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Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie and Clyde, Bonnie Parker, 1910–34, b. Rowena, Tex., and Clyde Barrow, 1909–34, b. Tellice, Tex., notorious American criminals during the Great Depression. Joining forces in 1932, they traveled the Southwest and Midwest in a 21-month crime spree, robbing small-town restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, and banks; stealing cars; killing more than 10; and participating in several shoot-outs with police. Part of the time they were joined by Barrow's older brother, his wife, and other outlaws. In Louisiana, on May 23, 1934, Bonnie and Clyde were were ambushed in their car by police; both were shot and killed. Their activities were widely publicized, and the couple was both vilified and glamorized in contemporary reports; they became folk heroes for some. Their fame was renewed by Arthur Penn's fictionalized and largely sympathetic 1967 film version of their story.

See studies by N. A. DeFord (1968), E. R. Milner (1996), G. Shelton (1997), J. Treherne (2000), P. W. Steele and M. Barrow Scoma (2000), J. R. Knight and J. Davis (2003), B. C. Barrow and J. N. Phillips (2004), J. Guinn (2009), and P. Schneider (2009).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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