Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Yes.. There's Redemption In Bonnie & Clyde History.

Last evening, I sent a link to the last post here on The B&CHB-- re: the alleged Bonnie Swatches to James Howard.. the gentleman offering the swatches for sale.  I am pleased to report, that quite graciously-- Mr. Howard has removed his eBay offering of the swatches, pending a more thorough examination into the swatches' provenance. 

Also, that a healthy exchange of views between James and myself, resulted in the following expressions from Mr. Howard-- which he has allowed me to post here..

"I am trying to locate Joe to get the proper names. Unless I had been lied to which over time I have come to understand it is hard to authenticate but the size of the vest and shirt were quite small. I would never let anyone try it on but only one woman could fit her hand in the cuff. It was dated properly and quite rotten. I care very much about history and as I said I mainly collect history and movie pieces. I will share the info I gather with you and until then I will take the swatches down."


"I am sure if all of my proper homework but to me it seemed they were very secretive over giving out information.  And I was not asking about anything to do with B&C.  The information was given to me that he was a distant relative and his grandmother had these pieces.  Which then took 2 years to get to me after seeing pictures and asking questions.  Once again I understand and do not argue the fact."


"I never aimed to take anyone for a ride or anything of that nature.  But again I need to find out this absent info.  Thank you for your help as well. It is appreciated."  --James Howard 11/16/15 


I know some have asked "What else can be done"??-- concerning dealing with inequities in Bonnie & Clyde History.  Well with some folks- perhaps little can be done to sway them into the "Court of Reasonableness and Change" for the good of this history.  However with some such as James Howard-- at least James was willing to listen and adapt for now.. with an eye toward the future and good of history in general.  I think I can speak for Bonnie & Clyde History.. at least for those for whom this has been an issue.. and say "Thank you" to James Howard-- for acting in a way, many would think he wouldn't. 
And for those who've also worked so tirelessly on this issue-- "many thanks" to you as well.         

Hopefully-- there will be more to come re: the Bonnie swatches and search for their truth. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

When It Comes To Bonnie & Clyde "Relics" For Sale Or Bonnie & Clyde Lore-- Don't Be Fooled By Those Who Apparently Don't Care.. If You're Fooled Or Not.

These days, it seems Bonnie & Clyde History can sometimes be deluged with "maybe" truth, "maybe somewhat" truth or out and out fabrications of truth-- backed by provenance only "The Invisible Man" can see.  And we've surely been through a lot of this in recent years-- from Jeff Guinn assertions backed by his "All written history" defense.. to the 7th man at the ambush.. to the torturing of Bonnie & Clyde and staging of a fake ambush.. to claims of Bonnie's children.. to bricks and rocks and windows and whatever else from "here, there and everywhere"-- having been "donated" (yeah, sure..) from Bonnie & Clyde's last hideout in Sailes, which has been gone for decades now.. to ?$!!#$%^*?!? 

And "ah"-- the Bonnie swatches are for sale again.  Based on others alerting me to this suspect offering-- months ago, I had offered James Howard who uses the moniker Photoboy1988 on eBay.. a forum here, to please provide proof of authenticity for his alleged Bonnie vest and swatches.. sold both through eBay and also through the Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum.  He's never responded.  Mr. Howard is known to the Bonnie & Clyde historical community, as he has made the rounds with his "Bonnie vest"-- and also publicized this swatch offering not only on eBay.. but within his public Facebook page as well.

Alleged and "guaranteed" Bonnie vest.  As most likely know who follow this history-- Bonnie Parker was a quite petite woman, who stood about 5 feet tall.. and on a good day, weighed maybe 100 lbs.  She and Blanche, who was 5'1 and when captured, weighed 81 pounds-- were known to be able to wear each others clothes.  Now.. what size is this vest??

So when someone posted on another B&C site the other day, that the Bonnie swatches were back on eBay.. I decided to ask questions of the seller.  I don't think he knew it was me-- but as he didn't ask, I didn't tell.  So like any other member of eBay in having the right to ask questions-- I did.. hoping to understand what these supposed Bonnie swatches are, and where they came from?? 

I did find it interesting though.. that after having asked a number of questions of Photoboy1988 concerning this offering-- that eBay page still didn't register or show any questions re: the swatches??  I wonder if eBay should know about that??  Questions definitely made with responses forthcoming from the seller.. which don't appear for others to benefit from.  "Hmmmm".  

1st of all.. this is the offering.  In the screenshots ahead, my questions of Photoboy1988 appear right above the blue Reply prompt.  His replies can be read at top under Photoboy1988 moniker.  My additional comments for this blog post, appear below that same blue box.
The text above Bonnie Parker's head in the photo states.. "The attached swatch came directly from a vest owned and worn by Bonnie Parker.  This item is guaranteed authentic".
No where within this description, is one word concerning provenance.  Just a prompt to ask questions.. so I did.
Ah, the "family member".. yes that's what we're interested in.  Doesn't say a Parker family member.  And who specifically, might that family member be??  That is the question.
Alright.. so who is Joe Russell, who had permission from his grandma to go into storage??  Which Parker relative is he or his grandmother related to??  Lots' of non-specific talk, while not committing to "anything" of note-- concerning provenance of this item.
Which family was "hush hush"??  A Parker related family??  Yes??  No??  Which Parker related family??  If knowledge exists to support this item.. why isn't the item defended based on proof?? And BTW-- the reason $200 could be charged for the Clyde pant swatches, and to my knowledge none are left.. is that Marie Barrow certified those swatches as having come from her brother's death pants which she possessed.  Her signature validates those swatches.. and Mr. Howard's signature adorns the Bonnie swatches.  "Yeah man".

And Mr. Howard-- I am surely not confused.. and it's not up to anyone else, to validate an item you tout as "guaranteed authentic".  Anything that comes with such iron-clad assurance, especially something of an historical nature, needs to include supporting proof.  It is up to "you" to prove your item's authenticity.  You are not selling fake movie blood here.  You are claiming you have possessed and are selling, pieces of a "guaranteed authentic" "Bonnie Parker owned and worn" piece of clothing-- which would qualify it as an historical artifact.  That, despite direct and verifiable Parker family knowledge, that Bonnie's possessions were destroyed by her Aunt Pat Plummer, caused by a dispute with Bonnie's sister Billie Parker-- who had asked Aunt Pat to store them.

By your own admission-- you have sold nearly 200 of your swatches over the past 5 years, which myself and others close to this history.. have asked you to please validate as being authentic.  If you can-- then do so, with names named and a clear path to provenance.  And my offer still stands-- for you to use this forum for your validation should you wish.  You are a welcome guest here, whenever you are ready.

If this is the standard being applied-- then where is the proof??

For anyone to employ gobbledygook-laden semantics and attempt to shift the burden of proof to others, while reaping financial rewards for items which apparently cannot be proven authentic.. well concerning this item and other Bonnie & Clyde items claimed real, which pop up from time to time without proper provenance.. I suppose the 'ol adage applies-- "Buyer Beware".  A phrase which these days within Bonnie & Clyde History-- should mean more than ever.                   

Monday, November 9, 2015

Although Some May Revel In It-- Shameless Merchandising Does Not Bonnie & Clyde History Make.

Almost everyday on eBay-- one can find a wide array of Bonnie & Clyde "related" items for sale.. merchandise apparently targeted at unsuspecting fans of Bonnie & Clyde History, longing for any warm & fuzzy closeness they can get their hands on.  Some items are admittedly replicas-- although not always clearly defined.. while other items are claimed authentic-- but often without adequate provenance to justify even a 2nd glance, by those who surely know how incredibly rare authentic Bonnie & Clyde items are. 

Then there are the arrogant and "all mighty" power sellers or even once reputable entities, who offer a "myriad" of hapless items thought worthy of someone's idea of important I guess-- but in reality, have little if anything to do with this history.. besides the desire for public accolades, based on self-touting fluffatudes.  Now of course, fluffatudes isn't an actual word-- but it outta be.. as it seems to fit so well within this context. 

Re-creations of wanted posters, reprinted photos, novelty currency, dioramas, pendants, money clips, belt buckles, Photoshopped fantasy images which never existed in real life, DVDs, nightclub visors, Halloween costumes, comic artwork, jewelry, Racer Back Tank Tops, figurines, decanters, tee shirts, supposed physical location pieces like building materials and swatches of clothing without adequate provenance.. hats, towels, hand fans, key chains, Beer Koozies, cups, stickers, buttons, magnets, mouse pads, tattoos, coffee cups, shot glasses (that one you'll need, after dealing with some of this stuff).

Playing cards, coasters, posters, pencils, tote bags, bobble heads, pieces of supposed historical places and even Bonnie & Clyde "dirt" I suppose-- if some were bold enough to sell bags of it, in saying it was from some hallowed Bonnie & Clyde sight then or now.  And the latest entry.. lunch boxes.  Who in the hell uses a lunch box any more?&$!#??  Man some who sell this stuff, seem to have just about everything else.. so I'm waiting to see when Bonnie & Clyde "personal items" hit the market.  Bonnie & Clyde body spray and Condoms anyone??  Too far-fetched??  Oh I don't know.. for all this "historical creativity"-- seems to be leading to some penultimate Bonnie & Clyde item of some sort.

Ladies and Gentlemen.. the Bonnie & Clyde lunch box, with "borrowed" picnic idea.  Saw that on a Tom Methvin Tee Shirt once.. in fact I own one.  Clever idea.  Too bad others can't come up with their own ideas.    

There never seems to be a shortage of marketing schemes, for Bonnie & Clyde.  I wonder what Clyde & Bonnie, would think of all this stuff-- peddled to the masses concerning them??  

So my question is.. Where is the "History" among all the hawking of items people just "gotta have"or think they do.. based on someone making them and throwing 'em out there, in order for some to enjoy Bonnie & Clyde History??  'Don't know where some will find history in a Beer Koozie??  Maybe they'll ponder this history while dropping a few??  However, all this "fluff 'n stuff"-- to me, highlights the greed among some who apparently see only dollar signs.. where helping to impart Bonnie & Clyde historical knowledge, could better occupy their time.

Hopefully, there's a Bonnie & Clyde book in one of those boxes.

Lunch boxes??.. really??  So do the 1st 50 callers get a replica of Bonnie's sandwich from the ambush.. neatly packed inside??  Or maybe some lucky reveler, will get an old moldy mass, with someone claiming it's the real sandwich.  And I just love when some of these folks and supporters pose smiling broadly, at historical markers meant to memorialize the ending of life within this history.  "Everyone smile".. so you can post and share your callous camaraderie on social media. 

Trinkets and disrespect-- seem to go hand-in-hand for Bonnie & Clyde History now.  But don't forget to all buy your lunch boxes. Someone commented, that now some will have a place to keep their unsubstantiated bricks.  I thought that was fair and creative.     

And so it goes.  

Monday, November 2, 2015

Just Like "Video Killed The Radio Star"-- Seemingly.. Social Media Now Threatens Bonnie & Clyde History.

Lets try an experiment. Let's take 30 or 40 people.. lock 'em in a room deep inside a house marked "Private" on the door-- where they have spirited and passionate discussions about Bonnie & Clyde History.  Now let's go out into the street, and see what others know of these discussions??  Well.. others would know "nothing" about these grand debates-- for those outside the secret group, would have no way of knowing things they're not privy to.

Now let's make it interesting.  Instead of a house marked "Private".. let's make it a secret Internet discussion group.  Then let's take another secret Internet discussion group with opposing points of view, and people who don't like people in the 1st group.  And for a dash of intrigue, let's add spies friendly to both groups-- for how would one secret group know what the other secret group was doing without them??  Spies knowingly allowed to move about within both Internet encampments, so as to report back on comments, activities and battle plans.  So each secret group knows what the other is doing and saying, and is fed info (consciously or not)-- in order to fuel incendiary comment. 

Oh, and one more thing.. each group has troll-like people among them.. rude, crude, arrogant and anger-laden types-- who act much like "enforcers" in Ice Hockey or non-scoring Centers in Basketball.  For their job stoked by abusive comment, is apparently to incite combativeness, within monumental wastes of hate-driven time.. time better spent aimed at positive and meaningful commentary
for the betterment of this history.  That's of course, if anyone else could see what's happening-- besides just members of the "shhhh".. private groups.  

What an odd and twisted reality huh??  So far fetched-- it couldn't be an actual reality.. right??.. could it??  Oh yes it could-- and unfortunately, this underground world  that thrives within social media outlets-- is where many of Bonnie & Clyde History's best and brightest, have chosen to spend their time "enjoying" this history.  Which of course, could inspire comparison to a now iconic saying.. "Houston, we have a problem".

So whether it concerns spirited debate, over egocentric truth-defying antics within The Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum.. or some far-fangled unsubstantiated tale, advanced by plain 'ol eccentric characters looking for Bonnie & Clyde historical attention without merit-- seems some now prefer private message boards to public comment.  This as if somehow magically-- secret comment could be converted to "guts and glory" out in the open showdowns.. like some Wild West encounter in 1888, which actually settled things.  But man, I don't think gunslingers of the Wild West-- would at all understand this Internet stuff.. with hot challenges from the safety of shadows??   

Well I'm not sure I do either.  Therefore, I've had to step away from social media applications of Bonnie & Clyde History which I was invited to (thank you though)-- and return mostly to a more fitting reality here on the blog.. where I know the result of my efforts for those far & wide, who for example are viewing this post now. 

One excessively rude fellow, even tried to tell me how non-respected blogs are in the scheme of things today.  Well with blogs such an integral part of legitimate and daily major media applications these days-- that's surely not true.  Perhaps this gentleman has spent far too much time within the dark recesses of short-lived respect.. where some defenders of nonsense and ill-repute within Bonnie & Clyde History reside-- along too, with those on the "good side" who staunchly defend right within this history.  One thing's for sure.. based on inconsiderate activities which I witnessed 1st hand-- I know now, some can even turn on their own.. to eclipse the tenor of why they're supposedly there in the 1st place. 

As a father and grandfather, I found the excessively rude fellow's hateful tirade against me both sad and remarkable.. in that his Facebook page shows him most often with his children.  Perhaps proof positive, that social media can bring out the worst in people.. who should have consistent values, to set as examples for themselves and others.  Or proof that playing in secret-- allows dark realities a vehicle for expression.. dark realities others may choose to be concerned about-- if only they knew.  I wonder whether this guy would feel comfortable, if his kids could view his hateful words-- and know it was their dad who said them??  I wonder.

So you know what??  Perhaps so many wonderful people worldwide (and I'm sure folks reading this)-- with a burning desire to learn of Bonnie & Clyde History fresh and new.. and without tainted views or hatred for anything or anyone-- may lay better claim to advancing Bonnie & Clyde History in the long run, than those who seemingly view this history as group related entertainment now.  For games are fine to play when you're a kid.. as that's what kids do well.  However when seriousness and historical resolve are called for-- to me, seriousness and historical resolve are the best traits for the best and brightest.. not anger, games and immaturity.
Those who know me well-- know I have little patience for immaturity and childishness within adult bodies.  For at my age, my feeling is what ridiculousness is that??  So I'll keep an eye on some of these sites, for they are good for learning of information sometimes available no place else.. and perhaps even comment there from time to time.  But I would ask what good is it-- when some of the best and brightest, reside in bastions of secrecy.. where their knowledge and usefulness is limited to conversations among themselves-- and where immaturity and blatantly abhorrent crudeness, can rear it's ugly head and have a home.. where that sort of thing is often tolerated or encouraged.

or their part-- I'm sure many within these cocoon-spun groups believe there is little harm to their private wars.  But as most of these premier, historically-astute & well-schooled commentators of Bonnie & Clyde History, now comment little if anywhere publicly-- while opting instead for the anonymity of private vehicles.. again I ask, what good is comment that cannot be seen by most??  Maybe being able to make pointed remarks and still remain "off the record" is the idea??  So why speak passionately at all.. if not on the record??

I do hope for the good of this history, some of these quite talented and seemingly caring folks (some of Bonnie & Clyde History's best)-- will view private message boards as a value added vehicle.. but revert to the light of public comment for the most part from here on out.  For this history deserves honest and open expression to be aired.   

Bonnie & Clyde History has a problem-- for often now, meaningful comment concerning this history has gone underground-- and is thus confined to small groups of people who battle each other with impassioned gusto.. in believing their path the right path to advance this history.  For what it's worth.. I don't.
And for blog detractors and non-believers.. I think I have just helped many around the world, learn about an important aspect of this history they would've never realized.. without a viable public forum to spread the word. 

My best to all who love Bonnie & Clyde History.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Seems For Some Concerning Bonnie & Clyde History-- Reality Isn't Where They May Wish It To Be.

It is the best of times.. it is the worst of times for Bonnie & Clyde History.  Good.. in that some wonderful revelations have come to light in recent years.  Bad.. in that within this same period, there have been a rash of unsubstantiated attempts to re-write this history-- seemingly fueled by historically-challenged protagonists, who feel they are above scrutiny.. and thus throw claims about without verification or provenance-- like handfuls of confetti in celebration of themselves.  Now along comes the latest entry into this foray.. the Massey Ford, apparently thought by those close to it, to be the authentic Bonnie & Clyde Death Car. 

Recently, I have tried to reason with some who back the Massey Ford-- and ask questions concerning this car's provenance and origin.  Now where Mr. Massey is, seems a mystery??.. in that although I'd asked to have my feelings and inquiries made known to the acknowledged owner of the Massey car John Massey-- seemingly, only Keith Hickman responded.. Mr. Hickman the other person named in news articles concerning this car housed at his Hot Rod shop in Gunter, Texas.

Seems Mr. Hickman may take offense to anyone having a say about anything to do with this car.. so let me put this in terms the car guys I hope will understand.  If you work on cars, and have John Johnson's late model Mustang with clear title.. no issue, you're good.  But when you claim to have Lee Petty's Olds 88, that won the inaugural Daytona 500 race in 1959-- you must be able to prove it's authenticity.  However and then again-- when you say you own an historically "iconic" car, such as Bonnie & Death Car.. the stakes are even higher.. and there will be people paying attention, asking questions and requesting irrefutable proof of authenticity.  It's just the way it is within historical circles.             

So never mind, that the Warren Bonnie & Clyde Death Car has a clear line of ownership since Ruth and Jesse Warren had their '34 Fordor Deluxe model swiped by Bonnie & Clyde.  And-- after the ambush, the car was sold to Charles Stanley and so on down the line.. until now being owned by "Whiskey Pete's" in Primm, Nevada-- where it has resided for many years now.  A line of ownership well-known and acknowledged.  And-- that court-backed determination of it's authenticity, was arrived at via the Ted Toddy Trial in Atlanta decades ago.  And-- that build records have existed for that car, where many particulars concerning the Warren's former auto are known. 

And-- that bullet holes, dents and other damage to the authentic Warren car-- match bullet holes, dents, and other damage to the car as noted in numerous photos which exist of the Bonnie & Clyde Death Car.. images taken immediately after the ambush on May 23rd, 1934 and which are beyond reproach.  And-- even that the original blood-soaked seats, are still contained within the Warren car.. blood which likely, could still be tested for DNA authenticity should a need arise.

None of that seemingly matters to backers of the Massey Ford-- who have.. well, not expressed much to go on.  Not much except unsubstantiated stories, seemingly fashioned to lend credence to their car-- but stories without adequate verification.  No particulars re: their cars production or prior ownership records.  No items brought forward said found in the car-- including weapons.  And how can that be??.. as an inventory and photos exist of Death Car contents.  The car is the wrong color.. backed by their alleged claim, the original Cordoba Gray Warren car was re-painted Desert Sand in color by Bonnie & Clyde, to throw the law off course.  This claim, despite universally-accepted knowledge, that when The Barrow Gang needed a new car-- they just "ditched" their previous one and stole another.

Ruth, Jesse Warren and their dog-- shown at the passenger side of Bonnie & Clyde Death Car after the ambush.  Note the dark color.. Cordoba Gray-- not repainted Desert Sand by Bonnie & Clyde while on the run as some allege.    

And why anyone would think, Clyde & Bonnie had time while on the run to wait for paint to dry-- well, that's just beyond the realm of acceptable logic within this history.  "Oh, but the car's lighter color is listed in the coroner's report".  Well, it takes a bit of insight to know-- that when Carroll Rich interviewed Dr. James Wade about 45 years ago now.. clarification was made acknowledging that error. Next and to me, the "end game" before even beginning for the Massey Ford-- is the fact that Massey Car bullet holes, don't exactly match the ones on the authentic Death Car.  "They don't".  Iron-clad photographic evidence exists with which to compare-- and a fair comparison can only result in a "read 'em and weep" result for this latest unsubstantiated Bonnie & Clyde Death Car entry.   

A pretty good attempt by whomever crafted this almost certain replica car.. but the bullet holes and dents made by the heavy barrages on the true Death Car "don't match" the Massey Car.  Simple as that.  Plus-- many of the Massey Car holes seem too large a caliber to be historically accurate.  The real Death Car, has a variety of  different caliber holes-- not only highlighting the significant firepower, the 6 ambush posse lawmen brought to bear in terms of damage to the car-- but also death to Bonnie & Clyde inside the car.. as caused by deliberate use of smaller caliber, but high powered weapons, using narrowly-pointed .30 caliber and .30-06 caliber rounds.

These caliber sizes, were meant to penetrate the rock-hard shell of the Warren Ford.. where larger caliber rounds would not.  Thus, many of the holes in the real Death Car are small.. and smaller than those seemingly evident in the Massey Car.  Heavy weapons such as an auto-shotgun with large shot and .45 caliber automatic pistols were used too-- but it seems, the missle-like rifle shots best penetrated the car through the tough '30's metal.

So what defenses have been advanced re: these Bonnie & Clyde Death Car realities??  Well, so far-- not a lot concerning defending the car.. but Hickman Creations did participate in some give & take commentary with me on their publicly viewable Facebook page.  Thus comments, were publicly aired.. witnessed by some of the Bonnie & Clyde faithful.. and print screened to provide accuracy and record.  And although I surely have no disrespect for anyone concerning this, importantly-- my comments involved a defense of Bonnie & Clyde History, attempt to provide guidance as to proper methods of historical verification and questions concerning the car. 

However the responses I received, again publicly aired (people should always consider that when commenting on Facebook)-- seemingly involved more in terms of politically "populist" concepts, rather than addressing much to do with the Massey Ford.  But apparently, concerning the Massey Car and it's authenticity..

That it should be up to the public to decide..

hat the American People are Believers.. 
and believers are the Best Example of 

That the Feds and courts cannot be trusted and are corrupt..

hat the Feds staged Bonnie & Clyde's deaths.. 

That somehow, I am felt to be a Communist..

Something about drinking beer, badass cars and looking at hot women in bikinis..

That there are real Bonnie & Clyde experts to back their claims.. BTW-- I asked about these experts, without reply..

That the motor of the Massey Car had been changed.. but numbers seem to match-up.  Well, which numbers match up to what??  Can "any" numbers found on that car, be traced back to the Warren purchase and delivery to Mosby-Mack in Kansas??  If not.. it's not the right car.  

For me not to move to Texas "cuz people don't like ur kind round these parts !"

"And" that they are praying for me..

("Hey thanks")..

Also that they have never made a claim that it's definitely the real Bonnie & Clyde Death Car.  But they think it is-- and that's their opinion. 

Bunch of side-stepping semantics there. "But that's fine".. as my opinion that the Massey Car is not the authentic Bonnie & Clyde Death Car, is shared by many-- since the acknowledged Bonnie & Clyde Death Car has resided in Nevada for many decades.

o there you have it ladies and gentlemen.. a staunch defense of the latest, alleged Bonnie & Clyde Death Car-- by those who feel they've struck gold, within the "Desert Sand" shrouded , and oh so cool that it's back in Texas Death Car.      

Ruth and Jesse Warren Bonnie & Clyde Death Car, Primm, Nevada.

Meanwhile-- for those who would like to visit the long-acknowledged Bonnie & Clyde Death Car within Desert Sands that matter.. the one with verifiable history, bullet holes, blood, color and provenance.. please visit Whiskey Pete's Hotel and Casino, West Primm Boulevard, Primm, Nevada. Best to call 1st-- as sometimes, Terrible's Casinos has showcased the Warren Bonnie & Clyde Car at other Terrible's locations. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Yet Another Bonnie and Clyde Death Car Surfaces-- But It Seems This One, Has Some "Essplainin" To Do..

It's been decades now-- since the Bonnie & Clyde Death Car was in question.  And at more than one point in time, proper identification of the death car "was" in question-- until the Ted Toddy trial in Atlanta.. when Ted Hinton seemingly helped lay any remaining controversy to rest.  At that trial to determine genuineness between Bonnie & Clyde Death Cars.. ex-Dallas Deputy Sheriff Hinton (one of 6 Peace Officers, who put an end to Bonnie & Clyde's "reign of terror")-- provided expert testimony, that the Ted Toddy car originally owned by Jesse and Ruth Warren.. was indeed the authentic death car. 

Although minutes of that trial would need to be examined to reveal all the particulars of that event-- Hinton who surely knew that car in '34..
was able to identify the car again decades later-- via a mark he had placed somewhere on the car.. and thus, verify the former Warren car then owned by Toddy, as the correct one.  Hinton helped provide court-sanctioned iron-clad assurance as to the Death Car's genuineness.  As I understand it, that trial also compared Ford manufacturing records.. used for proof as well. 

And as such, the Ruth and Jesse Warren Bonnie & Clyde Death Car.. at that point owned by Ted Toddy, and having changed hands more than once since then-- is now an attraction/owned by Whiskey Pete's.. a Terrible's Casino-- in Primm, Nevada. 

Fast forward to today, where in Pilot Point, Texas a man named John Massey claims to have the real Warren car housed at a body shop in Gunter, Texas.  Please review news link here..


So Bonnie & Clyde had the Cordoba Gray car painted to elude police??  Man, who had time for painting cars while on the run.. and why not just steal another car as they always did??  Also, who was this man, who owned the Massey car for 25 years-- before displaying it at The National Museum Of Crime.. and who's estate it was purchased from??  Names and proper provenance are necessary for historical verification of any serious historical artifact-- and for one this monumentally iconic.. provenance is key.  Plus as other Death  Car fakes have made their way around over the years-- one of those from even way back, conceivably could have resurfaced to see the light of day once again.    

And would that be the National Museum of Crime in Washington D.C. which just closed.. which housed my Bonnie & Clyde artifacts??  Could this be the Ken Holmes Bonnie & Clyde '67 movie car.. burned in the Wax Museum fire in Dallas.. restored.. displayed in Gibsland-- and later displayed at the National Museum Of Crime And Punishment.  And now, with more than a few larger caliber holes too many.. gained attention again in Texas??  Did Ken's kids sell it to this fellow??  Don't think so, as last I heard-- Ken's car was in limbo, as to where it may go with the museum now shutting down.  So this is a different replica death car-- longing to be the original?? 

I would think some particulars for Mr. Massey to ponder-- before allowing his car to "hit the road" on display for historical purposes might include..

Knowledge that the line of ownership re: the Warren car in having been sold by Ruth Warren to Charles Stanley in the '30's and beyond, with owners known and documented along the way-- and which today, leads to Whiskey Pete's Casino in Primm, Nevada is solid.

Charles Stanley, after purchasing Warren Bonnie & Clyde car.  Note the darker color than evident on Massey car.  Ford Cordoba Gray swatch shown below.
The Warren car was a 1934 Ford Model 730 Fordor Deluxe Sedan.

> Ford Cordoba Gray in color
> Purchased at the Mosby-Mack Motor Company,
     Topeka, Kansas
> 85 HP V-8, with manual 3 speed transmission
> Motor number #649198
> Options included Arvin hot water heater-- steel cover for spare tire-- front and rear bumper guards-- Potters trunk and a chrome Greyhound radiator cap ornament.

On May 23rd, 1934 it was shot full of holes (167 have been counted, including entry and exit holes)-- when Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were ambushed in Sailes, LA.. holes documented through numerous photographs of the death car, taken at Arcadia, LA after the ambush.  Historically correct photos of The Bonnie & Clyde Death Car.. "no doubt about it".

The main issue I see for Mr. Massey, without even comparing build info.. is that bullet holes evident on post-ambush photos from '34 of the actual death car-- don't exactly match up, to holes apparently "recreated" in this latest car alluding to Bonnie & Clyde authenticity.  Although close and a spirited try.. they don't precisely match the Death Car bullet patterns-- however the holes in the car in Primm do.  So "case closed".. it should be that simple. 

Plus the holes in the Massey car, seem of similar size-- whereas at the ambush, a variety of weapons were employed in trying to penetrate Bonnie & Clyde's solidly built 1934 car.  Thus many holes were relatively small, and appeared as such in photographs-- having been created by Remington Model 8 rifles (up to .35 caliber) and a BAR (.30-06 caliber).  Although I wouldn't hesitate to wager, spots substantially dented in (evident on the real car but seemingly not on this latest replica)-- may have been made by the BAR-- which has a velocity that will propel bullets a remarkable 3 miles.  Many heavy hits may also have been made by Hamer's automatic shotgun, said loaded with the largest shot.  .45 caliber pistols may  also have made substantial holes-- but may not have penetrated the car, sans the windows.          

Actual Bonnie & Clyde Death Car.. May 23rd, 1934, Arcadia, LA.
Massey Ford, with bullet holes which "don't" exactly match Bonnie & Clyde Death Car bullet holes.  And where did all those larger caliber bullet holes in the door panels come from??  Like the "Old Man" in "A Christmas Story" with the extension chords.. "Well.. there are just too many".  One of the keys to penetrating the heavy '34 metal-- was the use of narrow, sharp 30 caliber rifle shots, along with BAR rounds (.30-06 caliber)-- for sheer firepower.  Thus many of the actual holes were small.   

But apparently, to those who wish for their Bonnie & Clyde artifacts without provenance and death cars to be real.. well, yet another attempt at glory??  Perhaps this gentleman isn't familiar with the ambush and it's aftermath.  Thus maybe he wouldn't mind producing any of the many items he claims were left in the death car (including weapons).. which speak to his car's authenticity.  It sure seems, the law and all who scoured the death car after the ambush-- missed so very much within their inventory. 

No.. they didn't. 

One more observation.. I believe within his interview of Dr. James Wade in the late '60's, Professor Carroll Rich noted that Wade had gotten the color of the car wrong.. in noting it to be Desert Sand in color.  As Carroll's interviews are both out of print and ones only those with a keen interest in Bonnie & Clyde History would be familiar with.. I'm not surprised, some have hung their hats on the original coroner's report concerning this-- and thus attempted to create replica cars in the wrong color.  As has been noted for decades.. within manufacturing reports, Cordoba Gray was the reported color of the Warren car-- with those in the know having made replica non-shot up Bonnie & Clyde cars in the correct color.  I have the Carrol Rich interviews of Wade archived, and will double check them to be sure concerning this correction to the original coroner's report.      

I do wonder though, about the motivation of those for example that this fellow bought his car from??  Do some really think they can buck history, and create questionable alternatives others will buy into??  It sure seems so. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Bonnie Parker-- Innocent And "Sweet As Pie".. Or Perhaps In Reality-- Not Exactly??

Bonnie & Clyde History can be a polarizing experience-- with impassioned and spirited views flying about, as if leaves on a blustery November day.  Within such disparate views-- many have formed opinions concerning Bonnie Parker.  Some seem to envision Bonnie Elizabeth Parker, as just a "sweet young thang".. who fell prey to love and the charms of a sinister Clyde Barrow, who then.. led her astray into a world she never would've imagined dying in.  

Then there are those who consider Bonnie perhaps more akin to a female "Devil Bandito".. who while voluntarily participating within a gang of evil wrongdoers.. became one herself-- and despite seeming evidence to the contrary.. brutally killed along with other members of the gang, many innocents without mercy.

Well I've gotten into that debate often with some.  For I feel the reality concerning Bonnie Parker and killing was.. that in the eyes of the law and indeed society in the 1930's-- Bonnie was clearly at least an accessory to murder.  Although with the number of times she was witnessed firing weapons at the law.. and considering weapons she loaded (along with that ill-advised pic with a stogie)-- well, seems Bonnie may never escape the trumped-up image of her as perhaps the preeminent Gun Moll.  And with The Barrow Gang having committed so many murders (likely 13)-- it's my feeling, Bonnie Parker may well have gone to the electric chair.. if not ambushed on May 23rd of  '34.

But what about Bonnie as a person??  What about her heart-driven demeanor and actions while a Barrow Gang member??  What type of young woman was she in reality??.. and how did her love for a killer, along with life on the road with a gang of killers change her.. from the sweet and innocent person many view her as-- to a more hardened sort, fueled by Barrow Gang desperation seemingly at every turn.  

Movies and books portray Bonnie in different lights.. from innocence unduly influenced, to Jeff Guinn's not so masked assertion of an astute woman, prone to even the lure of prostitution for want of better things.  But there "are" credible clues, into the identity of the real Bonnie Parker while involved in Bonnie & Clyde's "reign of terror".  And oddly enough to me, these clues almost mirror..(almost)-- Bonnie as portrayed in the Bonnie & Clyde TV mini series aired in 2013. 

Now in fairness, much about that mini series was contrived and "all jumbled up".. as if someone pulled Bonnie & Clyde 1/2 truths and balderdash out of a hat, and just plugged it in various places.  Of course, Frank Hamer was not at Dexfield Park-- and Bonnie didn't aspire to be a dancer.. although according to Billie, Bonnie did want to be a singer on Broadway.  And I'm not sure anyone can nearly surmise, Bonnie somehow actively sought to substitute fame within a murderous gang-- for her faded aspirations in show business.

However, I do think that movie got something quite important right, not usually associated with Bonnie Parker.  A certain hardened-steel toughness and propensity for tough-talking action, many seemingly overlook-- in giving Bonnie a wink, nod and pass-- when scouring Bonnie & Clyde references for truth. 

Dallas Bonnie & Clyde FBI file 26-4114 contains a multitude of unique Bonnie & Clyde info.  So do interviews with lawmen the Barrow Gang kidnapped.   Sheriff Corry (Wellington) thought the gang abusive with Bonnie seeming "nervous and high-strung".. and with the least provocation-- she and the others, capable of killing without hesitation.  And Percy Boyd claimed Bonnie was the 1st to fire on he and Cal Campbell-- and that she used a shotgun.. but concerning that incident, Clyde told her she was not to shoot any more, without his telling her to.  However, that didn't seem the case-- in a number of other documented Bonnie & Clyde shooting incidents, where Bonnie "was" witnessed pulling the trigger.

Joe Gunn (Reeds Spring, Missouri) said Bonnie cursed a lot-- and when she spotted police said "There they are.. we had just as well stop and have it out with them".  And they did.. with Bonnie having again been witnessed firing at officers.  W.D. Jones also said Bonnie fired  a .41 caliber pistol on the night of January 6th, 1933 in Dallas, at the Lily McBride house (Malclom Davis killing).  So can it be said with absolute certainty, that Bonnie never hit anyone with her gunfire??  Likely not.. but likely true she didn't kill anyone.. at least not that we know.  

And of course Sophie Stone (Ruston, LA)-- told of an abusive and physical Bonnie, who Miss Stone said slugged her with a pistol butt and shoved her into their stolen get away car.


So do these eyewitness accounts by many-- lead to a conclusion of Bonnie blinded by love, being an innocent "victim of circumstance"??  I'm not sure that can be judged the case.. as objectively, this combination of credible accounts which don't even include Bonnie perhaps firing at Joplin??-- likely lead one to conclude that in reality.. Bonnie may have been a much more tough-talking-- prone to crudeness-- nervous and reactionary woman.. than many have previously believed.  And without a doubt I think.. willing to propel bullets in the direction of ending life.

And thus, was Bonnie the innocent and reserved young romantic many portray her to be while with The Barrow Gang??  In my view-- not according to enough evidence to make a difference.  Of course, there's nothing wrong with commenting on Bonnie's sweetness as described by some who said they knew her best-- as long as grains of salt are employed.. to temper, what was likely a stark and more hardened reality. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum-- What A Difference One Person Can Make.

For those who remember and for those who unfortunately never had the privilege-- to many, The Original Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum in Gibsland, Louisiana, was thought an historical beacon of integrity without reservation-- and known far & wide, for the  imparting of a quite "cool" brand of Bonnie & Clyde knowledge and experience.  However, now-- well let's just say, some close to Bonnie & Clyde History-- believe the renewed museum far less than that.. with a self-imposed closing or moving date of October 31st, having been revealed to the media in Shreveport.  But after such a long run.. how could a museum newly acquired just 8 months ago, be in danger of failure or relocation??

For years, the museum known mostly for museum-goer's interactions with L. J. "Boots" Hinton, but also as a mainstay for The annual Authentic Bonnie & Clyde Festival in Gibsland--  was respected and revered.  Also many friendships and shared camaraderie among Bonnie & Clyde aficionados and historians alike, was commonplace concerning the museum.  But now.. that entity seems more a hotbed for controversy-- with heated accusations involving impropriety and the crafting of historical untruth masquerading as authenticity, positioned like hurdles to overcome stretching into the distance.  And I don't think many would disagree, in looking to the new museum's website-- for it does seem evident.. it's focus appears more a conduit for sales revenue rather than history.

But with "Boots" Hinton still there although in a more reserved role now-- what's the difference??  To me, Ken Holmes was the difference.  May God rest your soul in peace Ken.  During his tenure as founder and owner.. Ken cared to do right by Bonnie & Clyde History, and thus would never do anything to weaken it, but only strengthen it.  He also had a respectable working relationship with the landlord, who still owns the old Rosa's Cafe building in Gibsland.. a relationship which allowed for the museum to not always thrive.. but stay viable, to carry on in it's most unique role for Bonnie & Clyde History. 

But now despite a self-serving video seemingly attempting to shift focus away from it's issues-- and some most recent posturing to make it appear "all is well"-- the reality is, the museum has named a closing or moving date which aired on Shreveport area TV and is approaching.  And so too is rain.. for those in the know, know-- the museum's roof is likely the issue most critical concerning survival or not.. with a forecast  via Accuweather, for 9 days of rain prior to October's end in Gibsland-- and with Winter on the horizon.

he downturn and possible downfall or relocation of the Ambush Museum is in many ways a shame.  But in other ways, for those who have raised impassioned historical red flags in defense of integrity within this history-- the museum facing life & death challenges is not unexpected.  As I see it, these Bonnie & Clyde "defenders of right" have backed their accusations with evidence which seems irrefutable.. "and" without public denial by the museum, sans a blurb or 2 on the museum's Facebook page.. who's public limitations, it seems works just fine for them. 

For some have thought it fair to ask.. who buys a museum??--

> without a sustained effort to buy the building it's housed within..

> with known roof issues..

> apparently without a lease, and now sporting a publicly visible rift with the building's owner..  

> and where the backing of locals who could be valuable allies, seems anything but assured..

Then add in the alleged historical issues.. "shake well" and "Ta Dah".. the museum as it sits today-- with buckets admittedly deployed to catch rainfall, as if tears of historical conscience or lack of it??  Historical conscience is good.. yes it is. 

And in having reported on this monumental tug-o-war within the Bonnie & Clyde Historical community for a while now.. and having weighed evidence along with rebuttal (what little there's been)-- I'm reminded of that famous political debate between Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Quayle in '88, when Quayle so remarkably evoked the name of Jack Kennedy.

Well, on behalf of those I respect in Bonnie & Clyde History, including Ken, who I wish was still with us.. I'll do my best to paraphrase that telling moment. 

"Mr. Carver-- You're no Ken Holmes".


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Many Thanks To The National Museum of Crime. Good Years & Good Times.. For The Love Of History.

Just returned from Washington, D.C.-- where I've now removed my Bonnie & Clyde artifacts from display at The National Museum of Crime and Punishment.  As that stellar museum dedicated to the history of crime, is closing-- and after a great 7 year relationship.. it's time for my Bonnie & Clyde pieces to move on.  And they will, to Dallas-- to be displayed once again at the Dallas Historical Society Museum at the Hall of State/ Fair Park.  The same museum, where they began their public display in 2007-- for the enjoyment of all who look for Bonnie & Clyde History within Dallas.  And thus-- soon "a fitting return" for some unique Bonnie & Clyde artifacts.. and with the selection to be expanded even more, should new exhibitions pan out over the next couple of years.

Bonnie & Clyde Signatures when displayed along with Steve Haas' "The Street Girl" Bonnie poem. 

I wish to thank Janine Vaccarello, Rachael Penman, Larissa Viall and all at the Crime Museum-- for their professionalism, attention to detail, staunch protection of my artifacts and for conducting their approach to imparting history-- in the way it "should" be conducted.  Perhaps lessons others could learn from.  My profound "thanks" as well to Paul Burns, an historical facilitator-- or museum/artifacts matchmaker if you will.. for reaching out to me in the 1st place all those years ago, to gauge my interest in having my Bonnie & Clyde artifacts displayed in Washington. 

In the end, I had a number of Bonnie & Clyde pieces displayed within either the public or private tours-- including the signatures, a Bonnie poem, Billie Jean's manuscript-- along with Blanche pieces, which included the Christmas card with handwritten expression and Blanche Barrow signature-- and other personal effects from her prison years.  

Crime Museum entrance-- 7th Street NW, Washington, D.C.

It's most unfortunate, the Crime Museum has lost their lease.. one thought secure for years to come, in that building on 7th Street NW in Washington.  But it seems the powers that be there, may have alternative goals for that lucrative spot near Chinatown in D.C..  Janine, Rachael and Larissa tell me, the Crime Museum will reopen again-- but with date and location as yet unannounced.

I have many pics I took within the Crime Museum-- when they had me there for that weekend Bonnie & Clyde Symposium a few years back.  And even though this museum, spanned perhaps 1500 years of crime & punishment, from Medieval times until now.. I have but space for a small # of photos as examples of doings there..

Now "that's" punishment..
Jesse James' actual notebook and replica gun.
Replica Dillinger wooden escape gun.

Actual Dillinger "death mask".
John Wayne Gacy corner.. with clown suits, clothing, paints, typewriter and artwork.  

Also unique interactive exhibits.  I never did crack that safe.. but it was cool to try.
And concerning Murderabilia.. this museum could back it up-- with many originally owned possessions from famous murderers.  Ink sketches from Manson, a signed Gacy clown painting (visible in this pic).. a David Berkowitz birthday card.. personal effects from David Desalvo (the Boston Strangler) etc.. 

Of course, if you have a Guillotine-- you just have to have a Gas Chamber.. a "real" one.
Type of crowd I encountered at the Bonnie & Clyde Exhibit, when I was there.
At some point, I will announce firm plans and timing for my Bonnie & Clyde artifacts in Dallas.  Alan Olson, Curator at the Dallas Historical Society Museum is not only a "Pro's pro" when it comes to preserving and displaying history-- but a friend as well, who I trust implicitly with my collection.  And I'm sure, others who own Bonnie & Clyde artifacts-- have an equal respect for Alan.. as Alan coordinated the fondly-remembered and highly-regarded Bonnie & Clyde Exhibition there in 2001. So you can rest assured-- whatever he has cookin' in Dallas historically concerning a re-visiting of Bonnie & Clyde.. will rival the best BBQ Dallas has to offer.  And for those who live it-- both history and down-home BBQ, are quite serious business in Bonnie & Clyde's hometown.

Hall of State, Fair Park, Dallas.  Magnificent Deco structures, artwork and history.

So for all the good times, and wonderful opportunities those interested in Bonnie & Clyde from all over got to experience-- in being able to view a nicely displayed selection of Bonnie & Clyde items including Ken Holmes' Bonnie & Clyde movie car-- "Thanks to all".  Maybe we can do it again.  Some have asked me where the movie car is going??  I've heard a couple of possibilities-- but as of now, know of no decision to report on concerning that.

Main room, Hall of State, used for many functions.. including historical exhibits.

Spectacular wraparound hallway, where additional displays are housed during exhibitions.
There's already talk of my coming to Dallas again when all this shakes out, to do a return speaking thang at the DHS-- but this time.. modeled after the one I did in Washington.  'Liked that much better than the more formal variety.. in just placing me with the Bonnie & Clyde artifacts I know so well, and interacting in whatever way those interested wish to.  An informal and "off the cuff" exchange, concerning questions and the like.  As that worked so wonderfully well in Washington.. "let's do it again"-- and all join together in Dallas to celebrate this history in the near future.