The final moments of loved-up looters Bonnie and Clyde revealed in never seen before photographs
The final moments of loved-up looters Bonnie and Clyde have been revealed in never seen before photographs.
Photographs Do Not Bend (PDNB) Gallery, in Dallas, Texas, USA, exhibited the gruesome end for the notorious criminals, snippets of their love story and their apprehension.
Bonnie and Clyde began their two-year crime spree in 1932, ruthlessly robbing banks and small businesses and killing anyone who got in their way.
The public were enamoured by the lovestruck pair, real names Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow, during the Public Enemies era during the great depression in America.
After evading the cops countless times, their luck ran out in 1934 when on High 54 in Louisiana, they were ambushed by officers who fired 107 rounds of bullets in less than two minutes.
But their infamy and legend live on to this day in the unseen images that document the end for Bonnie and Clyde, who died aged 24 and 23, along with other memorable moments.
From their bullet splayed car, their bodies on the gurney after each being struck by 50 bullets, their bodies being paraded through town, the arresting officers and a previously undeveloped picture of the couple smooching.
Along with a copy of Clyde’s criminal record detailing robberies, murder and more; his fingerprints, and the warning: ‘this man is very dangerous and extreme care should be taken when arresting him’.
Burt Finger, 74, PDNB Gallery Director, said: “There are certain outlaws that become iconic, like Billy the Kid, Al Capone and others, who live on forever.
“Bonnie and Clyde were certainly that, they were both handsome people, were nobodies, and they robbed banks at a time when banks were not loved by everyone.
“They had eluded capture for many years, their apprehension was strategic and tactical, it worked like a military operation.
“It was planned out to the letter, officers didn’t want Bonnie and Clyde to get away and to potentially go on to kill other police officers and civilians.
“The previous owner had acquired the photographs from her uncle who worked at the local newspaper at the time of the event.
“The images are like a storyboard to a movie, but it reminds you that these were actual people aside from the portrayals and preconceptions.
“Some of the photographs are gory, they were killed in a horrible manner, but they were killers too – I’m like a doctor and look at them in a clinical way.
“People are intrigued by Bonnie and Clyde and our exhibit at Photographs Do Not Bend was well received.
“I am the gallery director but have been a photo collector for things like this and these vintage photographs are really important.
“I thought it would be great for our gallery to own them for a while, the exhibit had a larger than money value.”
The photographs were on show at 22-year-old gallery Photographs Do Not Bend, which exhibits work from the 20th century, up until recently when they were bought by a private collector.
Several of the images now hang in the home of Thomas Yurkin, 55, from Dallas, Texas, who purchased them after developing an interest in the incredible snapshots of history.
Thomas, a creative director, said: Thomas said: “I see them as historical photographs, I am their owner and custodian, they are an important part of American, Texas and local Dallas history.
“My favourite photograph is the two of them embracing, which they had taken while they were in Joplin, Missouri,
“Shortly after they were discovered in the area, so had to escape pretty quickly – there was film that had been unprocessed, I believe this was one of the photos from then.
“The other photos show Clyde’s arrest warrant, his record, another shows the officers and individuals that ambushed them in Louisiana and I have a couple of the car that they were driving.
“As they were dragged into the city towed by a car, people were cutting off their hair and clothes, one guy was trying to cut off Clyde’s ear, another tried to cut off his finger.
“I have one image that shows some of their clothing and when they were killed as well as other pictures of them lying on the gurney table.
“Bonnie and Clyde were both buried here, Bonnie had 20,000 people show up to her funeral which is pretty amazing for back then it’s the equivalent of a celebrity.
“I have five of the photos up in my house, not the gruesome ones but the images that are more the iconic moments that show their life.”
It wasn’t long after loved-up pair met in 1930 that Clyde was imprisoned for Grand Theft Auto and lovesick Bonnie helped him to escape from prison by smuggling him a gun.
He was captured shortly after his escape and after his release two years later, the crime spree would then begin with gang members W.D. Jones, Raymond Hamilton, Joe Palmer, Ralph Fults, Henry Methvin, and Clyde’s older brother Buck Barrow and his wife, Blanche.
The pair’s love story was adapted into an eponymously named film in 1967 but a world away from the fiction the unseen images keep their legend alive.
Thomas said: “It explains the whole public enemy era, a little bit of their love story and that there were a lot of victims, as well as delving into what was happening during the depression era.
“It was like they could never get caught and always seemed to just about escape, they were always really lucky
“I was more interested in their life and how they got to that point then the way they went out in that ambush.
“They supposedly shot two young officers in South Lake, that’s when public opinion is supposed to have changed towards them, up until that point they were championed
“One of the people who was with them sold them out, which is supposedly how they became trapped and they were ambushed.
“Bonnie and Clyde did kill people; but often times when they took somebody’s car, they would give them a clean shirt and money to go home, so they must have had some elements of a nice side.
“When you look at them and see how young they were when they died, aged 23 and 24 it’s pretty shocking to see.”
For more info about Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery visit: www.pdnbgallery.com