As half of the notorious Bonnie and Clyde, Bonnie Parker became one of America's most famous outlaws, robbing banks and small businesses.
Outlaw Clyde Barrow and his partner Bonnie robbed banks and store owners during the Depression and were believed to be responsible for at least 13 murders.
Historical Importance of Bonnie and Clyde: It was during the Great Depression that Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow went on their two-year crime spree (1932-1934). The general attitude in the country was against government and Bonnie and Clyde used that to their advantage. With an image closer to Robin Hood rather than mass murderers, Bonnie and Clyde captured the imagination of the nation.
Bonnie Parker (October 1, 1910 -- May 23, 1934); Clyde Barrow (March 24, 1909 -- May 23, 1934)
Also Known As: Bonnie Elizabeth Parker, Clyde Chestnut Barrow, The Barrow Gang
In some ways it was easy to romanticize Bonnie and Clyde. They were a young couple in love who were out on the open road, running from the "big, bad law" who were "out to get them." Clyde's impressive driving skill got the gang out of many close calls, while Bonnie's poetry won the hearts of many. Although Bonnie and Clyde had killed people, they were equally known for kidnapping policemen who had caught up to them and then driving them around for hours only to release them, unharmed, hundreds of miles away. The two seemed like they were on an adventure, having fun while easily side-stepping the law.
As with any image, the truth behind Bonnie and Clyde was far from their portrayal in the newspapers. Bonnie and Clyde were responsible for 13 murders, some of whom were innocent people, killed during one of Clyde's many bungled robberies. Bonnie and Clyde lived out of their car, stealing new cars as often as possible, and lived off the money they stole from small grocery stores and gas stations. Sometimes Bonnie and Clyde would rob a bank, but they never managed to walk away with very much money. Bonnie and Clyde were desperate criminals, constantly fearing what they were sure was to come -- dying in a hail of bullets from a police ambush.
Background of Bonnie
Bonnie Parker was born on October 1, 1910 in Rowena, Texas as the second of three children to Henry and Emma Parker. The family lived somewhat comfortably off Henry Parker's job as a bricklayer, but when he died unexpectedly in 1914, Emma Parker moved the family in with her mother in the small town of Cement City, Texas (now part of Dallas).
From all accounts, Bonnie Parker was beautiful. She stood 4' 11" and weighed a mere 90 pounds. She did well in school and loved to write poetry. (Two poems that she wrote while on the run helped make her famous.) Bored with her average life, Bonnie dropped out of school at age 16 and married Roy Thornton. The marriage wasn't a happy one and Roy began to spend a lot of time away from home by 1927. Two years later, Roy was caught for robbery and sentenced to five years in prison. They never divorced.
While Roy was away, Bonnie worked as a waitress; however, she was out of a job just as the Great Depression was really getting started at the end of 1929.
Background of Clyde
Clyde Barrow was born on March 24, 1909 in Telico, Texas as the sixth of eight children to Henry and...