"Fifty-one criminal history files, mainly documenting high-profile 1930s gangsters, including Arthur (Doc) and Fred Barker, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, John Dillinger, Arthur Flegenheimer (Dutch Schultz), Alvin Karpis, Frank Mitchell (Pretty Boy Floyd), George Nelson (Baby Face Nelson), Clair Ralph Gibson, Robert W. Markwood, Fred Ryan, Rocky S. Lupino, and Homer Van Meter." A selection of materials is available online.
"To many ordinary citizens during the Great Depression, bank robbers were seen as victims of injustice driven to commit crimes, folk heroes wreaking vengeance on a callous economic system. The notoriety of the Barrow Gang (“Bonnie and Clyde”) was bolstered by wild shootouts with police, spectacular car chases, and the romance of two lovers outside the law. In turn, they courted publicity and cultivated the image of misfit-heroes. Bonnie and Clyde’s “aspirations” were low: they preferred raiding small, isolated banks and did not hesitate to prey on modest stores and marginal businesses. Bonnie Parker sent poems and photographs to newspapers, heralding the Barrow Gang’s exploits and defending her honor. This poem, by Parker, depicted the pair as populist desperadoes, misunderstood and star-crossed lovers driven to a life of crime. Bonnie and Clyde remained at large until a Texas posse ambushed them on May 23, 1934. Dying together in a proverbial hail of bullets—the Texas lawmen pumped some 187 rounds into the couple—helped perpetuate the romance surrounding their short, desperate, and destructive lives." History Matters