Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde, circa 1932-1934

Bonnie and Clyde, circa 1932-1934

Background

Both Clyde Barrow (March 24, 1909 – May 23, 1934) and Bonnie Parker (October 1, 1910 – May 23, 1934) grew up in the slums of Dallas, Texas, but while Clyde ended up on the wrong side of the law by his teen years, Bonnie seemed to stay out of trouble. The two met in 1930, when Clyde was 20 and Bonnie 19; Bonnie was already married but was separated from her husband.

Clyde was sent to prison for robbery not long after their meeting, but the two reunited when he was released in 1932. Clyde initially appeared to try to straighten out his life but soon returned to small-time robberies, this time involving Bonnie in some of his criminal activities.

Crime Spree

Bonnie and Clyde, along with various accomplices, began a crime spree that would last two years. They mostly robbed gas stations, restaurants, and stores, sometimes hitting small banks as well, and in 1934 they engineered a prison break. Whenever the police caught up with them, Clyde and his accomplices rarely hesitated to shoot, allegedly killing 9 officers of the law—and 13 people total—while they were on the run.

Bonnie was often portrayed in newspapers as a “cigar-smoking gun moll,” after police raided a hideout and found photographs of her with a gun in her hand and a cigar in her mouth. (Bonnie vehemently denied she ever smoked cigars, only cigarettes, and there is little evidence that she ever murdered anyone.)

Deaths

Their crime spree finally ended in May 1934 when Frank Hamer, a Texas Ranger, and his posse tracked down Clyde and Bonnie in Louisiana. The group set up an ambush, hiding along the side of a road. When they saw Bonnie and Clyde’s car, the posse let loose with a hail of more than 100 bullets, killing both of the car’s occupants.

Funeral

Clyde’s and Bonnie’s gunshot-riddled bodies were taken back to Texas, and thousands of people came to see their corpses. In accordance with Bonnie’s mother’s wishes, the two were given separate funerals and Bonnie was buried apart from Clyde in a different cemetery. At the time of their deaths, Clyde was just 25 and Bonnie 23.

Learn more about Bonnie and Clyde through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.


Articles and Clippings about Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie, Clyde, and gang accused of kidnapping two women in April 1933Bonnie, Clyde, and gang accused of kidnapping two women in April 1933 Sat, Apr 29, 1933 – Page 1 · The Ruston Daily Leader (Ruston, Louisiana) · Newspapers.comClyde Barrow and companions cornered by posse in Iowa in July 1933Clyde Barrow and companions cornered by posse in Iowa in July 1933 Mon, Jul 24, 1933 – 1 · The Post-Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) · Newspapers.comAssociate of Bonnie and Clyde accused of kidnapping a highway patrolman in December 1933Associate of Bonnie and Clyde accused of kidnapping a highway patrolman in December 1933 Sun, Dec 3, 1933 – Page 10 · The Sedalia Democrat (Sedalia, Missouri) · Newspapers.comClyde Barrow's criminal record from Dec 1926 through Nov 1933Clyde Barrow's criminal record from Dec 1926 through Nov 1933 Tue, Jan 16, 1934 – Page 1 · The Paris News (Paris, Texas) · Newspapers.comAccount of Clyde Barrow's involvement in the Eastham Prison Farm breakoutAccount of Clyde Barrow's involvement in the Eastham Prison Farm breakout Tue, Jan 16, 1934 – Page 1 · The Winnipeg Tribune (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada) · Newspapers.comPhoto of Clyde with gun. Photo of Bonnie at right.Photo of Clyde with gun. Photo of Bonnie at right. Sun, Jan 21, 1934 – Page 1 · Medford Mail Tribune (Medford, Oregon) · Newspapers.comBonnie and Clyde's alleged involvement in the Grapevine killingsBonnie and Clyde's alleged involvement in the Grapevine killings Mon, Apr 2, 1934 – Page 2 · Clovis News-Journal (Clovis, New Mexico) · Newspapers.comPhotograph of Bonnie and Clyde that was found at their hideout in Joplin, MissouriPhotograph of Bonnie and Clyde that was found at their hideout in Joplin, Missouri Thu, Apr 12, 1934 – Page 12 · The News-Herald (Franklin, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comClyde Barrow is wanted Clyde Barrow is wanted "dead or alive" in 1934 Mon, Apr 16, 1934 – Page 7 · Lansing State Journal (Lansing, Michigan) · Newspapers.comHeadlines about the deaths of Bonnie and Clyde in May 1934Headlines about the deaths of Bonnie and Clyde in May 1934 Wed, May 23, 1934 – Page 19 · The Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) · Newspapers.comNewspaper account of Bonnie and Clyde being ambushed and killed by policeNewspaper account of Bonnie and Clyde being ambushed and killed by police Thu, May 24, 1934 – 1 · The Tampa Tribune (Tampa, Florida) · Newspapers.comEx-Ranger tells about killing Bonnie and Clyde.Ex-Ranger tells about killing Bonnie and Clyde. Wed, May 23, 1934 – Page 1 · St. Louis Post-Dispatch (St. Louis, Missouri) · Newspapers.comBonnie and Clyde to be buried separately in Dallas, per the wishes of Bonnie's motherBonnie and Clyde to be buried separately in Dallas, per the wishes of Bonnie's mother Thu, May 24, 1934 – 10 · Des Moines Tribune (Des Moines, Iowa) · Newspapers.com"The Story of Bonnie and Clyde" by Bonnie Parker. Thu, May 24, 1934 – 1 · El Paso Times (El Paso, Texas) · Newspapers.comPhoto of the bullet-riddled car Bonnie and Clyde were killed inPhoto of the bullet-riddled car Bonnie and Clyde were killed in Fri, May 25, 1934 – Page 1 · Miami Daily News-Record (Miami, Oklahoma) · Newspapers.comPhoto of the lawmen who killed Bonnie and ClydePhoto of the lawmen who killed Bonnie and Clyde Sat, May 26, 1934 – Page 8 · The Evening Sun (Hanover, Pennsylvania) · Newspapers.comThousands come to see Bonnie and Clyde's bodies before burialThousands come to see Bonnie and Clyde's bodies before burial Sat, May 26, 1934 – Page 14 · The Salt Lake Tribune (Salt Lake City, Utah) · Newspapers.comBonnie and Clyde's relatives tried in Feb 1935 for conspiracy to harbor fugitivesBonnie and Clyde's relatives tried in Feb 1935 for conspiracy to harbor fugitives Tue, Feb 26, 1935 – Page 9 · The Brownsville Herald (Brownsville, Texas) · Newspapers.comBonnie and Clyde's death car put on auction block.Bonnie and Clyde's death car put on auction block. Thu, May 24, 1973 – Page 2 · Del Rio News Herald (Del Rio, Texas) · Newspapers.com
"Bonnie and Clyde," Newspapers.com Topics (https://www.newspapers.com/topics/famous-people/bonnie-and-clyde/ : accessed May 21, 2019)