Bonnie and Clyde Had Almost Two Years to Turn Themselves in Peacefully, But Chose to Murder Cops Instead
The only lie in this movie more egregious than the one involving Frank Hamer is that Bonnie and Clyde were hastily ambushed without getting their day in court–and for robbing banks, no less. Arthur Penn’s film did such a good job selling it to the public that to this day, you will see people fuming with rage that the cops were cowards who never gave them the chance to surrender.
The reason why this is a lie is that for the first year and a half of their crime spree, Bonnie and Clyde had the freedom to surrender themselves peacefully. All they had to do was turn themselves into any police station or allow themselves to be taken in on suspicion of something else. Instead, not only did they immediately kill any police officers that approached them, they launched a brazen prison break that got yet another person killed.
That they could’ve surrendered the entire time is evidenced by how all of their less trigger-happy accomplices not only lived to survive police ambushes, but were even able to make public appearances or conduct interviews after the fact. Below, you can see one of their accomplices–W.D. Jones–alive and well in spite of being known accomplices of Clyde Barrow and being up on charges:
Ray Hamilton, another accomplice, not only got to surrender peacefully, but seized the opportunity to escape prison and continue his life of crime, before getting caught again–peacefully.
So, literally, the reason why Bonnie and Clyde were never given a chance to surrender peacefully is that–unlike W.D. Jones, Blanche Barrow, Ray Hamilton and all the other people they knew–they made perfectly clear that they weren’t going to be taken in without a fight.
Now, for the last lie of Arthur Penn’s movie–