Sunday, October 31, 2010

In Search of Just the Right Bonnie and Clyde Halloween Look

As Anoka, Minnesota is recognized as being the 1st city in the U.S. to celebrate Halloween (as we know it) in 1924, I wonder what if anything Bonnie & Clyde did to honor this holiday-- while trying to survive on the run?? I can't imagine Halloween being of much importance to these relentlessly hunted outlaws, but as it's known B&C would sometimes interact with kids in a kind way-- I wonder what if anything, they did differently on Halloween night??

Bonnie's sense of fashion gets attention, and her well known '30's sweater dress look is recognized as perhaps her most iconic image. This look is one Bonnie Parker Halloween idea-- although pretty much any combo with some sort of tam seems to work. With Clyde, the overt gangster look (although not accurate)-- gets play as a man's costume. And with the modern "gangsta" movement all the rage, a much sexier adaptation of this famous outlaw look now seems popular.

With a little time and effort, I'm sure a great version of B&C's well dressed look could be created for Halloween. Vintage & coordinated 1930's clothing would likely be the key. Now wouldn't that look be fabulous, strolling into a down and happenin' Hallows Eve party!?! BTW-- as reported here in the past, "Boots" Hinton's told me that according to his father Ted Hinton-- Bonnie's famous sweater dress was black-- with red, yellow and light green stripes bordered in black. It seems, Bonnie didn't always wear red.

Happy Halloween!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

W. D. Jones Didn't Serve 17 Years in Prison-- Nor 15 Years. In Fact-- Not Even Close

In having requested official records concerning W. D. Jones from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, I had expecting to receive just cut and dry tabular records. What arrived instead, was a wonderful synopsis of W. D.'s early life and criminal career as stated by W. D. Jones himself, apparently as revealed within a Texas prison interview. But included along with this rich biographical info, was the specific knowledge I was after. Namely, the exact dates that W. D. Jones entered and exited prison-- in having served his time as an accessory, to the killing of Tarrant County Deputy Sheriff Malcolm Davis in January 1933. In addition to being of interest within the annals of B&C History, this info concerning W. D. would also impact the Grace Davies story-- in revealing the availability of W. D. Jones in possibly being the "handsome" man Grace remembers visiting her, when she was 8 years old.

But a pronounced roadblock seemed to stand squarely in the path of Grace's recollection, in that it's often been written that W. D. was sentenced to 15 years in jail for the Malcolm Davis killing plus 2 additional years-- having been tacked onto his sentence, as a result of the 1935 Bonnie & Clyde Harboring trial. Obviously if that contention were true, and W. D. served 15 years or more in prison and was released somewhere near 1950-- then W. D. Jones couldn't have been the mysterious man Grace remembers. Then as such, the possibility of W. D. being considered as Grace's father would be lessened. As Grace believes she was born in March 1932, she would have been 8 until turning 9 in March 1941.

Ah, but this aspect of Grace's story couldn't be that easy to disprove could it?? As it turns out-- No. And in fact-- the State of Texas prison records for W. D. Jones, just made it entirely possible that the mysterious man from Grace's memory-- could indeed have been W. D. Jones. But wasn't W. D. serving a term of 15 years or more in jail?? Well apparently-- that's not exactly the case. Many B&C books including the most notable ones, chronicle W. D.'s sentence as being the 15 years plus 2. However W. D.'s "actual" sentence as documented within Texas prison records-- was a much more pliable 2-15 years. And although 2 years were apparently added from the B&C Harboring Trial (to run concurrently-- more on this later)-- in fact W. D. was granted a reprieve of sentence in time for Christmas-- dated at Sugarland, Texas December 13th, 1940. I've included here, a scan of W. D.'s Reprieve of Sentence Receipt-- which includes the signatures of W. D. Jones and his Warden.

The Reprieve Of Sentence reads-- Sugarland Texas Dec 13th 1940. I W. D. Jones Register No. 77540, do hereby accept Reprieve of Sentence granted unto me, and agree to conditions stipulated therein, i. e., That I conduct myself in all things in an exemplary manner, and report to Hon. W. K. Howarth, Chairman, of Harris County, Texas, at such times and places as the said Hon. W. K. Howarth, Chairman, shall require. Signed in the presence of Warden or Farm Manager and Signature of Prisoner. Please have prisoner sign the above receipts and return all three to the office of the Bureau of Records and Identification, Huntsville, Texas.

Although W. D.'s Dallas prisoner number from his 1933 mugshot was 11711-- I've learned the register number on this receipt, and W. D.'s 1934 Texas state prisoner number were one in the same-- #77540.

Now when the Grace Davies story was brought to my attention, I thought I remembered W. D. having served a shortened sentence for the Malcolm Davis killing. However, in not remembering exactly where I saw that info-- I sought to review W. D.'s prison term as chronicled within some well respected B&C works, which many of us know. But even in viewing like descriptions of W. D.'s incarceration within these well researched accounts-- I've always been one to prefer learning of B&C historical elements such as this, from their source. Thus I contacted the Texas Prison System for this info. It does seem, many B&C authors used the 15/2 model for W. D.'s 1934 prison sentence without question-- and without elaborating regarding W. D.'s actual time served. It seems now that W. D.'s Reprieve of Sentence Receipt, puts an end to the long held perception that W. D.'s sentence must have equaled his time served. It also helps Grace Davies better understand, an important aspect concerning the possibility of W. D. somehow being her father.

As mentioned earlier, in addition to this most useful prison info concerning W. D.-- his prison records also include some quite insightful biographical knowledge concerning this long tenured Barrow Gang member. As W. D. puts it-- in 1933, he ran around some with Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker. One day Malcolm Davis a Ft. Worth police detective, came to Dallas in search of Gene O'Dare. Davis entered a house where he believed O'Dare was hiding. He did not find O'Dare, but decided to wait. Sometime afterwards, Barrow, Parker and W. D. drove to the house. Barrow and Parker started into the house. Davis attempted to arrest them, and when he attempted to do so-- Barrow killed him. Barrow and Parker escaped, and were killed before being tried on charges from the Malcolm Davis killing. W. D. was captured, identified and tried for Davis' murder. He remained in jail in Dallas for 9 months before his trial.

W. D. was born somewhere in East Texas on August 12th, 1916. **Note the difference in W. D's birth date as revealed here-- versus the date which appears on his headstone of May 15th, 1916. His father was a farmer but moved the family to Dallas in 1922. That year W. D.'s father and 2 of his siblings died of pneumonia. As a result of their family's tragedy, all the Jones children quit school and started to work. W. D. sold newspapers and did odd jobs, and thus had contributed toward his family's maintenance from the age of 9. He attended school for only a short time, and never completed the 1st grade. He attended school in West Dallas.

W. D. states he grew up with the Barrow boys and other known criminals from West Dallas. However, he claims he was with them on very few of their escapades. W. D.'s first trouble occurred when he was 11 years old. He was arrested on a charge of bicycle theft, but states that the case was dismissed because he was not guilty. His next trouble was in 1931. W. D. and L. C. Barrow stole an automobile in Dallas and drove it to Shreveport, Louisiana. They were arrested there and returned to Dallas. W. D. was held in jail for 4 months before being tried in Federal court for violation of the Dyer act. He was sentenced to one year and a day, and his time was dated back to the time of his arrest. For the unserved portion of 8 months-- he was placed on probation.

Hardly was W. D.'s probationary period over before he was arrested for car theft in 1932 and given a 2 year suspended sentence. Later in 1932 W. D. was in Beaumont, Texas with Charley Britton and Jack Murphy. The three were arrested on charges of auto theft and failure to stop and render aid. W. D. claimed they were not guilty of the charges, and were released-- without being held for the grand jury.

W. D. continued to associate with the West Dallas gang and was with Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker on several of their shooting scrapes. However, he claimed not to have been with them on the robberies. In 1935, W. D. was returned to Dallas from the penitentiary and tried on a Federal charge for harboring Barrow and Parker. W. D. stated that he was given a 2 year sentence to run concurrent with his sentence in the Texas Prison system. **This is the info as noted before, where W. D.'s 2-15 year sentence wouldn't have been added onto from the harboring trial. W. D. stated he had gotten along well every place he has been assigned since coming to the penitentiary-- and at the time of this accounting, was working in the laundry.

Within a review of his personality, it was noted that W. D. could neither read nor write. However it was further noted that he had a vocabulary comparable to the average urban grammar school graduate. During this interview, W. D. was said to have been frank and cooperative. His prison report reveals that W. D. rationalized his offenses on bad associations. He claimed not to have killed Malcolm Davis, but admitted to being present at the time Davis was killed. He believed he was pleaded guilty to being an accomplice, when he was tried.

The following Summary and Recommendation is quoted verbatim from the Texas Prison interview and evaluation of W. D. Jones--

"Subject, W. D. Jones, #77540, was admitted 11-7-34 from Dallas County with a sentence of from two to fifteen (2-15) years for murder with malice. He had previously served a jail sentence for violation of the Dyer Act and admits one previous suspended sentence. He is also under a federal conviction for harboring a fugitive from justice. Subject was a member of the Clyde Barrow - Bonnie Parker gang. He has one brother serving a sentence in the Texas Prison System."

"Subject is twenty one years of age, practically illeterate, (an interesting spot for a misspelling)-- and single. He has no employment experience that is verifiable. During interview he was cooperative but seems to have been unstable and maladjusted and to have had a poor family background (shown by conviction of one brother and early family breakdown.). He will probably adjust fairly satisfactorily to prison routine but a future prognosis is problematic."

"Tentative classification: 2-A, Medium custodial care, rehabilitation rating 35, Employment Rating: Poor. Subject will probably be most valuable as a common laborer but if he becomes eligible for promotions construction work of a simple trade is recommended."

I hope all have enjoyed learning of some interesting aspects, of W. D. Jones' Texas Prison record. Of significance to me, is yet another W. D. Jones interview to mull over, along with the details confirming his prison confinement-- 2-15 years with 2 years added from the Bonnie & Clyde Harboring Trial to run concurrently. W. D.'s Reprieve Of Sentence Receipt-- shows he was released from prison on the Malcolm Davis accessory charge on December 13th, 1940. This date is important to the Grace Davies claim, in showing W. D. to have been a free man-- and available to have visited North Carolina in late 1940 or early 1941. However a careful read of W. D.'s prison interview, in detailing his activities within 1931-- leaves open the question of exactly when in that year he would have been free to conceive a child?? As I see it, the dates as stated by W. D. himself-- are inconclusive, but leave open that possibility.

My sincere thanks to an old friend at The Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Rachel Williams-- and a new friend in Rebecca Matcek, for assisting me in this endeavor. In addition, my thanks to Laura Saegert of The Texas State Library at Austin-- for her consistently kind help, within these searches for B&C historical truth. As always-- I welcome your comments.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Daughter for Bonnie Parker and W. D. Jones in 1932?!?-- How About Twins?!&?#%?!! You'd Better Brace Yourselves for This One

Is this the face of an outlaw's daughter-- or the inquisitive look of a young lady destined to know her own happiness, while also searching in vain for a truth she may never know?? One thing's for sure within Bonnie & Clyde History-- there's never a shortage of stories regarding these most iconic of American outlaws-- no matter how outlandish the claims. It can also be said, that among some closest to Bonnie & Clyde's families-- there can exist an "extra" measure of defensiveness and oft times unwillingness, to consider points of view unlike their own.

Now I myself don't consider "it ain't so-- 'cause it ain't so"-- a viable defense, in choos
ing not to explore B&C stories in search of the truth. With so much new and credible information having come to light in recent years, I believe new avenues of thinking need to be employed, in order to fully understand reality within B&C History. Within that unabashed spirit of seeking transparency within this diverse and less than certain historical journey, I'm proud to say here at The B&CHB-- I don't shy away from controversy and I won't sweep things under the rug. Thus if I were to tell you that an adopted woman living in California, has waged a decades long crusade to learn the truth regarding her identity-- in feeling she may be the daughter of Bonnie Parker and W. D. Jones what would you think??

"That's a good one"!@%$?! might come to mind-- or "that's not possible-- is it"?? Well even as immersed as I am within this history, I was unaware of this monumental claim until earlier this year-- when it was brought to my attention by a friend I trust implicitly within this history. Apparently the B&C Families and some close to them, have been approached quietly over time-- in seeking their help to sort out this hard to fathom matter of B&C contention. However due to media coverage of this story, the circle of knowledge has widened concerning this bold assertion. As such when brought to my attention, my curiosity was jogged. However based on the thoroughly "sensational" nature of this claim, I must admit that even I in possessing a normally "wide open" mindset concerning this history-- didn't concentrate much on it, until the story re-surfaced for me again. Recently, I was sent a link to a KCBS news story concerning this allegation-- which aired in Los Angeles on June 16th, 2009. With many thanks, this link was sent by Cindy-- who's a regular contributor to this blog.

Now there have been many people over the years, who've claimed a kinship with Bonnie, Clyde or some member of The Barrow Gang. In the vast majority of these cases, although the amount of banter and self assertion can be voluminous, viable proof is rarely forthcoming. Thus most who make these claims are often exposed as egocentric opportunists, or those who as a practical matter-- perhaps may need to find more to do with their lives. But in viewing this CBS news video, which was broadcast in the major market of Los Angeles-- I was struck by this woman's determination and conviction, in seemingly truly believing she was somehow the child of W. D. and Bonnie. Plus she had an intriguing story to tell, which on the face of it-- seemed less vulnerable to being "knocked out" as quickly as most "I'm related to B&C" stories.

But let's get real you'd say. How could this be?? This person has to be mistaken. There's no way, or is there?? For the record, this quite pleasant & outgoing lady is Grace Davies-- who hails from the hinterland area of Southern California. Grace is 78 years old-- having been born in March of 1932. Concerning her perceived affiliation with B&C History, Grace's story goes something like this. From the time she was a young girl, Grace wondered about her true identity. As many children do, she had overheard family members talk of her-- and came to the realization she may have been adopted.

As she became of age, Grace began asking her relatives the emotionally laden questions she just couldn't shake-- and which left a wanting feeling within her. At one point, Grace had asked her uncle Jim for insights regarding her adoption. However, instead of the usual story one might expect this relative to tell, Grace's uncle took a most curious detour-- in providing comment seemingly unrelated to her question. Jim proceeded to tell Grace of her aunt Lillie, who in her younger days had been said to run liquor for bootleggers. According to uncle Jim, Grace's aunt Lillie Ruth Brown (pictured here)-- brought Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow to the family farm in North Carolina for a weekend stay. But what on earth, did this knowledge have to do with Grace's adoption?? Understandably, Grace asked if aunt Lillie was her mother?? No said Jim-- but aunt Lillie was said to have been the relative who brought Grace to her adopted parents Glennie Bell Johnson and William Raleigh Johnson as a baby. And in a perfect spot for this phrase-- here's where the plot thickens.

Although Grace's relatives were reluctant to provide the vital information she craved, with each relative questioned-- Grace Marie seemed able to piece together more and more of a puzzle, with what appeared to be ominous possibilities. Grace was told that she was born in another state while her natural mother was in jail. She was then brought to NC by aunt Lillie, and given to her adoptive mother-- Lillie's sister Glennie. Grace also recalls a one time meeting with a mysterious yet friendly man. When Grace was 8, she had taken ill. While she was sick, she remembers a man visiting her-- a "handsome" man, whom she remembers saying he loved her and who cried upon leaving their brief encounter. More on this mystery man in a moment. In later years while searching for proof of her identity, Grace has been told 2 quite different stories by records workers in NC concerning her adoption records. One story is that her records were destroyed by a fire in Smithfield, NC. The other account, has Grace unable to view her sealed records since she was related to "high criminals".

In having uncovered what Grace believed was some connection with Bonnie & Clyde, in 1971-- Grace began looking into B&C History in earnest for information. She read avidly about the outlaws, and began making the rounds of those she felt might assist her-- in deciphering what seemed to be a haphazard but intriguing batch of clues. She approached Phillip Steele, who'd worked on a memoir with Marie Barrow Scoma-- among others, who are recognizable names within the realm of B&C Historical analysis. Remember the mysterious and handsome man from a moment ago?? Now enter Kent Biffle.

After years of searching B&C streams with but a trickle of useful knowledge concerning her quest, on September 12th, 2000-- Grace says she spoke with renown Dallas newsman Kent Biffle. Many familiar with this history are aware of Kent Biffle's work, which included a number of articles on Bonnie & Clyde which he authored over the course of his storied career. According to Grace, in having told Kent what she's learned of her earlier life-- and after some questions from Mr. Biffle in apparently feeling out Grace and attempting to verify knowledge of his own, Kent Biffle laid some "mother load" info upon Grace.

As Grace remembers it-- Kent said W. D. Jones was his friend and a nice man. According to Grace, it was Kent Biffle who told her that W. D. Jones was indeed her daddy. And although never mentioning her by name, Grace says Kent also made what she thought was a veiled reference to Bonnie Parker. Oddly, Kent made this inference within an unexpected and disparaging comment concerning Grace's mother. But as Grace knew Kent Biffle would have had no way of knowing anything of Grace's adoptive mother Glennie Johnson in order to offer comment on her-- she was left with the impression that Kent was referring to Bonnie Parker as being her mother.

As someone once said-- now "those" are revelations within B&C History-- but hold on-- were they really revelations at all?? Now I'll take a moment here to comment, that apparently Kent Biffle has his detractors among some who've dealt with him over the years. I would think anyone in the news game as long as Kent was, could draw a mixed hand when impressions concerning him are tallied. However Kent also has his supporters, one of whom told me Kent is an honest man, who's always intent on getting historical facts right. From my point of view, a review of Kent Biffle's B&C articles-- shows a reporter who seems to express a decidedly negative slant and critical opinion of Bonnie & Clyde, along with those who would laud them. In some ways, this popular news reporter seems to resemble a sort of home town Dallas crusader-- intent on protecting the image of Dallas from the scourge of these young punk criminals who gave Dallas a bad name. But you know what-- there "are" many who would support this sort of B&C bashing, and support Mr. Biffle's opinions concerning B&C wholeheartedly.

I should also note, a most interesting comment which Grace brought to my attention. Grace told me that according to Kent Biffle, not all of W.D.'s interview with Playboy was published in November 1968. There were said to have been portions left untold, which Grace feels may have included info regarding this story. Grace says she made contact with Playboy, who told her no other records of W.D's interview could be located beyond the published interview. I've also communicated with Playboy Enterprises, in an attempt to learn what notes containing unpublished info-- may exist from W.D.'s 1968 interview. In addition, I've tried to clarify just who it was-- who worked with W. D. in bringing his story to press. In a curious response (at least to me)-- Playboy has politely declined my request for info, in citing proprietary privilege. It seems without exception, only Playboy employees can view Playboy materials. One thing I know as I've specifically asked-- Playboy hasn't denied the existence of additional notes from the W. D. sessions. Also so far, Playboy has refused to reveal the source who was responsible for obtaining W. D.'s story.

Well I must say-- I hadn't realized the need for such protections, regarding a 42 year old interview in Playboy magazine?!? I would politely ask why?? My response to this development, is when people start declining requests for historically related info of a seemingly benign nature-- that gets my attention. Based on their response, I've made a newly enhanced request-- in trying to shake the bushes over at Playboy. I find it curious that after all these years, there would be such hesitation concerning this information. It's easy I suppose to hide behind the cloak of proprietary concern. But concern over what?? I wonder if this proprietary focus, is really all there is-- to this apparent lack of professional graciousness?? Could there indeed be secrets revealed within W. D.'s Playboy liner notes?? I hope eventually to gain some insight into W. D.'s Playboy interview, as it relates to this story.
I've seen it written that a reporter from Houston was responsible for the W.D. Playboy article. How Kent Biffle seemingly knew of insider info from W.D.'s Playboy confessional, leaves one to wonder whether he may have been a go between to W.D.-- knew the reporter who conducted the interview-- or in fact, may have "been" the reporter who obtained W.D.'s comments on a free lance basis??

Ah but there's more. Just as our journey through the thick woods of uncertainty was nearing a clearing-- we arrive at the road never taken. Through a family held conversation which Grace witnessed early in her life, and via medical evidence uncovered in 1983-- Grace had suspected that she may have been one of twins born to her natural mother. Now if Bonnie Parker was indeed Grace's mother, that would mean that Bonnie had twins in 1932. Next enter Ken Holmes. Ken who's known to many of us, as a Dallas based Historian with a substantial knowledge of B&C History-- has also dealt with Grace over the years. According to Grace, at one point Ken told her that in the 1970's a TV news anchorwoman in Houston, Texas had also claimed to be the daughter of Bonnie Parker.

Grace said she contacted many Houston television stations in an attempt to find this woman. The closest she got, was to have co-workers of this mystery woman ask Grace her date of birth over an open line. When Grace responded-- an audible gasp was said to have been heard among those listening. Grace felt this could mean, that the woman who was fired for telling her sensational claim over the air-- may have had the same birth date as hers?? Now this possibility, just plain opens up the proverbial 'ol extra large can o' worms to sort through.

If true, what would the odds be of "2" women trying to verify themselves as daughters
of Bonnie Parker-- and both having the same birthday?? I'm not sure-- but those odds would likely be very long indeed. To me, this seeming connection to another woman who's thought of as a possible twin daughter of Bonnie Parker by Grace-- seems a perception perhaps built on a quantum leap of faith. Such is the case with a number of aspects of this story. Yet interestingly, Grace says she possesses Internet records from 1999 of a Ron Johnson and others from NC-- searching for the twin daughters of Bonnie Parker the outlaw on Remember, Grace's adopted name is Johnson from North Carolina. I too was able to locate records on, of an forum search for Bonnie Parker twins from 1999 which involved Grace, but no mention yet within my searches of a Ron Johnson or multiple inquiries concerning this. Getting back to Ken Holmes-- Ken was also said to have offered the possibility to Grace, of having DNA analysis performed on a swatch of the B&C death car seat upholstery which he owns.

Ken Holmes graciously responded to my call for comment for this article. According to Ken, he heard the report regarding the Houston, Texas TV news anchorwoman over the radio in the 1970's. Ken recalls this woman was indeed fired from her job, for mentioning on the air that she was the daughter of Bonnie Parker. Ken is familiar with Grace's claim of perhaps being a twin-- but doesn't remember any reference to twins being involved in this story concerning the Houston newswoman. Ken also confirmed his willingness, regarding possible DNA testing of the death car swatch he owns. However as this testing could involve destruction of this rare swatch toward that goal-- it would likely be an expensive endeavor, both concerning this artifact's value and cost of DNA analysis.

Point by Point, Pro and Con--

With considerable background now established in this case, I thought it best to proceed point by point with many of the nuances needed to examine this claim. This format would seem to provide an effective way to impart additional info-- while also providing a much needed airing of arguments pro and con.

Due to difficulty in obtaining her adoption records, although not set in stone-- Grace believes she was born in March 1932. She would prefer to shield her precise birth date in considering the chance that a twin with the same birth date may be searching for her. For the record, I am aware of this date. W. D. Jones was born on May 15th, 1916. Therefore for W. D. to be Grace's father, he would have been just 15 years old both when she was conceived in roughly June 1931-- and also when Grace was born in March of '32. Certainly not impossible-- but many might think this possibility unlikely. And to involve Bonnie Parker-- this fact would also necessitate the image of a married 20 year old Bonnie, already separated from Roy Thornton and involved with Clyde-- having had some sort of fling with a much younger W. D. I'm not sure where it can be shown, that W. D. Jones and Bonnie Parker knew one another prior to December 1932-- when W. D. joined up with Clyde. However as W. D. was friends with Clyde's brother L. C. and had known Clyde for years, it's conceivable that W. D. "could" have crossed paths with Bonnie. How this could be proven I'm not sure.

order to support this claim based on reported B&C Historical events-- you'd also have to envision Clyde leaving prison in January 1932 and returning to a pregnant Bonnie, who reportedly was elated in seeing Clyde once again. As one B&C Historian expressed to me within a recent talk we had concerning this-- that's "too much of a stretch". Now with Grace's adoption records at this point unavailable-- there could be some play in Grace's birth date. But based on the timing told within this story, I would think it unlikely that Clyde wouldn't have known about a Bonnie pregnancy. How that reality would have gone over with Clyde, after spending 2 years in prison and returning to Bonnie-- that "is" frankly, quite a long stretch.

As I see it, the main element which "could" support this claim-- is the time period in which a Bonnie and W. D. union could have occurred. This timing just happens to coincide precisely, with the period in which a woman born in March 1932 would have been conceived. Any time significantly earlier or later-- and this story wouldn't work. It seems little is known concerning Bonnie's acquaintances and activities between December 1930 and January 1932. Within Fugitives, the family's 1934 account of B&C's story-- notably, Bonnie's exploits appear to pretty much drop from sight during this 13 month period. Although some B&C authors have provided some insight-- with all that's been written about Bonnie Parker both before and after this time, I would ask-- why so little is chronicled of Bonnie from this period?? It's been reported that after Clyde entered prison, Bonnie corresponded with him regularly for months. Their published love letters, seemingly verify a love that carried forward for a good portion of Clyde's confinement. However it's also been noted, that eventually their relationship cooled-- to the point where it's said Bonnie "was" dating other young men during this very time. Is it possible that Bonnie could have been attracted to a younger and notably handsome W. D. Jones-- whom she could have known, and had at least a one night relationship with?? Yes it is. Is it also possible that the family(ies) could have held such a secret as a Bonnie pregnancy tight lipped for generations?? According to some willing to state a belief held for many years-- one would suppose so, depending on the circumstances.

As the Kent Biffle angle is "key" to Grace's story, I've made a number of attempts to contact Kent but so far without a reply. I've learned that Kent who's in his 70s, may not be in the best of health these days. It's certainly not my intention to be impolite to Mr. Biffle or his family. I continue to hope for some response to my approaches-- in asking Kent to please confirm, deny or clarify-- the statements attributed to him by Grace Davies. Based on some candid conversations held between myself and others who either know Kent or know of him-- I've been told it's possible that Kent knew W. D. Jones. However based on known B&C accounts I feel it must be asked-- is it possible that Kent Biffle somehow misspoke regarding the story he reportedly told Grace, in linking her to W. D. and or Bonnie?? Perhaps Kent was right about W.D. but wrong about Bonnie?? I suppose many things could be possible within this story-- including that contention as well.

According to Emma Parker, once Bonnie's marriage to Roy Thornton dissolved, Bonnie lived with her up until the time she and Clyde went away. In 1932 the Parker's Dallas residence was noted to have been located at 2430 Douglass. It seems logical that for this story to be true, the Parker family would have needed (for some reason)-- to cover it up, and do so most effectively for close to 80 years now. From speaking with a number of folks old enough to remember the 1930's, I understand that events such as we're discussing here (a birth out of wedlock-- or involving a minor-- or a child born to a woman already married)-- were considered scandalous circumstances, and would be considered an embarrassment to the families involved. However-- Bonnie's niece Rhea Leen Linder, reveals a touching perspective concerning The Parker Family-- within her rebuttal to this claim which accompanies this post. Rhea Leen asks-- with all the love and care The Parkers had exhibited in searching for her, when she had been placed in a home away from her family-- why they wouldn't have had the same love for any children of Bonnie's?? It's known that Bonnie loved children. Thus what are the odds, she would have given away one much less 2 children-- if presented with the opportunity to have her family care for them?? Not a chance according to Rhea Leen.

As a practical matter, there seems a stark reality standing in the way of Grace's view of the "handsome" man who she recalls visiting her when she was 8-- and believing this gentleman to be W. D. Jones. I have requested documentation from The Texas Department of Criminal Justice concerning the incarceration of William Daniel Jones. It's been written that W. D. was sentenced to 15 years in prison as an accomplice to the January 6th, 1933 murder of Tarrant County Deputy Sheriff Malcolm Davis. Also that 2 years were later added to W. D.'s sentence, as a result of his conviction in the B&C harboring trial in 1935. If W. D. was indeed confined for anywhere near 17 years after his time with Bonnie & Clyde-- then unless W. D. was granted a furlough to visit Grace when she was 8-- the mysterious handsome man who Grace remembers couldn't have been W. D. As soon as I have the info needed to verify W. D.'s sentence-- I'll update this post.

Update-- The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has confirmed that W. D. was released from prison on December 13th, 1940. This info makes it possible, that W. D. could have been the mysterious man who visited Grace when she was 8 years old. Please review additional info from W.D.'s prison record in a post dated October 27th, 2010.

As far as Grace being born to Bonnie while Bonnie was in the Kaufman, Texas jail-- as expressed in the CBS coverage of Grace's story-- here's another spot, where the facts may stand squarely in the way of a good story. Grace is said to have been born in March 1932. But after her involvement in the Maybank incident with Ralph Fults-- Bonnie was imprisoned from April 20th or 21st, 1932 and released after being no billed, on June 17th of that year. Again, there could be some play withing Grace's birth date-- and effectively there would need to be-- in making this timing element of her story possible. Concerning CBS's handling of this story, Peter Wilgoren-- the Senior Executive Producer of CBS News Los Angeles, expressed to me his belief that CBS pretty much went with Grace's story as told-- and without contacting The Parker Family, although their reporter Stacy Butler, was said to have made many phone calls concerning her report.

Divergent views and a family's response. There's "a lot" happening within this assertion of a possible Bonnie & W. D. kinship with Grace Davies-- which may or may not have grounds in reality. Many may feel there's about as much chance of this claim being true-- as a snowball in hell being hit by a shot in the dark!! At this point although I'm not willing to dismiss this claim, I'm not convinced there's enough evidence to substantiate Grace's assertion. However-- there "are" intriguing aspects of this story, which remain unexplained. From the Parker family's point of view, although it's unfortunate that Grace has spent such energy and time within her quest-- it's their view she is mistaken. For her part, although Grace has apparently expressed no monetary desires within the search for her true identity-- she has drawn the ire of some for her persistence, in the face of few verifiable facts. Grace says she just wants to know the truth, concerning the emotionally charged question of who she really is. She has stated if her feelings concerning W. D. and Bonnie are deemed to be false-- she would apologize for any trouble she may have caused. I believe Grace in making that heartfelt statement. In fairness, I feel it needs to be known that Grace also claims a psychic sensitivity-- which she admits to for as long as she can remember. As one who believes in those possibilities, and at this point in my life-- I wouldn't downplay or cast doubt on that admission. So could it be true, that Grace is the daughter of W. D. Jones and Bonnie Parker?? I feel it quite unlikely, but I'm not willing to shut the door on that possibility. In response to Grace's assertion, Bonnie's niece Rhea Leen Linder has asked me to publish an e-mail she sent me-- in response to my approach to her for comment concerning this story. It's my pleasure to do so. This e-mail was dated September 29th, 2010.


This must be the woman that keeps calling Buddy, Don't you know that our family would certainly know if she EVER was pregnant and definitely if she had a child or twins - for one thing the baby would never be adopted out - it would have definitely been taken care of by Emma and Jean and rest of family - when they searched for me constantly for 3 years - not having any idea of where I might be - but kept looking - with no help from anyone but the "Welfare dept." - you know darn well that they would have kept any child of Bonnie's - no matter who the daddy was.There were ONLY 3 grandchildren in Bonnie's family - Billie Jean's 2 children, Buddy and Jackie - who passed away at age 2 and 4 - and Buster's daughter, me, Bonnie Ray Parker - and Jean had my name changed to Rhea Leen Frazier when I was in 5th grade.

When does common sense prevail in anything that concerns B&C - I have missed Marie so much - not only for the friendship and things we had planned - but for her knowledge - to at least put so much of this B.S. to rest.

Billie Jean and Marie both - many more times than once - told me that BONNIE NEVER HAD ANY CHILDREN - and I defer to them as the "ONLY EXPERTS" ON THIS SUBJECT.

To ALL of the self-claimed experts and FAMILY WANNA-BE'S - I ask - "WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD YOU WANT TO BE KIN TO BONNIE AND CLYDE?????" No matter what the circumstances - they were still outlaws and did wrong - I thank God that Bonnie never shot anyone - but still she chose to remain on the wrong side of the law with Clyde - eventho, Clyde, Emma, Billie Jean and Buster tried to get her to come home before it was to late - she could have but she chose to stay with Clyde - knowing the ultimate end was to come.

I know that Jeff Guinn said that "HISTORY IS "YOUR BEST GUESS" and preceded to write his book on that opinion - doing whatever it takes to "spice up" his book - and naming it the "true and untold story of Bonnie and Clyde" and then proceeds to lie in it - how can that be considered to be "True and Untold" - in all the other books written and stories told- it was NEVER intimated that she was a "prostitute". That was an out and out lie - I checked with historians that I trust - John Neal Phillips, Jonathan Davis and Boots, as well as others- and they all said that was not in anything that they had seen- nothing had been intimated to that effect - so I guess that was Jeff's "Best Guess" in his mind. Someone said that he chose to use that BECAUSE she wrote the poem about a prostitute - she wrote a poem about "Suicide Sal" but we all know that she DIDN'T commit suicide.

Winston - I would like to see my letter put on your blog - in full - and see what effect, if any, that it has. Take care. Rhea Leen

No DNA-- Grace Davies has expressed her willingness to provide DNA samples to help solve what she feels is a valid question both personally and historically. Rhea Leen Linder has refused to consider providing DNA-- in feeling Grace's claim not credible enough for consideration. For what it's worth-- from both a personal and historical perspective, I've expressed my feeling that DNA analysis may be the "only" way to put this B&C contention to rest. I can appreciate both the Parker and Barrow families' frustration, in having endured kinship related claims for years. But by the same token if it were me-- I would agree to DNA. My feeling is-- why allow a story such as this to fester, and survive those living today who could deal with and possibly dispel it?? My suggestion is, after many decades of uncertainty-- prove or disprove this story. Remember there does exist the death car swatch. To me, all involved-- Grace, The Parkers and Jones (should relatives of W.D. be located)-- would all benefit in knowing the truth. A weight lifted from many shoulders, for the sake of a simple swab in the mouth or testing a piece of fabric. Plus there's the very human element of Grace Davies trying satisfy a lifelong desire to discover her roots. Even one of the most discerning and careful investigators I know-- thinks Grace looks very much like W. D. What do you think about all of this?? I welcome your comments. My thanks for your patience, during the research and construction of a most involved post.

Many thanks as well to L. J. "Boots" Hinton, for allowing the rarely seen photo of W. D. and Bonnie at the rocky outcropping to be published here on The B&CHB. That photo is © 2010 The Hinton Family Archive. BTW-- I find it interesting that in the other photo of Bonnie and W. D. shown above, W. D. Jones has his arm around Bonnie Parker. Maybe it's just me-- but I've always felt Bonnie looked uncomfortable just standing next to other members of The Barrow Gang when photographed. By contrast-- of course Bonnie always seemed at ease when standing with Clyde. What impact might this perceived closeness of Bonnie to W. D. have on this story-- who knows?? Perhaps none at all. But why do you suppose W. D. was able to get close enough to Bonnie, to seemingly express an outward affection in holding her as he did?? And when that photo was taken-- Clyde was almost certainly standing right off camera. I find that photo a curious thing.

Also it was W. D., who carried a wounded Bonnie on his back through thick and thin for a mile at Dexfield Park-- likely saving Bonnie's life, or at best certain capture and separation from Clyde. According to Billie via a story told by Bonnie herself-- W. D. was trusted by Clyde to choose life or death for Bonnie, should the law close in on them at Dexfield Park (B&C's suicide pact). Per Billie's account-- prior to Clyde, Bonnie and W. D. escaping-- when W. D. and Bonnie thought they heard the law near them-- Bonnie said W. D. had a gun to her head with the hammer cocked and his finger on the trigger. That's perhaps the ultimate trust-- to place your life in the hands of another. Apparently both B&C trusted W. D. with that responsibility concerning Bonnie. Then again, if Grace's contention were true-- would W. D. be able to pull the trigger, and end the life of the mother of their child(ren)?? I'm not sure that would make sense. Did Bonnie Parker & W. D. Jones share more in common, than just the element of survival?? It's a most interesting thought.

If anyone anywhere, has additional info concerning Grace Davies or the search for a child or children of Bonnie Parker and W. D. Jones-- please send an e-mail to me at