“She do anything necessary for him. And I do anything necessary for her. So don’t let the necessary occur, yep.” These are part of the lyrics of Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s hit track “Bonnie and Clyde.” Among many other allusions to the outlaw couples, they highlight Bonny and Clyde’s influence, especially in the entertainment industry.
Continue reading to find out more mind-blowing Bonnie and Clyde facts.
1. The Couple’s Death Prompted a Change in Insurance Policies
Even though Bonnie and Clyde were hardened criminals and were killed by the police, the American National Insurance Company of Galveston, Texas, had to pay their insurance policies. From then on, insurance companies amended the rule, excluding payout for deaths caused by any criminal acts by the insured.
2. There Was a Clyde Barrow Gang
While Bonnie and Clyde got most of the limelight, they did not commit most of their criminal activities alone; they had a gang– the Barrow Gang. It included Clyde’s older brother Marvin “Buck” Barrow, Joe Palmer, Ralph Fults, Henry Methvin, W.D. Jones, Raymond Hamilton, and Blanche Barrow (Marvin Barrow’s wife). The group peaked between 1932 and 1934.
3. They Inspired Several Movies and Documentaries
Loosely based on the activities of real-life Bonnie and Clyde, the Bonnie and Clyde film was released in 1967. It features a waitress, Bonnie Parker, who is bored with her life. She falls in love with an ex-con, Clyde Barrow, with whom they spark immediate chemistry. Together, they rob banks and steal cars, among other violent activities.
The film’s top cast includes Warren Beatty (Clyde Barrow), Faye Dunaway (Bonnie Parker), Gene Hackman (Buck Barrow), and Estelle Parsons (Blanche). In 2019, Netflix released The Highwaymen to tell the story of the law enforcement officers who ended the journey of Bonnie and Clyde.
4. Bonnie Parker Was a Poet
Bonnie, whose formal name is Bonnie Elizabeth Parker, was born in Rowena, Texas, in 1910. After her father died when she was four, they moved with her widowed mother to Cement City in West Dallas. Here, she grew into an adult and was a great poet. Some of her works include “The Trail’s End” and “The Story of Suicide Sal.” Eventually, people associated “The Trail’s End” with the predicament that befell the Bonnie and Clyde partnership.
5. Bonnie Was Still Legally Married to Another Person Even When with Clyde
During her second year in high school, Bonnie Parker dropped out and married Roy Thornton. However, their union didn’t last, as there were several brushes with the law enforcers and frequent absences. In January 1929, the two were separated, never to meet again. Bonnie wore the ring Thornton gave to her to her death. She had it on even when she partnered with Clyde.
6. Clyde Cut His Toes Off To Avoid Working in the Fields
At 21, Clyde Barrow was sent to prison after being recaptured following a previous escape from Eastham Prison farm. To avoid hard labor in the fields, Clyde cut off his two toes with an axe smuggled to him by Bonnie. Unbeknownst to him, his mother had successfully petitioned his release from prison; he was acquitted six days after amputating his toes.
7. Clyde Was Sexually Assaulted in Prison
Even though Clyde was seemingly on a path to becoming a criminal before he went to Eastham Prison Farm, many believe that the sexual assaults he went through while in the facility catalyzed him. In fact, killing his tormentor with a pipe was the first of many murders he ever committed.
According to John Neal Phillips, a writer and photographer from Texas, Clyde made it his mission to get one over the Texas prison system for the abuses he suffered while in the facility.
8. There Are Different Accounts to How Bonnie and Clyde Met
There are many variations of how Bonnie and Clyde met. One of the most credible accounts is that the pair met at Clarence Clay’s house (Clyde’s friend) in West Dallas. At the time, Bonnie was 19, while Clyde was 20. They were immediately smitten, staying together until their ultimate fate separated them.
9. Clyde Orchestrated the “Eastham Breakout”
Before he died in 1934, Clyde had orchestrated the infamous “Eastham Breakout.” The escapees included his gang members Henry Methvin, Raymond Hamilton, and others. From the negative publicity that the Texas prison attracted, historians believe that Clyde finally found his revenge.
10. Killing a Police Officer Marked the End of Bonnie and Clyde
Bonnie and Clyde had stolen and killed both civilians and police officers during their past raids. However, when a member of the Clyde Barrow gang shot Major Joe Crowson during the “Eastham Breakout” raid, the police declared an all-out attack on the couple.
True to their word, the police ambushed and killed Bonnie and Clyde shortly after. Apart from Methvin, who set up the lovebird’s ambush, every member of the Barrow gang was also eventually killed.
11. Bonnie and Clyde Were Short So Bad That the Undertaker Had a Hard Time Embalming Their Bodies
Officially, about 112 bullet holes were counted on the vehicle Bonnie and Clyde were travelling in when ambushed. Estimates show that Clyde had 17 bullet entrance wounds while Bonnie had 26, with several headshots on each. They were shot so bad that the undertaker embalming their bodies had a hard time doing so; the fluids kept exiting from the perforated holes in the victims’ bodies.
12. When Bonnie and Clyde Were Killed, People Tried to Get Souvenirs
While Bonnie and Clyde were a pain in the back for the authorities, the public marveled at their escapades. When they died, people thronged the area to collect souvenirs. Records show that a woman cut off Bonnie’s bloody locks and pieces of her dress while another man tried to cut off Clyde’s trigger finger.
13. Clyde Reportedly Wrote to Henry Ford to Thank Him
Bonnie and Clyde mainly used Ford vehicles to escape from their scenes of crimes. Clyde loved the company’s vehicles so much that he wrote a letter to Henry Ford, thanking him for the reliability and performance of his V-8 cars.
14. Bonnie and Clyde Gained Worldwide Fame
Even though short-lived, Bonnie and Clyde lived a life many will remember. Reports show more than 500,000 newspapers were sold in Dallas alone when the couple died. Today, many films, documentaries, and stories still allude to the lives of Bonnie and Clyde.
15. Bonnie and Clyde Were Buried Separately
It was the couple’s wish to be buried side by side. However, following protests from Bonnie’s family, their wish was not respected, and they were buried separately. Clyde was laid to rest next to his brother’s grave in Western Heights Cemetery. On the other hand, Bonnie was buried in the Fishtrap Cemetery. Her body was later moved to New Crown Hill Cemetery in 1945.
16. They Operated in the Public Enemy Era
The period between the 1920s and 1930s is widely regarded as the “Public Enemy Era” in the United States. Gangsters such as Pretty Boy Floyd, Machine Gun Kelly, Baby Face Nelson, John Dillinger, and Bonnie & Clyde operated during this time.
17. The Bonnie and Clyde Getaway Car Is Still on Display at Primm, Nevada
The getaway car Bonnie and Clyde were traveling in when they were ambushed and killed is still on display at Primm, Nevada. Viewers are not charged to see the vehicle, and there is no age limit.