Saturday, May 23, 2009

Day 115/365 Bienville Parish Louisiana

or....... What A Place To Meet Your Destiny

What a lovely young couple: a comely young lady (high school poet and straight A student), complete with stylish strappy pumps, clutched in the arms of her handsome, debonair, Fedora-wearing young gentleman. Both in front of one of the earliest 1932 Ford V-8's, a car with considerable horsepower and get-up-and-go.

Apparently not enough get-up-and-go, as this is the comely young lady in the same car,shortly thereafter, on the date she met her destiny: May 23, 1934.

In Bienville Parish, approximately 8 miles south of Gibbsland, Louisiana, on Highway 154, two of the Thirties most notorious bank robbers, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, were ambushed and shot to death, courtesy of a friend who gave away their location to local police.

Afterwards, following the shooting of an amateur home movie of the bullet-ridden bodies and car, both car and bodies were loaded onto a tow truck and hauled away. In nearby Gibbsland, the tow truck broke down in front of the elementary school, and the children were given an impromptu recess to view the bodies.

What most people don't know is that Bonnie had a disastrous first marriage at age 16 to a man who ended up in prison for theft. She moved in with her grandmother and got a job waitressing in a cafe. One of her best tipping customers was a police officer named Ted Hinton.

At the home of a mutual friend, Bonnie was introduced to Clyde Barrow, and destiny took a drastic turn for the worse. Clyde was about to be incarcerated in the Waco County Jail (again). While there, Bonnie would smuggle him a .32 caliber pistol and "aid and abet" his breakout. Upon his capture, Clyde was sentenced to fourteen years. Bonnie went home to her grandmother and waited for him.

In 1932, Clyde's mother begged the governor to pardon her boy, and he did. Clyde went straight back to Bonnie, and the rest is history.

Bonnie has generally been portrayed as being as bloodthirsty as Clyde, but according to two other members of the gang, she never fired a shot, and rarely picked up a gun, except for photos.

Bonnie had told her mother that she wanted to be buried next to Clyde, but that wish was ignored. Clyde lies in North Dallas, and Bonnie in West Dallas, both tombstones encased in cement to prevent vandalism.

And that customer who was such a good tipper, back when Bonnie was waitressing at the cafe?

Ted Hinton turned out to be a Dallas County Deputy Sheriff, and a member of the ambush posse that fired the final shots into Bonnie out on Highway 154.

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