Sunday, February 20, 2011

In the footsteps of Bonnie and Clyde

So yesterday my husband and I had no plans . . . We mulled over what to do and I suggested that we go find the gravesites of notorious outlaws Bonnie & Clyde. It didn't take long for me to convince Hubby that this was an awesome idea [cuz I'm awesome like that], so we set out on a mission, guided by the coordinates on our GPS.

I didn't realize until this summer [during a History channel special, no less!] that Bonnie & Clyde were from Dallas. It seems that the city would want to make more of this, but unfortunately this history is kind of hushed.

Bonnie and Clyde

We decided to find Bonnie first. We had no trouble finding Crown Hill Cemetery out behind Love Field. Someone had kindly given a description of the location of the grave online, so we walked right up to her gravesite. It seems that people still visit, as there were flowers and coins left on her gravestone. I checked my purse, but sadly didn't have any coins to leave.

Her gravestone reads:
"As the flowers are all made sweeter
by the sunshine and the dew,
so this old world is made brighter
by the lives of folks like you"

Bonnie Parker gravestone Dallas

Next, we left to find Clyde's grave. Bonnie and Clyde are not buried together, as you may expect, so we traversed quite a distance before we came to the Western Heights Cemetery in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas. This is what we saw:

Western Heights Cemetery Clyde Barrow Dallas

The cemetery was completely gated and locked! "No trespassing" signs surrounded the inner perimeter of the fence.

Western Heights Cemetery Clyde Barrow Dallas

Sure, they won't let us in, but then they have to tease us with this historical marker about all the people who are buried here. Who does that? I was so mad.

Western Heights Cemetery Historical Marker Dallas

Well, I might have slipped under the gate to get this photo, but don't tell! Clyde and Marvin "Buck" Barrow are buried next to each other. Looks like plenty of people have visited, despite the locked gate! I didn't stay long, because the cemetery was off a very busy road, but it was a neat cemetery, I would have loved to stay and look around!

Clyde Barrow Gravestone Dallas

Turns out that the reason the cemetery was all locked up was because there have been lots of problems over the years with people vandalizing the stone. It has even been stolen several times. I guess that makes sense, but it would be crappy to have relatives buried there and never be able to get in to visit.

We also drove by the old Barrow family gas station. The building is still there and seems to be empty. We saw several old buildings in the area, but at the time were not 100% sure which one it was. We definitely saw it, but unfortunately I didn't get a photo. There is another gas station in another part of town that we plan to visit sometime soon.

When we were finished, we had lunch at Hunky's Hamburgers in the Bishop Arts District and decided what to do next. We decided that since we were on a roll, we might as well drive to Fort Wort to see the grave of Lee Harvey Oswald, accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy. We had a little GPS trouble, but finally got there. His grave is very plain and simple, with only the name "Oswald". There were not flowers or tributes, but people definitely visit... as evidenced by the trampled ground in front of his stone. I think the cemetery probably pulls anything left at the grave so that people can't idolize him...

Lee Harvey Oswald gravesite Fort Worth

Hope you enjoyed our little tour of "Famous Dallas Criminals"!

4 comments:

  1. Very interesting post! When I was a kid, I saw Bonnie & Clyde's car. It was in a trailer, surrounded by a glass partition. The car was full of bullet holes. Years later I watched the movie Bonnie and Clyde.

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  2. what an awesome date! sounds like my kinda day... history and hamburgers!!! :)

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  3. Very interesting post. History makes me shiver. I am enthralled by it.
    Sounds like a fun day out.

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  4. Found you on UEF and following! :)

    -Tiffany with Will Write 4 Food
    http://tiffanywillwrite4food.blogspot.com

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