Bonnie & Clyde Lost FBI Files Published by BACM Research/PaperlessArchives.com
Los Angeles, CA - BACM Research/PaperlessArchives.com has published 948 pages of FBI files covering Bonnie Parker, Clyde Barrow, and the Barrow Gang.
A full description can be found at http://www.paperlessarchives.com/bonnie_and_clyde.html
These files, once thought to be lost, were discovered and eventually declassified and released by the FBI. Previously only three pages of FBI files on Bonnie & Clyde were known to remain in the custody of the FBI. These “lost” files were released in their entirety, without redactions. The files contain details about the Barrow Gang’s crime spree not previously published before the discovery of these files. These files describe the Bureau’s involvement in the pursuit of Bonnie and Clyde, which began almost exactly a year before their deaths.
A FBI historian working out the Dallas Field Office recovered these files. They had been thrown in the trash many years earlier to make space for new files. At that time, a FBI employee retrieved the files from the trash. The FBI historian discovered their existence while preparing a historical exhibit in Dallas. The files then entered the review process for declassification.
About Bonnie & Clyde
Clyde Chestnut “Champion” Barrow was born on March 24, 1909, Bonnie Elizabeth Parker on October 1, 1910. They both died on May 23, 1934, near Sailes, Bienville Parish, Louisiana. Their Great Depression era crime story, though romanticized on film, in books, songs, and poplar folklore, was hardly a glamorous one. From the summer of 1932, until the spring of 1934, they left a trail of violence and terror in their wake as they crisscrossed the countryside in a series of stolen cars, robbing gas stations, village groceries, and the occasional bank and often taking hostages. The Barrow Gang allegedly murdered at least a dozen people, including police and innocent civilians. Though Bonnie is believed to have never fired a shot, she was Clyde’s willing accomplice.
When Bonnie met Clyde in January, 1930, she was 19 and married to an imprisoned burglar, who she married when she was 15. Clyde was arrested a few days after they met for burglary. He escaped jail in Waco, Texas using a gun Bonnie smuggled to him. Clyde was recaptured, and was sent back to prison. Clyde was paroled in February, 1932. He soon returned to a life of crime, apparently murdering an Oklahoma sheriff and a storekeeper. By August, Bonnie and Clyde were together for good and making news, as they were pursued across Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, and Illinois.
About the Files
The files show on how many different levels law enforcement worked together closely in the hunt for the Barrow Gang. The files show the sharing of information, leads, and informants, with the FBI often acting as a clearinghouse for the spread of information across the Midwest. New Orleans Division Special Agent Lester Kindell, for example, played a central role in this cooperative effort to track the fugitives in Louisiana and parts of Texas, joining hands with former Texas Ranger Frank Hamer and other local law enforcement agencies. Kindell was also closely involved in discussions that led to the final confrontation with Bonnie and Clyde, although he did not participate in the fatal ambush.
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