Monday, September 7, 2015

Think Reality TV Is Cool??.. Try Bonnie & Clyde History.

Before I move forward with this post-- I wish to say something in general and important terms.  Forget Bonnie & Clyde History for a moment-- or for that matter any history. Where I come from-- people are either honest or they're not.. ethical or they're not-- and caring or they're not.  There are no in-between nor grey areas.. for those middle-ground positions hold little purpose, in needlessly describing "almost" good people, or "what once were" good people-- in helping sort those with admirable characters from those with less than fine inner souls. 

Now-- over the past decade or so (yes, it "has" been that long)-- I've witnessed some remarkable things within Bonnie & Clyde History.. many of them good, but some not so wonderful.  For some Bonnie & Clyde in-fighting.. with both it's wildly passionate and sometimes utterly nonsensical expressions-- could easily remind some of today's reality TV shows.  For seemingly, if there isn't dissension to the point of pain and punishment-- what's the point of participating?? 

Fast forward to now-- with all the wrangling over the newly re-tooled Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum in Gibsland.. accused by many of wrongdoing and cheapening this history-- via what's said to be a quest for greed, rather than historical worth. 

I've reported on this tug-o-war between those who've "called out" the new museum and it's owner, and who "have" "Put Up" (sorry Mr. Hinton)-- pointed examples of which I must agree, seem to show everything from stretches of truth.. to apparent fabrication of said historical items-- along with distortion of history regarding displays, where cleverly worded ambiguity with apologies for a lack of computer savvy-- substitutes for straight forward dealings.  For honesty and diligence concerning history-- have nothing to do with computer skills.  How lame an esscuse is that??  So if these accusations are false-- then someone needs to step up and defend these alleged wrongs.. with "specifics" given, in order to detail provenance which to date is lacking. 

Ted Prince was the 1st to level accusations-- and based on his reputation, which no one I know would challenge-- has been the most convincing in reporting on all this.  For he was indeed there at the Museum's reformation, to provide eyewitness accounts of what he has contended were ploys of deception.  For Ted at one point, was a trusted ally of the museums new owner-- until Ted viewed doings he could not support in good conscience

Tom Methvin too also helped Mr. Carver-- in designing the museum's website-- until he was asked to post items for sale, which Tom (with his extensive knowledge of Bonnie & Clyde History)-- felt to be "suspect".  For you see unfortunately for Mr. Carver-- many who know a good deal about this fine history (including yours truly)-- have actually researched it on the ground and in the woods, and for example.. know the realities and non-realities of many Bonnie & Clyde locations and historical artifacts.  So just as Ted.. Tom cut ties with the new museum early on, out of conscience & caring for Bonnie & Clyde History.   

Then many others who care have followed suit-- in questioning the new museum in both polite and pointed terms (that can happen in Bonnie & Clyde History)-- in seeking answers to good and logical questions documented in a number of places now, including here.  For in having viewed museum displays and items offered for sale-- I too have asked the same good questions.  However those who find themselves in the spotlight of historical scrutiny, have chosen to remain silent-- and seemingly deliberately so, when asked for simple clarification and answers to questions it only makes sense to ask.  To me, silence is precisely the wrong approach to take in trying to defuse a firestorm of scrutiny-- but to each his own. 
Image challenged concerning eBay auction listing.
Also.. Certificates of Authenticity (COA's)-- visible in museum sales campaigns seem to be ambiguously worded.. and for example, tout bricks as witnessed taken from the Otis Cole House.. as coming from "the abandoned Cole House located in Sailes, Louisiana and also believed to be a hideout for Bonnie and Clyde".  Well forgive me-- but in making such a claim.. it needs to disclosed who exactly thinks that's true??  For I don't believe any reputable Bonnie & Clyde Historian would agree with that statement.  In fact, there is recorded history of pre-ambush dealings in Sailes-- which describe Otis Cole's interaction with Ivy Methvin, in having traveled from his home, to the hideout nearby-- to speak with squatters present there. 

Plus when a photograph of the John Gardner Cole house appears on somehow fluid paperwork accompanying that offering-- well, "how could that be" Mr. Carver??-- for your ambiguous abandoned house description, doesn't match your specific well-known and long gone house photograph.  Thus your collar doesn't match your cuffs.   

"Put up or shut up" they say..
But as it stands today-- all of this is coming to a monumental head within Internet threads.  With that the case.. I'm aware of no one, who's called Ted Prince a liar publicly nor denied with any specificity-- a host of said improprieties brought to light re: odd museum happenings.  These allegations are now backed not only by non-refuted eyewitness accounts-- but also by photographic evidence taken by yet another once trusted ally of the museum's owner, which for those who didn't know but do now-- comes from a video taken of Mr. Carver removing bricks from The Otis Cole House in Sailes, now posted online for all to see. 

Thus this record shows an individual who does own a local museum but does not own the Otis Cole House, removing bricks from it and orchestrating the removal of other items-- some of which can be viewed on display within pics of the same museum online.  Some good people including law enforcement, might call that theft-- and some who care very much for this history.. might just call that "proof positive" of wrongdoing.

In fact to my way of thinking, concerning such serious historical and ethical issues being brought to the fore-- and with evidence of museum knowledge of these concerns without question, based on Internet attacks and efforts to discredit those who have brought and reported on theses allegations (now backed by evidence supporting allegations made)-- this callous silence is tantamount to guilt.  For what other conclusion would a logical person reach, without objective evidence being offered to refute accusations??    

"Then"-- there are those who support the new museum and it's dealings, or should we call them a "glee club"-- who for reasons of camaraderie or ego?? express "glee" so vocally, in defending what seems indefensible.  These expressions have involved attempts to discredit others in various ways in defense of their cause-- which they apparently view as self-righteous.  So now-- they've posted this..

A video crafted to show L. J. "Boots" Hinton seemingly offering dismay-- at the accusations of those who would attack the museum.. and whether intentionally or unintentionally-- also apparently aimed, at providing scapegoats and shift attention away from museum "issues" unaddressed. 
And weaved within these "Boots" Hinton concerns, is a not so veiled attempt to discredit yours truly.  Whether "off the cuff" or carefully prompted to do so??-- Mr. Hinton keeps alluding to 'ol Winston repeatedly although not by name.  But make no mistake-- admittedly.. it "is" me "Boots" often speaks of here. 

As such, and unfortunately-- in defending my good name.. I need to publicly dispute Mr. Hinton's poor recollections of circumstances concerning me.

I've surely known "Boots" Hinton long enough to know the truth.. concerning a number of topics he misspoke of within this video.  In having viewed this video, it is my feeling either Mr. Hinton can no longer recall the truth concerning some events and concerning me-- or told untruths for reasons known only to himself-- and or those, who seem to offer him little in the way of objectivity concerning this situation. As such my response to Mr. Hinton's comments:

My tenure with B&C History goes back almost a decade now.  In March of 2016.. it will be exactly 10 years.  I purchased my dual Bonnie & Clyde signatures in 2006.. publicly spoke on them in Dallas in 2007-- attended and provided talks for the Authentic Bonnie & Clyde Festival in Gibsland in 2008 & 2009-- loaned artifact(s) to the Dallas Historical Society (2007), The Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum (2008) and since that time, have had Bonnie & Clyde artifacts displayed in Washington D.C.  at the Museum of Crime.  

I have a letter provided by Mr. Hinton, from early on within our friendship-- concerning an element of proof re: my Bonnie & Clyde signatures-- along with correspondence from others well-known to this history from that time period.  Also records and recollections of public appearances I've made which are indisputable-- to contradict Mr. Hinton's not so polite snub of my tenure.  I've also provided Bonnie & Clyde truth "here" since 2009.

To my knowledge, "Boots" Hinton had nothing to do with the discovery of Dallas file 26-4114. There was no wooden filing cabinet in the FBI basement and no stellar police work involved. FBI Historian John Fox had been helping me re: authentication of The Bonnie & Clyde Signatures.  John contacted me around Christmas time the year of my main dealings with him.. and told me file 26-4114 had been found in Dallas. 

The story related to me by someone who should know-- had concerned that file having been discarded within a deliberate purging of old FBI documents within the Dallas field office.. taken from the trash by a caring FBI worker who in realizing it's value-- arranged a meeting with another FBI employee and returned it to the Bureau.  It was then declassified without redaction and later released.  The rest as they say is history.  If not for that caring individual who had thought of it's importance historically-- we would not know any of what we do now from that "oh so stellar" and vital file.  That is the reality as I know it, concerning Dallas FBI File 26-4114.       

Ken Holmes "absolutely" approached me offering me a partnership in the museum. This was when Ken parted ways with Charles Heard. 25K was the asking price, to both pay off Charles' share in the museum and pay off a bank loan due in Gibsland. I turned Ken down, after his calling me and speaking with me for over 2 hrs one evening. "Boots" knows this story well, however for whatever reason now-- has chosen to twist it around.  "Boots" told me not to let Ken know he knew of Ken's offer.  I never understood why that was important??.. but I honored his wishes.  Surely better than "Boots" has honored our former friendship now.  So sorry folks over yonder-- Ken "did" offer me a partnership.. I did not seek it.  Goodness no. 

Now the stuff concerning Rhea Leen really burns me up.  I have 26 e-mails sent to me by Rhea Leen Linder-- most from the period I helped her get at least some $$ due her, from a botched joint sale of family items of both Blanche's and Rhea Leen's-- which occurred before my knowing either Rhea Leen or Lorraine. An effort I took on based purely on caring.. and trying to make "some" difference for both ladies (who used to be friends)-- and "perhaps" succeed in mending fences in some small way between them. Man, did I ever get shit on for that-- by many who had no clue what was happening in reality within private dealings-- and jumped to remarkable and wrong conclusions. 

So f
or those who feel I did anything else but be helpful in this regard.. I'll let Rhea Leen's own words speak for themselves.  All quotes used here can be confirmed, by my sending copies of e-mails to all who ask-- which will match e-mails Rhea Leen should hold as well.  This quote-- from an email Rhea Leen sent me on March 6th, 2010..

"Hi again - I don't think Ken meant to cause all of that - it just boomeranged way out of reason - he has told me that he is sorry that he ever caused it - when he called that day I was real upset about what she was doing - and he got upset because I was upset - and everyone just added fire to it - I can only again apologize sincerely and wish it had never happened.  I again told him today how you have been helping me and trying to get her to do the right thing and he said he was glad, that he never wanted to get into something like that again."

And this one from another dated March 7th, the following day..

"If I were you - I would just forget about all this - she's going to do what she wants to do and that will not change ever.  I think you have found out about that - she is going to send 500.  and believe me she will consider that my part and there is really not anything either one of us can do - I cannot tell you how much I appreciate all you have done - believe me this much would not have been done if you had not pursued it as you have - but you need a rest and yes, it can consume you - and it is so frustrating because of the lies and here again there is not one thing can be done to change her. 

Please don't worry about it and take care of your other obligations- there is life after Lorraine and Rhea Leen and we will all survive. 

Take care and again thanks."

And concerning a long phone conversation I had with Rhea Leen one evening-- where I voluntarily inventoried items sent to me by Lorraine, in an effort to make sure none were Rhea Leen's-- a few items were Rhea Leen's but not many.  2 items of significance were discussed at length.  I keyed in on Bonnie's poem "The Saga of Bonnie and Desperate Clyde" which Rhea Leen said she was not familiar with-- so as such was Blanche's.  Also Billie's copy of her unpublished manuscript.. which was Rhea Leen's.  I tried numerous times within that conversation to return that item to Rhea Leen-- but she kept telling me to keep it, as she was tired of all to do with the auction matter. So after trying once again at the end of our call, to make sure she was sure.. I was convinced she was-- thanked her and moved on.  I even said, if she ever changed her mind-- just let me know.  'Haven't heard from her re: this since.     

It's really too bad any bad blood still exists from my helping Rhea Leen (an idea Lorraine initiated)-- for I would surely help in the very same way again.. even if I knew I would be rebuked for doing so-- by those with hearts that used to express their feelings with thanks, instead of vitriol.

There are other things I was surprised to hear "Boots" say-- such as his having introduced me to Alan Olson.. for that's not true-- it was Alan who referred me to "Boots".  Alan was the very 1st person I contacted concerning my signatures.. "Boots" was the 2nd.  I'm genuinely disappointed, Mr. Hinton chose to participate in such a fiasco of a video interview-- which in the end, some may feel places him in a bad light.



Speaking of placing Mr. Hinton is a bad light-- I guess I shouldn't be surprised.. as this photo and comments concerning "Boots" were posted publicly on Facebook. The poster is clearly identified.  Seems this photo accompanied by such jocular commentary-- really shows a high level of caring for Mr. Hinton, by those who take pride in using his services so readily.  Fine way to show you care folks.. really fine way to show it.      

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