Bonnie and Clyde Weren’t Turning Over a New Leaf When They Died–the Opposite, In Fact
Arthur Penn’s film implies that after getting seriously wounded, Bonnie and Clyde convalesced at the home of C.W. Moss’s father, then started to reflect on their lives. By the time they are healed, it seems as if the couple are looking to turn over a new leaf the very morning they will be ambushed.
In reality, Bonnie and Clyde not only became more active after the shootout in which Buck and Blanche were captured, but increasingly murderous when it was obvious that the end was near. On top of a prison guard that was killed because of their orchestrated prison break, Clyde killed two more LEOs in what would later be referred to as “the Grapevine Murders.” These murders, which happened on Easter, were so egregious that the public finally turned against him and Bonnie, and it became obvious that there would be no escaping the electric chair if captured.
Expecting the worst, Clyde collected a huge arsenal of weapons and ammo in anticipation of the police ambush he knew was just around the corner. Besides finding a huge cache of weapons in the so-called “death car”, officials also found weapons within reach of Bonnie’s and Clyde’s slumped bodies. Even in their last seconds of life, they were ready to shoot–and kill–at the first sign of trouble.
To reiterate, there’s nothing wrong with artistic license. However, the scenario presented in Arthur Penn’s film was a lie. Bonnie and Clyde killed more people in their last months alive than each year they were active and made it be known that they were now operating according to a “kill or be killed” ethos.