In a Hail of Bullets: Bonnie & Clyde

The above is not a tombstone, but a marker where the infamous Bonnie & Clyde (Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow) were ambushed and killed by police officers, ending their criminal spree during America’s Great Depression. Although the rural road has been turned into a wide state road, the marker remains and is located about 5 miles outside of Gibsland, Louisiana. If not familiar with the gangsters, they signal probably the first celebrity criminal(s) in America, and have been too often romanticized and glorified. As you can see in the photo, the folk hero lore lives on with someone recently leaving the couple flowers.

I was a bit disappointed when I found the marker from a selfish photography standpoint. The marker is placed parallel to the highway, with the front of the stone directly facing the highway. The road has a nice curve and bends as it descends a hill, and then turns again upwards to a vanishing point in the woods. It would have been nice to place the marker in a wide angle to the road, but then it would have only been a side profile of the marker. The marker has sustained an extraordinary amount of vandalism over the years. Most of the damage is graffiti, but as you can see in the photo, chunks of stone are missing from likely gunshots. I’ve seen pictures of the stone before where any markings were barely recognizable from graffiti, so I think I was lucky to find it in the current “scrubbed” condition.

5 thoughts on “In a Hail of Bullets: Bonnie & Clyde

  1. A fascinating subject for a photograph and post. The romanticizing of the outlaw and significance of violent events seem to be a strong part of American popular culture and mass media.

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