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May 17 , 2008

Bonnie and Clyde



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As far as high-profile and fast-paced crimes go, you need look no further than Bonnie and Clyde: 1930s outlaws of the West. Born Bonnie Parker and Clyde “Champion” Barrow, respectively, they met in West Dallas when Bonnie was just 19. Her lover and husband, Roy Thornton, had just left her, and she fell in love with Mr. Clyde Barrow after being introduced by a friend. The famous romance and crime spree began, leaving a number of dead bodies, hijacked cars and bank robberies behind them. Bonnie and Clyde are the story of a young girl, devoted to her man, and sticking by his side through theft, murder, and finally premature death.


Megan Yarnall is a publicist and writer from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She studied English, creative writing, and Italian at Dickinson College, and wrote her thesis on the connections between humans, their bodies, and language. She graduated in 2010 after spending four years organizing all of her college’s concerts. Megan has lived abroad in Italy and loves studying foreign language, linguistics, and writing.


Bonnie and Clyde’s whirlwind of crime began shortly before they met, when Clyde was in prison on account of theft and stolen goods. While the authorities had trouble convicting him on these accounts, he was transferred to Waco, Texas. In Waco, Clyde admitted to burglaries and car thefts, and was sentenced to two years in a state prison.

Bonnie appeared on the scene and smothered a gun to Clyde during one of her daily visits to the prison. He and cellmate, William Turner, escaped prison along with another inmate, Emory Abernathy. When Clyde and Turner were recaptured in Middletown, Ohio and sent to the Texas State Penitentiary for 14 years, Bonnie and Clyde could only keep in touch through written letters.

Fortunately for Bonnie and Clyde, Clyde was a mamma’s boy and after only two years in the penitentiary, his mother helped him get pardoned for his crimes and released. He walked out of prison on crutches after having another inmate cut off two of his toes to get out of work shortly before his pardon. Heading up to Massachusetts with Bonnie, Clyde looked for work in the North.

Clyde’s work ended shortly when he went back to Bonnie in the South and they stole a car to keep moving. When Bonnie was caught, Clyde managed to escape and Bonnie spent a few long months alone in jail. Upon her release, she joined Clyde, who had kept busy by robbing an oil company as well as a jewelry store. The jewelry heist ended with the murder of John Bucher. Clyde and his friend and accomplice, Raymond Hamilton, became famous for this murder despite his denial of involvement, claiming he was in the car at the time it happened.

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