Monday, January 24, 2011

Retribution-- Does Gordon Baker's "7th Man" Finally Reveal the Truth, Regarding the Storied Ambush of Bonnie & Clyde??

With thanks to Tom-- I've had a chance to read much of Gordon Baker's recently published e-book Retribution. Mr. Baker's account involves newly chronicled revelations said told by a relative (Charles Baker)-- whom he claims was the "7th man" at the ambush site that fateful May morning in 1934. Baker is noted to have been the photographer hired by Frank Hamer-- to film the capture of Bonnie & Clyde. Within this story, Baker was reported to have had cameras rolling, and chronicled the ambush from the time Bonnie & Clyde stopped at the top of the hill to ponder their fate before advancing (a possibility often discussed)-- to the time the wrecker took the Warren car with Bonnie & Clyde's shattered bodies still inside to Arcadia.

The press release regarding Mr. Baker's e-book can be viewed here-- and the book itself, is available from and I suppose other booksellers.

Among many revelations purported which wax contrary to known accounts-- in Baker's version of the ambush, when Prentiss Oakley hits Clyde with the 1st shots and Bonnie realizes Clyde is dead-- Bonnie screams, then shouts out that she's pregnant and tries to surrender. Bonnie's pleas were said to be audible to Baker, whom it's written was positioned to the left of Hamer at the end of the firing line. After a noticeable pause, and with the car now rolling-- the posse opened up with a torrent of gunfire to the horror of Baker-- who's it's said never forgot that ghastly reality.

Charles Baker is also acknowledged to have recovered Bonnie's diary from beneath her seat, and unbeknownst to Captain Hamer-- smuggled it from the scene. Bonnie's diary is noted to have contained entries from January 1st, 1934, to the morning of the ambush. This diary is revealed to have contained a final Bonnie Parker poem, and notes yet another premonition by Bonnie-- who felt she would die that very day. Entries as said existed within Bonnie's diary, as well as Bonnie's poem "Retribution"-- are detailed within this book which bears the same name. Regulars of this blog will recall, that a formerly true Bonnie premonition concerning the death of her sister's children, was documented by Billie Parker Moon within her unpublished manuscript. Bonnie it seems, may have had "the gift" of unworldly psychic insight.

Throngs of those interested in this history have asked for generations, whether the true story of the ambush will ever be told??-- or has it now?? I'm not sure. But as I'm still reading this quite fascinating account-- I would encourage all to hit your favorite book purchasing site, and get a hold of this latest Bonnie & Clyde story. I intend to contact the author with numerous questions I have, which you never know-- may have answers.

I've already read some skeptical comments concerning this new Bonnie & Clyde account-- but then again, when "hasn't" there been skepticism regarding so much to do with Bonnie & Clyde History?? As such, I'm sure the Bonnie & Clyde Skeptics on Call Society-- will be "flush with frenzy" over this one. But I would be one to encourage additional discovery concerning this bold account, rather than foster cynicism based on some blanket feeling of doubt. BTW-- the mythical group mentioned here, is one I feel could exist-- when comprised of those who seem content to question everything about this history-- have no answers and believe there aren't any. My feeling is, this latest ambush account should be questioned and dug into-- with the same fervor the other known accounts have been subjected to.

I'll have more on Retribution, once my reading is done. And as I know it must be asked "what happened to the film??"-- as it's told within Retribution-- Hamer took it. There's a story related elsewhere, that at some point-- Frank Hamer's son may have destroyed many of his father's materials on Bonnie & Clyde?? With professionally shot film of the ambush now said to have existed-- it seems any destroyed Hamer records of Bonnie & Clyde, opens up another ghastly thought as well.

Could the posse's cover up concerning the detention of Ivy Methvin and jurisdictional issues as described by Ted Hinton, be swamped in comparison-- by a reported deliberate killing of a pregnant Bonnie Parker who pled for mercy and received none?? Based on the evidence which exists, I've felt for some time-- that Bonnie could well have been pregnant when killed. However this purported account, makes that thought hit home-- in a sickeningly profound way I'm sure few of us could have imagined.

If indeed there was a long enough pause after Oakley's fatal shots (a pause heard by others from a distance)-- for some within the posse to realize Clyde was dead-- and if Bonnie was heard pleading for her life and the life of her unborn child (which Frank Hamer admitted he believed he knew)-- would that reality be enough to shroud the ambush in the secrecy exhibited all these years??? And could that reality, be enough to cause some hardened lawmen present that day-- to veer away from ever being the same again-- resulting in reported alcohol abuse and in Henderson Jordan's case, his hair being witnessed to have turned white within a short time after the ambush?? Perhaps there would be but few better uses-- for the word "absolutely".

Charles Baker apparently made his claims, in knowing he had little time to live. Then by agreement, public release of this info was intentionally withheld until now. It's noted Mr. Baker didn't feel it right, to take his secrets concerning the ambush of Bonnie & Clyde to the grave. Near death confessions can often be revealing. Whether or not there's enough to go on regarding Retribution and it's "electric" revelations-- I'm sure, is a question that will be asked and vigorously debated. Many questions need to be addressed here-- and I hope to be able to help gain some of those answers.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Bonnie and Clyde Q & A-- Who Were the Loggers Who Witnessed Bonnie & Clyde's Deaths??

A visitor from Douglasville, GA has keyed into the blog-- asking about perhaps an eternal Bonnie & Clyde mystery. The identities of the loggers who witnessed a lurid ambush of Bonnie & Clyde that fateful day in May of '34-- has been a maze of conjecture for decades. Some Bonnie & Clyde historical accounts, identify just 2 men being associated with the logging truck-- which it seems to the ambush posse members who talked, was traveling north and in danger of disrupting their waylay-- by passing in between the posse and Warren car. However true to the unique controversy which surrounds the ambush of Bonnie & Clyde, the one known individual who steered the logging rig that fateful day-- told a decidedly different story.

Some seem content to further gossip and lore within Bonnie & Clyde History-- even to the remarkable point of espousing historical fact as guesswork, while at the same time attempting to promote a true story of Bonnie & Clyde. Others question much of this history-- in arriving at little result, by viewing Bonnie & Clyde History as a perpetual Catch 22 of factual mistrust. Thank goodness for the Bonnie & Clyde researchers and authors, who've been most diligent in compiling the best accounts of this Depression Age Saga.

I along with many who care for this history-- are proponents of "truth" within Bonnie & Clyde History. The danger of Bonnie & Clyde conjecture being printed, borrowed and re-published over the years can be obvious. When Bonnie & Clyde lore is advanced and recounted multiple times, the illusion of lore morphing into fact-- can become reality to many. And that danger is well illustrated, within a number of aspects of the ambush.

Buddy Goldston has been identified at times, as having been the lone rider positioned upon the logging rig-- when all hell broke loose that hot spring day in Louisiana. However within more accurately researched Bonnie & Clyde chronicles and based on rarely known conversations, Mr. Goldston confirmed that he was indeed the driver of that renown logging truck. Furthermore Buddy revealed within discussions held with him, that there were "2" men riding on the back of his logging rig that day-- not just one.

That makes 3 individuals in addition to at least Bonnie, Clyde, Ivy Methvin and the 6 ambush posse members-- who were present to witness the carnage that ensued. One motto I've stood by in investigating this history has been-- "get closest to the source". To me, the best source of information which remains concerning Buddy Goldston-- is my compadre' and friend to many within this history-- L. J. "Boots" Hinton. "Boots" knew Buddy, and as it turns out-- spent time in direct conversation with Mr. Goldston concerning Buddy's involvement at the ambush.

At times, stories concerning the ambush of Bonnie & Clyde have seemed a bevy of misinformation-- with multiple conflicting accounts having been told by eyewitnesses who were there. To my reasoning, whether these varying stories as told by trained and experienced lawmen smack of a cover up, some mass hallucination or just honest disagreement under the stress of the moment-- stand a good chance of remaining an impenetrable mystery. Fortunately for us-- there were others present that day who could independently tell what occurred. But unfortunately-- these common citizens with objectivity to spare, would never reveal much of what they knew.

Contrary to what's often been written-- as Buddy Goldston told it, he would've approached the ambush site from the north in proceeding south as Bonnie & Clyde were traveling. This crucial departure from what's been reported by posse members including Ted Hinton, would have the logging truck pulling up to Bonnie & Clyde from behind as the shooting started. Although Buddy didn't use a directional term in his description, to illustrate this point-- Buddy revealed that Clyde had passed his logging rig back up the road. Then presumably, Buddy caught up to Bonnie & Clyde at the ambush location. With Ivy Methvin's truck thought positioned in the southbound lane, in forcing Clyde closer to the posse in the northbound lane-- this scenario would have the logging truck approaching Ivy's truck straight on, with little or no room to maneuver between the 2.

Buddy described what happened next, by saying when the shooting started-- he quit the truck and ran into the woods. Buddy said he dove into a hole, which had been made by the root ball of a fallen tree. He commented that he wasn't concerned with snakes, as he sought that hole in trying to escape
flying bullets-- which he creatively described as "those singing bees". Buddy later made his famous exclamation is saying "that car was shot up-- them people were shot up".

Within repeated attempts, "Boots" Hinton tried his best to get Buddy to reveal the identities of the other 2 men present that day-- who besides trying to save themselves, could have provided much needed independent accounts of the ambush. But at least within the friendly confines of his encounters with Mr. Hinton-- Buddy never divulged his secrets. "Boots" has 2 theories, as to why Buddy would never reveal this potentially monumental information. The first is perhaps Buddy wasn't supposed to have riders on the rig, and thus was protecting his position with the logging company. Maybe these 2 men had hitched a ride with Buddy?? If so, what a rig to choose that day for conveyance!! The other theory is perhaps these 2 men were associated with the logging company, but were supposed at work elsewhere-- when so conspicuously discovered at the ambush.

There's also the straight forward possibility, that those men were meant to be on that truck-- but just never talked about their Bonnie & Clyde encounter. My comment concerning Buddy's reluctance to expound on his story, in either protecting the other men or himself??-- would be to ask what difference would those concerns have made so many decades later??
To my mind it's more likely, someone in that posse under the threat of repercussion-- may have made it clear to these men, not to tell of what they saw. Apparently and unfortunately-- it seems they never did.

Then there's the somewhat obtuse, but to many very real idea-- of a Bonnie & Clyde curse. Many in Louisiana where the West Dallas Desperadoes traveled, are said to be a superstitious lot. Based on tragic events believed to have befallen some who revealed Bonnie & Clyde secrets over the years-- Bonnie & Clyde reprisals from the "other side" are considered by some, to be a legitimate and feared reality. As such, it's thought this "blood money" curse has over time-- prevented many thought to know Bonnie & Clyde secrets, from revealing them. Indeed many a Bonnie & Clyde story, may have gone to the graves of those too afraid to tell what they knew. From having spoken to locals and researchers alike-- I can attest to the existence of this perceived reality.

Unfortunately as Buddy Goldston passed away nearly a decade ago, and it's logical to believe the other 2 men have passed on now as well-- we may never know the entire truth concerning the logger's story. So who were the loggers who witnessed Bonnie & Clyde's deaths?? Apparently the best answer is Buddy Goldston and 2 unknown individuals, who by design or default-- have remained protected all these years. And as to the question of what these men witnessed??-- unless some account is forthcoming from the families of Buddy Goldston and these mystery men from the past-- that knowledge may have forever been lost. It does seem clear based upon info related to "Boots" Hinton, and from Buddy's filmed interview which appears in the documentary Remembering Bonnie & Clyde-- that from Buddy Goldston's perspective, he was behind Bonnie & Clyde's car not facing it as was reported by the lawmen.

According to Ted Hinton, when the smoke cleared-- Bob Alcorn proceeded to the logging truck, which like the B&C car ended up in a ditch. As the rig was still running and noticeably smoking, Alcorn felt the truck might catch fire. Thus as Hinton recalls, it was Bob Alcorn who entered the truck's cab, and shut the truck down. At that point it was noted the 3 men who had quit the truck-- walked out of the woods. One could only assume, whatever these men perhaps failed to see with such a profusion of bullets flying about-- they "could" see when re-emerging onto the scene.
It should be noted there's agreement between Ted Hinton and Buddy Goldston concerning there being 3 men on the logging truck. Apparently they were the only witnesses to say so. So then I would ask-- why the disagreement regarding the direction the truck was traveling?? Or was Buddy's recollection somehow faulty, or unduly influenced by retribution or fear??

Both Ted Hinton and Bob Alcorn, related stories of the ambush to "Boots" Hinton directly over the years. But no matter the account, I as many-- have trouble reconciling conflicting stories of the ambush. You would think Buddy Goldston would know full well, which direction he was traveling that day. Also how could Buddy have been mistaken, concerning his account of Clyde having passed him-- in such a conspicuously new and expensive car within such a rural area?!? In a well noted gaffe as told by Ted Hinton in his book Ambush-- Hinton had Bonnie & Clyde traveling east on the Old Sailes Road. However as that road runs north and south, it can only be thought Hinton made an honest mistake-- in believing the road to run east and west.

It seems there are missing pieces to this great ambush puzzle, which are vitally important. What that missing info is??-- has always been the question.
Even in thinking well outside the box, I can see little way that Clyde could have passed Buddy a short time before-- and have Clyde & Bonnie arriving at the ambush site headed south, without Buddy coming in just behind them. In presuming Buddy's story to be true-- that would call into question Henderson Jordan's account, in turning to note the oncoming logging truck arriving at about the same time as Bonnie & Clyde from the opposite direction. But I would ask, even with a lawman's cover up as Hinton described-- how would a misstated direction for the logging truck fit into that contrived story??

Based on the lay of the land around the ambush site, it seems there's just one way for the logging truck to have been passed by Clyde heading south-- and end up facing Clyde heading north. This would involve a convoluted run, with the logging truck turning left atop the final hill before the ambush approach-- coming out on Route 516 (opposite what was likely B&C's hideout)-- then turning right and traveling a mile and a half to the Sailes Corner-- then turning right again-- and proceeding nearly 3 miles to the ambush site heading north. In effect, a nearly 7 mile run to turn the logging truck around without stopping. I believe that possibility to make little sense, and be beyond reason. Plus with a such a heavy rig, it would've taken too long for such an unlikely trip-- prior to the ambush posse opening up on the Warren car. Interestingly, if Bonnie & Clyde had taken that shortcut to their hideout-- they likely wouldn't have been killed that day.

Many ask-- doesn't anyone know what really happened at the ambush of Bonnie & Clyde?!?!? Yet another conflicting account, which may create more questions than it answers. There are indeed indisputable facts we know. As far as the rest-- there are many questions to be answered. As an interesting aside, it was noted that Buddy Goldston thought highly of Ted Hinton-- as Ted didn't show prejudice toward him. "Boots" said that's the way Ted was. As always, I welcome your comments for this and other B&CHB posts. My thanks to L. J. "Boots" Hinton, for his invaluable Bonnie & Clyde knowledge-- truly available no where else.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A Bonnie and Clyde Q & A-- What Ever Happened to Mary O'Dare??

Linda has been so kind to inquire, in asking a question I'm sure many have wondered-- what ever happened to Mary O'Dare?? Of course, Mary was the estranged wife of Gene O'Dare-- Raymond Hamilton's former partner in crime, and a companion to Ray throughout early 1934.

Mary who it's said wanted to run with The Barrow Gang like Bonnie, seemed to accomplish little in that regard-- except to antagonize Bonnie, Clyde and Henry Methvin. As such, Mary only ran with Bonnie & Clyde for a few short weeks in late February and early March 1934. During that time, Clyde reportedly gave Hamilton the
ultimatum to dump Mary or leave himself. As Barrow and Hamilton had shared more than one serious disagreement by that time, and also were engaged in a battle of egos, with Ray feeling he didn't need Clyde-- when faced with that additional reality, Ray separated from the gang. Mary reportedly provided info to the authorities, which aided in Raymond Hamilton's capture. O'Dare would later be sentenced to a year and a day in Federal prison.

Within the past year, I've heard of 2 possible life endings for Mary O'Dare. One was published on Aol by a woman named Shirley who said-- "Mary O'Dare who was involved with Bonnie & Clyde was my Aunt. She passed away May 16th". As that expression was posted just 7 months ago, although not impossible-- it's timing would have Mary living quite a long life. I had tried to leave a message for Shirley in requesting a follow up to her post-- but it doesn't seem my attempt may have reached her??

The other resolution for Mary (who's said to have had issues with drugs)-- was that she died long ago as a result of a drug overdose. Based on all that's known of her, many might feel the 2nd option more likely. However in not wishing to be impolite to the memory of Mary O'Dare-- to be sure, I would think a death record would need to be found confirming her fate. Some internet inquiries have Mary marrying 4 times by age 26, but then fast forwarding without benefit of more info on her, to Mary retaining her 4th surname (Holmes??)-- until her death at either age 75 or 86. Both of these suppositions, would contradict the more recent admission (if true??)-- of Mary's death in 2010.

Whether these ancestry type searches, which seem to reach dead ends concerning specifics on Mary beyond her 20's are accurate-- is uncertain. If the last links to Mary that can be found indeed end in her 20's, with a 2nd stint in jail for running drugs-- perhaps a drug related death becomes more likely?? Therefore the graves people are attempting to link to Mary with a variety of death years, using what they believe was her final last name-- may be well intentioned shots in the dark.

There are "a lot" of questions here. I would think a good way to find the truth, would be to follow the trail of those surnames believed true-- and locate living relatives who can form a definitive link to Mary. Then learn from them, the details of Mary's life after Bonnie & Clyde and facts concerning her death. At that point, perhaps documentation concerning Mary's passing could be obtained once more is known. I've had some pretty good luck, in locating living relatives of participants in B&C History. As such, I can envision that grass roots approach in searching for Mary might work.

Based on Linda's query, I'm sure an all out effort could be launched in looking into this elusive mystery. If anyone has further info concerning the fate of Mary O'Dare, or if you're out there Shirley and happen to frequent this blog-- I'm sure all would welcome additional comments concerning this historical void. Many thanks to Linda, for a great B&C History question.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bonnie & Clyde's Death Car-- Safe and Sound, for Now

As reported a year ago, Herbst Gaming who owns the Terrible's Casino chain had undergone a financial restructuring. As such, there was always the possibility that The Bonnie & Clyde Death Car which was purchased by Herbst from Gary Primm and Ray Paglia in 2007-- could be in play if Herbst assets were sold. So recently when I was told by a representative of Terrible's, that the famous B&C car originally owned by Jesse and Ruth Warren, had been sold to Boyd Gaming-- it seemed apparent that the fate thought possible (if not likely) at some point for the 1934 Ford Deluxe Model 730, Cordoba Gray 4 door V-8 Sedan with a slew of bullet holes present-- had come to pass.

However upon investigating this story, I've now learned from Boyd Gaming that the recent report from Terrible's that Boyd Gaming had purchased The B&C Death Car was erroneous. I did learn some assets may have been in play for purchase between the gaming companies, but the current asking price of $5,000,000-- may have been a bit steep for the B&C car to have changed hands. I've also learned, you can now rent the historic B&C Death Car for that special occasion. Dinner and drinks please!!

Terrible's has now confirmed the B&C car is safe & sound at the Terrible's Gold Ranch Casino in Verdi, Nevada. In the Spring, plans are in place to return this historic car to Primm, likely to Buffalo Bill's Casino. For those interested in learning the whereabouts of the B&C Death Car-- the Terrible's Casino info line 1 800-fun stop, should be your best source of up to date information.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

For Bonnie & Clyde History in 2010-- A Hard Year to Follow

A very "Happy New Year" to all!! With a renewed hope for inspired Bonnie & Clyde revelations in 2011, it's hard not to appreciate what a fabulous year 2010 was concerning Bonnie & Clyde History. Among nearly 90 posts published here in 2010, The B&CHB was proud to have showcased a number of wondrous and intriguing Bonnie & Clyde historical accounts including--

The story of "Pistol Pete" Storey-- a likely new and formerly unknown Bonnie & Clyde hostage** New Wellington revelations, as told by the Cartwright family** Remarkable revelations from Billie's copy of her unpublished manuscript-- as well as from Billie's journal as supplied by the Parker family** The truth regarding the identity of Bonnie's Aunt Millie** Ella J. Holland's personal encounter with Bonnie & Clyde**

"Amputated"-- the Bonnie Parker Tijuana Bible** The offering of Blanche artifacts, as well as new photos and revelations concerning Blanche Barrow Frasure's post Bonnie & Clyde days-- from her personal effects** Newly discovered truths concerning the prison term of W. D. Jones** The battleground question, of whether a Bonnie Parker pregnancy should be explored??** The story of Grace Davies, and her claims of relation to Bonnie Parker and W. D. Jones**

Info concerning Bonnie & Clyde's Sailes, Louisiana Hideout** A comparison of conflicting accounts from the ambush of Bonnie & Clyde** The "oversight" of Prentiss Oakley being omitted from the Henderson Jordan Memorial Park Plaque in Arcadia-- and the cause of many to correct this injustice, on behalf of a renown man "of" justice** The continued interest and furor over B&C sexual rumors.** The truth concerning Clyde Barrow's birth date**

More from the wonderful writings of Professor Carroll Rich** A recounting of the identity of the B&C family member, who introduced Bonnie to Clyde** The re-publishing of Myrtle J. Potter's A Guy Named Barrow** The Saga of Bonnie and Desperate Clyde by Bonnie Parker (a working version of The Story of Bonnie & Clyde)-- from my B&C collection** An analysis of Bonnie's Death Glasses** And the exposure of fake B&C signatures-- in defense of the real thing**

2010 will definitely be a hard year to follow, but here at The B&CHB-- the investigative sights are set high, in striving to bring you the most accurate accounts of Bonnie & Clyde History. So with many thanks to all who visit here, participate and add to this B&C forum-- it's on to 2011!! A healthy and Happy New Year to all. January 1st also marked the birthday of both Blanche Barrow and L.J. "Boots" Hinton. On a sad note-- 2010 saw the passing of B&C survivor Marvelle Feller and Historian Rick Mattix-- which should put B&C History in the proper perspective for all of us.