A Creepy Criminal
Clyde Chesnut Barrow was born March 24, 1909, near Telico, Texas. Clyde’s father, Henry Barrow, moved his family to Dallas in 1922. Four years later, Clyde was arrested for the first time on a charge of auto theft. Undeterred, Barrow next committed a series of Dallas-area robberies over the next four years.
Soon after meeting Bonnie Parker in 1930, Barrow was jailed for burglary in Waco. He soon escaped using a handgun Bonnie had slipped past the guards. He was caught a week later in Ohio and sentenced to fourteen years hard labour in the Texas State pen. Barrow was paroled in February 1932, however, and over the next two years he became the infamous head of a gang of armed bank robbers that included Bonnie.
On April 13, 1933, the Barrow Gang narrowly escaped being captured in Joplin, Missouri. Police raided their hideout after a tip from suspicious neighbors. The latest two lawmen in what was by then a long string of murders, were killed in the shoot-out. A now-famous roll of film containing pictures of Bonnie and Clyde was found in the hideout.
Clyde’s brother, Buck, and Buck’s wife Blanche had become members of the gang. Buck was killed, and Blanche was captured in a later raid in Platte City, Missouri. Bonnie and Clyde escaped again. In 1934, they freed a former gang member from Eastern State Prison in Texas, along with another prisoner. It was a daring machine-gun raid in which one guard was killed and several were wounded.
After another robbery spree in Indiana, the Barrow Gang was tracked to a farm in Arcadia, Louisiana. Leading the search were Texas Ranger Francis A. (Frank) Hamer and FBI special agent L.A. Kindell. Hamer arranged a roadside ambush in Gibsland, Louisiana. Travelling alone, Bonnie and Clyde were killed in a flurry of gunfire. Their bodies were put on public display in Dallas before burial in their separate family plots.
If you’ve read this far, maybe you’re wondering the same thing that I am. How do sub-human slugs such as these get to be seen as some kind of heroes?
Steve McQueen – Everybody’s Favorite Cool-Guy
McQueen’s screen persona — blue-eyed cool on the outside, rebellious turmoil on the inside — made him a box-office smash throughout the 1960s and early ’70s. He was in the early TV western Wanted: Dead or Alive (1958-61) and the cult horror film The Blob (1958). But it was his work in The Magnificent Seven (1960, with Charles Bronson) and the WWII epic The Great Escape (1963, with James Garner) which established himself as a lean, laconic action star. He received an Oscar nomination in 1966 for The Sand Pebbles, but he remains best known for The Great Escape and for the 1968 cops-and-car-chases flick Bullitt. He died at a clinic in Mexico in 1980, after undergoing surgery for cancer.
I still remember seeing Bullitt for the first time. It’s still a great cop flick. Here’s a beautiful photographic caricature of Steve McQueen by Sebastian Krüger.
Here’s an interesting Five Things You Didn’t Know About Steve McQueen.