Bonnie & Clyde's Last Meal of a Fried Bologna & a BLT
Updated: Feb 24
Today, household names and a glorified fairytale of two outlaws in love and on the run. Back in the 1930s they were also glamourised, initiated by an infatuation from the public and a fascination from the press. But in reality, Bonnie and Clyde were cold-blooded, ruthless serial killers.
Their story starts in early 20th century Texas, Dallas to be precise. Clyde Barrow was born in 1909 and Bonnie Parker in 1910. Bonnie's father was a bricklayer and she was the more privileged of the two. Clyde was born into extreme poverty and when the Barrow family first moved to Dallas, for weeks they had to stay under their father's wagon until he had made enough money labouring to buy them a tent.
I guess it was these harsh conditions that shaped Clyde's criminal intentions. He had been cracking safes, robbing stores and stealing cars since he had dropped out of school and was in and out of jail as a youth.
Bonnie, on the other hand, wrote poetry in her spare time and held down a legitimate job as a seamstress. She was married at 16 to a career criminal named Roy Thornton, however the marriage wasn't a happy one. Her husband Roy, rather like Clyde, had several brushes with the law and was no stranger to the metal barred cells at Eastham Prison Farm either.
There are several accounts of how the murderous lovebirds met however the most credible source suggests it was at the house of Clyde's friend Clarence Clay. Clarence had a younger sister who recently had broke her arm and Bonnie, who was out of work at the time, had agreed to stay with her friend and assist her whilst she recovered.
According to one account, Bonnie was in the kitchen making hot chocolate when Clyde walked in to visit his friend Clarence. Clyde walked into the kitchen and as Bonnie turned round, the pair were smitten immediately. They were inseparable from this point onwards.
A few weeks after the pair met, Clyde was sent to jail for burglary. He eventually escaped using a gun that Bonnie had smuggled in for him but was ultimately recaptured and wasn't released until 1932. During his time in jail, Bonnie spent a lot of time with the Barrow family, visited Clyde nearly daily and continued writing her poetry.
Bonnie clearly had a thing for criminals and the 'bad boy' persona, first Roy and now she was waiting for Clyde to be released. According to accounts from Clyde's family, it was this prison sentence which turned him from a petty crook into a cold-blooded killer. Clyde was to commit his first murder whilst inside. He had been sexually molested for a number of months by a seasoned veteran in Eastham Prison Farm and eventually he snapped. He bludgeoned the predator to death with an unknown, probably concealed, weapon and a friend of Clyde's who was already serving a life sentence took the wrap.
The conditions at the prison were also tough and it wasn't just the inmates which were causing Clyde's melancholy. There was no running water, the food was nearly inedible and you were subjected to hard labour for 8 hours each day in the fields and surrounding marshlands of the prison. The hard labour was so intense that one day, seeing it as an easier option, Clyde cut off two of his own toes on his right foot. He told the guards that he did it accidentally and he was spared until his parole then on from the hard labour.
Upon his release in 1932, Clyde instantly resumed his criminal ways. His spell behind bars did nothing for him but delay and amplify the brutality of murders, robberies and kidnappings he was to commit over the next few years. He left the jail with a vendetta against the prison system and made it his life's
mission to rescue his accomplices from Eastham Prison Farm. The prison which was responsible for turning the light in his eyes to a perpetual darkness. With his corrupted and infatuated girlfriend, killer and partner in crime by his side, Clyde began on his path of terror.
To accompany him on said path of terror, Bonnie & Clyde also recruited a close friend called WD Jones, Clyde's brother Buck Barrow and his wife, Blanche – the Barrow Gang was now a 5-some. The gang made headlines across the country by embarking on a number of daring and bold robberies in the mid-west and the south. They gained notoriety for their apparent talent of evading capture and ruthless blood-thirst. The crew were suspected of 13 murders and over 30 robberies. Some of the victims on the wrong end of Clyde's Browning Automatic Rifle were innocent citizens and police officers. Their lack of apprehension for murder and killing anyone whom stood in their way resulted in law enforcement efforts becoming more intense to apprehend them.
In one shootout with Police in Iowa, Buck Barrow was shot through the head and succumbed to his injuries a few days later whilst Blanche was captured after refusing to leave her husband to die - the same cannot be said about Clyde who bailed on his older brother, declaring his brother 'a gonner'.
A few months later in November 1933, WD Jones was mistaken for Pretty Boy Floyd, another criminal operating at the time and captured in Houston by the Sherriff's office. So the Barrow Gang was quickly reduced to two and Bonnie & Clyde went on.
They continued in their path of destruction, holding up small stores, citizens and even an attorney but it wasn't until after the new year that they would make the national newspapers once again.
On 16th January 1934 five prisoners were set free from Eastham Prison by Bonnie & Clyde. Two prison officers were shot dead by the escaping prisoners using automatic pistols that Clyde had hidden in a ditch. As the escapees ran to the Ford V-8 that was waiting for them outside the prison, Clyde covered his peers with bursts of machine-gun fire from his rifle.
Clyde had completed his life's mission. He had got his revenge on the prison system, specifically the prison he had served time at. The prison where he was subjected to beatings and rapes. The prison that changed him from boy to man.
He had murdered 2 prison guards and liberated his friends, but Bonnie & Clyde's days were numbered. If you'd like to read more about the outlaw pair - please scroll down after the recipe of their last meals.
3/4 Slices Baloney/Mortadella Sausage
3/4 Slices Streaky Bacon
2 Slices Rye Bread
2 Slices White Bread
1 tbsp Mustard
2 tbsp Mayonnaise
1 tbsp Finely Diced Pickles
A few leaves iceberg lettuce, torn
2 slices of Tomato
1. For Clyde's last meal of a Fried Bologna, start the baloney off in dry pan and fry until crisp on both sides
2. There should be a touch of fat rendered from the baloney, toast your white bread in the fat until golden on both sides
3. Mix the mustard, mayonnaise and pickles into a bowl - using the back of a spoon coat both slices of bread generously
4. Lay the baloney onto the bread followed by the torn lettuce and then the lid, slice in half.
5. For Bonnie's last meal of a BLT, start the bacon off in a cold pan, turning the heat up gradually over around 5 minutes until the bacon is crispy and the fat is rendered.
6. Toast the rye bread in the bacon fat until golden on both sides.
7. Coat the bread in mayonnaise and freshly ground black pepper.
8. Lay the bacon on the bread, then the lettuce and tomato and slice again.
9. Enjoy & look out for law enforcement officers in the bushes, if driving through Louisiana.
The Last Months & Meals of Bonnie & Clyde
By 1934 the public opinion towards Bonnie and Clyde had changed and became a bleak one. They had recently murdered 2 patrol officers in cold blood. One of the officers was 24-year old HD Murphy whom was soon to be married. When pictures surfaced of his widow attending his funeral in her wedding gown, the public and press realised that the infamous duo they had recently glamourised were essentially serial killers and as bad as some of criminals, whose articles in the very same papers, sent shudders through the spines of the same readers.
With the FBI, local police, public & press all wanting the pair dead, they viewed their violent deaths as inevitable. This was poetically illustrated in Bonnie’s poem A Trail’s End ;
Some day they'll go down together
they'll bury them side by side.
To few it'll be grief,
to the law a relief
but it's death for Bonnie and Clyde.
That death for Bonnie and Clyde came on the 23rd May 1934.
On a Spring morning in Louisiana, near the border of Texas, one of the most wanted men in America nonchalantly parked his stolen Ford V-8 outside a cafe and meandered inside.
He ordered a Fried Bologna for himself and a BLT (Bacon, Lettuce & Tomato) for his sweetheart, partner in crime and the most wanted woman in America ; Bonnie Parker.
Clyde limped back to the car, a result of chopping two of his toes off whilst in prison to avoid hard labour in the fields. He handed a sandwich to Bonnie, who was also with a limp due to a crash a few months earlier where battery acid was spilt down her leg, eating her flesh to the bone in some parts.
They both took a few bites of the sandwiches, wrapped them up in the napkins provided and proceeded on the 30-minute drive to the Barrow Gang’s rendezvous point - the family home of Ivy & Henry Methvin.
Henry Methvin was member of the Barrow Gang and one the 5 prisoners that Bonnie & Clyde liberated from Eastham Prison Farm. His father’s home was a regular meeting point for the outlaws where they would hide out, chew the fat and drink the night away.
Little did they know that they had been betrayed by Henry and the couple had been set up to be ambushed by renowned Texas ranger Frank Hamer and a posse of 6 law enforcement officers.
Henry Methvin had murdered another policeman a few months after being broken out of prison by Clyde. This murder was against Clyde’s orders who just wanted Henry to kidnap the officer as he was trailing too close to the gang’s Ford V-8.
This outraged Clyde, and understandably so, he became livid with Henry saying it was an unnecessary loss of life and then proceeded to reluctantly shoot the other officer in the car so there were no witnesses. Well, none who could talk anyway. God knows what position Clyde thought he was in to be lecturing about what was right and wrong.
Henry knew that it was just a matter of time before himself, Bonnie and Clyde were going to be gunned down and if they survived, face the electric chair. So he struck a deal, using his family as the messenger, with Frank Hamer and agreed to set his former associates up.
The plan was for Henry’s father, Ivy, to pose as broken down on a road in Gibsland, a route they knew Clyde, the driver, would take to the rendezvous point. Ivy convincingly played this part well and looked dejected on the side of the road as Clyde approached.
Clyde slowed down as he recognised Ivy and began to ask if he needed any help at all. Clyde didn’t have chance to finish his sentence as hidden in the Louisiana woods to the left of the car were 6 law enforcement officers, 200+ rounds of ammunition and over 11 guns.
They began firing, taking no chances, and hit the car with over 130 rounds of ammunition from over 10 different guns. Clyde was struck with 17 bullets, several went straight through his brain and one even snapped his spinal column. Bonnie was hit with 26 including several headshots.
Declared dead instantly, there were so many bullet holes that the coroner had trouble embalming the bodies. Their run as the most famous criminal couple in American history was over.
The hail of bullets that ended their lives was so loud that for miles around, residents thought that a logging crew had used dynamite to fell a large tree. That just shows you how violent and bloody their end was.
Interestingly, the sandwich that Bonnie ordered, a BLT, was still in her grip when officers inspected the scene after the shooting. That must of been a good BLT.