Tuesday, March 29, 2016

According to Bonnie Parker.. "W.D. Already Had The Gun At My Head, Cocked And His Finger On The Trigger".

I will always think of 2010, as a memorable year for Bonnie & Clyde revelations-- particularly concerning valuable and previously unreleased info from Billie Parker. Billie's Journal entries concerning her family genealogy, as well as personal insights into her beloved sister Bonnie are quite special. But also during that year, yet another most unique grouping of Billie's recollections were highlighted here-- from within the pages of Billie's book begun but never finished. Thus to me, historically-- the importance of those revelations, required they be revealed.

Editor's Note: I have found in comparing Billie's manuscript now to posts from 6 years ago.. that although I have quoted Billie precisely, and have her accounts in the proper order for this retelling.. I've discovered that previously, I did move what I'd term connecting or descriptive paragraphs not directly related to incidents being keyed on.. and sometime place them as lead-ins to other posts within this series. Or to put it another way, I had rearranged slightly Billie's story meant as a book.. to provide for better Internet historical context-- in focusing on Bonnie & Clyde incidents of interest. 

As the work it would take to re-write these posts would be prohibitive from a time perspective now.. I will leave posts nearly as they were, but with 
some text additions not found within the original posts.  Thus more of Billie's words will be available to view this go-round.  In the future, should I put Billie's manuscript in print form for Bonnie & Clyde historical consumption.. I would likely offer it just as presented in 1975. But oddly enough-- as unfortunately, there are some who prey upon this history from within for their own self-glory.. the way this has worked out, has protected Billie's manuscript from being pilfered-- for no one besides yours truly, would likely know the correct order or totality of text.  Sorry to say.. but regarding those who steal to enhance their egos and false standing within this history.. that's good.

So in now adapting the original post from the Summer of 2010.. I offer this new look back at Billie's manuscript.  This 3rd installment covering many Billie beliefs concerning Bonnie & Clyde and their saga.. as well as Billie addressing their suicide pact-- and it's very near use at Dexfield Park.  So here we go.  As Billie tells it..

"That was the legacy of Bonnie & Clyde. They were pictured as blood-thirsty killers who roamed the Southwest robbing and murdering at random. The fact is they robbed to stay alive in a world that would kill them on sight. And they never killed anyone who wasn't armed and shooting at them.  Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were a couple of scared, homesick kids who spent the last two years of their lives riding back roads trying plain and simply to stay alive. They were not going anyplace in particular because they had no place to go." 

"They took almost foolhardy chances in setting up meetings with their families because neither one of them could go for any length of time without seeing the people they loved.  Those family meetings captured the imagination of the public.  Two kids on the run were able to have picnics and reunions under the noses of Dallas County lawmen intent on their destruction."

"Bonnie and Clyde have been accused of killing nine policemen in various gunbattles at various places.  For that, they have been labeled cold-blooded killers.  Years later, when Richard Speck and Charles Whitman killed many more in a shorter time, they were branded as "sick".  Newspapers glamorized them to a point where it was ridiculous..  Old clippings still available show some papers carried stories in the same issue reporting Bonnie and Clyde had committed crimes on the same day in places as far away as Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and Texas.  They were made out to be a couple of desperadoes who spent money recklessly and lived and loved fast and loose."  

"Bonnie and Clyde were creations of the news media and a catchall for law enforcement officers.  When the cops couldn't blame a crime on anyone else, they put it on Clyde and Bonnie.  When newspaper reporters couldn't find anything else to write about, they wrote about Bonnie and Clyde."

"But there was no glamour in the lives of those kids.  That was the life of Bonnie and Clyde. There were no good times... no drinking and carousing around with a submachinegun in one hand and a bottle in the other. The kids never knew who they could trust or around what corner or over what hill they might find themselves boxed in and killed. They lived every moment in fear of death. 
A lot of people know about the Joplin, Missouri, raid where Bonnie, Clyde, Buck Barrow and his wife barely escaped with their lives. And about the two Joplin police officers who weren't so lucky."

"But very few people know about the suicide pact the kids made early in their wanderings-- when they finally realized they could never get out of the life they had made for themselves. The movies never mention the fact that after a shootout at Dexter Park, Iowa, Buck was almost dead and his wife was blinded from flying glass fragments. Bonnie, Clyde and another companion, W.D. Jones, had to abandon the Buck Barrows and escape by swimming across a river. All three were seriously wounded, to a point where Bonnie told me the water around them was red with their mingled blood."

"Clyde handed their only gun-- the only weapon they salvaged in the mad fight-- to W. D. and told him if the police moved in, he was to use the gun on Bonnie. He told W.D. to tell lawmen Bonnie and Clyde had forced him to stay with their gang. Clyde dragged himself across a nearby field, stole a car and returned to pick up Bonnie and W. D."

"We heard Clyde coming back but we didn't know it was him" Bonnie said. "When he finally got close enough to whisper his name to us, W.D. already had the gun at my head-- cocked and his finger on the trigger."

"Their suicide pact is clear evidence they knew what eventually would happen to them. They preferred death at their own hands to death in the Texas Penitentary's electric chair."

Now for all familiar with the incident at Dexfield Park-- for this "remarkable" Bonnie Parker quotation concerning their experience, to fit in with the known history as recounted by witnesses such as the Fellers-- it would need to be inserted after Bonnie, Clyde and W. D. swam the river, but prior to their appearance at the Feller farm. As Billie was not there to witness this particular event, my feeling is this Bonnie account as told to Billie must have occurred with the logical adaptation-- that Clyde left a badly wounded Bonnie with W.D as he scouted first for a car-- and then returned for them prior to all 3 heading to the Feller Farm, and to the fence for Bonnie to be lifted over and so forth.

That way, both accounts work.. I don't see how that couldn't be so. But it does seem their only gun (as told within this account)-- was indeed loaded, as an empty gun would have served little purpose-- in "mercifully" saving Bonnie from capture via W.D. assisted suicide.

Billie's expressions are dated January 1975 and are titled "Bonnie, Clyde and Me".. interestingly, the same title as the cassette interviews released concerning Floyd Hamilton's story.  This draft is clearly identified as being a "book". The authors are Billie Jean Parker Moon and Joyce Huddleston as told to Clint Kelley.

Now in response to some who seemingly pride themselves on being brash and critical, and who also apparently have trouble getting their facts straight.. I do wish to say something as plainly as I can. When Billie's manuscript came to me, I immediately reached out to the Parker family.. (I initiated the call)-- and within a phone conversation that likely lasted an hour and a 1/2.. I repeatedly offered it to the family, for in good faith I felt I should. However, based on dealings of which I assisted one plain-speaking and nice Parker lady.. I was told to keep it.  But as some know, I can be most persistent.. so I repeatedly asked "Are you sure"?? The response never wavered.    

I also reached out to Joyce Huddleston, who I was able to locate and spoke to by phone as well.  I discovered, Joyce is the daughter of A. B. Moon.. Billie's last husband.  I was concerned, that previous agreements-- could be affected by my desire to publish excerpts from Billie's manuscript. Joyce (another nice lady)-- who it seems may be the last surviving person credited with authorship of this work, gave me free reign concerning the manuscript and it's use. Unfortunately.. the whereabouts of Clint Kelley, who also assisted Billie, and who it seems worked for the Dallas Times Herald at the time are unknown. Billie's project was begun in 1974 and discontinued in 1975.  As I understand it, Clint Kelley created this manuscript from the recollections of Billie Parker Moon, with the assistance of Joyce Huddleston. That's how the manuscript came to be.            

With the history and provenance of Billie's manuscript firmly established, let me say how remarkable and truly important I feel the information found within Billie's literary effort is. Many recollections found within these pages are accounts personally witnessed by Billie Parker, concerning events she participated in with Bonnie & Clyde. As Billie says-- she was writing her book to "set the record straight". Of great note within these writings, are quotes from B&C as relayed directly by Billie. As a number of Billie's recollections both contradict and also enhance accepted B&C historical knowledge-- I've already had some interesting conversations, with other B&C Historians about Billie's writings.

Those I've interviewed who knew Billie personally-- have told of an honest, "straight shooter"..
who disliked dishonest people.  Thus, many involved in this history may be forced to take a fresh look and perhaps rethink, some of what is known regarding certain Bonnie & Clyde historical events.  There's more to come from Billie's manuscript. On behalf of all who care about B&C History-- I extend my thanks to Billie Parker, may you rest in peace-- to Rhea Leen Linder, Joyce Huddleston, and to Clint Kelley-- where ever you are. The Billie Parker Moon manuscript along with it's revelations of Bonnie and Clyde statements and events, are ©2010 The Bonnie & Clyde History Blog by A. W. Woodward.  I invite your comments.

Monday, March 28, 2016

For Bonnie & Clyde History-- Billie Parker Moon's Poignant Manuscript Revisited. In This Installment.. Sowers As Told From A Red Hot Ground Zero.

The story of The Sowers Ambush has been told and re-told over the years-- but never quite like this. Within her unpublished manuscript, Billie Parker Moon spends considerable time speaking of Sowers. And rightfully so-- for Billie had a unique advantage in relaying her account of this dramatic Bonnie & Clyde event. Not only was she present to witness this November 1933 Texas ambush attempt 1st hand (including being shot at)-- but as an insider with an intimate closeness to Bonnie & Clyde, Billie was privy to many unique details as told by the outlaws after this waylay occurred. Thus Billie's able to fill in gaps previously untold, and provide a "gripping" account from ground zero. I'll say this-- based on Billie's recollections of this story, as Ricky Ricardo would say-- it seems some who've recounted differing versions of this event over the years, may have some "esplanin'" to do-- with Billie's account now known.

The identification of Sowers as the ambush location, has always been a bit of a misnomer-- as Sowers both today as in yesteryear was an unincorporated community. Those who live in this community today, find themselves within the city limits of Irving, Texas. As such, Billie never identifies Sowers by name. Rather she calls this location Grapevine, for the community which was nearby. But there's no mistaking Billie's description of this incident, as being the same episode we've come to know as The Sowers Ambush. In November of '33, the actual location of the ambush was the crossroads of Texas Hwy 10 and Esters Road. Today, with an updated highway system, this spot would be the intersection of Texas Hwy 183 and Esters Road.

So without further delay-- see how many new pieces of information you can find within Billie's account of Sowers. There were just 4 lawmen present for the ambush, as wheeled out for photos by the Dallas Sheriff's Office, right??-- or 6 lawmen as reported by the newspapers?? Not according to Billie-- not by a long shot.

Also pay close attention to Billie's description of the Sowers informant. Although she's reluctant to name "him" by name-- by process of elimination within Billie's account of who was present, along with her explanation of this man's role that evening-- to me Billie leaves little doubt concerning both the identity of the Sower's informant, and her dislike for this individual. This man's  reported participation with the families that November evening, has been confirmed many times by those present over the years.. and within Billie's account, now reconfirmed. 

You'll also learn in fabulous detail, what happened to B&C after the ambush. As told within Bonnie & Clyde legend.. "The kids" as they were called by their families.. were said to have maintained a friendship with Pretty Boy Floyd and or his family.  But that's just unsubstantiated lore right??  Not according to Billie as revealed here.  So here we go, and as always-- I relate these wonderful Billie accounts verbatim. Bonnie & Clyde's quotes are italicized and emboldened.

"The Ford rolled slowly down the road and then faltered, as if the driver momentarily was unsure of himself and the situation. The car's light blinked on and off in a prearranged signal which had become familiar through long use. The flashing lights were answered in kind from a second car parked further down the road. Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow had returned home for another visit with their families. The scene was familiar to all of us. We had met them before in out-of-the-way places around the Dallas area. Clyde had telephoned earlier that evening to arrange the Grapevine meeting. As Bonnie's only sister, I took our mother along and we were joined by Clyde's mother, sister and younger brother. A family friend drove the car we were in."

"The Ford, reassured by the exchange of signals, gathered speed as it closed the distance between it and our waiting car. The Ford moved in front of our car and the headlights illuminated the front seat. As usual, Clyde was at the wheel with Bonnie close beside him. The kids had made it back in one piece-- something on which we never could depend. A grin which had been building on Clyde's face turned to a grimmace as the Ford slowly rolled to a stop. A flash of red light erupted from a bar ditch alongside the road. It was accompanied by a popping noise which sounded for all the world to me like firecrackers at a Fourth of July celebration. It was the beginning of a gun battle which Bonnie would say later was  "the closest we ever came to dying."

"It took a few moments for me to realize the ditch alongside the road was filled to the brim with cops of all shapes, sizes and services. The headlights of our car still were trained on the Ford and, pushed by an instinct I didn't know existed, I reached across the front seat and killed the lights, shrouding the Ford in darkness. Flickering gunfire outlined the ditch in flashes of red and the miniature thunder from the guns rapidly became deafening inside our car. Clyde, always an excellent driver even in the worst of situations, shoved the Ford into gear and sped down the road in a storm of gravel and gunfire."

"Bonnie and Clyde escaped that night but not without considerable loss. Clyde had been hit two or three times in his legs and a bullet lodged in one of Bonnie's knees. They almost bled to death before reaching Salisaw, Oklahoma, and the safety offered them at the home of the brother of Pretty Boy Floyd. It was later that we realized the "family friend" who drove the car for us that night had told police of the planned meeting. He sold them out for a used car and a few dollars lawmen were offering for the end of Bonnie and Clyde. They had been betrayed by a man they called friend. A similar betrayal on a lonely road near Gibsland, Louisiana, two years later would cost them their lives."

"There was no glamor in the lives of those kids. Just like there was no glamor that long ago night in Grapevine. Bonnie told me later she had a premonition about the meeting. "When we pulled onto that road, something didn't look right," she said.  Clyde slowed the car and gave the signal. When it was returned from our car, Clyde told her "It'll be alright, honey. We need to see the folks. Moments later, the air was filled with gunfire and both Bonnie and Clyde were bleeding badly from gunshot wounds."

"The newspapers said the next day that six officers were involved in the ambush. But when the air cleared, I counted at least 25 cops-- city, county and state. There never was a time when six cops would attempt to capture Bonnie and Clyde, even from ambush." "That's the closest we've ever come to dying," Bonnie told me later. "They almost killed us right there on that road." Clyde, in an almost superhuman effort, got the car moving and eluded pursuing squad cars."

"They drove to an old well as they headed for Oklahoma. Bonnie told me they pulled the car up to the well and Clyde dragged himself out, trying to get to the cold water which would staunch the flow of blood from their wounds. "We must have passed out about the same time,"Bonnie said. "When I came to, Clyde was lying between the car and the well. He was out cold and his pants were soaked in blood." At the well, they managed to bind their wounds and recover sufficiently to get to Salisaw where Floyd's brother looked after them until they were fully healed."

One thing that's struck me from Billie's account of Sowers, was how close the 2 cars were when the shooting started. I've asked both Jim Knight who owns a well known Bonnie & Clyde replica car, and L. J. "Boots" Hinton who raced cars in his youth and grew up during that period-- how close these cars would have been, for the headlights of one to illuminate the seats of the other. With just a 6 volt battery to power the headlights, which although they looked big-- were mostly reflectors with small light bulbs-- "damn close" was one answer I received.

Plus, it's unclear whether Clyde turned around briskly as he and Bonnie fled the scene-- or just sped passed the family's car as seemingly implied by Billie's account?? Sowers was the incident, which after it's conclusion Dallas Sheriff "Smoot" Schmid issued his order-- that no engagement with B&C would be allowed when civilians were present. It seems that was for good reason. I've heard Clyde was incensed, that the families were fired upon that night. Based on Billie's description, it's a wonder no one from the families were shot or killed.

In his foreword to Billie's book, Clint Kelley explains that the only man Billie really hates is the former friend whom she refused to identify by name. He was the man who drove the family car on a windy night in Grapevine, when Bonnie and Clyde almost were killed as they attempted to meet with their families."That man sold them out for a used car and a few dollars," she said. "His only motive was profit. He didn't have a son to save like Mr. Methvin did."

And for all familiar with those present for the 2 back to back family meetings that fateful November in '33-- Joe Bill Francis was the man believed to have driven the families to their rendezvous with Bonnie & Clyde.  Joe Bill also likely took many of the famous family photos from the night before.. with others taking pics which included him as well.

They'll be more to come soon from Billie's manuscript. My sincere thanks to Stephanie Charlesworth from The UK, who I recall providing this hard to find photo of Billie within a past B&C debate.  A friendly reminder-- Billie Parker Moon's recollections from her manuscript are ©2010 The B&CHB by A. W. Woodward

Was Billie's account of The Sowers Ambush what you expected?? I welcome your comments.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

For Bonnie & Clyde History-- Billie Parker Moon's "Oh So" Remarkable Manuscript.. Revisited

Editor's Note-- As there's been renewed interest in viewing Billie Parker Moon's unfinished manuscript, I happily re-publish her remarkable recollections as I did "Wow"-- 6 years ago now.. in installments for all to enjoy.  So here we go..

A quite interesting aspect of Billie Jean Parker Moon's previously unseen manuscript-- is it's unique foreword & introduction. In it's unfinished form, it's a bit difficult to envision-- how what exists of Billie's book would have been revised from it's 2nd draft, to become a more unified and complete work. As such the foreword is identified, but what would likely be the introduction-- who's words paint a vivid and most passionate picture of Depression Age life, just appears-- sandwiched in between the foreword and Billie's 1st Bonnie and Clyde account of the Sowers ambush.

Be it incomplete, Billie's manuscript is uniquely important for what it is-- a most "remarkable" and welcomed addition to Bonnie & Clyde History. I thought you might enjoy reading this insightful foreword with it's revealing look into Billie, and snapshot of the times in which she and Bonnie and Clyde lived. Within these colorfully patterned words, are melded a vivid portrayal of Depression Age life-- along with Clint Kelley's impressions of Billie, and Billie's reasoning for wanting to publish a book on Bonnie and Clyde. I have searched without success so far for Mr. Kelley-- as I would like very much if possible, to speak with him concerning Billie's effort of which he was involved.

What I believe are Kelley's descriptions of the Depression Years, jump off the page so nicely at times-- that I wonder if like Billie, he too was a product of those tough and hellish years?? Based on the tenor of expressions used, I feel that may have been the case. I as many of you, have read numerous accounts of the Depression. But I've never read an expression of the 1930's quite like this. This dynamically phrased introduction, seems to bring the strained realities of those hardened times front and center.

You'll note one current politically non-correct term, which within the years of The Great Depression I would suppose appropriate-- whereas now, this racially charged description would be considered decidedly out of bounds. I find it intriguing, this term was still used in the 1970's in writing of the 1930's. However the "furor" over this word, wouldn't erupt fully until the 1990's. Don't shoot the messenger-- but instead enjoy all of what I feel is a telling look at Billie's motivation for wanting to write her book-- plus a unique insight into the times of Bonnie & Clyde. Of particular note are Billie's feelings concerning the Methvins, and her admission that she might have made a similar deal concerning the ambush-- should she have been in a position to save Bonnie. Wow!! As usual, accounts from Billie's manuscript are re-told verbatim. I believe this time, I've only corrected a spelling error or 2 along the way-- where they obviously needed to be. In the words of Clint and Billie Jean--

"Billie Jean Parker Moon is a rare lady who has mastered the art of forgiving and, in some cases, forgetting. She bears no anomosity toward anyone, even though her life and her family were irrevocably shattered during the three bullet-spattered years her sister Bonnie rode the outlaw trail with Clyde Barrow. With hindsight born in the 40 years since those fateful days, Billie has sorted out her feelings and has attempted to sort out the fact and fiction surrounding the famous duo. In this book, she is not attempting to vindicate Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. She is trying, simply, to set the record straight. "I want to tell their side of the story as they told it to me during those years when it actually was occurring," she said."

"Bonnie Parker was never in any trouble at all until she met Clyde Barrow. But when the trouble started, she stood by him and rode out the storms. In the process, since Billie was extremely close to her only sister, she found herself drawn into situations on which the law frowned. In one case, Billie was arrested and charged with the slayings of two motorcycle patrolmen, killed in a brief battle with elements of the Barrow gang. She wasn't there, as later was proven to the satisfaction of officials, but her arrest and confinement would have left scars on a lesser person. Eventually, she was sentenced to serve a year in prison as an accessory to Bonnie and Clyde."

"W. D. Jones, a member of the Barrow gang for several months, did exactly what Clyde Barrow told him to do if he ever was arrested. Jones gave police a statement saying Bonnie and Clyde had forced him to join the gang and keep him with them through use of force. Jones also said in the statement Billie was a member of the gang. While it was true that she frequently rode with Bonnie and Clyde and helped nurse them after shootings and assorted accidents, she never actually participated in any crime perpetrated by any member of the gang."

"In retrospect, Billie says she can't really hate even the Methvins, who "sold out" Bonnie and Clyde in 1934 and set up the ambush that led to their bloody deaths. "Old man Methvin was simply trying to save his son (gang member Henry Methvin)," Billie said. "I can understand his making a deal with the law to help kill Bonnie and Clyde in return for charges being dropped against Henry. If I could have made the same deal to save Bonnie, I might have done it."

"The only man she really hates is a former friend whom she refuses to identify. He was the man who drove the family car on a windy night in Grapevine when Bonnie and Clyde almost were killed as they attempted to meet with their families. "That man sold them out for a used car and a few dollars, she said. "His only motive was profit. He didn't have a son to save like Mr. Methvin did." Billie's close association with Bonnie and Clyde during their period on the run has given her valuable insights to their lives and valuable details of their triumphs and failures. As a "non-member" of the gang, she is the only person associated closely with the facts who can afford, emotionally and legally, to disclose details."

"Writing a book with Billie has proven difficult because of this attitude she has built up over the intervening 40 years. She has, in some cases, refused to name people involved with the gang, even though those names are well-known and already have been associated publicly with Bonnie and Clyde. "I know how I would feel if one of those people wrote a book and used my name," she said. "I've stayed out of the public limelight since Bonnie and Clyde were killed and I wouldn't appreciate someone stirring all that up again."

"While some people would attempt to capitalize on such a relationship, Billie has not. Ironically, her neighbors in a quiet section of Mesquite, Texas, where she resides, have no idea she is the sister of Bonnie Parker. And that's the way Billie wants to keep it. "My only interest is telling people some of the things Bonnie tried to tell them before she died." Billie said. "The kids led a rough life and they wouldn't want anyone-- then or now-- to follow in their footsteps."

Clint Kelley
January 1975
Dallas, Texas

"The world was a miserable, wretched place to be in the 1930's. It was a time when death lurked around every street corner-- death which could be as slow as starvation or as quick as a whistling machinegun bullet. It was a time when normally strong men took the easy way out and suicides became as common as sunrise. It was a time when bedraggled mothers worried because their spindle-legged children were sporting painfully bloated stomachs, heartbreaking symptoms of malnutrition. And it was a time when the pall of despair lay more heavily over the countryside than the air pollution and stench of more modern times."

"It was not a time for decision-making. Everyone and everything-- including the immediate future-- was in doubt. But it was a period when decisions were forced.. when they were wrung from the hearts and souls of every person by sheer force of poverty and circumstance. Texas, like the rest of the world, was in turmoil. While a handful of men were getting rich in the massive oil boom, the average citizen was hard-scrabbling a niggardly existence in which the staff of life was being whittled shorter with every skimpy meal. Farmers and laborers worked 18 hours a day for short wages, hoping and praying times would get better and the dinner table eventually would be laden with something besides the beans and cornbread which stood between them and death."

"The 1930's were tough times-- for everyone, everywhere."

Billie Parker Moon's manuscript is © 2010 The Bonnie & Clyde History Blog by A. Winston Woodward-- with all rights reserved. Many thanks

Monday, March 21, 2016

"Smoot" Schmid Artifacts-- For Bonnie And Clyde History, A Lost Opportunity.. At Least For Now.

For me.. one of the great joys of being involved so closely with Bonnie & Clyde History, is being contacted by those feeling they have Bonnie & Clyde-related artifacts and new historical information.  Wonderfully, sometimes it's so.. and oft times, unfortunately not.  Then there are those unique moments, when families related to Bonnie & Clyde History reach out to me.. to ask for assistance related to one endeavor or another.  I am always humbled and appreciative for such approaches and trust, re: whatever I can do to assist.  And whether my help be a little or a lot-- I always do my best to help.

So when I was contacted in November of last year by "Smoot" Schmid's family-- it was so exciting to know that a slew of quite nice Bonnie & Clyde related artifacts, had survived in his possession and had been passed down to his family.  The family talked of not wanting to pass these treasures on any longer, and of their desire to sell them. And apparently, they had already traveled a more traditional road of action, without fruition.  Thus their approach, concerning my take on what other vehicles of sale could be explored??

Well after working behind the scenes, in 1st approaching a handful of individuals I thought may be uniquely interested in pursuing this chance-- I suggested opening the opportunity up to all through an announcement here on The B&CHB.. which was agreed to and I did.  A number of individuals made their interest known.. which I forwarded promptly to the family. However outside of what seems cursory communication-- little response occurred as follow up to leads asked for.

Thus, after my too not receiving replies concerning requests for clarification regarding a stark lack of communication-- I've decided to back away from my involvement with this endeavor.  Rather-- I'll just post an e-mail address for anyone interested, along with my best wishes for all who pursue this. My take is that basic courtesy should always be in play-- especially from those who initiate desire for action in the 1st place.  Also when someone asks for my help.. reputation be respected please-- along with some appreciation for my willingness to utilize a Bonnie & Clyde historical Internet vehicle with good reach, to help achieve a goal for others.  For when I agree to help someone within this history-- I give it my all.  

It's routinely my great pleasure, to assist others within Bonnie & Clyde History.  However, when I can no longer judge the sincerity of motive or reasons for inaction.. well, that's enough for me.  I had also hoped to be able to create a post on "Smoot" the man.. which this history would benefit from. That too was agreed to but never got off the ground.. despite my attempts to make it happen. That offers till stands, and is up to "Smoots" family, should they wish for it to happen here.

My sincere apologies to all I couldn't deliver for.. and to all who've hoped Bonnie & Clyde History would benefit from "Smoot's" artifacts.  Please know, I've done my best.  

During the time of Bonnie & Clyde-- the U.S. Bureau of Investigation thought "Smoot" Schmid so uncooperative within law enforcement circles-- they nicknamed him "Smooth" Smith.. while also utilizing informants like Red Webster (a friend of "Smoots") to gain info concerning his Bonnie & Clyde investigative activities.  It was only after "Smoots" failed Sowers Ambush attempt, that Sheriff Schmid sent word through a Deputy, that from that point on.. he would cooperate with others for the good of law enforcement.

Well, apparently without a Sowers-like event.. I wish the family well, with whatever their desires are with their "Smoot" collection. It's been a distinct honor to help them, as far as I've been able to. Also, to show my sincerity in having previously felt so good in having helped with this, I leave up in it's entirety.. my previous blog post on this, visible for all to view. The only thing I've changed.. is the contact info.  Perhaps too many people take advantage of the trust they are given.  For my part-- I always appreciate trust when extended.   

For all interested in pursuing "Smoot's" artifacts further, the direct e-mail address is sheriffsmoot@gmail.com 

My thanks to all.. for your time, trust and understanding.  

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Just When It Seems Bonnie & Clyde History Has Little More to Yield-- Along Comes Dallas Sheriff R. A. "Smoot" Schmid. Rare & Credible Bonnie & Clyde Artifacts Available.

A Special Announcement, to all who love Bonnie & Clyde History.  The family of Dallas Sheriff Richard Allen "Smoot" Schmid is offering a unique opportunity-- to those interested in purchasing personal items once owned by one of Bonnie & Clyde's greatest and most colorful adversaries.

Original of Clyde's "So Long" letter to Ray Hamilton.. likely penned by Bonnie.  "Smoot" had it all along.

A wide-range of items are available, including.. 

Execution book with photos, Original official orders for deputies to take Clyde’s body, Original mug shots, "Smoot" Schmid’s appointments and awards, Correspondence from Raymond Hamilton (RH) to "Smoot Schmid (SS),  4 original photos of RH (1 with Clyde??)  Group of original Bonnie & Clyde photos with provenance, SS photos, Group of photos and related material re: FDR visit for the Texas Centennial, 25 photos of SS with famous people, Original coroner photos of Bonnie & Clyde, “So long” letter to RH from Clyde, Letter identifying Bonnie Parker, SS badge “gold with large diamond” engraved on back, SS photo archive, Bonnie Parker ring with letter of provenance, Invitation to the inauguration of JFK and memorial edition of the inaugural book, Letter from RH to girlfriend O’Dell, Outlaw scrapbook, Fingerprints and photo of gang members Joe Palmer and Henry Methvin, Several letters congratulating SS on the capture of RH, RH fingerprints and photo, Letter and envelope from RH’s brother Floyd to mother written from jail,  Mothers signed authorization to take RH body, RH signed arrest warrant, Post card signed by RH, SS:  gun, boots, billy club, business card, framed diplomas, J Edgar Hoover letter about my grandmother's (SS wife) question about what to do with Harvey Bailey's gun used in his escape that was in her possession and his reply.

Also a good # of firearms both confiscated and owned by "Smoot" are available. I believe all confiscated weapons have serial numbers filed off. Could some guns from "Smoot's" collection have come from Bonnie & Clyde cars or the death car?? Sheriff Schmid would've had opportunity and access to such weapons.

Anyone interested in "Smoot's weapons collection, please inquire-- for individual access to photos and info.    

"Smoot's" collection contains a myriad of photos.. some well known, some rarely or never seen. 

So a "quite" unique opportunity to own verifiable Bonnie & Clyde artifacts.  Interested parties worldwide, please contact  sheriffsmoot@gmail.com

Sincere and serious inquiries only.. and with great respect please, for a Bonnie & Clyde family rarely heard from.

"Smoots" Sheriff's badge. 
Also a hint as to what's to come.  A follow-up post revealing family insights, into a key figure from Bonnie & Clyde History.. from those who knew him best. So little is known about Dallas County Sheriff, "Smoot" Schmid.. beyond what's been written within this history to date.  With thanks to his family.. I hope much more will soon be known about Sheriff Schmid. A Bonnie & Clyde History Blog "exclusive".. coming soon.

Purported Bonnie ring.. with provenance provided by "Smoots" son.  Could this ring have come from the Death Car.. or Sowers car??  Wherever it was found.. I for one, have never known of this quite unique ring. 

My advice to all who see this announcement.. is to reach out for a stellar chance at owning unique pieces of Bonnie & Clyde History never offered before, with outstanding provenance from Smoot Schmid's family.  For within this history, there is no better provenance than family provenance.

Original Coroner's photos from Congers.. "Very" Rare.  

Bonnie's grave, still mounded.. Fishtrap Cemetery.

Now I've seen this pic, cropped every which way but loose.. for both the bottom part of image and top one-- but don't think I've seen complete image before.  A "very strong" and poignant ambush photo.  
For those who know Bonnie & Clyde History well.. this particular Henry Methvin fingerprint card contains a rare element.  

Again, for your chance re: "Smoot's" items.. 
sheriffsmoot@gmail.com Thank you.

"Many thanks" as well to "Smoot's" family, for their approach, trust.. and allowing me to help with this grand endeavor.