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Bonnie and Clyde: the love and death story of the world's most famous crime duo
Bonnie and Clyde: the love and death story of the world's most famous crime duo
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Unlike the law-abiding Romeo and Juliet, who were lucky to be born into the noble families of Verona, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow had something completely bleak in the future from childhood. Both were born into poor families with many children, and even though the Parker family had half the number of children, “only” three, but soon after Bonnie's birth, her father passed away. Parker's widow moved in with her parents, and it was not easy for her to support her three daughters. The Barrow family had seven children. Who lives better - a widowed seamstress with her daughters or poor, bankrupt farmers on the verge of the Great Depression? It is equally difficult for everyone.

Good girl and bully

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She was born on October 1 in 1910. Petite beauty Bonnie Parker dreamed of a better life. To do this, of course, you need to study well at school and work hard, make efforts that will be rewarded. But the reward will come sometime later, and this is not certain, but I want to live well now. Elegant beauties smiled from the movie poster, and would there be at least one girl in Texas who did not dream of becoming just as brilliant?

Even good girls can change their lives out of the blue. Bonnie met Roy Thornton when she was only 15 years old. Together, the teenagers dropped out of school and got married just a year later. This marriage ended in breakup very soon - Roy disappeared from home for a long time, without explaining his absence. Bonnie had to endure beatings, because her husband could not stand reproaches. She worked as a waitress, but on the eve of the Great Depression, work became difficult - the cafe closed.

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In early 1929, Bonnie broke up with her husband. They did not get divorced, they just went their separate ways, and the girl returned to her mother in Dallas. She got a job in another cafe and soon met Clyde Barrow. The films show that he came to a cafe, but Bonnie's biographers claim that they met at a friend's house.

Unlike Bonnie, Clyde was never a good boy. He was born on March 24 in 1909 as the fifth child, after him two more were born in this family. The boy was only 17 years old when legal troubles began. At first, he did not return the rented car on time, and then, together with his older brother, he was caught stealing turkeys. Hard times for America had not yet come, and Clyde Barrow was breaking the law with might and main. He was already a criminal when he first met the good girl Bonnie.

The immodest charm of vice in a sauce from the Great Depression

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In January 1930, when the first shock from the tragic stock market crash passed, it became clear that things were very bad. Businesses were closed, unemployment took on the character of an avalanche, and, as in any unstable time, desperate people rushed headlong into crime. So for Bonnie Parker, acquaintance with Clyde Barrow did not come as a shock - if life is grinning like a hungry wolf, you need to either grin harder or get ready to be eaten.

Most biographers agree that it was love in the first place, and not at all the union of two sociopaths. Romantic and dreamy Bonnie managed to make sure that hard work leads to ruin much faster than the bumpy road of a robber. At least the robber had money and a foggy gentleman's veil of fortune.

This is not to say that Clyde and hundreds of other farm boys became a burglar on a whim. Since 1920, the agricultural crisis has mowed down farms one after another, for the workers of the village the Great Depression began much earlier. He tried honestly - he studied music, tried to join the Navy, but it didn't work out.Barrow's beggars could not buy musical instruments, and the Navy did not take him for health reasons. The army needs tough guys who ate well as children, and that was not the standard for Clyde. He followed in the footsteps of his older brother: Buck Barrow robbed shops and stole cars. Buck did not become a rich bandit, but he gave his brother a direction.

The criminal thirties: Bonnie and Clyde

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Clyde was jailed almost immediately after meeting Bonnie, but it was too late: she was waiting for her bandit. As a rule, he did not go to jail for long - they caught him on petty thefts and unsuccessful robberies, so the terms were given relatively short. In prisons, riots broke out every now and then, prisoners fled to freedom in batches. If outside was bad and hungry, then behind bars it was even worse and hungrier. And Clyde hated poverty as his worst enemy.

When they talk about Bonnie and Clyde, for some reason, it’s a couple who are jokingly robbing banks, romantically holding hands and kissing against the sunset in the background. In fact, the gang at various times included Clyde's fellow prisoners, his older brother Buck Barrow and his wife Blanche.

Even after imprisonment, riots and escapes, the profile of Clyde's gang did not change too much: they stole cars, robbed gas stations and small shops. Bank robberies began towards the end of his career, and it was short-lived - only two years, from 1932 to 1934.

Bloodthirsty monsters

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Raymond Hamilton, one of the gang members, threw a spectacular phrase before the death penalty that Bonnie and Clyde enjoyed the deaths of other people and could look at the bleeding victims for a long time.

There were indeed victims. Most often, those who did not want to part with their goods were hit by the bullet, and sometimes the prey turned out to be ridiculous, not worth killing. Many biographers argue that Clyde had an unstable psyche, perhaps that is why there were more victims than there could have been.

John Dillinger, a handsome man and womanizer, a charismatic bank robber who was operating in those same years, contemptuously called Bonnie and Clyde a thug who disgraced the noble gangster craft, and considered him losers.

Confused kids?

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Another point of view, which finds indirect confirmation: Bonnie and Clyde were just trying to survive. Testimonies of people who became victims of abduction by Clyde's gang have survived, but they were tolerably treated, they were put on the side of the road when the danger of a chase was no longer on their nerves, they left them some money so that they could get home, decent clothes, if required. It would seem, would bloodthirsty monsters do this? At the same time, Clyde's gang fiercely resisted the police at any attempts to capture and used the entire arsenal. The casualties were inevitable.

Bonnie wrote touching autobiographical poems in which the main idea ran through a thin thread: she perceives this story as a kind of suicide. The surviving flamboyant photographs of Bonnie posing with a cigar in her mouth and with a gun are more of a theatrical tendency than an actual portrait. But thanks to these photos, the Americans followed the adventures of the criminal couple literally with bated breath.

Revenge on the system

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If Bonnie Parker had nothing to take revenge on society, she cherished the shadow of a good girl in her heart of hearts, then Clyde Barrow was not going to forgive the system of prison hardships. Apparently there were reasons to be angry.

On January 16, 1934, Clyde carried out a plan that had guided him down the crime path all this time. He carried out a daring and incredibly brazen raid on Eastham Prison and freed his accomplices Henry Methvin and Raymond Hamilton. Taking advantage of the confusion, several more prisoners escaped.

While the gang was engaged in petty theft and robbery, it could still be tolerated - compared to the magnificent Dillinger, it was a drop in the ocean, Texas in the thirties was seething like a witch's cauldron, and the neighboring states could not boast of a peaceful life either.The Great Depression was gaining strength and was not going to give up, and desperate people no longer imagined another world. But first Bonnie and Clyde began to take banks, albeit not always successfully, brazenly used the boundaries of police jurisdiction between the states - the police from Texas could not do anything in Oklahoma and vice versa - and then they also attacked the prison with complete success.

The public has boiled over. The Department of Corrections was not kicked only by the lazy. A Texas ranger with a twenty-year reputation as an honored crime fighter is on the warpath. Captain Frank A. Haymer was not a fond of illusions, he was hired to fix the problem, and he coped with his task with a bang, with his inherent scope and effectiveness.

The death of Bonnie and Clyde

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The pursuit of Clyde's gang became more and more ruthless, and as a result of another police skirmish, Buck Barrow and his wife Blanche were seriously injured and detained. Buck never recovered from his injury, having died in the hospital, but Blanche, thanks to this arrest, survived and was able at one time to shed light of truth on some controversial issues. She claimed that despair had dominated Clyde's gang in recent months. At the time of her arrest, the unfortunate woman weighed only 37 kilograms - this is the degree of extreme exhaustion. Blanche's words are very hard not to believe.

No intoxication with victory was observed - they saved their lives, and the rare carousing was just an attempt to get rid of the horror for a while. Clyde Barrow turned into a hardened criminal wolf who trampled the law into the mud, and his wolf instinct did not allow him even a drop of alcohol. He preferred to be on his guard.

Toward the end, they were both crippled - Clyde cut off two of his toes while still in prison, and Bonnie was injured in an accident, after which she treated her severely burned leg for a long time and unsuccessfully. This affected mobility.

Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed by Captain Haymer on a country road. Some historians believe that they were let down by their love for an armored Ford car, nicknamed Sandstorm - they were figured out from this car, and therefore armed with armor-piercing ammunition.

They even divided the bullets almost equally. Clyde got about fifty bullets, Bonnie a little more. On May 23, 1934, Bonnie and Clyde's story ended. Relatives did not fulfill their last will - the lovers were buried separately. The Parker family did not accept the fact that their little Bonnie loved a bandit and she broke the law herself.

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