So much North Texas criminal nostalgia, yet so little ammo in the wallet.
Memorabilia from the illustrious, if also short-lived, criminal careers of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow fetched more than $100,000 in a Boston auction Saturday. Barrow’s nephew, Buddy Barrow, and Parker’s niece, Rhea Leen Linder were in attendance at the “Gangsters, Outlaws and Lawmen” auction that also featured material from Al Capone.
“I asked Buddy Barrow what his uncle would be thinking about the auction,” RR Auction executive vice president Bobby Livingston told The Associated Press. “He felt that Clyde would have said, ‘make as much money as you can.’ ”
Bonnie Parker’s silver-plated, three-headed snake ring went for $25,000 at the auction that drew bidders in person, over the phone and via the internet. According to RR Auction’s website, the ring was not made by Barrow, as was originally believed, though Barrow did learn to make jewelry during his time at the Eastham Prison Farm north of Huntsville.
The ring was recovered from the couple’s bullet-riddled 1933 Ford Model B after one of the many failed attempts by Dallas-area authorities to bring the pair to justice. Bonnie and Clyde were finally gunned down in an ambush in rural Louisiana on May 23, 1934.
A four-page “So Long” letter, perhaps better described as a “good riddance” letter, handwritten by Bonnie Parker and signed by Clyde Barrow just before their deaths, sold for $16,250. A pair of Texas arrest warrants went for $8,125.
Writing to Raymond Hamilton, a member of the Barrow Gang who had recently been thrown in the Dallas County Jail, Parker was tough but fair in addressing her colleague behind bars:
“I’m very sorry to hear of your getting captured, but due to the fact you offered no resistance, sympathy is lacking. The most I can do is hope you miss the ‘chair.’ ”
Hamilton wouldn’t. He was executed by electric chair on May 10, 1935, nearly a year after Bonnie and Clyde were brought to a bloody justice.
A considerable amount of Bonnie and Clyde’s mayhem bled over into Tarrant County as well. Barrow killed Tarrant County Deputy Sheriff Malcolm Davis, of Grapevine, in 1933 with a sawed-off shotgun.
Less than two months before Bonnie and Clyde were finally tracked down in Louisiana, Barrow and another gangster gunned down Fort Worth-based state troopers H.D. Murphy and Edward Wheeler near Dove Road in what would later become Southlake.
Last month, RR Auctions withdrew from the bidding a pair of blood-caked glasses said to have been worn by Bonnie Parker the day she was killed. DNA analysis of the glasses was reportedly inconclusive.
This report contains materials from the Star-Telegram archives.