Tuesday, October 28, 2014

When It Comes to Bonnie & Clyde History-- Often, People See What They Want To See.

One interesting aspect of being so squarely involved with Bonnie & Clyde History-- is that on a regular basis, I'm approached to help verify all sorts of "officialdom" concerning this saga-- including of course photographs.  Some purported Bonnie & Clyde related photos, seem tied to newly-minted hunts for fame & fortune-- while others appear genuinely well-intentioned, fueled by fervent curiosity or aimed at aiding historical knowledge.  Then there are those, who when confronted by a disappointing truth-- will persist in beating the proverbial 'ol dead horse all over the lot-- with whatever self-imposed creative logic they can muster, to somehow keep hopes alive that they have something valuable or historically relevant. 

But "ahhh" you see-- fans and aficionados of this history aren't the only ones fooled by Bonnie & Clyde historical lookalikes.  Please refer to the photo comparison at the top of this post.  Within police circles, almost until the time W.D. Jones' was captured-- the man depicted on the right above, was sought by the law as the man thought seen so often with Bonnie & Clyde.  In fact, this man was Hubert Bleigh-- a criminal
unrelated to The Barrow Gang, except that he resembled W.D. Jones-- the real Bonnie & Clyde accomplice seen within captured photos and witnessed in gang-related escapades.  Thus even the law got it wrong concerning a lookalike.  Originally, info concerning Bleigh was relayed by a jailhouse informant to an officer in Dallas-- and it stuck.  So oddly enough, based on a case of mistaken identity-- W.D. had an unlikely ally and ongoing cloak of protection in Hubert Bleigh.     

But what about all those Bonnie & Clyde photos people bring forth to be scrutinized??  Surely some are real??  The short answer is "few if any".  Some of these more than suspect entries can be viewed on the Internet, having slipped through the cracks of unfulfilled diligence.  Others never make it that far-- having been ferreted out within behind the scenes approaches to folks like me, and others qualified to judge falsehoods in photographic form.  But surely-- some of those pics end up being related to Bonnie & Clyde History-- right??  Unfortunately, the reality is-- not very many. 

As "matter of fact" as I am, but always with an air of now long-lived open-mindedness-- to me this is simple.  Either the people depicted within mystery photographs are from Bonnie & Clyde History or they're not.  It's usually easy to tell-- however some seemingly make this simple task more tedious, by throwing up a maze of reasoning as to why those depicted within photographs are who they're not. 

This brings me to the latest approach I've fielded, published here with permission of photos' owner.  Photographs of a couple and baby thought to be Bonnie & Clyde-- as well as other photos of purported Barrow family members and also a deemed Alphonsus Capone thought to be shaking hands with a purported Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd.  All these photos were reportedly found within an abandoned shack in the California desert.  In addition to the oddness of the provenance here-- to me, the supposed Al Capone and Charles Floyd pic might have an obvious timeline issue among other problems.
It was even brought to my attention by Tim, the photos' owner-- that some 300 people have agreed with him, that these photos are without much doubt Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.   I must say, that's a lot of non-experts to go through-- before getting to someone who'd know, and could've saved so many much time and trouble.  Within his brand of truth-- this gentleman's even provided photo comparisons of his couple with baby-- to both a young Clyde and then older Clyde with Bonnie taken while on the run.

In an effort to be kind to Tim-- I would politely point out that to my eye-- the man he believes is Al Capone shaking hands with Charles Floyd, I feel bears a remarkable resemblance to the man holding the baby who's thought to be Clyde-- and appears to be wearing similar clothing and the same hat within all the pics.  Of course this man couldn't have been both Clyde and Al Capone now could he??   However, as I claim no expertise concerning Al Capone, but do know of a Capone family member I can contact for assistance-- I choose to refer that one for further consideration.   Plus, based on numerous photos of Clyde showing him wearing a hat of his choice-- I'm not sure he would go for the mild-mannered style of lid worn by the gentleman pictured here.

Anyway-- as hard as it was to break the news to Tim-- my response was, with all respect to the 300 plus people touted for their common sense abilities to discern human traits-- that  unfortunately, 300 plus surely nice people are wrong.  However-- then it seems stoked by the disappointment of my determination-- it was suggested I was part of some deliberate attempt at collusion along with the families to stifle the revelation of these pics.  OK now-- for those who know me a bit-- I am far too polite to respond in kind to that sort of nonsensical gobbledegook.  But for those who know me better-- I wonder if there's anyone familiar with me, who'd think I would shun a photo of the real Bonnie & Clyde with either of them holding a baby??  "Lord have mercy".  

I "will" say-- if I felt I was viewing authentic and previously unknown pics of Bonnie & Clyde-- the families would be the 1st people I would approach, and whomever I was talking to at the time, might well hear the phone fall and line go silent.  "Hey-- where did that Winston guy go"??       

Bottom line-- despite some hanging their hats on wishful thinking.. those of us close enough to this history to know living individuals who knew prominent people from this history personally-- and who've viewed well-accepted photos with iron-clad provenance, and privately-held non-published photos from the families or other unchallengeable sources-- "know" the real McCoys, or in this case-- Bonnie & Clydes when we see them.  Others may disagree and surely that's their right.

But I'll throw this question out to all who view this blog.  If anyone feels these newly published photos of this couple with baby etc-- are in any way related to Bonnie & Clyde History, let's hear from you.  Also, I would appreciate hearing your thoughts concerning Bonnie & Clyde mistaken identities.  To me-- these are nice photos of a family somewhere from likely earlier than the 1930's-- but unfortunately, not Bonnie & Clyde.    Yep, concerning this history-- my experience is that often people see what they want to see.  But in reality, there was only one Bonnie & Clyde.  "Thank goodness"-- for this history is challenging enough already.        


Sunday, October 19, 2014

80 Years Later, Perhaps We Are All the Law-- and We Are All Bonnie & Clyde

At every significant milestone concerning the history of Bonnie & Clyde, invariably much is written regarding this history's importance, non-importance or affect on society.  But in reality, what does Bonnie & Clyde History mean and to whom??  Is there in fact some societal lesson to be learned-- or were these events from the early '30's just a snapshot in time??  Seemingly, some search for "deep meanings"-- while others stick to "matter of fact" and curt analysis.  Then with this history, there's that all-consuming polarization-- with battle lines drawn as if preparing for armed combat, between proponents with sympathy for these likable outlaws--  measured squarely against the saintlike aggrandizement bestowed on Peace Officers from this saga.  "Right is right" and "wrong is wrong"-- right?? 

Many support Bonnie & Clyde, as if they were God's supreme gift to passion and criminal endeavor rolled into one-- and then there are those, who without reservation-- defend the law against such a brazen form of 1930's lawlessness.  I wonder though, when the dust clears-- whether some aren't missing a glaring human element easily lost within the bullets, heartache and toil exhibited by competing foes within this saga??  Without doubt and unfortunately-- many were killed as a result of Bonnie & Clyde's crime spree and devotion to their families.  And logically, when law enforcement tracks and corners outlaws-- it seems clear someone may die.  But that is the nature of such valiant action, and for lawmen-- a sometimes necessary consequence and just reward historically, concerning the challenge and most dangerous experience of man-hunting. 

To me-- there are key elements of humanity to keep in mind while wading through this storied and fascinating history of "good vs evil".  One is that when confronted with desperation and hardship-- human beings will resort to remarkable means to survive and deprive others of all, including if deemed necessary their lives.  The next is that for good to triumph over evil-- sometimes good is transformed into it's own form of evil-- with lines easily blurred between the 2.   

Perhaps the best way to look at Bonnie & Clyde History is via a mirror in examining ourselves.  There's a line from the film "Chinatown"-- where Noah Cross exclaims "Most people never have to face the fact, that at the right time and the right place-- they're capable of anything".  Perhaps that's the lesson of Bonnie & Clyde History-- that within us, we all have the capacity for good and bad-- respect and disrespect-- love and hate-- morality and immorality.  For "people are people"-- with all our admirable traits and pitiful faults.  And that's not likely to change in 80 years-- or a million and 80 years.  For when you get right down to it-- perhaps we are all the law-- we are all Bonnie & Clyde-- we always have been-- and always will be.