Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow have become legendary criminals in American history. The lovers spent years during the Great Depression robbing anything from banks to rural gas stations and killing anyone who got in their way. What's remarkable is how young they were, Parker was 23 and Barrow was 25 when they were finally caught.
Though there are various versions of how the bank robbers first met, the most widely believed story is that Bonnie and Clyde first met in Dallas on January 5, 1930. Both Texas natives, Bonnie was staying at a friends house and Clyde stopped by while she was making hot chocolate. They were smitten and completely inseparable after that.
At the time, Parker was technically married to Roy Thornton. It was brief because he too had brushes with the law and was in prison when she died. She wore her wedding ring until the end. It's unclear why, since she was so taken with Barrow.
Though it's widely believed that Parker joined Barrow on their infamous 2-year crime spree because she was in love, the exact reasons remain unknown. The Barrow gang quickly developed a reputation, though much of what was in the papers wasn't necessarily accurate. Parker was portrayed with guns and cigars in photos, believed to be a rough criminal. Joined by Clyde's brother, Buck, Henry Methvin and W.D. Jones, it's understood that during their reign of terror they killed at least nine police officers and multiple civilians.
They had multiple hideouts during their spree including in Joplin, Missouri, where they were joined by Buck and his wife, Blanche.
Recently, a law clerk in Tarrant County was filing old court records and came across the actual Bonnie and Clyde Grapevine, Texas murder indictments from 1934 following their murder of two law enforcement officers. Barrow and Methvin shot and killed H. D. Murphy and Edward Bryant Wheeler on Easter Sunday in 1934.
Clerk Ann Perry tells NBC DFW that she couldn't believe she came across the documents.
"They told us they were looking for it, so I was keeping my eye open for it," she said. "It was kind of exciting to find it because I'm actually holding a document from back in 1934 when all this was taking place."
Unfortunately, the murder charges never amounted to anything. The notorious couple escaped and went into hiding. On May 23, 1934, Texas Ranger Frank Hamer and FBI Special Agent L.A. Kindell tracked them to Louisiana. Hamer had been following them for months and brought a final stop to their crime spree with an ambush south of Gibsland backed by four Texas officers and two Louisiana officers.
The police officers killed the couple, excessively shooting them 176 times. These documents are an incredible historical find, really bringing truth to such a famous American legend.
"Instead of executing the indictments, they executed the people," Ford said. "We didn't catch them. We didn't get them in our jail. But we do have the papers."
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