Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bonnie & Clyde Sexual Rumor Never a Dull Moment

During my recent hiatus, I would look to view key word entries used to access The B&CHB. Along with many thoughtful inquiries which I often respond to-- as usual, there were more than a fair share of questions regarding Bonnie & Clyde sexual rumor. Sometimes these questions seem asked, as if this blog somehow provides some bastion of support for that kind of thing. Well unless someone can show me viable proof of such rumors having a basis in reality-- no-- this is actually a place to dispel such meddlesome innuendo.

Nonetheless-- you've just gotta love many of the questions asked by people searching in the dark, for some semblance of Bonnie & Clyde sexual enlightenment. In keeping with my tradition of addressing B&C sexual innuendo in a forthright manner-- I present examples of questions and comments advanced by some in grasping at sordid straws-- and offer historical viewpoints within lighthearted responses.

Why couldn't B&C have sex??
I wouldn't bet on that having been the case-- and if Clyde were around, I wouldn't let him know you're wondering.

Was Clyde Barrow afraid of women??
I don't know-- perhaps Bonnie, Eleanor or Grace would've answered that one best. Clyde also seemingly had good relationships with his sisters and mother. Go figure.

Did Bonnie have sex with the gang??

Which one??-- the 5 member gang, expanded post Eastham gang-- or some version near the beginning or end. It's hard to explain the STDs in both B&C, but in 1930's America-- their malady was at record levels. The STDs prove sexual activity-- but apparently no one who knew Bonnie, described her in a nefarious way. Any Bonnie sordid reputation, seems to have been advanced post ambush.

Bonnie & Clyde gender
Is there a question here??

Why do people think Clyde was gay??
Ah-- that is the question. Thank you.

Tijuana Bible gay

That's a new one.

In B&C was Clyde gay?? Impotent??
I would suppose if the later were true, the 1st wouldn't matter. You forgot sterile. A tough combo to experience-- which I personally don't believe any of which may have applied to Clyde. For both medically and statistically-- from what I've learned concerning Clyde's teenage illneses, when compared to the odds of those experiences causing permanent harm-- I tend to discount the claims of Clyde's inabilities in these ways.

Bonnie & Clyde Hot Sex

OK-- but I thought they couldn't have sex.

Bonnie & Clyde hope for America
Not a B&C sexual question/comment-- but Wow!!

Risque innuendos regarding guns

Have you reached out to anyone, for help concerning this??

Clyde pencils
My goodness-- what does this mean??

B&C bisexual Guinn
With all respect-- I really don't think he might know.

Bonnie, Clyde, W.D. Jones sex

One big happy family??

B&C psychological profile

Again unrelated to B&C sexual rumor-- however "best of luck".

Bonnie Parker sex habits
I would think those who could have revealed any info of that sort for sure, both perished without doing so. Also given the spirit of the day, it was unlikely such personal info was ever disclosed. Thus anything published post death in the crime mags etc., would almost certainly be invented-- and framed toward sensationalism. Hey-- some are still doing that today. Gotta sell those books.

Who did Bonnie & Clyde eat??
A Freudian slip of the fingers??-- or perhaps
the grand champion of B&C sexual rumor quotes.
My favorite anyway.

I poke a bit of good-natured fun here, in an attempt to raise the bar above the fluff-- & encourage more individuals wondering about B&C, to concentrate on more serious B&C concerns. But a little light hearted commentary sometimes isn't a bad thing. My long standing challenge still stands-- for anyone anywhere, to please provide any reasonable proof to verify any Bonnie & Clyde sexual rumor. After all, facts are facts-- and rumors are called such for a reason.

I find it remarkable, that I can't get even "one" of the multitude of people who inquire about B&C sexual rumor-- to leave a comment explaining why they're fascinated by these somehow vital but unfounded rumors?? Perhaps someone will be brave enough to explain the lure of these feelings-- even though there's no credible evidence to support such claims.


BarefootOkieGal said...

I don't spend a whole lot of time thinking about B&C's sex lives, but the whole STD thing is fairly easily explained without having either Bonnie or Clyde sleeping with other gang members... Clyde had had relationships with other women before he met Bonnie, and Bonnie had been married. Back in the day, there really wasn't very much one could DO once they had contracted an STD rather than to go on to spread it to someone else!!! If Clyde's pre-Bonnie experiences left him with an STD, he most certainly would have passed it on to her, and the same for Bonnie - even if her "dating" didn't involve sex, she more than likely slept with her husband, and considering how much Bonnie complained about Roy being away from home, it wouldn't be impossible for Roy to have contracted some form of STD, which he then passed along to Bonnie, and which she then passed along to Clyde. It is rather interesting to look at ads in very old newspapers - a good deal of ad space was devoted to products which PROMISED to cure what ailed you, whatever that might be: Unwanted pregnancy, STD's, and failing manhood were three of the things that seemed to be great causes of concern in the 1930's, and while these ads swore up and down that they could fix you up, there really wasn't much that could be done back then. A quick shot of penicillin would have done B&C a lot of good, but they died long before it was available!

A. Winston Woodward said...

Hi Cindy--

Many like to rationalize the circumstance of a B&C STD, to both support the likelihood of B&C sexual rumor-- or conversely, defend the possibility of them having had Gonorrhea for years. The later approach would thus quash the rumors, in feeling it wouldn't have been unusual for this disease to have been present in both of them at death.

But as the consequences of inaction, concerning this STD over a long period of time would've likely been too severe-- concerning Bonnie-- I've thought to return to the Roy Thornton days for explanation, was too long a time to have expected Bonnie to remain untreated, and still have had a noticeable case in May of '34.

For Clyde, although he too had been in the company of others in prior years-- for me, the same thought process applies. It seems that for years to have passed without relief or treatment-- somehow seems unlikely.

Interestingly, Billie was singled out as having been intimate with a number of gang members. If so, how this would have impacted Bonnie or Clyde I'm not sure-- unless some would care to take the possibility of these rumors to extreme.

Just as with so many B&C mysteries, too many decades have likely passed-- to find a satisfactory answer to this question. The stigma of having an STD in the '30's was not good for your reputation. Many looked down upon those in such a circumstance, and consequently help was apparently not as easy to get as today. Thus I would doubt records could be found, concerning such a sensitive and personal issue.

From what I've learned, Sulfonamides and drugs like Acriflavine were used to treat Gonorrhea prior to Penicillin becoming the norm in the early '40's. This particular STD was fairly common, and in the '30's was peaking in occurrence. This happened again in the '60's-- and even now, Gonorrhea is the 2nd most commonly acquired disease yearly-- with a new and apparently dangerous resistance to modern antibiotics.

BarefootOkieGal said...

I remember reading that Bonnie believed she was suffering from rheumatitis, which she attributed to sleeping in the cold and damp - it's interesting because one of the consequences of untreated gonorrhea can be infection of the joints by the bacteria, resulting in painful joints. It's possible that if either Bonnie or Clyde became sterile at any point, that could also be attributed to untreated gonorrhea. As far as damage that could be done in the extreme long-term... well, there really wasn't an extreme long-term for B&C, was there?!

There are a whole lot of sexual rumors going around about B&C and folks involved with them, but the rumor that they had STD's is pretty well based in fact - however, I don't think that the Barrow Gang spent all their time passing their diseases around!

A. Winston Woodward said...

Hi Cindy--

Bonnie was known to have been finished with Roy in early 1929. It's just my feeling for what it's worth, in having investigated the consequences of Gonorrhea for a BP pregnancy angle-- but at least for Bonnie-- I would think going 5 years with Gonorrhea from the time of Roy Thornton, would have been unlikely. Prolonged and untreated Gonorrhea, could have been problematic both from the viewpoint of sterility-- and also to have possibly affected a Bonnie pregnancy in another important way. That's a idea I'm working on, in seeking further clarification.

According to Dr. Carroll Rich who told me he directly, that he heard it face to face from Dr. James Wade-- both B&C had Gonorrhea when they died. I don't believe there's much doubt about that. However, I also believe in your assessment concerning the extent of hanky panky for B&C within the gang.

Therefore, logically it's a very good question-- how both of them would have experienced the same malady concurrently, if they were true to each other?? It is possible-- should one of them have been infected 1st, they could have infected the other.

Ray Hamilton of course had a link although it was for less time than most realize-- to Mary O'Dare, who was actually Mary Pitts by that point. Seemingly not the most loyal of women, and reportedly a woman of the night-- or at least seemed to have the reputation for sleeping around. Billie Mace was also thought to have been a bit of a hellion-- and was reported to have had relations with more than one Barrow Gang member.

There are numerous possibilities in trying to sort all this out-- and I would think we're never going to be able to know for sure anyway. It's just interesting to me (but not surprising I suppose)-- that so many jump to the conclusions they do concerning B&C sexual rumors.

Unfortunately, the problem in trying to dispute them-- is the same problem in trying to learn of them. Few if any facts to work with.

BarefootOkieGal said...

I'm still fascinated and perplexed by the question, "Who did Bonnie and Clyde eat?"!!!

A. Winston Woodward said...

You just can't make this stuff up!!

Jim from Atlanta said...

I made an uneducated guess that Bonnie was bi-polar, manic depressant with a tendancy of nymphomania. I do not believe that Clyde was homosexual or impotent. Instead, he realized that Bonnie needed more attention from more than one male.
So you ask why didn't Jones or Henry speak of the sex? In 1930's it was taboo to openly speak of such things. And, to tarnish the reputation of Bonnie would make them appear ugly.

Nicole Ferrier said...

Lol it was the "Clyde was gay" rumor that got me back into B&C. I was fascinated by the pair as a kid then kind of grew up and forgot about them.

I purchased a book called "The 500 Most Notorious Crimes" I came across them part way through the volume. The last line went something like "They say Bonnie and Clyde had an epic love but the truth was Clyde was a homosexual"

I was FLOORED! I had never heard anything so preposterous that I just laughed for a sec, then I got mad (And that surprised me)I just could not believe it was true.

I started Googling like a mofo lol and in the process of trying to dispell that rumor I got waylayed into looking at other facts about them and I was hooked again.

I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I read about Clyde's other women and that the ugly rumor came from a sensational seeking fool looking to shock and titalate.

Bonnie and Clyde are the epitomy of true love, they are Romoe and Juliette, Jack and Rose (Titanic) and Cathy and Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights)The difference is Bonnie and Clyde were real.

Melissa Noonan said...

Having an s.t.d. didn't mean that Bonnie was a nympho. Also they weren't physically together the whole time they knew each other. When Clyde was in prison Bonnies mother said after a long time of crying herself to sleep that Bonnie began dating again. That doesn't mean she had sex with everybody she dated but it's possible that a young person separated that long might have. Also Clyde went out of state to work for awhile and was on the road with his friends without Bonnie for awhile. It's possible he may have met someone. They weren't on the road together a long time before they were killed.

Jenn Cabrera said...

There could be other explanations for and STD to be present in Bonnie and Clyde, that have nothing to do with unusual sexual behavior on either part.

It's pretty much accepted at this point, that Clyde was raped in prison. So I would say that it is a possibility that Clyde contracted gonorrhea as a result. It's not as if his rapist would have used a condom, even if he could have gotten them.

If his rapist was Ed Crowder and if he did contract an STD as a result, then he would have likely been infected sometime in 1931; Crowder was killed October 29 or 30 of 1931. Clyde was then released in February 1932.

With that time frame, Clyde at the time of his death would have been infected for about 2.5 to 3 years; and assuming that he resumed "relations" with Bonnie right away, then she would have only been infected for about 2 years at the time of her death.

Of course that's if they did in fact have an STD. I'm not convinced that signs of gonorrhea would have been easily discernible upon physical examination, without autopsies being performed and blood and various fluid samples being tested. Gonorrhea often times has no physical symptoms.

I'm not convinced that either Bonnie,Clyde, or both participated in any unusual sexual behavior. From all account, they were completely in love with and devoted to each other. Plus neither one strike me as the type that would have been willing to share the other with anyone else, whether it be another man or woman.

A. Winston Woodward said...

Hello Jenn. Dr. Wade revealed B&Cs infection by gonorrhea to Professor Carroll Rich in the late 1960's-- who published this revelation. Wade admitted not revealing this finding as part of his Coroner's inquest, in thinking it had nothing to do with their cause of death-- which it was his purpose to document in 1934. As Wade and Rich were close friends-- and Carroll is still with us to confirm Wade's interview with him, I have little doubt the presence of an STD in both Bonnie and Clyde was a reality.

Jenn Cabrera said...

I've been looking for the articles published by Carroll Rich. I was able to locate the one titled the autopsy of Bonnie and Clyde. I located that one online, and all that were transcribed within it were Dr. Wade's notes. So I'm assuming any findings not included in the inquest notes are included in the other articles published by Mr. Rich. There appears to be 3 remaining; The Day They Shot Bonnie and Clyde, Clyde Barrow's Last Ford, and I've found reference to one titled, The Death Car of Bonnie and Clyde. Any direction as to how I could read those would be appreciated.

I've recently found myself extremely interested in the history surrounding Bonnie and Clyde, and have been reading just about everything I can get.

As a side note, I thoroughly enjoy your blog and find it to be very informative.

A. Winston Woodward said...

Hi Jenn-- Please send me an e-mail concerning the Carroll Rich articles. Carroll and I are often in contact. I believe I have all his articles, or can get them for you. And "thank you" for your kind comments re: the blog.