It's often asked, what happened to Bonnie Parker's personal effects-- which may have survived after her death?? It's long been rumored, a member of the Parker family had destroyed Bonnie's belongings-- as the family couldn't stand the pain of reflecting upon Bonnie's death, while being reminded of her. Unfortunately the bottom line of this story "is" true-- however as it turns out, the fate of Bonnie's belongings apparently may have had less to do with sentimentality, and more to do with a personal dispute. As the question of Bonnie's belongings continues to surface, I feel it's important to set the record straight-- and report what I've been told is the truth regarding that most unfortunate event.
Recently I mentioned, one of Emma Parker's sisters played a key role in Bonnie & Clyde History. While revealing a B&C Poll answer concerning Emma being notified of Bonnie's death, I quoted from a news article-- which detailed the presence of both Emma's sister Lelia along with Edith Parker, when Emma took that fateful phone call on May 23rd, 1934 at the Parker residence. As it seems so many within the story of Bonnie & Clyde had nick names, Lelia was better known as Pat. Pat's married name was Plummer. Billie Parker writes of aunt Pat, along with a plethora of Parker and Krause relatives within the family history she compiled. With many thanks to a Parker family source-- I've learned it was Pat Plummer who destroyed Bonnie's things.
Although the more traditional and sentimental explanation still exists, concerning the destruction of Bonnie's chattels which I'm sure many would prefer to hold onto-- apparently the truth is, Billie had given Bonnie's belongings to aunt Pat for safe keeping. They were then housed in some sort of storage shed on Pat's property. But as sometimes happens within the best of families, some disagreement ensued between Billie and aunt Pat. Based on this falling out, apparently one day Pat thought to torch that storage shed-- and did. As such, Bonnie's belongings were no more.
It would be remarkable, to be able to view the personal effects of Bonnie Parker and learn from them. But seemingly as a result of this rift between Billie and aunt Pat, that glorious pent up desire became impossible long ago. As it's not clear when this incendiary decision of Pat Plummer's occurred, nor are the specifics known concerning Pat's disagreement with Billie-- it's conceivable their dispute could have followed the lines of the original story told. Perhaps some within the family were indeed having trouble dealing with Bonnie's death, based on some issue concerning her belongings. Could it be, that Billie wanted to keep these memories where others didn't?? Thus they were placed out of sight and out of mind?? Then aunt Pat puts a fiery end to this controversy through her actions?? Or perhaps, this was just as simple as some bad blood between Billie and her aunt Pat-- which led to a vengeful act against Billie, and thus Bonnie's things were destroyed?? My understanding is, the later could more be the case, but without clarifying info we may never know for sure.
I as others have searched for years, for any trace of the love letters exchanged between Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow while Clyde was imprisoned. A number of these love letters were transcribed in Fugitives-- and provide great insight into the young lovers, as they expressed their feelings for one another. To my knowledge, none of Bonnie & Clyde's many love letters have ever been found. At this point I wonder-- whether Bonnie and Clyde's romantic exchanges didn't go up in smoke, along with Bonnie's other effects in aunt Pat's back yard?!? At least now we know, what's said to be the true story and also who was responsible for the destruction of Bonnie Parker's personal items. Emma's younger sister, Lelia Krause (Pat Plummer) lived between the years of 1893 and 1965. The photo shown, is purely for illustrative purposes. As always, I welcome your comments.