Episode 130: Bonnie and Clyde: Public Enemies

This episode is brought to you by El Yucateco

On this episode of The Sofa King Podcast, we talk about the notorious crime spree and violent death of Bonnie and Clyde. Their two year crime spree during the “Public Enemy Era” of the 1930s saw at least thirteen people dead, a dozen banks robbed, and countless small stores and gas stations knocked over by their famous “Barrow Gang.” Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow were both born during the great depression and lived in one of the poorest areas of entire nation, Cement City, Texas. They met and fell in love with each other and began their infamous crime spree in 1930.

Clyde was already a criminal when he met Bonnie, thanks to his older brother Buck. The brothers had a history as teenagers of stealing everything from cars to turkeys. But when Clyde was arrested in 1930, Bonnie began her life of crime by smuggling a gun to him in jail, so he could escape. And escape he did. He was caught shortly thereafter and got 14 years hard labor at the horrible Eastham Prison Farm. Here, historians believe Clyde was raped, killed his first man, and even had a fellow inmate cut off two of his toes with an axe to get out of the brutal conditions of hard labor at this prison.

Shortly after his missing toes, Clyde was set free, and he, Bonnie, his brother Buck, and Buck’s wife Blanche teamed up with W.D. Jones to make the Barrow Gang. They robbed, murdered, and stole cars through several states, evading the law at every turn.

We talk about them and their shootouts with the police. They had endless close calls, injuries, and wild escapes. The three of us couldn’t believe how brazen they were with their crimes and how many times they were busted, escaped, had shootouts with the law, and kept on going. Which gang member got shot in the head and kept on with his crime spree? What did Clyde write in a personal letter to Henry Ford? How did Clyde get military grade weapons for his shootouts with the coppers? What made Bonnie and Clyde nationally famous during their crime spree? How were they finally set up and gunned down by the law? Listen, Laugh, Learn.

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