Thursday, May 23, 2013

May 23 (1934) Bank robbers Bonnie & Clyde ambushed in Louisiana "They wouldn't give up till they died"



On this day in 1934, Clyde C. Barrow and Bonnie E. Parker were gunned down in a remote area of Louisiana after years on the lam.  It was the nadir of the depression, with the unemployment rate exceeding 20%, the foreclosure rate over 12%, and the South and Midwest (where most of their crimes occurred) mired in a catastrophic drought.

In his book Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde, Jeff Guinn argues that Bonnie & Clyde's murderous rampage attained mythical status in part because robbing banks and killing law enforcement officials was seen as a revolt against an uncaring system.

Ms. Parker helped foster this image with her poetry, most of which she penned in a bankbook

Below is an excerpt from her poem "The Story of Bonnie and Clyde."

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.



But the laws fooled around,
Kept taking him down
And locking him up in a cell,
Till he said to me,
"I'll never be free,

So I'll meet a few of them in hell."


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.



Image from Texashideout.com
 
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Flannery O'Connor

You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you odd.