Rare photo shows Bonnie and Clyde before their bloody end
A rarely seen photo shows notorious lovebirds Bonnie and Clyde locking lips before their murderous crime spree came to a gruesome end in Texas.
Along with the snap of the loved-up fugitives, another rare photo shows their bullet-riddled bodies after they were each shot more than 50 times.
These and other photos capturing their final moments — including their shot-up car and police officers parading their bodies through town — are on display at the Photographs Do Not Bend (PDNB) Gallery in Dallas.
Depression-era sweethearts Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow committed at least 13 murders and several bank robberies before their deaths in 1934, according to FBI.gov.
The couple met and fell in love in 1930, when Bonnie was 19 and Clyde 21. Soon after, Clyde was imprisoned for a burglary. Bonnie helped Clyde escape by smuggling him a gun, but he was recaptured. He was granted parole in February 1932 — marking the beginning of their two-year rampage.
Bonnie and Clyde evaded cops countless times, but their luck ran out in 1934, when police ambushed them on Highway 54 in Louisiana. Officers fired 107 rounds in less than two minutes.
In addition to the historic photos, there’s a copy of Clyde’s criminal record, his fingerprints and a warning from police that reads: “This man is very dangerous and extreme care should be taken when arresting him.”
“There are certain outlaws that become iconic, like Billy the Kid, Al Capone and others, who live on forever,” PDNB Gallery director Burt Finger told Caters.
“Bonnie and Clyde were certainly that, they were both handsome people, were nobodies, and they robbed banks at a time when banks were not loved by everyone,” he added.
Several of the photos belong to collector Tomas Yurkin, 55, of Dallas, Texas.
Yurkin, who compared the photos to the storyboard of a movie, says he believes the more tender moments the couple shared help to humanize them.
“My favorite photograph is the two of them embracing, which they had taken while they were in Joplin, Missouri,” he said.
“Shortly after, they were discovered in the area, so they had to escape pretty quickly,” he said. “There was film that had been unprocessed. I believe this was one of the photos from then.”
Even though Bonnie and Clyde were killers, the back story of the outlaws helps to explain their popularity during the FBI’s “public enemies” era, according to Yurkin.
“Bonnie and Clyde did kill people; but oftentimes when they took somebody’s car, they would give them a clean shirt and money to go home, so they must have had some elements of a nice side,” he said.
Many people rooted for the infamous couple, and 22,000 showed up at Bonnie’s funeral, Yurkin said.
Prior to Yurkin and PNDB, the previous owner of the photographs acquired them from her uncle, who worked at the local newspaper at the time of the event.