Saturday, July 31, 2010

The July Bonnie & Clyde Polls-- No More Pencils, No More Books--

In honor of Summer and to note the Alice Cooper classic, School's Out-- no books were needed this time around regarding the B&C Polls. In the past, I've used many varied sources for poll questions. I'm not sure, but this may be one of the only times I've formed all 8 monthly questions-- without much use of a B&C book. As such 1 of July's poll answers was available through the written page, but uniquely-- this time all the answers were available via the Internet. Newspaper clippings scattered here and there, as well as B&C historical photos and websites such as Frank Ballinger's Bonnie and Clyde's Hideout seemed to work wonderfully well-- in creating challenging questions. So here we go-- with July's B&C Internet based B&C Polls potpourri.

You needed to locate an image of Bonnie's marriage license, to know who married Miss Bonnie Parker and Roy Glenn Thornton on September 25th, 1926. Certified copies can be obtained from the Dallas County Clerks Office. But if you look around, the Internet does afford opportunities to view an image of this most interesting document. I included every name listed on Bonnie & Roy's marriage certificate as choices, including R. E. Foster Minister of the Gospel-- who married them. Texas marriage license #114552 was applied for on September 24th, 1926-- with Minister Foster performing the marriage a day later on September 25th. Thus contrary to many published accounts-- Bonnie was still 15 when she married Roy Thornton.

63527 was Clyde's prison number from Huntsville concerning his (7) 2 year sentences totaling 14 years cumulatively. Clyde's Division of Investigation U.S. Department of Justice fingerprint card detailed this info. It was Ralph Fults who used the alias of Jack Sherman, well before W. D. Jones became famous for it. Fults used this alias when caught with Bonnie at Kaufman, Texas (many say Maybank) on April 18th, 1932. Fults took the fall for this early Barrow Gang bungled caper, while Bonnie although held-- was eventually no-billed and released.

Henry Barrow advertised a number of products openly as noted by photographs of his Star filling station. However the photo above seems to say it all, concerning the most prominently displayed billboard for Coca Cola. To me, this is the rarer of the photos showing Henry outside his West Dallas gas station. It seems even in the '30's-- things went better with Coke. It took a head first dive into the B&C news articles for the next query-- where it was Blanche Barrow, who reportedly revealed the possibility of loot buried at Dexfield Park. An unidentified article states-- "Blanche shortly after her capture, said the gang had hidden some of the bank loot in the woods somewhere near where they had camped." Based on this published report, apparently many searched for the reported cache of Barrow Gang money. Another article which told of this rumor, said the hidden loot may have amounted to around $4000. ($60,000. in today's money). Another Bonnie & Clyde tale. I wonder if this one was true??

It was a reporter from The Dallas Times Herald, who first reached Emma Parker by phone to tell her of Bonnie's death. In a revealing news article published at the time-- it was noted before telling Emma Parker of her daughter's demise, the reporter asked Emma whether she was alone?? To which Emma responded that her daughter in law Edith was present with her. Emma was then told Bonnie & Clyde had been killed. "Where did it happen??" Emma reportedly asked. To which the reporter said "Near Gibson Louisiana-- do you have any relatives there??" "No-- but you must be kidding me" Emma replied. "There is no mistake, both of them were killed" the reporter stated. At that point, the phone was heard to drop and a woman screamed. Another woman picked up the phone to state "Mrs. Parker has fainted. Why didn't you come out here and tell her face to face??"-- "I believe you are a damn liar." After Billie's Attorney Fred Harris had inquired of the truth and called Emma to confirm the worst, Emma's sister Lelia Plummer called the Dallas Times Herald press room to apologize for her cross remark.

Mrs. Plummer (Aunt Pat, as known to the Parker children)-- would later become responsible for a most dramatic decision and action concerning B&C History. More on Aunt Pat another time. So both Edith Parker (Buster's wife) and Emma's sister Pat Plummer were said to be present, when Emma was notified of Bonnie's death by a Dallas Times Herald reporter.

And speaking of Emma, only one person apparently knew it was Emma Parker-- who uttered the blistering quote concerning the ambush. That quote-- was written of within a news article entitled, Mother of Gun-Moll Enraged at Officers and 'Double Crosser'.

And finally the question where I can accept 2 answers as being correct. Within the May 14th, 1934 report, written by SAC Whitley of New Orleans to Bureau of Investigation Director J. Edgar Hoover as reported to Whitley by Bureau Agent Lester Kindell-- it's noted "if extradition of Methvin is demanded by other states for crimes, that Henderson Jordan will go to Governor Allen of Louisiana and explain the facts." Oscar Kelly Allen was the Governor of Louisiana at the time of Bonnie & Clyde, and likely only Governor Allen would possess the power to block the extradition of Henry Methvin from Louisiana. Never the less, as it was Henderson Jordan who expressed the desire to approach the Governor if need be-- I can accept either Sheriff Jordan or Governor O. K. Allen as correct answers. Perhaps it will be revealed someday, why some you wouldn't suppose-- were willing to fight so hard to protect Henry Methvin and why?? Alas another B&C secret, not yet ready to surface.

So there you have it-- another installment in the ongoing and hopefully always challenging B&C Polls. As August is here-- look for new B&C polls to be posted soon. And as always "many thanks"-- for your participation in the polls.

1 comment:

Shelley said...

Seeking out answers to the poll questions each month is a really fun way to sharpen one's knowledge in this realm--thanks, Winston, for including this feature on your blog! And as a bonus, you invariably pick up on other new tidbits of info while you search for those answers.

This seldom-seen photo of Henry Barrow in front of his Star Station, with the Coca Cola sign so prominently featured, is a most interesting image. As we can see, Coke's distinctive logo design remains intact--since the days of Bonnie & Clyde! I'm always fascinated by anything that has transcended through time from their generation to our own. While much of what they were exposed to has long been obsolete, some names, products, and images have endured. For instance, many of the young movie stars of their day lived on to become the older stars we "grew up with".

There is a vast spectrum of topics to explore, as we dig ever deeper into B&C's world. You are to be commended for seeking out these varied (and sometimes obscure) aspects, and bringing them to light. Keep 'em coming, Wins!