Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bonnie's Bloodied Glasses-- Another Bonnie & Clyde Mystery Searching for Focus

With thanks to Cindi-- a teaser of a 2010 year end Bonnie & Clyde topic. Cindi had e-mailed asking about Bonnie's bloodied glasses, which were said to have been worn by Bonnie Parker at the time of the ambush of Bonnie & Clyde. I as many have been aware of Bonnie's purported eyeglasses, which possess such a uniquely personal and poignant reminder of Bonnie's life through the image of her blood-- but I must admit I've never spent an adequate time focused upon them.

The story goes that after Bonnie Parker, the next owner of the glasses was Sheriff Thomas R. Hughes of Caddo Parish, Louisiana. Caddo Parish includes the Shreveport area of the state, which is located approximately 50 miles from the ambush site. How Sheriff Hughes obtained them, I'm not sure is known. In 1938 Sheriff Hughes was said to have presented the glasses to Art Olson of East Tulsa, Oklahoma. To my knowledge, what connection these 2 men shared is also a mystery. There was also an intermediary noted within that transaction named Cecil Harberson. Mr. Olson was then said to have given Bonnie's glasses to a man named D. A. Bryce. Upon the death of Bryce, his niece in settling his estate-- returned the glasses to A. O. Olson in 1976. The current owner of the glasses is a man from Massachusetts known as Steve E. At least one photo of Bonnie's Death Glasses, depicts the glasses within a case from the Southern Optical Company-- which if this case was found along with the glasses, may well indicate these to have been prescription eyeglasses.

Cindi points out that there is no mention of Bonnie needing glasses within popular Bonnie & Clyde accounts. Also, I don't believe there are any photos known with Bonnie wearing glasses. This leads us to the obvious question of why and when Bonnie needed help in seeing clearly?? Also why no one over the years has seemingly thought to research mention of these glasses from the death car, and attempt to link them to the provenance documented concerning these spectacles of Bonnie's-- is also unclear.

Interestingly-- Clyde's sunglasses were most conspicuously noted at the time of the ambush, and can be seen still dangling from his face both when Clyde was removed from the Warren car-- and also when photographed upon 1st being displayed in Congers. Mention of Clyde's sunglasses, is also written of within Professor Carroll Rich's Bonnie & Clyde accounts. There are also accounts known, of Bonnie having had a road map in her lap when killed. If so, then glasses would make perfect sense with which to read the fine print of that road map. I've viewed images of a 1934 road map perhaps similar to the one Bonnie was scouring. I know even when blown up-- it's hard for example, to discern the route number (LA Route 418)-- that Bonnie & Clyde were traveling that fateful day.

Perhaps it was just never thought of, to reveal Bonnie's need for glasses within family accounts concerning her. I found the same held true within my B&C Signatures investigation, in trying to determine whether Bonnie & Clyde were right or left handed. As it turned out, those who would ultimately provide that human detail not found elsewhere-- had never been asked that question before. A close examination of Bonnie's bloodied glasses shows perhaps a small crack within the right lens-- but otherwise sans the obvious blood present along with a missing nose guard-- these glasses seem in remarkably good shape for the number of shots Bonnie took to the head. Whether or not they were still resting upon Bonnie's face when the shooting stopped, or found later within the car and by whom would be interesting to know-- as no clear image of Bonnie's face in death, seems to exist prior to those taken at Congers.

Many thanks to Cindi, for a great B&C talking point for this year end post.

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

As owner of the glasses, I can provide further details. Shreveport Sheriff Thomas Hughes was instrumental in assisting the posse that eventually killed B&C. The glasses and other personal items belonging to B&C were seized by him. There is a newpaper article from the time reporting that both B&C's moms wrote to him requesting the return of these items. However, they were not successful. Sheriff Hughes kept the glasses. There is a photo showing B&C when they were first brought into Congers after they were killed. Clyde's sunglasses can clearly be seen resting on his neck. In the clearest images of this photo, the wire frames of Bonnie's glasses can be seen resting on her neck as well. The glasses were eventually given as a gift to Arthur Olson, Oklahoma millionaire, in 1938 by Sheriff Hughes through his and Arthur's mutual friend Cecil Harberson. Arthur later gave them to his friend, FBI agent and sharpshooter Delf "Jelly" Bryce...They were in Bryce's collection until they were returned to Arthur Olson and kept by him until the early 1980s. The glasses are referenced in the book, "Jelly Bryce: Legendary Lawman" by Ron Owens. They have been owned by private collectors ever since the early 1980s. The case the glasses have been stored in since the 1930's is labelled "Southern Optical Co." which was located in Shreveport, LA. I hope this answers some of your questions. Steve

Anonymous said...

My guess is that they are not Bonnies glasses at all, maybe they are just something they picked up in there travels or maybe a hostage left them behind, I doubt very much they are Bonnies as there is no mention of her ever wearing glasses, at the age of 23, I dont see a sudden need for glasses at that young age unless she wore them all her life , and there is no mention of that anywhere.

A. Winston Woodward said...

Many thanks Steve-- for your kind clarification concerning Bonnie's glasses, and welcome to The B&CHB.

I find Sheriff Hughes an interesting character within B&C History. A 4-16-34 report within the Dallas FBI files, provides documentation stating the Bureau's seeming lack of confidence in Sheriff Hughes. Bureau Special Agent Lester Kindell noted within this report, that Hughes obtained info concerning B&C's activities in Northern Louisiana from Sheriff "Smoot" Schmid in Dallas. Hughes was further thought to have leaked info to the press, concerning the proposed raid on B&C in April '34 thought to have been planned for one of the Methvin residences near Ashland, LA-- a raid which never occurred.

Although Sheriff Hughes is noted to have participated in the law's activities concerning B&C-- Shreveport Chief of Police Bazer was said to have been disgusted with Hughes' propensity to leak law enforcement info to the press. There may have also been a reported outlaw safe haven-- in the area Sheriff Hughes presided over.

Frank Hamer was apparently told by Lee Simmons, to let the boys take whatever weapons they wanted from the Warren car. However, I've never heard of a directive concerning B&C's personal effects. Prentiss Oakley was said to have ended up with Clyde's 16 gauge shotgun. Bonnie's 3 acorn brooch, was reportedly given out by Dr. Wade. Perhaps Bonnie's glasses had a similar fate??

A most interesting question of whether these glasses bore a prescription, seems to have been answered by the case bearing the Southern Optical Company identifier.

"Thanks" again Steve for the info. Please feel free to comment anytime here on the blog.

Anonymous said...

For one, I would not believe a word Hughes said and two, where can I see this photo of Bonnie with glasses around her neck, I have never seen one, I seen photos with the brooch & cigs but no glasses were in the pics, I know the glasses were in the car, and had blood on them but anything in that car probably had blood on it, excert from the John Treherne book- {the car was traveling at a consideral speed.Inside, Bonnie Parker was eating a sandwich taken from a brown paper bag on the backseat.They had just been shopping, and she had bought a magazine to reed.she was wearing a red dress and red shoes. Her hair was feshly tended and neat, on her knee was a road map of Louisiana } no mention of her wearing glasses, I dont recall reading in any book of her wearing glasses at the time of the ambush or any other time for that matter.I would have to see this photo with the glasses around her neck 1st, then I might believe they were actually hers.

A. Winston Woodward said...

Perhaps someone who's adept at Photo Shop could better discern the image of Bonnie on the stretcher outside of Congers. Something seems as it could be around Bonnie's neck, although to me it's unclear. I checked with "Boots" Hinton, who's never known Bonnie to have needed glasses-- although he said you never can tell.

It was also mentioned that according to Bonnie's family way back-- at any given time, Bonnie was known to have worn 1 of 2 necklaces. One was a photo locket and the other a cross. The cross of course was inventoried within Dr. Wade's Coroner's inquest.

This is a good B&C mystery, as I don't believe all that was in the Warren car at the time of the ambush was inventoried. I'm aware of at least one .45 auto pistol, which was said to have been taken from the B&C death car-- while it was being "guarded" not so diligently.

So as I view it, anything's possible concerning artifacts from the ambush. It does seem Sheriff Hughes' reputation was perhaps not exactly stellar. But to me, how that reality might impact this situation is not clear. The provenance of the glasses seems strong.

Of course Bonnie's blood could be DNA matched-- but here we go again, as I'm not sure the willingness of current family members could be gained. My understanding is an aunt and niece share a 25% DNA sequence-- whereas a mitochondrial match could be 100% effective.

I would also ask if someone feels inclined to challenge the claim of Bonnie's glasses-- to please identify yourself, as that's only fair.

Anonymous said...

I did not challenge anyone elses claim, I was talking of MY thoughts and views on her glasses, I mearly asked you for proof {the photo} , I am not asking anyone else to think this way, all I am saying is I need proof they are her glasses and I do not think anyone can prove they are, all the books have no mention of her wearing glasses, there are no photos of her wearing them either, just like her being pregnant, or having kids, it cannot be proven because there was no pregnancy or babies by Bonnie, all through Bonnie and Clyde history many people have said alot of things that are not true, at the time of the ambush, it seemed like everybody had a B&C story, either they are related to them , knew them, rode with them or had babies by them, everybody wanted a piece of B&C, they will go down in history as the most facinating crime couple in history, I myself only wish to deal with thier factual history, I am not interested in hear say or what ifs, as there is to much of that already and besides that the REAL Bonnie and Clyde are facinating enough without all the made up, what ifs anyway.

Anonymous said...

I feel that I need to clearify myself on this, the person who owns these glasses {I think his name is Steve} I am in no way calling him a liar, I know these glasses were in the car at the ambush, I am mearly stating that I myself have a problem believing they were actually Bonnies personal glasses thats all, the fact they were in the car {Bonnies or not} would still make for a mighty fine personal treasure in any B&C followers personal collection, you said something about a DNA test on the bloody glasses, that sounds good BUT, would still not prove they are Bonnies as all that blood from the ambush probably got on everything in that car, if you found Bonnies blood on a gun found in the car does that mean she was shooting it? no, I fully respect the opinion of the owner of the glasses, I just want to see the photo of the glasses around Bonnies neck so I can believe it too.

A. Winston Woodward said...

I must say to focus on the most extreme possibility-- ie: the glasses in the car not being Bonnie's etc-- may well be overlooking the obvious, and leaves us little room to maneuver within this question.

It does seem comments made have challenged the authenticity of Bonnie's death glasses. Also in stating a lack of trust in Sheriff Hughes-- seeds have been planted to question the source of the glasses provenance. Bonnie's death glasses do have a trail of provenance, which seems to be well documented and begins with Sheriff Hughes. Sheriff Hughes "was" involved in the laws' efforts to bring down Bonnie & Clyde. So to me, this comes down to a belief that Hughes was given the glasses after the ambush.

By asking for proof-- without having the participants present who have all passed away, a strong enough provenance "would" be considered proof of an historical artifact's authenticity. However-- one place which could be focused on in questioning this provenance, would be to question why Sheriff Hughes (of Caddo Parish)-- who was not the Sheriff within the jurisdiction of the ambush (Henderson Jordan was)-- would have claim to any personal effects of Bonnie & Clyde?? To me that's a most interesting question.

I would agree, in noting there's been no evidence known of Bonnie needing or wearing glasses. And the apparent fact of these glasses being a prescription pair, lends further credence to a need-- versus just a way to read the small print of a map better. As an alternative idea, could it be-- that Bonnie's use of potent drugs to ease her pain from her Wellington injuries, or even some random hard hit on the head during any of B&C's wild adventures could have necessitated a newly found need to enhance her vision?? I would ask why not. With all B&C went through-- that's certainly plausible to me.

Contrary to comments made, in considering this-- I would make the opposite argument concerning these glasses. As Ruth Warren didn't live near Shreveport, Louisiana where the glasses case was from, and Bonnie Parker was known to have been in Shreveport during that time-- and that Bonnie and Clyde minus likely a small number of gang members or guests, were the only ones within that car from the time it was stolen to the time of the ambush-- and because the glasses were not in their case, and were exposed to a heavy splattering of blood-- and that Clyde was wearing his own sunglasses at the time-- that these glasses could well have been worn by Bonnie at the time of the ambush.

Perhaps Bonnie found these glasses, liked them and found them useful?? Unless Bonnie was looking to return them to a known owner, that would still make them hers when she died. If these glasses weren't covered in blood (which fits the ambush)-- and have the written provenance they do, I might find more of a reason to scrutinize them. Again my key question is-- how did Sheriff Tom Hughes end up with these glasses?? Perhaps they were given to him by one of the posse members, as a thank you and trophy of sorts?? In considering the mentality of outlaws and the law during that period-- I wouldn't doubt that.

I'd also be interested in knowing, besides the evidence that Sheriff Tom Hughes may have liked to leak law enforcement info to the press-- what reason is known, not to have trusted in him?? There are those rumors of an outlaw safe haven up his way. But is that possible circumstance enough to impact this story??

As mentioned, there would likely be a way to know for sure concerning these glasses-- via DNA testing of the blood. But in knowing the views of the key figure needed for this test as a comparison-- unfortunately, I don't believe that would happen now.

A. Winston Woodward said...

P.S.-- A brief comment on the observation that "just like her being pregnant, or having kids, it cannot be proven because there was no pregnancy or babies by Bonnie".

With all respect, to build a self fulfilling statement which excludes some possibility within B&C History because-- well, just because it does-- to me is a viewpoint which perhaps should be re-thought, in considering claims made within this history. Objectivity and an open mind, are keys to a valid search for the truth. I'm not sure there are many tougher on the facts than I. But there are seemingly some set in their ways, which rightfully should be broadened-- to include more far ranging possibilities, within a history painfully lacking in verifiable facts. Too many sides are taken within this history-- where the right side, is really that of the truth.

Admittedly-- Bonnie's death glasses haven't been within my focus B&C wise over the past number of years. But looking into a possible Bonnie Parker pregnancy, has been an open investigation of mine for some time now. At this point, I'm not sure I can find the definitive proof needed-- to satisfy the most ardent critic of this theory. But I assure you, based on what I feel is time well spent-- you won't hear me tow the line for anyone or dismiss out of hand, possibilities I feel are worth investigating.

It seems I'm much too independent a soul for some. With great respect for many-- so be it.

BarefootOkieGal said...

To me, there are a number of explanations of why Bonnie may have been wearing these glasses, prescription or not, when there are no known photographs of Bonnie wearing glasses or any mention by her contemporaries. It may be that Bonnie was near- or far-sighted all her life, but never had the wherewithal to purchase prescription glasses until she was an adult - at the time, eyeglasses were expensive, and I know that a couple of my aunts were very nearsighted but did not get glasses until they were adults for that very reason. If it is true that Bonnie had poor eyesight all her life, it might be that her life on the road, loading guns and having to drive getaway cars made her realize that she needed to be able to see better for those tasks, and so during one of their more solvent periods, she managed to find an optometrist and purchase a pair of prescription lenses. I do know that back then, often poorer people would settle for prescriptions that did not fit them exactly - they were not as generic as reading glasses, but often you could purchase a prescription close to yours that had already been ground and was available for immediate purchase.

There is always the possibility that they were merely reading glasses, needed to pore over the roadmaps of the day. Even someone with "normal" eyesight might have needed a little assistance, especially while driving along a bumpy road in the cars of the day!

I would definitely be interested in seeing a clearer image of the photo in which the frames of Bonnie's glasses are visible - that might be the only photo showing her wearing glasses at all!

It would be easy to determine if they are prescription glasses or merely reading glasses by just having an optometrist examine them closely. I don't know that testing the blood for DNA would be especially productive; from what I've read, the interior of the car looked light a slaughterhouse and there was blood everywhere - if Bonnie were wearing the glasses at the time, they may well be covered in Clyde's blood as well as her own! If the measurements of the glasses are known, it might be a good way to determine the likelihood that they belonged to Bonnie - she was a tiny person and would have had a tiny head, and when I look at the glasses I see that the part that goes behind the ears is pretty long and has been bent so as to fit better behind the ears - to see how much the earpieces have been bent to make them fit seems to indicate to me that they were worn by a person with a very small head.

I am not sure that Bonnie was wearing the glasses at the moment of her death - because the earpieces had been bent to such an extent, I think that if she had been wearing them, they would have still been on her (as Clyde's sunglasses were still on him) and with more damage to them. To me, it's logical that she put down the glasses when she picked up the sandwich, and perhaps did not put them on again when she put the sandwich down - she had been reading the map, and it was in her lap, but she may have taken a break from eating and reading.

Again - I would love to see a clear photo of Bonnie with the frames of the glasses visible. We know they were they; I'm just interested in knowing whether she was wearing them when she died.

BarefootOkieGal said...

Winston, your comment about a definitive answer as to whether Bonnie and Clyde were right- or left-handed (based on their signatures) intrigues me! Have the handwriting analysts determined B&C's handedness?

From everything that I can see in photos, they were both right-handed. In the photo in which Clyde and W.D. are shooting, they are shooting with their right hands. Bonnie holds her cigarettes in her right hand when she smokes. In the photo of Bonnie drawing down on Clyde, she is using her right hand to hold the gun. Also, many weapons of the time were difficult to use for left-handed people - consider the mechanics of a BAR!!! It is very difficult for a left-handed person to use a right-handed gun that ejects the spent shells to the left (right into their face!); I don't believe that guns were generally modified for left-handed use until WWII; until then, if you wanted a modified gun, you modified it yourself (dangerous!) or paid to do so.

I am interested in hearing what the handwriting experts came up with - it's not unusual for people to have mixed-handedness; they do some things with one hand and some things with the other.

A. Winston Woodward said...

Hi Cindi--

Thanks for the question re: The B&C Signatures. In addition to photo evidence available, it was "Boots" Hinton who involved Buddy Barrow-- who confirmed Clyde was right handed. Bonnie being right handed was determined via photographs, in a way similar to your analysis. Forensic handwriting scrutiny, also revealed the likelihood of agreement with both B&C being right handed-- although it was pointed out that slant patterns can't always be counted on to reveal a person's handedness.

Remember Billie's handwriting was revealed to be an anomaly-- by her niece Rhea Leen. Billie's handwriting slants decidedly in a way which would normally denote a left handed person-- although in reality, Billie was right handed. As such, it was mentioned Billie's handwriting would be hard to duplicate.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Woodward and BarefootOkieGal. In the book, "The Lives and Times of Bonnie and Clyde", there is a photo of both Bonnie and Clyde lying on the slab when they first arrived at Congers. I had to scrutinize this photo but found that if you look closely, Bonnie's glasses are on her neck. The wire ear pieces are also noted on both sides of her face. In fact, on he left earpiece in the photo, there is the same impact bend that is found on the glasses themselves. Unfortunately, in many copies of this photo, Bonnie appears blurred or washed out. I recommend to everyone that they check out Frank Ballinger's "Bonnie and Clyde's Hideout" site. He has extreme close-up photos of the specs. Frank has been a great Bonnie and Clyde resource for me since the late 1990s. Needless to say, “The Hideout” is a great place to hang out a while. Steve E.

A. Winston Woodward said...

Hello Steve--

None of the King Murphy photos taken of Bonnie while at Congers that I am aware of (draped or undraped)-- to my eye, contain an image of glasses. I believe I have copies of all the B&C death pics generally known, as well as some rare and hard to find photos-- which have been shared with me over the years.

I've reviewed the blow ups on Frank's site (his link is blog left on my site by the way)-- and I cannot discern an image of these glasses. I'll contact the person who made those blow ups who's good at analyzing B&C photos, to see what he can tell me. Perhaps you'd be good enough to e-mail the photos(s) you're referring to, and highlight the glasses you see.

I feel I have defended the provenance of the glasses against some who don't believe in Sheriff Hughes' integrity, and the likelihood of the glasses authenticity-- based on the whole of the evidence but as I see it, without photographic evidence.

I look forward to your e-mail.

Anonymous said...

I agree, I have studied the photos as well, and I just dont see any glasses.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I do not own a scanner and am not technically inclined. The copy of the Congers photo in the ER Milner book is the only copy I can discern the glasses in. It is the photo of both Bonnie and Clyde. Clyde is in the foreground (his sunglasses can be seen on his neck) and Bonnie is beside him in the background. Maybe my intimate familiarity with the glasses makes it easier for me to spot. I must say that the ER Milner photo seems to show them best...especially the earpieces on either side of Bonnie's head. They are positioned much the same way Clyde's sunglasses are resting on his neck. I am just providing an observation and my interpretation of the photo as I see it. I am not trying to argue or force the point on others. Steve

elm grove dave said...

I see them. Right under her neck, thin wire rims, Frank Ballinger's site. As a matter of fact, the first close-up pic of Bonnie's bloodied face, after the glasses were removed, you can see 2 sets of straight blood lines on her neck about the width of the glasses lenses, where the blood stained glasses were touching her neck. I've never noticed them until today. Thanks for the info Steve E.

A. Winston Woodward said...

If we are speaking of the same photo, under the heading Dead Bonnie on Frank's site-- of Bonnie inside of Congers together with Clyde side by side, with the blanket covering her to her neck-- I must say in having blown up that photo to the point of distortion-- I do not see the glasses as pictured around her neck.

Bonnie was confirmed through the Coroner's inventory, to have been wearing a necklace with a crucifix attached. Also with all respect, I'm not sure how it can be said that 2 blood lines on Bonnie's neck-- somehow show evidence of a pair of glasses having been there previously??

The only thing I see which is of unknown origin and which could be metallic, appears to be within Bonnie's hair to her right side (her left side as you're facing her). If anyone else sees something I somehow cannot, based on the clarity of this photo-- please reply with a comment. And if you're adept at providing some enhanced image of this photo, please e-mail it to me in pointing out these glasses.

Is this perhaps an instance of people seeing what they want or think they see-- or are these glasses as photographed actually there?? Many thanks for the last comment-- but I must say I don't see them.

A. Winston Woodward said...

I've reached out to someone within this history used to scrutinizing B&C photos in precise detail, for an opinion regarding evidence of glasses being visible within any of the Bonnie photos at Congers.

I'll keep you posted. If anyone can support seeing the Bonnie death glasses in any of the Congers photos, or in not seeing them-- please comment.

Anonymous said...

I have blown up the photos and studied them off and on for hours, I still say there are no glasses, I just do not see them at all, I really do not see anything that even remotely looks like glasses, I see the shiney spots in her hair but I am sure its not glasses, maybe her hair was still a little wet with blood causing the light from the camera flash to reflect the light.

Anonymous said...

I would also like to mention that in the photo you can plainly see Clydes glasses, and they are even sunglasses but they are still plainly visible, yet there is absolutely nothing that looks like glasses around Bonnie and those glassses are not sunglasses gold shiney rimmed glasses that if were there would be plainly visible,Steve, with all do respect maybe its your familiarity with the glasses that makes you see them.

Anonymous said...

{barefootoakiegal} I read all of your possible reasons for bonnie having these glasses, and my reply is, I still say there is an equal possibility they were not Bonnies glasses at all, perhaps they were Clydes, or someone else who may have been in the car that left them behind, if her eyes were bad enough to need a scrip pair of glasses, I am sure that sometime in thier history this would have been noted, by someone sometime, but I have never heard nor read of her ever wearing or needing glasses, it has been noted of her necklaces and other things, why not the glasses? because I for one still do not think they were hers, however I am still looking and waiting to see a photo of Bonnie with the glasses, then I will concider the possibility of Bonnie wearing glasses but until then, my opinion will stand.

joe from Canada said...

I cannot see the glasses on Bonnie at the morgue-- BUT BUT
But, I do see them in another photo but on her lap. Different accounts suggest that Bonnie fell into the arms of Ted Hinton when he opened her door and then he placed her next to Clyde. One account even has her standing up outside the death car before she died. Irregardless of which account is true, the fact remains that whatever was on her lap when the photo was taken of her on the stretcher was placed there by some one

Now, if we focus at the pack of cigarettes on her lap and look at the top right hand corner- you will see what I consider to be the outline of the Bonnie death glasses

I believe that everyone was interested in confirming that she smoked Camel cigarettes that they focused much more on the pack than the glasses.

A. Winston Woodward said...

Hello Joe--

I must say, I'm not sure much credibility can be claimed, by an account which has Bonnie standing next to the death car before the ambush. Also-- no matter how hard I try in examining the Bonnie stretcher photo, I cannot see the glasses you're seeing. If you're seeing what you believe are glasses, located within the area where what is likely Frank Hamer's hand gesturing toward Bonnie-- someone's going to need to isolate that area and provide an enhanced image showing glasses clearly visible, for me to concur. I'm sorry-- but I just don't see them.

What appears there, seems to be some sort of covering wrapped around Bonnie's right arm and mutilated hand. That line which appears between Hamer's fingers, to me looks very much like other cloth lines on or around Bonnie. Again for those who see a pair of glasses (the glasses depicted in the bloody glasses photo)-- in addition to comments made, I feel it's important that enhanced images be provided-- of precisely the areas you are keying in on. My e-mail is available to all.

Perhaps in knowing all are searching for the image of a pair of glasses-- any bent fabric or odd line within one of these photos, and "look"-- there they are. I agree with the comment that Bonnie's glasses should be as clearly obvious to discern, as Clyde's sunglasses are within more than one photo. Or for that matter-- as clearly as Bonnie's cigarettes can be seen. The cigarettes were obviously there. Clyde's sunglasses were obviously there, and documented based on eyewitness accounts from the time. So far, Bonnie's glasses cannot obviously be seen.

As of now, and to some more used to scrutinizing B&C photos than myself or most-- the glasses don't seem visible. I encourage all to keep searching-- and many thanks for your ongoing comments.

A. Winston Woodward said...

At this point I'm wondering, whether these glasses ever made it to Congers at all that day?? Without clear photo evidence, and without any documented account of Bonnie's glasses from Congers (you'd think there would be some mention of the glasses)-- could it be, that one of the ambush posse members removed these glasses from Bonnie's face or from the car prior to B&C being transported to Arcadia??

Also a swarming crowd was known to have gotten to the death car prior to Dr. Wade arriving on site. Bonnie was said to have lost locks of hair etc.-- via a lax guarding of the bodies, prior to Wade alerting the officers of his need for them to protect the integrity of the slain bodies of B&C.

As it's been reported, there was ample time for many personal articles to have been lifted from Bonnie, Clyde or the car prior to the death scene being better secured. It's also possible someone who knew Sheriff Hughes, got to Bonnie and removed her bloodied glasses. However I would vote for a posse member (insider)-- to have presented Hughes with the glasses. Although anything's possible, that makes more sense to me. I believe with the timing involved between the ambush and the death car's arrival in Arcadia (some 2 hours later)-- it may have even been possible for Hughes himself-- to have traveled from Shreveport to either the ambush site or Arcadia in time to share in the "festivities".

I see many possibilities in addition to the eyeglasses hunt we're on now-- in searching for images from Congers which well might not exist.

joe from Canada said...

Hi Winston
Maybe the others can weigh in on this .
Allow me to pinpoint further. On the pictures where Bonnie's body is on the stretcher you will see the shadow of what I believe to be Frank Hamers' hand somewhere in the area of Bonnie's right upper leg. Between the shadow of the hand and the top right hand corner of the cigarette pack is where I see an outline of a pair of glasses. I may try to print the photo and outline the glasses and scan and forward to you

A. Winston Woodward said...

You know how much I respect you Joe-- but if you blow up that area, I believe those 2 circular patterns (which is what I think you're referring to)-- seem to be just more of the blood soaked texture of Bonnie's dress. Plus there appear to be shards of glass, glistening in that area.

To me-- there doesn't seem to be anything else 3 dimensional and physically there, next to Bonnie's Camels upon her dress. Blood patterns yes-- but an obvious pair of glasses with metallic frames laying upon her dress-- I don't see them. It seems to me, the glasses as pictured with the unusual blood splattering-- would be visible as plain as day where ever they were sitting, including next to Bonnie's cigarettes.

Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with Winston on this, I have blown up the photo and I also think it is blood soaked material,its certainly not glasses.

Anonymous said...

After examining the congers photo AGAIN for a long period of time, I am almost 100% sure what you are seeing is shards of glass as glass is also on the dress {plainly visible} next to the broch, I also believe that shards of glass is what was the shiney things in bonnies hair in the other photo.

BarefootOkieGal said...

If I recall correctly, n Ted Hinton's book, "Ambush," he states that when he opened the door Bonnie almost fell out into his arms; he said that he then lifted her into a nearly standing position (I believe he said he thought she might possibly still be alive) and then when he saw that she was not, he placed her back into the car. Hinton's account doesn't mention any glasses.

It is possible that the glasses ended up being taken by someone who was on the scene before the items were inventoried. We know that Bonnie often carried a typewriter with her in her travels, but there was no mention of a typewriter being found in the car, either.

A. Winston Woodward said...

After much comment, it seems there are a small number of people, who think they see a pair of eyeglasses in 1 or 2 of the photos of Bonnie from Congers. My comment is, with all respect to some really fine folks-- unfortunately believing in what you see, historically may not be enough to go on.

This wonderful B&C topic isn't just about talking points for a blog. It's about legitimizing a purported historical artifact-- a physical remnant of Bonnie Parker, which it would appear contains blood which once flowed within her. As such, these eyeglasses could well provide the closest physical link to Bonnie Parker known to exist. Thus it's important to get this right.

Those I know, including at least one individual with professional skills, who's studied the Congers photos at length-- seemingly cannot see glasses where others claim they can. And once we get to the point where a greater level of scrutiny is required, again with respect-- to me it's just not enough to say the glasses are there, but not advance their vision farther through forensic means.

I would encourage those with the desire-- to involve a forensic photographic expert, in order to prove or disprove the image of these specific eyeglasses being present-- in any of the Bonnie death photos.

At this point, I believe it entirely possible these eyeglasses never made it to Congers. They're not documented in any post ambush account that's seemingly known-- and reasonably if these eyeglasses were as visible as some believe, logically there should be some mention or record of them. Many scenarios are possible concerning these glasses-- including one which has them making it to Congers, but being picked off prior to Dr. Wade's inventory. Why couldn't that be true as well?? Even Frank Hamer could have easily removed Bonnie's glasses-- while out directing the swelling crowd and movement of B&C's bodies outside of Congers.

Based on the provenance and physical appearance of these eyeglasses, it seems these glasses could well have been Bonnie's-- and been worn by her at the moment of her death. That likelihood would fit the report, of Bonnie having a road map in her lap when killed. Perhaps an unpublished remembrance from a witness to the death car or Congers can be located. Hell, the way things have gone with the addition of new B&C knowledge just within the past few years-- I find myself always optimistic, and willing to believe more great Bonnie & Clyde info is out there waiting to be found.

My sincere thanks to the owner of the Bonnie eyeglasses, Steve E. from the great state of Massachusetts-- to Cindi for advancing this topic for the blog-- and to all for your comments. Please continue to provide great comment for this topic and for others on the blog, forever and a day-- until the cows come home, or for whatever length of time you feel appropriate.

JBT said...

I recently acquired a May 24th 1934Shrevport, LA newspaper. There is an eyewitness account from one of the staff reports who makes mention that Bonnie Parker was wearing Silver rimmed Glasses that were splotched with blood. As her body was removed from the death car the glasses fell from her face.

Kelly Campbell said...

I'm curious as to why Bonnie had the roadmap in her lap, unless they were preparing to leave the area. Clyde had an almost photographic memory of streets, roads, highways, etc... They had been in the Gibsland area for a while and so, Clyde certainly had no need to for a local map to find his way to town and back.

Would it make sense that they were soon leaving the area, or perhaps, Bonnie was using it for entertainment. After all, she had just purchased a new magazine to read.