Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hey-- Maybe Focusing on Bonnie & Clyde Truth is Working

I'm very happy to say, that the often prolific inquiries into Clyde Barrow's sexuality-- have now slipped to 9th place in the Nov. 2010 keyword entries to The B&C History Blog. Interestingly this month-- inquires into Blanche Barrow, lead keyword approaches.

I've spent a good bit of my time in chronicling this history, commenting, reporting & re-reporting on the seemingly never ending fascination into Bonnie & Clyde sexual wonderings-- and trying to dispel these unsubstantiated and sordid notions whenever I can. My feeling is, when someone-- "anyone" can ferret out any reasonable evidence to support such claims of Bonnie & Clyde sexual deviance, I'm sure I along with others-- will pay keen attention and work to help examine the basis for such assertions. Until then, Bonnie & Clyde sexual rumors are just that, rumors-- and should be judged accordingly.

It's nice to know, that other more legitimate topics within Bonnie & Clyde History, are at least for now-- leading the way in the hearts and minds of those who love this history.


joe from Canada said...

Hello Winston

B@C sexuality- at the end of the day who really cares and what difference does it make to their story besides a possible footnote. There is so much more to their story. Valuable time is being wasted on baseless research as memories are fading and people who were touched by their lifes or new someone who came into contact with B@C are slowly dying off. I would rather that valuable research time be spent on finding answers to other questions and conflicting information such as why Billie Mace when writing about Sowers talks of 40 plus men from all levels of police forces-- local and regional etc while Ted Hinton - who was one of the shooters says there was only four and that Clyde started the shooting. Who was really at the Atoka dance hall shoot out?

Please continue your other story lines and follow other backroads and lane ways in search of other truths. I truly beleive that enough has been said about B@C sexuality and the issue properly addressed enough times.

What I would like to do is possibly chart the various events as presented by different authors and isolate differences and research the variations. Different people can read different authors and historians and then our combined reasearch can be brought toghether.
Winston, I don't believe that you should be defending your blog which I think you have been doing lately.

I truly enjoy reading your work.

A. Winston Woodward said...

Hello Joe--

I couldn't agree with you more, concerning lost time worrying about B&C sexuality. However I will say-- there seems to be a remarkable interest in this topic, although I feel it's importance is overrated. As such, I do feel it's worth dissecting to the best of our abilities, provided other B&C historical questions continue to be researched.

B&C sexual rumors have been swirling about for a long time now, and seem to have some literary backing. But as I see it, it comes down to learning the source material(s) for these rumors that counts. No source material-- no good. Were these rumors just begun scurrilously as some lark by those looking to disparage B&C?? That's a distinct possibility.

Or-- was there some basis of truth for these rumors?? These "are" valid questions, although there are more pressing matters historically-- which really need to be sorted out. Then again, there seem to be some around these days-- who have little interest in changing the B&C status quo. That's why I've defended myself and this forum, in protecting my right to ask the tough questions and not be assailed for doing so-- by those self righteous souls, who feel they are somehow privileged to make those decisions.

Now a Bonnie pregnancy to me is hugely important for this history, having to do with the ambush-- and the laws' mentality in stopping B&C at all costs.

Differing accounts of B&C events, are an interesting reality within this history. A number of the more recent B&C authors, seem to have either admittedly or non-admittedly borrowed from some of the same sources. So a number of B&C accounts related in the recent past seem similar, and as you've so aptly noted-- may conflict with earlier or other accounts. Plus some such as Ted Hinton, just plain saw things differently. Who's right-- ah, that is the question.

Jeff Guinn told me some of his book may need to be updated, based on the Dallas FBI files coming to light. As such, it doesn't appear Jeff used the FBI files for his book. That leaves Paul Schneider, as I believe the 1st B&C author to use this new info-- within any written B&C historical endeavor.

BarefootOkieGal said...

There are always people who have more interest in the prurient than the true. No matter how much evidence is presented that Clyde was, according to everyone who knew him, a hetersexual man, a lot of people were influenced by the movie and they firmly believe that Clyde had some sort of sexual dysfunction. I actually had someone tell me that after looking at pictures of Clyde, they could TELL he was gay because he "stood funny." I had to inform this person that Clyde was missing a couple of toes and that could have accounted for his stance...

There are so many interesting things about B&C other than who may have been sleeping with whom and why, but a lot of people don't seem to find them interesting. I'm interested in B&C as people, and am more interested in learning the truth about them than engaging in prurient speculation! There are always the old True Detective magazines, if one can find them, if one is interested in reading speculation and innuendo. I prefer the facts!!!

Anonymous said...

CLYDE WAS NOT GAY ! if? there was truely a malfunction with Clydes sexual performance it was probably due to the fact he was raped in prison as this could be a reason for periods of impetence, and if he was infact gay, then why have a woman tagging along? no, Clyde was not gay.

A. Winston Woodward said...


The 2nd part of your comment, was echoed by Clyde's sister Marie regarding Bonnie. As far as your quite emphatic opening statement, I myself am not one to express emotion in all this-- as many others do within this somehow battleground argument. As such I'm as pragmatic concerning this debate, as I am regarding all Bonnie & Clyde History.

My feeling is, show me "evidence"-- not a movie script-- not scurrilous banter, although it be written in books by what "should" be responsible authors-- something substantive, something that can be confirmed. Not rumor-- but rather "Proof"-- "Fact".

I don't think there's much doubt that Clyde was sexually abused in prison. What if anything his experience(s) at Eastham did to his sexuality-- seem truly unknown. Bonnie was with Clyde for a number of years. And before that, there's no evidence of other than heterosexual relationships for Clyde. But boy, people just love to talk about this!!

I'm sure many inquiries into this subject are made with history in mind. However, with so little logic to support these claims about Clyde, it seems hard not to think, that many of the approaches inquiring about Clyde being Gay-- may perhaps be expressed by those who are Gay themselves. Perhaps some search for a Gay champion??

dave said...

To me, Clyde was a very heterosexual male. Only to the sexually frustrated or "in the closet homosexuals" in America could this even be a subject for discussion. When he was a teen and a young man, all that he was interested in were girls, (and guns). He was always romancing them, wanting to marry them, telling people, (when he was with a girl for a time), that they were married, shacking up with girls and playing "house", and getting their names tattooed over his body. Yeah, that doesn't sound very gay to me. Give me a break, he was "whipped". As for being raped in prison, well he took care of that, to me, a very honorable and brave deed, on his part. Ed Crowder raped a lot of males, and Clyde was the first one to do something about it. I think Clyde was a wild youth growing up in the Great Depression, who being as heterosexual as he was and being raped, basically killed him, pushed him over the edge, to the point of no return. Remember, Clyde didn't want to be a bank robber, he just wanted to return to destroy all of Eastham Prison, and kill everyone associated with it, because that's where he died. Hamer didn't kill Clyde, Eastham did, and Clyde wanted revenge. Most people could "let things go", and be thankful for another chance. Clyde was very vengeful, and just couldn't let go. Thanks to the "all knowingly" sadistic conditions at Eastham, Clyde was not right, mentally speaking, and he truly "did not care" about tomorrow.

BarefootOkieGal said...

I tend to agree with Dave for the most part - The one plan that Clyde seemed to have for his life, other than just robbery and running until he got caught, was to stage a breakout at Eastham Prison. He had been talking about that from almost the moment he got in.

Conditions at Eastham were horrific. Rape was officially not condoned, but everyone turned their eyes. Ed Crowder was known for his rape and abuse of other prisoners, and when he was killed, it was easy for Clyde to get away with it because one of Crowder's other victims stepped up and offered to take the fall for it, being a lifer anyway. In "The Grapes of Wrath," Ma Joad is very concerned about Tom's treatment in prison, wondering if they did anything to make him "mean-mad." Eastham Prison made Clyde mean-mad, and I think that given his natural hair-trigger temper, I think it made him a much more dangerous man.

Clyde may have been raped in prison but there is absolutely no indication that it "turned him gay." His treatment of his rapist leaves no doubt that the sexual assaults were not by mutual consent, and his first thought upon getting out was to go see his girl!

A. Winston Woodward said...

I keep asking for "anyone" who believes Clyde was homosexual, to please step forward-- and present any form of evidence from any valid source, to support such a claim. "Or" for anyone who inquires of this topic, to explain why they are so interested in learning of it??

In the roughly 2 years that I've offered this challenge-- not one person has responded.

BarefootOkieGal said...

I think that a large part of the whole "Clyde was Gay, Bonnie was a Nymphomaniac" rumors got started back when they were on the run... back in those days, Bonnie would have been considered a tramp for living with a man with whom she was not married (when she still had a husband, albeit one in prison) and, given the number of male gang members who were always present, it would be easy for nasty-minded people to guess that if Bonnie was "servicing" Clyde, who was not her husband, why, then, she must have been "servicing" these other men, as well. I can see how that might have been the idea back in the 30's, but nowadays the mere fact that Bonnie was living with Clyde would definitely NOT suggest that she was sharing her favors with other men. Some people might not think that it's possible for a woman to remain faithful to one man when there are other men available (rather sad commentary, isn't it?) and it might be that the rumors of Clyde's homosexuality or bisexuality came about because of the assumption that Bonnie was sexually insatiable (an idea that seemed to be held by J. Edgar Hoover and probably a lot of other lawmen) and I suppose the idea was that if Clyde were a "real" man, Bonnie wouldn't have to run around with all the other men in the gang. Trouble is - there is no evidence that Bonnie was promiscuous in this way, which to me destroys the argument that Clyde MUST have had something wrong with him to cause her behavior; she didn't exhibit this behavior!

There seem to be two distinct schools of thought about Bonnie and Clyde: They were either relatively normal people who found themselves caught up in a life of crime after having progressed from small-time deeds to murder but who aside from that were not that different from many other young couples; the other school of thought has Bonnie as a hardened criminal type who's all excited about the prospect of finding some weak man and forcing him to join her in her chosen criminal lifestyle - making sure, of course, that the man she chose would not object to her sleeping with any other man they might coerce into joining the gang. I tend to believe the words of the men who actually traveled with Bonnie and Clyde: Clyde was the boss, no if's, and's, or butts, and he and Bonnie were devoted to one another, even if they DID fight like cats and dogs sometimes.

No one who ever knew Clyde thought he was gay; no one who ever knew Bonnie thought she was a floozy. It's the people who never knew them or never met them through any medium other than a movie which has been shown many times to be less than accurate, and various pulp magazines which were printed at various times, most of which mixed known facts with salacious speculation and downright lies in order to appeal to the public, which certainly was willing to pay for such material!