than they are. Plus I give lots of hints-- which I enjoy doing, and I think is fair.

I'd have to look, but I'm not sure Ray Hamilton and James Mullens were both free during the time of Bailey Tynes report?? Thanks for your comment.

Shelley said...

The way I remember it, James Mullens was incarcerated at Eastham with Hamilton, Palmer, Methvin, etc. But because Mullens was being released, Hamilton concocted a plan - and he recruited Mullens to help implement this plan.

With the promise of receiving, I believe, $1000 later on, Mullens was to set the wheels in motion by first contacting Floyd; who would, in turn, contact Clyde. The two of them (Floyd & Clyde) would then work out an escape plan to free Ray from Eastham. Clyde distrusted Mullens, and insisted that he participate by helping Floyd plant the guns that were to be used by Hamilton and Palmer in the escape.

If I remember correctly, Ray did repay Mullens later for his assistance, using proceeds from bank robberies. Although both men were returned to custody within a short period, they were "on the outside" at the same time for probably several months. There would have been ample opportunity for Mullens to help Ray get strung out on narcotics.

It is doubtful, I think, that Mullens would have had any communication with Clyde's people. After all, he was an "associate" Clyde didn't particularly care for, not a personal friend - or accomplice. He was not a part of the Barrow family's inner circle. He was just a fellow convict from prison that Ray dragged onto the scene for his own purposes. So it's quite possible - or even likely - that Bailey Tynes never even heard of James Mullens, at least not until after the Eastham break occured - or even later. Of course, all this is something I would have to revisit myself for more detail.