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.

1 comment:

BarefootOkieGal said...

I'm looking forward to seeing more of what Billie had to say!