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Saturday, 23 May 2020


Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping, the golden age of Hollywood (esp westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. 

This is a series of very, very short items that have nothing to do with the current news agenda.  Swift diversions for a moment or two.

Apropos of Nothing #36 – 23 May 1934

Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow were US criminals who robbed banks, small stores and gas stations during the years of the Great depression.  In their two-year partnership, they were relentless in their crimes that also included murder.  Their exploits captured the attention of the American public.  They had many confrontations with the police including car chases and violent shoot-outs.

Finally, on 23 May, 1934, Parker and Barrow were ambushed by law enforcement officers in the Louisiana woods area.  They opened fire and Clyde was killed instantly and Bonnie moments later.  In all, about 130 rounds of ammunition were fired into the couple’s car.

An extract from a police statement said:

“Each of us six officers had a shotgun and an automatic rifle and pistols. We opened fire with the automatic rifles. They were emptied before the car got even with us. Then we used shotguns. There was smoke coming from the car, and it looked like it was on fire. After shooting the shotguns, we emptied the pistols at the car, which had passed us and ran into a ditch about 50 yards on down the road. It almost turned over. We kept shooting at the car even after it stopped. We weren't taking any chances.

At the time of their deaths, Parker was 25 and Barrow, 23.

Bonnie and Clyde have been a source of fascination-fodder for films, television and music. 

Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker

Sources: Wikipedia and others

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