A Boston Auctioneer Has an Epic Letter from Bonnie and Clyde
A Boston auctioneer is hoping a supremely salty letter from the infamous criminal companions Bonnie and Clyde will fetch top dollar from collectors next month.
Contained in the letter, written by Clyde Barrow and addressed to ex-partner Raymond Hamilton while Hamilton was being held in Dallas County Jail, is a vicious screed.
“Sympathy is lacking,” he wrote of his former pal’s predicament. Hamilton had been arrested during a bank robbery after breaking off from Bonnie and Clyde.
In the note, penned about a month before he and Bonnie were shot and killed, Barrow also called Hamilton “yellow,” criticized him for not fighting with the police who caught up with him, and snarled, “I should have killed you then I would have saved myself much bother and money looking for you.”
He also boasted that, “I know that some day they will get me but it won’t be without resistance.”
For this four-page, lingo-laden piece of history, RR Auction anticipates bringing in $40,000 or more.
Below is the full text. Read the auctioneer’s full accounting of the letter’s history on its website.
The most I can do is hope you miss the ‘chair.’ The purpose of this letter is to remind you of all the ‘dirty deals’ you have pulled. When I came to the farm after you I thought maybe the ‘joint’ had changed you from a boastful punk. However I learned too soon the mistake I had made. The first thing that aroused my suspicion was your suggestion of shooting Joe Palmer in the back while he was asleep. You soon learned how I felt about such ‘cat ideas.’ Since then I’ve found your reasons for wanting to do this was because Joe was on the farm with you and knew what kind of a guy you were. The next impression was when we got the road ‘blocked’ on us in the Ozarks and you were too ‘yellow’ to fight. You cowered in the floorboard, afraid of being shot.
Now that you’re in the Dallas jail you have a tested pal, W. D. Jones, you might get a few pointers from him on how to impress the people you were an innocent, or possibly forced companion of the ruthless Barrow gang. You might be as lucky as he was in making them believe I kept you handcuffed or tied.
When you wanted to get your Prostitute Sweetheart I thought it OK. But when you were so persistent about her going to town alone that idea wasn’t so ‘hot.’ I thought then and truthfully believe now that should she have gotten off without Bonnie she would have ‘spotted’ us all. She hails from a ‘rat’ family and you couldn’t expect better from her.
You exposed your ‘hole card’ when you stole the money from us on the Lancaster ‘job.’ That’s what I have my rear vision mirror for to watch suspicious people. When I demanded a ‘shake down’ you offered such strange excuses for having the money on you. I should have killed you then I would have saved myself much bother and money looking for you. For after you writing that letter saying you didn’t stoop so low as to rob filling stations I have done nothing but look for you. Should I have found you, you wouldn’t have had a chance to give up. You couldn’t stand the rift of the outlaw life. For one reason you were too yellow and knew you could never surrender with me and another reason you wanted to play ‘Big Shot,’ sleep in hotels and ride passenger trains. You weren’t intelligent enough to know that you couldn’t live like a king and stay out. I don’t claim to be too smart. I know that some day they will get me but it won’t be without resistance. You only carried your guns around to ‘show off’ or else kidnap women and children. I guess you find where your boastful long tongue has gotten you. Maybe you can talk yourself out of the ‘chair.’ Or maybe you can write a few more letters (try one to the governor) at least it will gain you some publicity.
When you started the rumor about Bonnie wanting a ‘cut’ of the loot you sure messed your self up. I have always taken care of Bonnie and never asked any thief to help me.
I hope this will serve the purpose of letting you know that you can never expect the least of sympathy or assistance from me.