May 15th, 2013
Gangster Princess Bonnie Parker was born in Texas in 1910 and died twenty four years later. In 1930 she met her male counterpart, Clyde Barrow, and together with their accomplices; “The Barrow Gang”, they went on a robbing and killing spree through several states. They were among the first criminal celebrities, and the police’s inability to catch them made them legendary.
In 1934 the police finally killed the couple in an ambush; the killings were questionable at best: the car the couple was sitting in was sprayed with over fifty bullets. The police was, at that point, under a lot of pressure to catch the two, especially from the media – which might explain the extensive use of firearms. It might also not have counted in Bonnie and Clyde’s favor that they had happened to kill nine lawmen on their rampage. Either way it seems like a bit of overkill…
What most people don’t know is that Bonnie Parker was a talented writer. Her poem Trail’s End tells the story of Bonnie and Clyde in her own words, and is heartbreakingly clear sighted about their unavoidable fate. The poem is a bit wordy, but bear with her – the last lines are worth it:
Now Bonnie and Clyde are the Barrow gang
I’m sure you all have read.
how they rob and steal;
and those who squeal,
are usually found dying or dead.
There’s lots of untruths to these write-ups;
they’re not as ruthless as that.
their nature is raw;
they hate all the law,
the stool pidgeons, spotters and rats.
They call them cold-blooded killers
they say they are heartless and mean.
But I say this with pride
that I once knew Clyde,
when he was honest and upright and clean.
The road was so dimly lighted
there were no highway signs to guide.
But they made up their minds;
if all roads were blind,
they wouldn’t give up till they died.
The road gets dimmer and dimmer
sometimes you can hardly see.
But it’s fight man to man
and do all you can,
for they know they can never be free.
From heart-break some people have suffered
from weariness some people have died.
But take it all in all;
our troubles are small,
till we get like Bonnie and Clyde.
If a policeman is killed in Dallas
and they have no clue or guide.
If they can’t find a fiend,
they just wipe their slate clean
and hang it on Bonnie and Clyde.
A newsboy once said to his buddy;
“I wish old Clyde would get jumped.
In these awfull hard times;
we’d make a few dimes,
if five or six cops would get bumped”
The police haven’t got the report yet
but Clyde called me up today.
He said,”Don’t start any fights;
we aren’t working nights,
we’re joining the NRA.”
From Irving to West Dallas viaduct
is known as the Great Divide.
Where the women are kin;
and the men are men,
and they won’t “stool” on Bonnie and Clyde.
If they try to act like citizens
and rent them a nice little flat.
About the third night;
they’re invited to fight,
by a sub-gun’s rat-tat-tat.
Some day they’ll go down together
they’ll bury them side by side.
To few it’ll be grief,
to the law a relief
but it’s death for Bonnie and Clyde.
The bloody adventures of Bonnie and Clyde have inspired movies, music and books. Here’s a hit from 1967 with Brigitte Bardot:
Photos: Pictures 1-3 were found in the gang’s abandoned hide-out, picture 4 is the car where Bonnie and Clyde died (picture taken by FBI investigators).