Monday, June 14, 2010

Bonnie and Clyde Q&A-- Does a Photograph of Bonnie Parker and Frank Hamer Exist??

To my knowledge, the only image which could be made of Bonnie Parker along with Frank Hamer in the same phpto, would be a still created from Ted Hinton's film shot after the ambush. In some of this footage, Hamer can be seen watching as Henderson Jordan scours through B&C belongings from the death car. Of course within these moving images, B&C can be seen dead within the Warren car. It would likely take a review of all the Hinton footage, to see if a good photo of Hamer & Bonnie together would be possible. If you proceed to Hinton's footage blog right>> I recall there's a scene with Hamer visible, where the camera pans away from B&C to view Jordan and Hamer behind them. I believe that scene could be freeze framed to include both Hamer and Bonnie.

Frank Hamer is not known to have ever seen Bonnie Parker or Clyde Barrow, prior to the ambush. There do exist photos shot from the doorway of Congers, with Hamer visible at Bonnie's door seemingly made before the bodies were removed. However in both a crowd ladened photo with the crowds packed tight around him, and also within a shot made once a path had been cleared to the car-- no view is offered into the vehicle. I believe there are at least 2 more photos shot from this vantage point, where Hamer is positioned in the street on Clyde's side of the vehicle or elevated on the driver's side running board-- to perhaps address the crowd or gain order. People's idea that a photo of Bonnie and Captain Hamer exists, I suppose comes from the 1967 movie-- where the scene depicting a captured Frank Hamer was invented for the film. A number of lawsuits were won by surviving members of both the outlaw's and lawman's families-- based on inaccurate depictions of the real life individuals.


BarefootOkieGal said...

I think you're right about the only possible photo of Bonnie and Hamer together would be one of the death photos; as you stated, he never did meet her in life. The confusion could have come about either because of the movie (in which Hamer is kidnapped by Bonnie and Clyde) or because it's known that Ted Hinton knew Bonnie way back when she was a waitress; maybe someone saw the photo of her as a waitress and confused whoever is in the photo with her as being one of the lawmen - can't remember the exact details of the photo right now, however.

Shelley said...

It never ceases to amaze me, how many people take the movie version of events as gospel. As a Gangster Museum tour guide, I am constantly having to clarify matters such as this. The movie, as WE all know, took certain "elements" of the truth and incorporated them into the story, while completely omitting others. In all fairness, it was never intended for the movie to portray historical accuracy in the first place, it was all about the "legend". Unfortunately, most people do not get this fine distinction.

In my opinion, there must be "many" unpublished photos out there somewhere, taken on May 23, 1934. And who knows?? --what these photos may depict! We have seen the various well-publicized pictures taken by at least 4 well-known photographers. But what about all those other people within the crowds, some of whom must surely have had cameras with them???

Way way back in '72, I saw the Death Car (for the first of 2 times) at the Arkansas State Fair. Interestingly, I remember a short film which was included as part of the exhibit. I have Hinton's "Retribution" footage, in it's entirety. What I saw at the State Fair so long ago may have included some or all of this footage -- but there was MORE! I distinctly remember seeing CLOSE-UPS of B&C, laid out on slabs, in front of Congers. Even though it's been reported that the bodies were laid out on display for public viewing - AFTER the bodies were cleaned up - I could swear I remember in the footage I saw that they were NOT all "cleaned up"; they were still covered in blood! I only wish that this footage would resurface so we can all get a good look. Who knows whatever happened to it??? With all those reporters swarming around, from as far away as New York City, it seems unlikely that Ted Hinton would have been the ONLY one there with a "video" camera!

It wouldn't surprise me one little bit if Hamer posed with his prey. After all, he WAS a "manhunter". And what do hunters do when they shoot down their quarry? They often commemorate their moment of glory with a photo or two!

BarefootOkieGal said...

According to Hinton's book, Hamer seems to have been the guy who was a take-charge guy, and when the media showed up he was one of the most vocal; some folks might have gotten the idea that it was Hamer's show. There had to have been people out there with cameras - from what I've read, it was an absolute circus, and when people come out to see something like dead bodies and blood they often bring a camera so they can record their memories. Wouldn't it be awesome if some of those old photos showed up? There may be family members who have them in a box somewhere, not able to identify anyone that they know, and not sure exactly what the photos depict!