Their reputation was revived and cemented in American pop folklore by Arthur Penn's 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde.
John Dillinger had matinee-idol good looks and Pretty Boy Floyd had the best possible nickname, but the Joplin photos introduced new criminal superstars with the most titillating trademark of all—illicit sex.
comics, movies, songs, and TV specials, Bonnie and Clyde have lived on nearly 80 years after their deaths as a Depression era Romeo and Juliet.
Brandishing high-powered machine guns and driving the newly invented Ford V-8s, Bonnie and Clyde are mythologized as Robin Hoods for the poor and destitute who had been failed by the American political and financial institutions.
But what is the real story behind Bonnie — a girl from Cement City, Texas, a small industrial town three miles west of Dallas — and Clyde — a young man of 5-foot-6 with dark, wavy hair and tattoos on his arms that included a heart-dagger and the letters “U. N.” from a failed attempt to enter the Navy as a teenager?
Growing up in Dallas in the back room of his father’s filling station, Clyde’s first brush with the law came in 1926 when he was arrested for automobile theft as a result of neglecting to return a rental car.