Outlaws: America’s Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow – most commonly known as ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ –, were America’s most famous outlaw couple in the 1930s, robbing banks and small businesses.

Bonnie Parker was born on October 1, 1910 in Rowena, Texas. She was very charming and successful in school and loved to write poetry. Bored with her average life, Bonnie dropped out of studies at age 16 and married Roy Thornton. The marriage wasn’t a happy one and two years later, Roy was caught for robbery and sentenced to five years in prison. They never divorced.

Also from Texas, Clyde Barrow was born in Telico in 1909. He was a fast talking ex-con and, at that time he first met Bonnie, he had already been in trouble with the law for frequently stealing things like turkeys and cars.

In January 1930, Bonnie and Clyde met at a mutual friend’s house and it was love at first site. The poetry-writing, petite Bonnie and her diminutive, gun-crazy lover Clyde shortly started their life of crime together driving lawmen wild, slipping the noose every single time.

Their 21-month crime spree between 1932 and 1934 spanned Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Missouri, where they killed at least 13 people and escaped from several police ambushes before being killed at a roadblock near Gibsland – Louisiana –  in a hailstorm of 130 rounds of bullets, on May 23, 1934.

Even though the couple was credited with robbery, murder and leaving behind a countryside filled with terror, Bonnie and Clyde are still iconic and their love story resonates.

The legend which came out after their death have captured the public imagination over the past 78 years.

They were active during the Great Depression, a time when many people were left out in the cold and feeling abused by the government and big business. Disenchanted citizens heard about them striking back at the system and it struck a chord with the public.

Arthur Penn’s 1967 movie Bonnie and Clyde, played by Hollywood glamorous stars Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, further helped to create a romanticized vision.


Destination – United States of America