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New Wellington revelations, as told by the Cartwright family** Remarkable revelations from Billie's copy of her unpublished manuscript-- as well as from Billie's journal as supplied by the Parker family** The truth regarding the identity of Bonnie's Aunt Millie** Ella J. Holland's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.


BarefootOkieGal said...

I especially enjoyed Billie's writings about her sister - what a great opportunity to hear about Bonnie from someone who knew and loved her, and who actually traveled with her! Her insights were wonderful.

It was really interesting to me to read the full details of the Wellington incident - I had not realized that the car was not completely totaled and was in fact able to be repaired and sold! Also, I had read many differing accounts of the injuries suffered by Gladys Cartwright - it was good to finally see a photograph that showed the actual damage done! (She surely didn't have her hand "shot away," as some accounts have it.")

Last year was a very informative year, for me at least - my first year here!

Anonymous said...

I would suggest using caution when examining Billies writings, somethings she said are much different then things she wrote, again, it will be hard to get the real truth from her as her stories change alot.

A. Winston Woodward said...

If you're referring in particular to what I view as a floating number-- the number of lawmen present at Sowers, to me the important thing to take away from Billie's recollection-- is from her point of view, there were many more lawmen visible than the 4 admitted to by The Dallas Sheriff's Dept. "Smoot" Schmid was known, to have wanted the glory of capturing B&C for the Sheriff's Dept-- and as such I believe would have stretched (or in this case)-- constricted the truth. Plus it's documented, that the Bureau of Investigation was aware of Sheriff Schmid's ambush attempt well in advance-- so I for one, wouldn't doubt Billie's Sowers account.

Another discrepancy within that account is Billie doesn't have Bonnie or Clyde returning fire. As Billie tells it, there seemingly wasn't time when the lawmen opened up-- except for B&C to escape. That's a tough call. Ted Hinton said he was hit by a number of shots-- which miraculously just passed through his jacket.

I believe within Billie's manuscript and journal, there are more stories present than revealed within audio interviews held with her. As such, the advantage of comparisons isn't evident for a number of important B&C accounts. The truth concerning Billie's children's deaths-- the detailed Bonnie's premonition story-- the gun at Bonnie's head account from Dexfield Park-- the Buddy's pony story-- the many personal reflections of Bonnie as revealed by Billie (some handwritten)-- and some of the details of B&C's exploits after Fort Smith with Billie present-- seemingly have no secondary re-tellings.

As mentioned when I published Billie's accounts-- I'd interviewed 2 individuals who knew Billie intimately, concerning her honesty. At this point, I'd leave it to others to question Billie to them-- as I feel I've explored what I believe to be, the most direct and reliable way to learn of her now. Those who knew Billie for decades, attested to her strict honesty-- and the person who perhaps knew her best, spoke of Billie's dislike for others who weren't truthful. Now I can't tell you what affect doing so many interviews over the years, had on Billie's recounting the details within B&C stories over and over. But it's my understanding from people I trust who knew her, that Billie's character seemed unquestionably good.

I don't disagree, that the B&C record has some shifting sands-- including some statements made by Billie. A number of Ted Hinton's documented accounts have comparative discrepancies-- as does Hamer's account of the ambush-- Jordan's account of the ambush-- Buddy Goldston's account concerning the direction of the pulp wood truck-- Prentiss Oakley's seeing Clyde raise a weapon before firing-- etc etc.--

B&C History is full of conflicting accounts. The truth of course, went to the graves of all who knew best-- as having been present when this history occurred. But that's why we're here-- to help sort out this history as best we can.

Billie seems to have her detractors among those who view her now from the sidelines-- but not among those who knew her. I've heard more than once from some who knew Marie-- that it was she, who you needed to take with a grain of salt. I think it's fair to say both Marie and Cumie defended Clyde, to the point of masking the truth to defend his honor. I don't see the same tendency in Billie, concerning Bonnie. Some say James Mullins couldn't be trusted-- but as it turns out, a number of key pieces of information he revealed when the law had him dead to rights in interviewing him after Eastham-- proved to be true.

What's a fan of B&C History to do?? Re: the anonymous comment-- if you'd care to provide additional rebuttal to my reply, please provide your name within your next comment-- and I'll be happy to publish it. Thanks

BarefootOkieGal said...

I enjoyed Billie's writings because of her obvious love for her sister, not just because of the content. I'm sure that Billie's memories are as suspect as anyone else's when it comes to things that happened years ago, but I do believe her when she repeats statements that others made to her, and so I feel that I am getting some information "straight from the horse's mouth," so to speak. I see no reason for her to lie when she speaks of the suicide pact between Bonnie and Clyde, for example, or when she describes Bonnie's condition after the accident at Wellington. Billie's words show the dilemma that the families of criminals always have - you might hate the crimes they've committed, but that does not mean that you stop loving your family member. Considering the fact that a lot of nasty, vicious comments and accusations have been leveled at Bonnie both before and after her death, I find it refreshing to read a little bit about her by someone who loved her and missed her when she was gone. Someone whose name escapes me at the moment once commented: "There is so much good in the worst of us,And so much bad in the best of us, That it hardly behooves any of us to talk about the rest of us." Bonnie, like everyone else, was not only a criminal - she was a loving daughter and sister, and I enjoy having the other side of her story revealed to us.

(Heck - even Ty Cobb had a sweet side - he founded a hospital and set up a fund for smart, poor kids to go to college, and those are still extant! And he's widely regarded as the meanest man who ever lived!)

A. Winston Woodward said...

I agree Cindi, that Billie's views concerning Bonnie are most insightful-- in providing us a rare look at Bonnie from within the love of a sister and likely best friend.

From what I've observed via a number of comments since Billie's manuscript was published-- I wonder if it's possible the polarization which exists within B&C History, even extends to a Barrow/Parker feud of sorts among some-- in choosing which B&C relatives to believe more??

I find ongoing comments in seemingly knocking Billie, as well as attempting to cast doubt on her character quite remarkable.

Perhaps if some folks had been Clyde when Bonnie was hurt, they would have gone to fetch some other B&C relative?? But for the real Clyde, that wasn't the case.

Anonymous said...

Barefootgal, I understand how you feel but, Billie also said Clyde only robbed 2 banks, not true, and this deal about a suicide pact, I really dont know, I would like to believe everything that the family members and freinds say or said but there again all their stories seem to be different from time to time, just like Ted Hinton and the famous photo of Bonnie with the cigar in her mouth, acording to him was not a cigar at all, it was a flower, do you beleive that? like I said before, I would love to be able to believe all their stories ,Billie also said Clyde and Bonnie never had any machine guns, not true, I am sure some of the things she said are true also, back to the suicide pact, Bonnie may have told Billie that, maybe not, I think that Clyde has proven more than once that when the chips are down sometimes he might run off and leave them alone, look at the time Bonnie and Fults got caught and Bonnie was sent to the Kemp jail, while Clyde remained free, Bonnie told her mother that she was done with Clyde for good after that, I know I would never leave my girlfriend to fin for herself in a situation like that, Clyde, once again left her alone in a barn I believe, said he would come back and get her later , after staying in the barn all night, she got tired of waiting and started walking, I believe between the two, Bonnie was by far more loyal to Clyde then Clyde was to her, all the stories are saesoned by the thoughts and ideas of the person telling the story, sometimes true, sometimes not, for some reason the story of Clyde and Bonnie are different from person to person and as the story gets re told each time someone adds a little something to it, or leaves something out, or embelishes until you have what you have now, a story that when told you dont know what or who to believe,the truth of the matter is no matter how much investigating or reading you do we will never ever know the complete truth about Clyde and Bonnie {outside of the crimes}, the story has changed to many times, the law says Bonnie was a blood thirsty gun moll, not true, she never shot anybody, the cops say at the grapevine incident Bonnie walked up an shot the guy in the head to make sure he was dead, not true,you cannot believe much of anything the police said because the story they wanted you to believe was Clyde and Bonnie were crazy murderers, then you have authors like Jeff Guinn, this guy is nuts, he has embelished so much in his books, he tells the story the way he wants you to believe it, its people like him that makes it hard to know what to believe, its not good because if a person reads his books and they do not know much about Clyde and Bonnie they will think his story is true, back to the suicide pact again, I think if Clyde were to kill himself it would only be if he were close to capture, and then I would not be to sure if he would do it or not, one never truly knows what one would do in a situation like that until faced with it.

A. Winston Woodward said...

There "was" an absolute truth to every aspect of this history. And now just as months ago, I'm having a hard time again believing what I'm reading.

Billie Parker was closer to her sister Bonnie than likely anyone, including Clyde. To doubt Billie who quoted Bonnie directly-- concerning an almost fulfilled Dexfield Park suicide pact incident, with W. D. Jones holding a gun with the hammer cocked to her sister's head-- (which "was" by the way as a result of being perilously close to the point of capture)-- to me is ludicrous.

It's fine to be skeptical. But if you're not going to believe Billie, within a personally expressed and documented account stated in an non-publicly revealed memoir-- relate this story as "quoted" from Bonnie-- I would ask, where does that leave you in believing anything within this history??

We search high and we search low for any verifiable facts within Bonnie & Clyde History. As "Boots" Hinton so often says-- if this were uncle Jim who related this story to aunt Sally, who told it to someone else-- it would indeed be facts not in evidence.

But when Bonnie Parker's sister who did know intimate details of Bonnie & Clyde's exploits, and who did share time on the run with them-- tells of Bonnie's own words in relating this harrowing experience, I would suggest we pay attention-- and choose who to believe.

Perhaps we should all go home and pack in this Bonnie & Clyde stuff-- for how could we believe anyone within this history, if not Billie within that story?? Maybe we could choose to end every comment we make, with the disclaimer-- that since we can't know who to believe-- this history is not credible enough to be relevant.

I would rather sort through this history logically-- in taking known B&C accounts from the time they occurred, and adding unknown credible accounts-- to fill in the gaps and as best we can-- learn the truth.

BarefootOkieGal said...

I realize that there are so many differing and conflicting accounts that it can be hard to pick out the truth sometimes, and it's true that there are some things that just can't be known because they were never made public and the people who had the information are now dead, but there is still plenty of good information out there - it's just a matter of sorting through it.

Some of Clyde's actions regarding Bonnie do seem rather callous, at least early on - but in looking at the situations, I believe Clyde honestly thought that everyone would be better off if he could get away and get some help; I don't see him as "abandoning" Bonnie, although it could come across that way depending on the person reading the accounts. What I do know, however, is that after Wellington, when Bonnie was crippled for life, crippled so badly that she was never again able to walk properly (as Billie put it, "...she never walked no more straight...") lawmen and others were telling Bonnie's parents that they could expect to find her dead by the side of the road because Clyde would never keep her with him in her crippled state, as she would be a burden. Instead, Clyde cared for Bonnie tenderly and lovingly, going to bring her sister to her to help care for her, taking risks that could have gotten him killed just to be able to ease Bonnie's pain and distress. She WAS a burden to him after that - they left a trail of bloody bandages and records of people buying materials to treat serious burns, and I'm sure that Clyde drove rather more carefully while Bonnie was still so ill. To me, that indicates that Clyde cared deeply for Bonnie, and was willing to put himself into danger to be sure she was taken care of properly. There are some people who feel that Clyde was a psychopath, and that psychopaths don't feel true human emotions. Clyde's treatment of Bonnie during her time of crisis shows love of a type that psychopaths don't feel - selfless love. Whether Bonnie was more attached to Clyde than he was to her in their early days isn't really an issue - when times were the hardest, Clyde and Bonnie were fully committed to one another, despite all odds. Bonnie was the only person that Clyde trusted completely.

That's what makes me believe the story of the suicide pact: After Wellington, Bonnie more than likely could have turned herself in and gotten a fairly light sentence - the Grapevine killings had not yet been blamed on her, and she was a tiny, tiny little girl/woman who was cute and charismatic; she was also crippled, and I think the sight of her would have caused the jury to have been rather lenient. Bonnie, on the other hand, would rather die than leave Clyde, even to spare her own life. She made that clear many times - I've read in more than one book that she made statements to her mother and sister that she'd rather be dead than without Clyde. Clyde, on the other hand, would have never gone back to prison. Clyde's style was to either run or start shooting, but I am sure that if he saw that he could not escape, he would use his last bullet on himself to make sure that no one ever put him behind bars again. Given that you've got two people who were both determined never to be captured, a suicide pact becomes very plausible.

I did note one omission in 2010, though, Winston - Bonnie's 100th birthday was October 1, 2010!!! (Or did my ADHD cause me to miss that article?)

A. Winston Woodward said...

It seems Clyde escaping at Maybank has caused some debate. As I see it, with Bonnie and Ralph Fults in custody, it would've made no sense for Clyde to be in jail as well.

As a ex-con convicted of multiple robberies, Clyde almost certainly would have done significant time behind bars-- should he have been caught in April of '32. As a practical matter, it doesn't seem Clyde had an option to break Bonnie out of jail-- and as it turned out, Fults took the fall for their misadventures at Maybank. This was also fairly early in B&C's "on again" relationship. As the record shows-- for B&C it all worked out. So the "abandonment" issue, I'm not sure I would consider abandonment-- more than I would term Clyde's actions, just a matter of survival.

Concerning Bonnie's birthday, I've never been one to memorialize everyone's birthday within B&C History on the blog as each date occurs. You're certainly right, in saying Bonnie's 100th birthday was surely important. Fortunately, she'll still be within her 100th year until October of 2011. So at some point, I'll try to post a fitting memorial to commemorate the 100 years since her birth.

For those who've frequented the blog for some time-- you know how often I've defended Bonnie and as a result, she's often been at the fore here. Between Jeff Guinn's assertions, Bonnie sexual rumors, Tijuana Bibles, a Bonnie pregnancy etc. etc.-- it seems I've spent a considerable amount of time the past few years, speaking of Bonnie Parker.

Now I find myself defending her sister Billie, from those who may seem intent on maligning her. Time well spent. You don't see many questioning Hamer. Ah-- but a post re-examining Frank Hamer within B&C History may be coming soon. Did I just give away what's likely to be, a controversial and perhaps surprising post from me. It seems I did. I can't wait to see the comments after that one.

BarefootOkieGal said...

I am surely looking forward to the post about Frank Hamer!

As far as Bonnie's birthday, the only reason I even "remembered" it was because there was something on the internet on that date, and I ran into it only yesterday!

A. Winston Woodward said...

To the anonymous individual who's commented within this post and who left the last 4 comments-- please re-work your comments to include your name, or identify yourself by signing up for the blog to make regular comments-- and I'll be happy to post your expressions.

I discourage anonymous comments here, but will sometimes allow them when thoughtful ideas are advanced-- provided they're polite and the anonymous thoughts are not habitual. I will also sometimes allow them, when those who don't wish to sign up to comment often-- are good enough to provide their name (as many have here)-- along with their anonymous expressions.

As I see it, transparency and accountability within historical commentary should be the norm everywhere-- and is a declared goal here. Also, when the tone of any comment becomes less than civil in forensics terms-- I reserve the right to exclude it from consideration.

I would look forward to your revised comments. If I don't hear from you by this evening-- I'll gladly summarize your comments and respond. Thanks.

A. Winston Woodward said...

Anonymous response-- (Part 1)

Within this or any discussion of history, I don't find it necessarily productive to hear a statement like "hey you have your opinions and I have mine-- and who's right we'll never know, because those who were involved are all dead now". To me, those who would express that viewpoint I would liken to Jeff Guinn-- who made the famous statement to me that-- "all written history is ultimately best guess, and clearly you and I have guessed differently in some instances". Well no-- I try not to guess and surmise as often as possible. And besides-- that statement which contains 3 absolutes, so there's no ambiguity in Jeff's words-- just isn't true, pure and simple.

There "are" verifiable facts within Bonnie & Clyde History, as within most history. Along with these facts, there's supplemental info which logically can be added to fill in the reality of other truths. In using this info, it's important to gauge the reliability of knowledge, it's provenance and the reputation of the individuals or entities involved-- in imparting historical information. So to me there's no blanket “hey nobody knows-- so all accounts are suspect and in play to guess at”. If that were the case, the fiction isle at Barnes and Noble— might be the best place to learn of history.

Concerning the recent posts which didn't air, I'm happy to summarize them and respond as follows. It was expressed in effect that although Billie could be trusted to know of Bonnie's home life and mannerisms-- as Billie didn't really know much of Bonnie and Clyde on the run-- that Billie's other accounts concerning B&C are suspect, to the point they shouldn't be believed. Just 2 examples of Billie's audio interviews were cited as reasoning for this mistrust or “blown credibility”-- one being her mentioning B&C robbed just 2 banks, and the other that B&C didn't have machine guns.

In a previous comment, I chronicled numerous important if not monumental recollections-- which Billie so fortunately left us with in written form. Perhaps it's just a matter of priorities-- but these Billie remembrances to me, are “so” much more important than worrying about which bank was robbed, and which guns were brought to a gunfight. I would cite the analogy of Frank Hamer's “powerful Colt Monitor” at the ambush (which many feel he didn't have there)-- in somehow overshadowing the fact that Hamer helped to kill Bonnie and Clyde in a bloody ambush on May 23rd, 1934. Which is more important to discuss-- one weapon, or the critical details of the ambush itself?? We know from photographic evidence along with eyewitness accounts, that Hamer likely fired an automatic shotgun at the ambush. It can be easy and fun to get caught up in minutia, and even unfortunately use these details as a tool in passing judgment-- but to me it's more important most often, to focus on the key elements of this history.

A. Winston Woodward said...

Anonymous response-- (Part 2)

The sheer number of times admitted to by family members in meeting with B&C-- I feel would counter the assertion that Billie wouldn't have known of B&C's exploits while on the run. Billie herself revealed having met with B&C on many occasions, in addition to the times she ran with them. She also told of sharing conversations with her sister Bonnie, for considerable lengths of time when they were together. The police also tried to squeeze Billie, by falsely accusing her of B&C acts up to and including murder. You wouldn't think they were clawing for B&C insider info, from someone who wouldn't know would you?? However it's fair to suppose, that believing Billie concerning any of this-- would be difficult if you don't believe Billie in general.

Keying in on just 2 minor examples examples of "blown credibility" for Billie-- to me is not enough to overcome so many key and unique pieces of B&C knowledge, as told by her in relating accounts she most likely had the opportunity to know. A number of these stories have to do with Billie's own children-- and I don't know about you, but I wouldn't be prone to doubt Buddy and Jackie's mother on anything concerning them.

It was also asked why it wouldn't have been easy for Clyde to have broken Bonnie out of the Kaufman jail?? Well apparently it wasn't-- as it didn't happen. As a practical matter, to me-- the Clyde of early 1932 was not the Clyde of early 1934. I don't believe it can be shown, that Clyde had the manpower, organization or weaponry-- to attempt a daring and perhaps suicidal jail breakout in April of '32.

Concerning my earlier statements, I stand by them. If some choose not to believe in Billie, you're entitled to your opinion. However based on the substantial B&C knowledge as documented by her in written form (which I feel anyone would be hard pressed to dispute)-- along with personal reflections concerning Billie's character-- as expressed to me directly by those who knew Billie intimately, I'll stand by Billie-- as others are free to believe what they want.

A. Winston Woodward said...

You know, I try and be accommodating to all who visit here, by allowing common sense solutions for open comment. But it seems after a bunch of years of doing this, that I'm getting better and better at rooting out BS when it arises.

I knew from reading the latest anonymous comments (4 that didn't air, plus 2 more with hate espoused)-- that there was an ulterior motive brewing. And as suspected-- this anonymous charade, was apparently not aimed at commenting legitimately concerning this history, and interacting with others here.

But rather this immature fodder, was just another faceless and cowardly attempt to attack myself and this blog-- by those who seemingly lack the character and guts, to even back up their words with the honor of their names.

Unfortunately for all the good folks who enjoy B&C History, this history is also tainted with polarizing banter-- from individuals who seem to enjoy arguing everything in nonsensical terms, and then becoming hateful, when they in their ultimate wisdom feel like spewing their hate.

For people such as this, might I suggest there are other B&C forums-- where this sort of thing is tolerated. Or better yet-- one of the finer homes for those who hate within B&C History, has to be You Tube.

Thankfully-- comment moderation really does work, so others here aren't burdened with these senseless expressions of human incivility. My apologies to all, for this vain attempt at disruption. Also my thanks for your legitimate and thoughtful comments concerning this history.

BarefootOkieGal said...

Again, Winston, my thanks for keeping out the "haters." I enjoy discussion and speculation as much as the next person, but my comments aren't motivated by a need to "win" any arguments or to get nasty with people who might disagree with me. I do appreciate the fact that you keep this forum from disintegrating into what some of the B&C forums are - just places for hateful people to argue and disagree and get nasty toward others. I don't see why on earth mature people can't have different opinions without having to FIGHT about them!

mrs. barrow said...

Excuse me, but I'm a living relative of clyde, and NOBODY. Knows the personal life about my cousin. Only thing you all can do is speculate and it sickens me to see people point fingers at clyde and oo and awe at bonnie because "she was so perfect". You're searching for a relative, well, here I am.

A. Winston Woodward said...

Many claim to be living relatives of Bonnie & Clyde. And having worked closely with known Parker and Barrow relatives, I'm not sure even they share the viewpoint you do concerning some unfettered adoration of Bonnie vs a blatant disdain for Clyde. Bonnie "so perfect"-- I would reply, hardly. Send me an e-mail, so I can communicate with you further. Please be prepared to identify your Barrow lineage. Many thanks.

C T Dunn said...


I enjoy your blog and the comments by many of your posters or replyers (if that is a word).

Now, why do you use two "??" At the end of a question?

And why do you continue to spell "Mabank" as "Maybank".

Are the Dallas FBI files different than the Bonnie and Clyde files which are viewable on the FBI website? I have read all of them, well, those which were readable on my IPad.

I believe, in a FBI interview, a suspect, possibly W. D. Jones stated Billie was sent home because she infected everyone with some STD. Have you seen other evidence of this?

C. T.