Bonnie and Clyde
The Most Romanticized Criminals in American History
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were two young Texans whose early 1930s crime spree forever imprinted them upon the national consciousness. Their names have become synonymous with an image of Depression-era chic, a world where women chomped cigars and brandished automatic rifles, men robbed banks and drove away in squealing automobiles, and life was lived fast because it would be so short.Of course, myth is rarely close to reality. The myth promotes the idea of a romantic couple in stylish clothes who broke the bonds of convention and became a threat to the status quo, who didn't fear the police and lived a life of glamorous luxury outrunning them. The reality was somewhat different. Sometimes incompetent, often careless, Bonnie and Clyde and the Barrow gang lived a hard, uneasy life punctuated by narrow escapes, bungled robberies, injury, and murder. They became one of the first outlaw media stars after some photos of them fooling around with guns were found by police, and the myth-making machine began to work its transformative magic. Soon fame would turn sour and their lives end in a bloody police ambush, but their dramatic and untimely end would only add luster to their legend.