• History

What Bonnie and Clyde Were Like Before Their Life of Crime

1 minute read

The death of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow in a hail of bullets while on the run from the law has become an American legend. But how they lived before their infamous 1930s crime spree is far less well known.

Both Bonnie and Clyde were children of the 1920s, living in poverty in pre-Depression Texas. As shown in this exclusive clip from the upcoming PBS American Experience documentary Bonnie & Clyde, premiering Jan. 19, what the two were trying to get away from is key to understanding why they took such drastic steps to escape. Bonnie in particular made a drastic shift, from a good student to a teenage wife of an abusive husband to just the kind of bored and disadvantaged young woman who was looking for a man like Clyde.


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Write to Lily Rothman at lily.rothman@time.com