Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Bonnie and Clyde: Romeo and Juliet in a Getaway Car

The Poem

Following is a poem written by Bonnie Parker somewhere in the last weeks of her life: (The punctuation are hers.) She entitled it:

The Story of Bonnie and Clyde

You've read the story of Jesse James
Of how he lived and died
If you're still in need for something to read
Here's the story of Bonnie and Clyde.

Now Bonnie and Clyde are the Barrow gang,
I'm sure you all have read
how they rob and steal
And those who squeal are usually found dying or dead.

There's lots of untruths to those write-ups
They're not so ruthless as that
Their nature is raw, they hate all law
Stool pigeons, spotters, and rats.

They call them cold-blooded killers
They say they are heartless and mean
But I say this with pride, I once knew Clyde
When he was honest and upright and clean.

But the laws fooled around and taking him down
and locking him up in a cell
'Till he said to me, "I'll never be free
So I'll meet a few of them in hell."

The road was so dimly lighted
There were no highway signs to guide
But they made up their minds if all roads were blind
They wouldn't give up 'till they died.

The road gets dimmer and dimmer
Sometimes you can hardly see
But it's fight man to man, and do all you can
For they know they can never be free.

From heartbreak some people have suffered
From weariness some people have died
But all in all, our troubles are small
'Till we get like Bonnie and Clyde.

If a policeman is killed in Dallas
And they have no clue or guide
If they can't find a friend, just wipe the slate clean
And hang it on Bonnie and Clyde.

There's two crimes committed in America
Not accredited to the Barrow Mob
They had no hand in the kidnap demand
Nor the Kansas City Depot job.

A newsboy once said to his buddy
"I wish old Clyde would get jumped
In these hard times we's get a few dimes
If five or six cops would get bumped."

"The police haven't got the report yet
But Clyde called me up today
He said, "Don't start any fights, we aren't
working nights, we're joining the NRA."

From Irving to West Dallas viaduct
Is known as the Great Divide
Where the women are kin and men are men
And they won't stool on Bonnie and Clyde.

If they try to act like citizens
And rent a nice little flat
About the third night they're invited to fight
By a sub-gun's rat-tat-tat.

They don't think they're tough or desperate
They know the law always wins
They've been shot at before, but they do not ignore
That death is the wages of sin.

Someday they'll go down together
And they'll bury them side by side
To few it'll be grief, to the law a relief
But it's death for Bonnie and Clyde.

Photos of Bonnie Parker's and Clyde Barrow's graves are by Carl Mydans/TIMEPIX
Photos of Bonnie Parker's and Clyde Bar-
row's graves are by Carl Mydans/TIMEPIX

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