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Buffy's Commentary

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Bonnie and Clyde...what DID they do with the money?



We all know about Bonnie and Clyde, murdering theives who probably smelled pretty badly most of the time seeing as their access to showers was spotty at best.

So why the wool suits in summer in the south?  Really?

So I fell down a rabbit hole reading about them recently (and if you think the FJ community is drama filled we got nothing on them) and I have a question:

What the hell did they do with the cash?

I know some consider them folk heroes due to the great depression and seriously destitute times for much of the country - although how many of us had grandparents or great-grandparents who lived through the era without shooting anyone in the face?  I'm thinking most of us.  But if you look at the hauls the whole poor kids desperate to survive falls apart.

April 1932 at the beginning of their run...bank job netted them $33k.  In 2015 money that's $579,468.56.  Even split 4 ways with other gang members that's fat money.  

Average overall annual salary in 1932 was 1368.  A steelworker was pulling in $423 a year.  So you'd think they could have lived off their cut of that first bank job (and taken care of their families) and been done with it.  


May 1933 another bank job for $1k.  17,559.65 in 2015 dollars.  January 1934 several banks netting a total of about $10k.  175,596.53 in 2015.  

That's the rough equivalent of $772,624.74 in 2 years without the other robberies included.  I'm thinking I could live pretty comfortably if I was making $386,312.37 a year.  I would certainly love to find out, but I won't.  Yet, I don't shoot people.

Even split 4 ways that's over $96k each.  Not wealthy but certainly the  equivalent would go a lot further in the 1930s with less expenses (not like cable and cell phones were a factor.)

They did help their families, but they remained poor...they helped them survive but none of them were ever financially comfortable during this time.  There were plans for Clyde to buy his parents a farm in Louisiana but he never did.  They were so broke when his brother Buck died they didn't get the head stone right away because they knew Clyde would be killed shortly and they wanted to wait and save money by getting only one marker.  (I guess they didn't have the after the fact engraving back then?)  


Poor Buck.  Born first.  Jailed first.  Died first.  Yet Clyde gets top billing on the marker.  I think we can see who was mommy and daddy's favorite.  

They weren't spending money buying cars, no insurance payments, sleeping in your car/tents/low budget motels keeps the housing budget down.  Robbing an armory for guns and ammo sure keeps your GL account for weapons light.  Expensed, of course.  Food, gas, fancy hats, the occasional cigar, movie magazines...medical attention and supplies...can't get 3/4 mil expenses out of that.

And along the way they are hitting up gas stations, small stores...because they were so broke need money to get by?  So broke that they resorted to robbing one store for $4 and change? 

Drugs were a thing back then, but historians tend to agree Clyde shunned liquor for the most part and there is no way that boy could drive the way he did if he was a drug addict.  If he'd only had a chance at NASCAR he could have been a legit millionaire.  

I am fascinated by how you'd blow through that much so fast in that era...I am so not done with this rabbit hole.

Weird facts:

  • They both had gonorrhea at the time of death (before penicillin?  Yikes.  And ouch.)
  • B&C were 22 and 24 respectively at the time of death
  • She died wearing her estranged husband's wedding ring, and had his name tattooed inside of her thigh - she never divorced her first husband Roy who she married at 15
  • Rumor still circulates that she was newly pregnant at the time of death
  • Bonnie was 4' 11" and Clyde 5' 4"...she 90 lbs and he 125-130.  He would stand on things in pictures to appear taller.  I guess vanity is universal.  
  • Buck Barrow's head wound shows how completely weird the human body is:



 the bullet went in his left temple at the edge of his eye socket, circled along the inside of his skull, and blew a gaping exit hole in his right forehead. He actually remained quite concious and lucid after suffering this wound, although he couldn't walk on his own very well.



On July 19, 1933, Marvin was mortally wounded in the head during a shootout at the Red Crown Tourist Court at Platte City, Missouri. The bullet opened up a large hole in Marvin's forehead that exposed his brain and caused severe loss of blood.[4] Blanche was also wounded in the same gunfight. She and her husband escaped, however, along with Bonnie, Clyde, and W. D. Jones. Despite his ghastly head wound, and loss of blood, Marvin was sometimes fully conscious, and talked and ate.

Buck was taken to King's Daughters Hospital in Perry, Iowa. His doctors commented in their report on how clean Marvin's head wound was, given the circumstances. Bonnie and Clyde had poured hydrogen peroxide into the head wound, cleaning it.[5] On arrival Marvin was generally lucid and told doctors that aspirin helped the pain in his head and the only real pain he felt was from his other gunshot wounds, particularly the one in his back. 

Lawmen visited him in the hospital to get his final statements. Though doctors kept him numb with opiates, they also injected him with stimulants at least twice, that he might answer questions.[7] "Due to the lack of medical attention," an interrogator noted, "the wound in Barrow's head gave off such an offensive odor that it was with utmost difficulty that one could remain within several feet of him."[8] He agreed with Deputy Red Salyers that he had shot and killed Marshal Humphrey in Arkansas. He was able to chat with the doctor, who asked him, "Where are you wanted by the law?" "Wherever I've been," replied Marvin. [9]


I can't find a decent medicine which will work on my migraines, but he has a bullet circle the inside of his head and exit, exposing his brain...and aspirin works.  

In the same event where he had the weird circling brain bullet his wife was blinded by shards of glass from a blown out window getting in her eye.  


Can you even wrap your head around that?  Get to a clearing in a wooded area to have those knuckleheads trying to remove shards of glass from your eye?  Yikes!  I'll take the gaping head wound any day.

They had loaded guns - I'd be begging to be put out of my misery.  Or they'd shoot me to get me to stfu because I believe whatever stoicism I may have possessed would go out the window at that point.

Okay - medical people...why would his wound smell like that?






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Maggie Mae


The wool suits wouldn't smell that bad. Wool, being "natural" and stuff, doesn't really hold the "stink" in like modern fabrics. Source: Own wool workout clothing. You have to alternate it/let it dry, and air it out, but it's nowhere near as stinky as my poly stuff. 

The head wound, I think, the smell would be from infection? Have you ever watched those videos of people draining/popping cysts in their backyard? Sometimes the audience starts talking/gagging about the smell. However, I am not a doctor, I'm just guessing here. Spitballing, if you want to use a term that is overused in corporate 'Merca.

I don't really get the appeal, either. Other than the appeal of well dressed depression era gangsters "sticking it to the man" it confuses me. Actually the glorification of all gangsters confuses me. Like the Godfather is someone worth imitating? No, not so much. 

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From what I recall from my neuroscience class, there are few pain receptors in the brain.  Yeah, there are tons of neurons in the brain, but most of them don't have pain receptors.  The pain you feel from a migraine is vascular.  Many brain surgeries are performed with the patient awake during the middle of the procedure and sedated for the beginning and end.  Yep that would freak me out, too!

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Just now, PennySycamore said:

From what I recall from my neuroscience class, there are few pain receptors in the brain.  Yeah, there are tons of neurons in the brain, but most of them don't have pain receptors.  The pain you feel from a migraine is vascular.  Many brain surgeries are performed with the patient awake during the middle of the procedure and sedated for the beginning and end.  Yep that would freak me out, too!

Wow - that's fascinating.  I do recall hearing that about the surgery now that you mention it.  I'd still think the pain in the nerve endings getting to the brain would be unbearable.  I'm googling tonight.  

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