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Half of the notorious Bonnie and Clyde, Bonnie Parker became one of America's most famous outlaws. She and partner Clyde Barrow robbed banks and small businesses, leaving a bloody train of murder victims in their wake.
Bonnie Parker - Infamous (2:01)
Bonnie & Clyde - Full Episode (44:06)
Watch a short video about Bonnie and Clyde to learn how this couple met and became America's most notorious criminal couple.
Bonnie was born into a poor family and was married at the age of 16. Her life was to change dramatically when she crossed paths with a young Clyde and their lives and names would be forever linked.
The full biography of Bonnie & Clyde.
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After meeting Clyde Barrow in 1930, Bonnie Parker entered a world of crime. Robbing banks and small businesses with Clyde, she became one of America's most famous outlaws of the '30s. The couple's 21-month crime spree spanned Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Missouri, where they killed at least 13 people and escaped from police. Bonnie and Clyde were killed at a roadblock near Gibsland, Louisiana, on May 23,
"They don't think they're too smart or desperate. They know that the law always wins. They've been shot at before. But they do not ignore that death is the wages of sin."
Bonnie Parker was born on October 1, 1910, in Rowena, Texas, to Henry and Emma Parker. She had an older brother and a younger sister. When she was just 4 years old, Parker's father died. Subsequently, her mother moved the family to a suburb of Dallas known as Cement City.
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow—now known as the infamous crime duo Bonnie and Clyde—first met in January 1930, when Bonnie was 19 years old and working as a waitress. Barrow, 20 years old at the time, was a volatile ex-con who vowed he would never go back to prison. Not long after meeting Bonnie, however, Clyde was convicted of five counts of auto theft and was sentenced to two years in prison (he received a 12-year suspended sentence for two burglaries).
Once back in prison, Clyde's thoughts immediately turned to escape. By this time, he and Bonnie had fallen deeply in love, and Clyde was overtaken by heartache. Sharing his sentiments, a lovesick Bonnie was more than willing to help the man she called her soulmate.
After serving 20 months in prison, Clyde was released in 1932. Not long after, he and Bonnie, fueled by passionate love, the desire to escape poverty and utter contempt for authority, embarked on a 21-month crime spree, robbing banks and small businesses, pulling a string of armed robberies and leaving a bloody train of murder victims in their wake. Their criminal activity spanned Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Missouri, where they killed at least 13 people and escaped from several police ambushes.
All the while, hundreds of law enforcement personnel from five southwestern states hotly pursued Bonnie and Clyde. Yet the infamous couple managed to illude authorities and avoid capture for nearly two years, becoming two of America's most famous outlaws.
Bonnie and Clyde were both killed at a roadblock near Gibsland, Louisiana, taken out by police in the hail of bullets, on May 23, 1934. Since their death, Bonnie and Clyde have been romanticized by the public, and their sensational story of crime and passion has seen numerous retellings—solidifying the criminals as American legend.
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Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were the most famous gangster couple in history, made more so by the 1967 Oscar-winning film Bonnie and Clyde, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. From 1932 to 1934, during the height of the Great Depression, their gang evolved from petty theives to nationally-known bank robbers and murderers. Though a burgeoning yellow press romanticized their exploits, the gang was believed responsible for at least 13 murders, including two policemen, as well as several robberies and kidnappings. The spree ended when they were betrayed by a friend and shot dead at a police roadblock in Louisiana on May 23, 1934.
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