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true Bonnie premonition concerning the death of her sister's children, was documented by Billie Parker Moon within her unpublished manuscript.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.


BarefootOkieGal said...

Wow! I don't have the means to pick up a copy of this right now, but I'm going to start a lookout in my library system, because this definitely sounds like a "must read!"

The information that Bonnie had called out to surrender, informing the posse she was pregnant, is definitely something that Hamer would not have wanted the public to know. He apparently believed she was pregnant, but I'm not sure where he was getting his information - I read somewhere that Mary O'Dare had told someone what Bonnie was about 8 months pregnant, but I don't necessarily believe Mary O'Dare and I don't see any sign of Bonnie being THAT pregnant!!! (Also - the idea that Bonnie would surrender once Clyde was dead doesn't seem to jibe with earlier comments that Bonnie and Clyde had a suicide pact - unless, of course, Bonnie WAS pregnant and that caused the pact to be nullified; there is some evidence that could indicate that Clyde intended to set up a permanent hideout (perhaps with the land that he was supposedly going to purchase) and I can see that if Bonnie were indeed pregnant, she might have been willing to be separated from Clyde in order to raise their baby in a safe environment, while Clyde went on committing crimes and coming home every so often.

How I would love to see those films!!! With all the stories about the ambush, it would be fascinating to actually SEE what happened, even if there was no sound. If this DID happen to be a sound camera - wow, what a treasure, to be able to HEAR the ambush! I would imagine the sound was horrendous. It would also be interesting to see if it's possible to make out any pleas from Bonnie not to kill her, on the tape... I can see how Hamer might have had that tape destroyed!!!

I am really looking forward to getting my hands on this book...

A. Winston Woodward said...

As noted within my updated post, I've already read some cynical comments concerning this latest B&C effort. However, I for one am not so quick to dismiss anything to do with this history out of hand-- without further investigation.

Some are a questioning lot as well they should be-- and some seem cynical just for the sake of being cynical, or to promote some agenda-- which usually has to do with defending one side or another within this saga.

At some point today, I intend to speak with Gordon Baker and strike up a conversation about all of this. Some seem to feel, this effort is all about selling books?? However as related within Retribution, this info has been known since 1985. So one question I might have for Mr. Baker, would be an opposite take in asking-- why did he wait so long to relate this account of the ambush??

Although it's noted within Retribution (for 2 reasons) that 2010 would be the agreed upon release date of this potentially important info-- I wonder with so much at stake, whether 25 years wasn't too long to take a chance on-- in not revealing what could have been just more lost B&C knowledge??

BarefootOkieGal said...

If the story in the book is true, it definitely would explain all the various cover-ups and the different stories of the ambush - I don't think ANY officer would want it known that Bonnie had cried out for mercy and yet still been shot down. From the description of the ambush in the book, there was a pause between the killing of Clyde and the killing of Bonnie; can you imagine what was going through the mind of the posse during that pause? It's pretty much agreed that Prentiss Oakley fired too soon - I wonder if they had agreed to fire at the same time just to prevent this sort of dilemma? They were there to kill both Bonnie and Clyde - I do believe that Bonnie had a warrant out on her for murder when she was killed, and I do know that in Texas at that time, being a "habitual criminal" could make a person eligible for the death penalty, so Bonnie was targeted for death by the posse as well as Clyde; I can't help but think, though, that despite what they had set out to do, every man there (if this story is correct) must have had to wrestle with his natural desire not to gun down a pregnant woman. Even Frank Hamer commented that he had to think of her heartless crimes in order to do his job properly.

I can see where none of the men present would ever want it known that they had shot down a pregnant woman who was begging for mercy. That was their job; Bonnie Parker was a felon and they had a warrant for her death, but I don't think that it sat easy on any of the men - and can you imagine the public outcry if this scenario is true? The public is so fickle, and I don't think that the posse members wanted to make a martyr of Bonnie Parker, which very well might have happened if the public had been privy to the facts in this book, if true.

I'll bet Frank Hamer confiscated that film while it was still warm from the camera!

joe from Canada said...

Maybe a signature can change someone

The following is intended to hopefully change the blog.I have now been an avid follower of this blog for a while and I am recently disappointed and some of the statements and lines of thinking. The word History is part of the name of the blog and I think there is a movement away from this which goes into personal opinion. People writing comments and expressing personal view points are occasionally shot down and personal opinion creeps into the blog in postings. A classic example is in defending Billie Jean and that she never ever stretched the truth. If Billie Jean said there were 40 officers at the ambush then there was forty. Well Winston, I believe there was 4 and I have a very reliable source that says there was 4 and so do you. In this latest posting, you now have Bonnie as possibly having physic insight.Maybe it's me, but I think this blog is slowly moving away from history and the different versions of the event to a personal opinion on who to believe and who not to believe.This blog has become in my eyes a platform to defend Bonnie and Clyde and some people around them. Winston, you and I once had a conversation where I questioned and thought that there was three volley of shoots that day. The first on the driver side, secondly the rear of the car and lastly on the front passenger side.I indicated that Bonnie may have been still alive at that point. You indicated that Bonnie died instantly, the bullets going through Clyde and hitting her. Now I feel by your blog that you are moving away from just telling the story. I realize there must be a protection against hateful comments but to shoot a follower down that the felt Billie Jean was correct is not right. I notice that there are less people commenting- maybe this is because they could be afraid of a response.
I have written this as I truly enjoy finding more and more stories of B&C but I feel we need to get back on the road and not defend the players at every turn whenever someone comments differently.

You have many contacts and one in particular is very reliable, have you asked that person if there was a seventh man on the ambush team and if so why did Ted Hinton bring a camera and why would the police bring a civilian to view and record an ambush and put that person at harms way.

You once told me not to let the signature change me but maybe time is doing that.
Winston, maybe we just need to talk. You have my email and phone number. Email me your number and I ill call you

A. Winston Woodward said...

Hello Joe-- (Part 1)

Unlike some B&C forums, where comments are the only available or desired medium-- this blog is dedicated first and foremost to the unbiased History of Bonnie & Clyde. Recorded historical accounts as well as research conducted by others and myself-- along with many new and hopefully interesting B&C revelations have been presented here. Although comments are not the primary focus of this blog, I welcome honest and polite comments whenever expressed.

Blogs by their nature are mediums of expression, just as your latest comment is an expression of your opinion. However I assure you-- there's no movement away from this history, in lieu of opinion for opinion's sake. It seems to me, one cannot express viewpoints within historical interaction, without opinions being involved. Concerning B&C History, I feel it's important to examine whether opinions are backed by known fact, espoused based on supposition-- or advanced based on some agenda, usually involving a defense of either B&C or the lawmen involved in this history-- as having perhaps the better claim to moral integrity or righteous glory.

Opinion is not discouraged here. However as this is an historical forum, what I encourage-- are statements made with sound historical reasoning, and the ability to back ideas with logical assertions which add to this history-- not detract from it. Concerning Billie's most personal and remarkable recollections as documented within her journal and manuscript-- my comment was not to put full faith in all she expressed as being the holy gospel of B&C truth. I did however state my feeling, that based on those who knew Billie best-- some of whom are still alive and provided comment to me for this purpose-- that Billie's remembrances concerning B&C should be respected. When someone feels Billie's remembrances shouldn't be believed, because she couldn't have known of what she said-- well that's just an uninformed statement-- period. I feel there's too much known and documented interaction between Billie and B&C-- to even consider making such a claim.

Not all the details expressed within Billie's writings jive with some of her interviews. However-- I would put more credence in what ended up being Billie's manuscript, and the many remarkable revelations not revealed elsewhere-- than in worrying about which greater numbers of lawmen may have been present at Sowers. To me, it's more important to note that from Billie's view, there were more lawmen present than 4-- than worry precisely about how many more than 4 there were. And when some believe I back the lawmen more, while others believe I back B&C-- I know that within my goal of being an advocate for a centrist viewpoint of this history-- I'm in just the right place.

A. Winston Woodward said...

Hello Joe-- (Part 2)

Also if you're referring to “Boots” Hinton, as being the authority who would know there were only 4 lawmen present at Sowers based on his father's telling of B&C History-- please know I love “Boots” Hinton-- and consider him one of my very best friends. However, I don't know who appointed me an advocate of the Hinton truth?? Ted Hinton's recollections of this history, sometimes conflict with others recollections of this history who also had insight. So even within a solid friendship with a man I respect greatly-- I try to remain objective concerning what I hear. I do believe many of Ted's B&C stories. However I for one, do not believe all the lawmen within this saga were infallible or always spoke the truth-- and I feel to do so, would present an unreasonable faith.

Bonnie's premonitions have been written of, and are also documented by Billie regarding her children's deaths. The possibility of Bonnie's being able to foretell the future, is also now written of by Gordon Baker, concerning a purported diary entry by Bonnie in sensing her own death. I am now communicating with Gordon Baker concerning many aspects of his story-- including gaining a better understanding of what documentation exists in backing Charles Baker's story of the ambush. I am not willing to challenge the possibility of ESP, which has been thought a reality for eons within what are termed “gifted” people. My comment would be-- why couldn't Bonnie Parker have been a person with this ability?? That “documented” possibility by Bonnie's sister, is also a part of B&C History-- and not just an opinion.

One thing's clear to me about the ambush of B&C-- some or all present weren't telling the truth concerning what happened that day. There are too many conflicting stories, and too much unbroken secrecy-- for the truth to likely be known as it occurred. Could Charles Baker have been there to witness the quick assassination of Clyde Barrow, and during a pause (which was noted by many)-- watch Bonnie plead for her life and the life of her unborn child-- only to be inhumanely murdered without mercy???

Unlike other ambush accounts, which don't provide comment concerning that discernible pause after Prentiss Oakley's 1st shots-- this explanation could explain what actually occurred. But I know, I know-- Bonnie couldn't have been pregnant. However based on what I've learned-- I feel she could have been. And if this ambush account is true-- it would add to the evidence that Bonnie either knew she was pregnant-- or thought she was. I've had many an exchange of ideas, as to how (in some people's minds)-- members of the ambush posse could have committed such a heinous act, as having killed Bonnie Parker with or without child. It seems after all this time-- things are just getting interesting regarding that possibility.

So in responding to your comment Joe-- No-- nothing's changed here. Same focus on B&C History-- Same willingness to post responsible comment-- Same unwillingness to let those who would play games, play games here. And Joe, as we've talked a number of times on the phone-- you're free to call me anytime. I'll talk all day and all night, about Bonnie & Clyde History-- and of your suggestions to make The B&CHB an even better B&C forum. Thanks for your comment.

BarefootOkieGal said...

I do have an opinion as to why the ambush continued after Prentiss Oakley's first (and premature) shots killed Clyde: It's possible that the lawmen, having made a deal to spare Henry Methvyn in return for his father's cooperation, and knowing that Methvyn was the actual killer of the two police officers at Grapevine, realized that if Bonnie were left alive, she would have been spitting mad, and once she realized that Clyde had died because of Henry Methvyn, she would definitely have caused problems by publicly stating that Methvyn and not she had committed those killings. It's rather a sad thought to realize that Bonnie had to die in order to prevent the problems that would have been caused by letting her live, and it's not surprising to me that many posse members had difficulties after the ambush - they were for the most part decent men, and if in fact they did shoot down a woman they believed to be pregnant when she was trying to surrender, even though that was their duty, I believe it would have caused lifelong emotional pain.

A. Winston Woodward said...

Also to address another comment made by you Joe, which I appreciate your bringing up-- it "is" important to protect against hateful comments, which within B&Cdom I assure you-- sometimes smack of sinister doings.

I've witnessed the disintegration of one B&C website, based on hurtful and covert activities-- and I'm hellbent on protecting against that kind of thing here.

The person you defended within your comment, I'm sure is the same individual-- who's threatened me behind the scenes more than once. Yes it's true, hate that goes as far as manifesting itself via threats-- based on my participation in imparting B&C History. What an amazing thing. I sometimes wonder whether those who study George Washington-- have such issues??

So please know-- sometimes things aren't as innocent as they seem, concerning contrary comments being made-- where I need to take action to ostracize someone for the good of all who enjoy this blog.

Thanks for your understanding.