Go Down Together

Bonnie and ClydeGo Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde by Jeff Guinn

Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were not major-league criminals.  Though known for their bank robberies, Barrow preferred to rob small stores or gas stations. The gang was believed to have killed at least nine police officers and committed several other murders. They were eventually ambushed and killed in Louisiana by law officers.  What turned Bonnie and Clyde into global folk heroes was the film starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.

Jeff Guinn, a journalist and one time public school teacher, has written an extremely readable account of the lives and deaths of Bonnie and Clyde.  In the book Go Down Together he tries to deromaniticize the crimes of Bonnie and Clyde without undermining the mystery and importance of Depression-era crooks and gangsters.  Guinn points out that the Barrow Gang, though notorious, was quite bad at what they did.  According to him Bonnie and Clyde "really were the first celebrities created by electronic media - in a sense, Brangelina and Brittney are their cultural heirs."Bonnie and Clyde


Bonnie and Clyde met in Texas in January of 1930.  At the time, Bonnie was 19 and married to a man who was in prison for murder.  Clyde was 21 and single.  Not long after they met he was arrested for burglary and sent to jail.  He escaped, with the help of Bonnie, but was captured and sent back to prison.  After he was paroled, they rejoined and started their joint life of crime that included a four year crime spree and ended in Louisiana with their violent deaths. 

Bonnie and Clyde were killed in a sensational incident on May 23, 1934, on a desolate road near their hideout in Louisiana. Some sources say Bonnie and Clyde were shot more than 50 times,   while others claim a total closer to 25 bullet wounds per corpse, or 50 total.  Following the ambush, officers inspected the vehicle and discovered a small arsenal of weapons including stolen automatic rifles, semi-automatic shotguns, assorted handguns, and several thousand rounds of ammunition, along with fifteen different license plates from various states.