They took hold of the imagination of the American people during their short reign as gas station and bank robbers. The Great Depression was gripping the continent at that time, and Prohibition was in full force, so perhaps anything was appreciated that would take minds off financial woes and worries about how to put food on the table. Not too many people during this time would be staunch supporters of the government and the "haves", so they probably felt that they were rooting for the little guys. The newspapers had a blast. Cover stories with lots of pizzazz without even
Clyde Barrow's first arrest was for failing to return a rental car on time. After several more arrests he was sent to Eastham Prison Farm where he was sexually molested, beat a man to death and came out a hardened
Bonnie Parker was obviously attracted to bad boys because just before her sixteenth birthday she married Roy Thornton who had his own problems with the law. She never divorced him and there seemed no animosity in
their break up. She worked as a waitress, wrote poetry, and kept a journal,
bemoaning the staleness of her life in Dallas and her loneliness. Then she met Clyde Barrow and the course of her life was set.
They met at a friend's home in 1930 and fell in love at first sight. Bonnie remained at his side, loving him for the duration of the wild life they were embarking on. Most think that Bonnie went along for the ride but didn't participate in any of the killing herself. Even if she didn't do any of the actual killing, she did nothing to stop it and remained the loyal sidekick and lover to Clyde.
Bonnie and Clyde and the loose knit gang that accompanied them seemed to have no fear of being caught; they even appeared to enjoy taunting their pursuers. It was as if their course was set and they were following a destiny that had been predetermined. They threw loud parties and had to
shoot their way out needlessly.
Eventually both the press and the public turned against them and the romantic adventures of Bonnie and Clyde began to be perceived in a
more judgmental light as the body count mounted.
On May 23, 1934 the wild ride was over. Bonnie and Clyde were tracked, ambushed and killed by a posse on a Louisiana road.
The public reaction had a circus atmosphere. Mobs crowded round to collect memorabilia. The funerals were sidetracked, thwarting the couple's wish to be buried side by side.
A romance like this, so dependent on the action, makes you wonder what their relationship would have been without the murderous spree.
Could they have married and settled down together with a house, picket fence, babies and a dog? Not likely. The need in both of them for action and danger would have had them at each other's throats if no other outlet were available. Still, you wonder.
A romance like that of Bonnie and Clyde is exciting and fun as long as it's happening to someone else and not you. Personally, I'll take my romance dished up with a side of sweet and a dollop of inspirational. Hold the death, destruction and tragic endings.