Bonnie and Clyde, the infamous criminal couple responsible for a multitude of crimes, died with their guns still on their persons. Now, those same weapons have been sold for a sum the pair had never seen in all their days of thievery.
Bonnie and Clyde's guns, a Colt .38 snub-nosed revolver and a 1911 Colt .45, were sold for a combined total of $504,000 at a Nausha, New Hampshire auction Sunday. Bonnie Parker's gun, found on her inner thigh, brought in $264,000, while Clyde Barrow's firearm, found on his waistband, was worth $240,000 to a lucky buyer from Texas.
The two career criminals had lengthy rap sheets that included kidnapping, robbery, auto theft, burglary, and murder. Their reign of terror came to an end however, one morning in Bienvile Parish, Lousiana, when the couple was ambushed by a posse led by Frank Hamer. The couple was shot numerous times May 23, 1934.
"These amazing and historic weapons were found on the couple the morning of their deaths and gifted to Capt. Hamer, along with other items from that ill-fated day, on May 23, 1934. The guns, along with other items, were taken by authorities at the time as part of his compensation package for the ambush," Bobby Livingston, vice president of RR Auction, said in a press release.
RR Auction's event, titled The Gangsters, Outlaws, and Lawmen affair, had 134 artifacts for sale, including a handwritten note from Wyatt Earp, Clyde's pocket watch, an unused caliber bullet and casing, and various other items. The sale of such rare items excited bidders.
"When rare items like that come up for sale you expect this kind of enthusiasm," Livingston told the New York Daily News. "There was some serious bidding going on."
The auction, which contained other items from gangsters like Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, and Bugsy Siegel, brought in over $1 million. Livingston believes that the glorifying of infamous criminals had to with the sale's success.
"In American culture, for whatever reason, there's a romance with rebellious outlaw types," he told The Los Angeles Times. "They're seen in this mythological presentation that can often be so far from the truth."