Thursday, 29 Jul 2021

Bonnie and Clyde exposed: Heartbreaking reason why criminal couple’s final wish was denied

Loved-up looters Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow have fascinated history buffs and the general public for years. The deeply romanticised tales of their life on the run have been widely documented in books, films and TV. There are many examples where pop culture pieces have taken influence from their stories, including Channel 4 show ‘End of the F***ing World’. But far from the fictionalised fantasy, the real life Bonnie and Clyde were criminals who were responsible for robbing not only big banks but small businesses during their US crime spree in the Great Depression era. After evading law enforcement countless times, they were finally apprehended in May 1934, when law enforcement fired 130 rounds into their vehicle – killing them both. After their deaths, the couple were remembered through history and many romanticised accounts of their lives on the run. The couple are so notorious that even today, nearly a century later, the world is obsessed with stories about them. And one unearthed story reveals that Bonnie and Clyde’s last wish was never granted.

Bonnie and Clyde ran amok during the 1930s as they fled across the US, leaving a trail of empty vaults, safes and reportedly dead bodies in their wake.

One of the many ways they kept the public onside during their crime spree was through telling them their stories and giving them an unusual gift.

Historian Lorca Otway, who runs The Museum of the American Gangster, in New York, revealed that they would hand out “bullet shells as souvenirs”.

He told “At the time, Bonnie and Clyde were seen by the poorest of the poor as folk heroes.

“During the Great Depression era, the banks were fore-closing on farms and so a number of the bank robbers of this time were seen as almost revolutionaries.

“In order to maintain that sense of ‘We are your resistance’, Clyde would stop in at diners and regale them with stories of life on the run and handout bullet shells.”

The belief was backed up by the numerous BAR light machine gun shells that were discovered in the back of their car after they were killed in 1934.

Mr Otway added that while they were alive Bonnie and Clyde made it clear that they longed to be “buried side by side”.

The last surviving relatives of the couple spoke out in 2018 in a bid to finally fulfill their final wish to the US TV station WFAA. 

Bonnie’s niece Rhea Leen Linder, then 84, said: “Their desire was to be buried side by side. I think that’s the way that it should be.”

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She explained that Bonnie’s mother had refused the request and the family interred her at Crown Hill Memorial Park, in Dallas. 

Her tombstone is inscribed with the words: “As the flowers are all made sweeter by the sunshine and the dew, so this old world is made brighter by the lives of folks like you.”

Ms Linder said: “I can’t blame my grandmother for saying no at the time. I think any parent would say no, that was enough. But it’s been 84 years.”

Nine miles away the body of Clyde lies at Western Heights Cemetery.

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His nephew Buddy Barrow, then 76, said: “They made a spot next to Clyde for Bonnie back then.”

The burial plot still remained empty and unused, according to Mr Barrow who explained that it was “still there”.

Mr Barrow said: “If Bonnie was there she would be in a historical cemetery next to history.

“Her name would be added to that marker just like the other [relatives] are.

“You would be surprised how many times we are approached by those who ask why weren’t they buried together? Why can’t they be buried together?”

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