Sunday, February 9, 2014

When it Comes to Hoarding Bonnie & Clyde History-- "Nothing From Nothing Leaves Nothing"


Those who claim remarkable revelations concerning this history and even more stupendous theories, but then go out of their way to hide them-- hold a special place of disdain within my heart and mind. It's my view, those who possess extraordinary historical knowledge-- have a personal responsibility to bring their info to the fore in a timely fashion.  To me, it's a bit like knowing you love someone, but never telling them.  So what's the point and who benefits??  As Billy Preston so aptly put it-- "Nothing From Nothing Leaves Nothing".  However for all involved-- that shouldn't be the case concerning Bonnie & Clyde historical knowledge.

Case in point.  As I often am-- I was recently approached by an individual who apparently happened onto some items purportedly related to Bonnie & Clyde History.  That in itself is not unusual-- as I am routinely asked to give historical opinion on supposed artifacts linked to this history, and answer questions related to pretty much everything Bonnie & Clyde. And let me preface further comment-- with a disclaimer that since this person fancies rattling sabres and threatening legal action seemingly at every turn-- in an effort to protect thoughts, perceived evidence, and supposition as if supposition was fact-- that my opinion here is not meant as a personal affront.  Rather, commentary on the manner and approach made-- which I find historically offensive and demeaning to Bonnie & Clyde Historians and aficionados alike.  Thus I will choose my words carefully in protecting not only myself, but also this person's identity-- while getting my points across.

Anyway-- along with these items held so close to the vest, I was asked to consider helping with an ongoing effort to support this person's view of the ambush-- a take on this history built on greed, and excluding all but it's last few minutes-- as if nothing else ever happened or mattered, including I assume all that died.  As this individual seems to think evidence possessed is irrefutable, as to the straight and skinny of what "really" happened when Bonnie and Clyde were killed, and for all these years-- the true story of the ambush has been in plain site for all to see-- perhaps the best way to proceed is the following.  An aside here in saying, perhaps what this individual didn't count on while piecing together so many published sources as gospel (although published sources "can" be flawed)-- was my knowledge of unpublished info "still" not revealed.  Frustrating but true. 

And just the fact of my and others knowing of non-shared research-- highlights the problem at hand.  But what can anyone do, when those who control valuable info-- won't reveal secrets before they're good and ready??  Not much-- if those in whom they've trusted won't tell-- and to tell, means violating that trust.  A real quagmire, for many of us who study Bonnie & Clyde History on a high level.  For the benefit of those who genuinely care about this history, and for this person who goes to such trouble to protect theories believed unique-- please consider the following. 

I would think many believe the ambush didn't happen as stated, and many believe some sort of cover up was conceived and carried out by the ambush posse.  Based on the fact that 6 experienced and well-hardened Peace Officers, couldn't come up with some consensus of a story-- it's no secret I agree with this assessment.

Some over the years, have questioned the Coroner's report of Dr. James Wade, in documenting the deaths of Bonnie & Clyde.  It's been asked, why a modern forensic follow-up based on the evidence known ie: Dr. Wade's written report, statements made by the ambush posse, those at or near the ambush site, those at Congers that day and a review of mortuary photographic evidence hasn't been performed-- and whether it might still be worthwhile??

Reward monies for all involved have been talked of for years-- including monies said received by those other than lawmen including John Joyner, for his role in helping take down Bonnie & Clyde.  I wonder if most believe Mr. Joyner received his tidy sum, as thanks for being the go-between for the law and Ivy Methvin??  I've asked why someone like John Joyner, who may have been even more ruthless than Clyde-- and who likely had knowledge of Bonnie & Clyde's whereabouts-- wasn't employed to take out at least Clyde prior to the ambush, or choose to do it himself??  John
later ended his life and the life of his wife Clara on Sept 24th, 1942 in violent fashion.  I've also asked, why with so few locations available for Bonnie & Clyde to frequent for necessities in and around Sailes (still true to this day)-- and with so many knowing the conspicuous and wanted couple were among them-- why a sniper laying in wait (civilian, local law or Federal)-- didn't neatly take out Clyde prior to the ambush??

Henry Methvin's whereabouts just prior to the ambush no matter how it was conducted-- is still a matter of debate.  Some believe Henry was indeed the guest of Sheriff Jordan in the Gibsland jail, on the morning of May 23rd, 1934.  However to my knowledge-- no definitive proof is known.

For those with more extreme solutions for this over the years, such as an altered ambush without Ivy's truck in the road--
at least 2 witnesses, young student Levohn Cole and school bus driver Dan Cole-- were noted via interview to have seen Ivy's truck in the road at the ambush site between 7:30 and 8 o'clock the morning of May 23rd.  Filmed interviews with those alive at the time, including with Buddy Goldston to tell which way the wood truck was going and Olin Jackson in recounting the sound of the gunfire-- can be seen within "Remembering Bonnie & Clyde".  For some theories to be true-- many if not all of these people would need to be wrong, or coerced, or threatened with death or some such thing-- which would affect their credibility.  

These interviews and others made over the years, carry great weight in cataloging 1st hand recollections-- of those present in and around Sailes when Bonnie & Clyde were there and later killed.  Also when you watch these clips, listen for statements putting Ivy and his truck in Gibsland at the filling station owned by Mr. Townes.  Descriptions and traits of both Bonnie & Clyde as well as other interesting aspects of this story, are told within this documentary via valuable eyewitness accounts.  Those who wish to depict a completely different ambush scenario, to me-- need to dispute these accounts as well as ones not yet made public.

I could go on. 
Suffice to say it's my view when someone has information of potential importance to this or any history-- they need to step up, identify themselves and be willing to accept the scrutiny of their "revelations".  And "here" within Bonnie & Clyde History-- they need to possess a thick skin, and bring their flack jacket with them.  For this is an "impassioned" and "polarized" history-- with many less polite than me to deal with.  

And some words of advice to those who approach folks like me, who are intent on seeking truth within Bonnie & Clyde History within an ethical, civil and clear way.  Don't insist your theory is absolute, and that it must be agreed with wholeheartedly-- before sharing your Bonnie & Clyde secrets.  What kind of nonsense is that??  For I and others will just wait you out-- and hope you reveal your theories without the control and lack of scrutiny you seek??  And if you decide to just throw in the towel and shelve your effort, in being unwilling or unable to take the heat-- if you honestly have something, that would truly be a loss-- history's loss.  

For you see-- "history" is what this is all about.   


Freda Dillard said...

"My knowledge of unpublished info 'still' not revealed".... kinda the pot calling the kettle black, don't ya think. This business of people hoarding, as you call it, information is being done by several people I can name, including, by your own admission, yourself. Some do it because they have dreams of publishing books that have been in years in the making with no sign of an end. Others do it because of their ego...."I know something you don't know." I know someone who supposedly had info about Grapevine but won't share, choosing instead to dangle the carrot when it suits.
Maybe I'm the one who has it wrong. I have a business where people come to me for my knowledge of history with not only B&C but other subjects as well. I share what I know because I want the history on these subjects to carry on.
Do I make mistakes? Absolutely! I am not to proud to admit it. What I see all to often is that so many historians are so married to their beliefs that they can't accept even the slightest possibility that what they thought they knew for years and years is wrong.
I've been doing this for 8 years, not near as long as many, and I'm honored that I have been accepted by other historians who have been doing this far longer than me. I think part of the reason is because I'm open to any and all possibilities. Sometimes it's great to have a new eye on a matter. There have been many times I have asked questions that have been met with "you might have something there." There have also been those times when the response has been very patronizing. Unfortunately, in the world of B&C, I see way to much of the patronizing of others.
I have been so excited to see a new generation developing an interest in this history that seems to have a hold on so many of us. What concerns me is that I've watched many of them turn around and run right back out because of the despicable way in which they are treated. What I have to wonder is how many of those folks held a golden goose that we will never know about because others seem to have lost the practice of common courtesy.

A. Winston Woodward said...

Well Hi Freda. Long time. Not at all a Pot calling anything issue. For some who've waited so long to release info from I must say some damned stellar research, because of whatever roadblocks which stand in their way (bless them)-- or in an attempt to perfect theories-- as with others, a polite prodding from me again, to please "get 'er done"!!

And with all respect, for me to release info held in confidence-- well, I just feel it best to hold off on that with all my might. It's not at all an easy thing to do-- but as much as I can be successful in "holding the line"-- it's the right thing to do, at least for now. However as I've mentioned previously-- there may be a right time and place to violate trusts, should the years that pass become too protracted. At some point I feel it fair to ask, whether not revealing info in the long run-- is worse than breaking a trust??

This post isn't aimed at any one individual-- just inspired by the latest one. Many have made approaches here with a variety of theories concerning B&C History. And it's perfectly clear from the forum I've provided them (sometimes amid great scorn from others, although I can't see why)-- my mind is "wide open" to alternate Bonnie & Clyde possibilities that reach beyond the old standards. Too many theories controversial and otherwise published here-- to question my objectivity and desire for new attempts to add to this history.

As I understand it, you may be far too close to this individual to be objective here. Also, I won't be posting your follow up comment which like your friend, uses threats as a tactic. 'Can't allow that here.

Perhaps you can subscribe to demands made, for an "agree with me fully or the highway" approach. However, if that's the price paid to know info which really isn't that new (although the reasoning, as I understand it from what little was shared with me)-- could be crafted into a compelling case, provided certain realities can be removed from the story.

I wish this person well with their quest. I've just chosen to wait for the end result-- as I don't compromise my objectivity concerning this history for anyone.

BTW-- As I've said many times-- I don't feel the officers would've needed to fear any consequence, no matter how Bonnie & Clyde were killed. The nature of those times, and backing they enjoyed from more than one Governor's office-- to me, would've likely insulated them from any worries. Bonnie & Clyde were dead. A job well done. Plus you have that nasty reality of Ivy's truck and Ivy, being witnessed at the ambush site and afterward. For some theories to work-- Ivy and his truck would likely not have been there would they?? A clever ploy among many, toward an even more clever goal?? Good question-- and one worth exploring.

I surely hope all is going well with your tours in Dallas. I think of Ken often, and miss him. He took of himself to escort me on one of his wonderful tours-- a one on one all day affair, followed by dinner and a great time. One of the great days of my life. I'm glad you're carrying on with that tradition, for those captivated by this history. RIP Ken.

A. Winston Woodward said...

Freda-- Read your last comment. Please leave me your # either here or via my e-mail (bottom of notes section)-- and I'll call you. I feel I may be able to answer the question you're wondering.

Perhaps I should've used the term warning in referring to your words rather than threat. However when you say "I must tell you that you need to be very very careful with what you say publicly"-- there are different ways to interpret that, especially after hearing all about "my attorney" this and "my attorney" that, in dealing with this individual. How about fewer attorneys, and more caring about history-- how would that be??

So you know, I tried with great patience-- to find an acceptable way to work with someone, seemingly so focused on control concerning a B&C theory. That may be this person's right to try-- but in my view, such an expectation is unrealistic. I'm much too straight forward and candid, to wade through the game presented in order to get to all the info. Concerning "anyone's" B&C theory, my feeling is-- state your case and let's examine it with the high level of scrutiny it deserves. The old phrase concerning standing the heat and a kitchen-- couldn't be more true than within Bonnie & Clyde History.

Pre-testing may work in marketing, where focus groups can lend insight into what the general public might think of a product-- but history is not a product in the development stage. So any attempt to hone a theory to the point of being bulletproof before release, to me isn't feasible-- not within this history. And to make the demand that complete agreement with a theory is required-- before that theory is fully revealed to the person being asked to agree with it???-- well, I don't what to say. But by that point, I'd had enough-- at least for now.

I'll just wait to see if this theory is brought forward. So sorry, I couldn't be used as the quality control agent perhaps desired. Sorry, I couldn't soften the blow of scrutiny leveled by those who care deeply for this history. But that's not my gig.

BTW-- 'Didn't post your latest comment, as there were certain elements present which could perhaps lead to identifying this person. Well I'm not shy, and the truth is the truth-- however, there's no reason here to be more direct than I have been.

Sunny Flowers said...

Hi! Love your blog! I have been reading for the last month all your posts. I had commented with questions on some posts at first but since I haven't seen new posts I thought the site was not actively used. So I was glad to see a post this week. I have subscribed to 'follow'. Thanks for all the info.

A. Winston Woodward said...

Hi Sunny Flowers!! Sometimes more active than others. I'm glad you enjoy The B&CHB. Thanks so much for your kind comment.

A. Winston Woodward said...

Hi Freda-- You might find my approach in responding to your latest comments without posting them a bit unusual-- but you know what you said-- and I agree with many of your thoughts, especially concerning civility and the advancement of B&C theories. And I'm sure you understand as I do-- why it's best to leave it at that.

Just so you know, re: this latest theory-- beyond confidentiality-- my understanding of the approach made to me was as stated. Otherwise, if not agreed to-- I wouldn't learn of the theory. "And" apparently-- if criticism was the likely response to the theory after testing it for soundness vs alternative theories and evidence-- that perhaps this theory would never be released to the wrath of scorn (my phrase).

With all respect-- parameters I couldn't agree to. As I'm very much a "let the chips fall where they may" kind of historian-- my feeling is, there was way too much worryin' going on, about criticism that surely couldn't be controlled no matter the rules imposed-- which no one would pay attention to anyway. Through conversation, I was able to piece together the gist of this theory-- which I hope at some point will be brought forward. Also, I wish this person well in sorting it out.

With that said, my opinion is-- perhaps too much thinking-- too much worrying-- too much of an attempt at control, where control couldn't be assured-- and not enough history. I also suggested this person speak with B&C authors, about the potential "riches" of Bonnie & Clyde publications. I said I thought Jeff Guinn likely did the best financially, as a hired gun for Simon and Schuster. And he did it-- publishing a version of Bonnie & Clyde History, which I and others feel somewhat dubious. So if financial freedom is perhaps the goal??-- my feeling is, generally there isn't much money in telling the story of Bonnie & Clyde.

With that in mind-- the focus should always come back to the history.