The story of Bonnie and Clyde is a thrilling story. A story made famous by headlines and later a movie about the couple. And it truly is an amazing story. But behind the brazen countenances of the movie couple lies a true story. On January 5, 1930, a 19-year-old Bonnie Parker met Clyde Barrow, a 21-year-old. Both of them had already started a life of crime before they met in Texas. In fact, Bonnie, who had married at 16, was married to a man who was in prison for murder. Clyde had been involved in petty theft since a young age. Ironically, both had a love of music and aspired to become famous for their musical talent. Unfortunately, hard times and bad influences led them on a path of infamy. Shortly after the two met, Clyde was imprisoned for robbery. This led to the beginning of the two working together. Bonnie began visiting Clyde everyday and eventually smuggled him a gun to help him escape. He was quickly caught, but was paroled in February of 1932. He rejoined Bonnie, and they began a life of crime together. Along with several other accomplices, the Barrow gang robbed about 15 banks and killed around 9 people in the four total years of activity. However, the police were constantly hunting them down, and, as their numbers dwindled, Bonnie and Clyde became outlaws always running away from the law. Finally, in May of 1933, the two were ambushed in their car and killed with a hailstorm of bullets. While they might have died that day, their memory became a glorified remembrance. Pictures of the couple playful posing with guns and cigars fascinated the imaginations of the public. The romance of hiding out with the love of your life and robbing the rich appealed to the public. But the reality is much more tragic. Both Bonnie and Clyde came from poor families and inadvertently found themselves caught up in crime. By the time they met, they were both well on the path towards infamy. And their life together was far from easy. They were running from something that they knew would over take them. Bonnie, who wrote some poetry, wrote a poem entitled “The End of the Line” in which she shows that she knows how it will all end. When they died, Clyde was just twenty-four. Bonnie died at just twenty-two and still married to her abusive husband. By 1933, both had suffered injuries related to their crimes that caused them both to have great trouble walking. In fact, Bonnie’s leg was so badly injured that some said she hopped or was carried by Clyde. All in all, despite the romanticism that came to them after their death, Bonnie’s own words sum up their lives and relationship best:
They don’t think they’re too smart or desperate, They know the law always wins; They’ve been shot at before, But they do not ignore That death is the wages of sin.
Some day they’ll go down together; And they’ll bury them side by side, To a few it’ll be grief— To the law a relief— But it’s death for Bonnie and Clyde.