The Newton Boys

The Newton Boys were a gang of brothers from Uvalde, Texas operating mostly in the 1920s.  Probably many people had never heard of them until the 1998 film by that name.  The Newtons were Willis, Joe, Jess and Dock (Willis’ twin brother whose birth name was Wylie).  In total, they robbed six trains and over 80 banks.  They were active for about four years before they were apprehended.  All spent some of their lives in prison and after being released, most returned to Uvalde, living there into their senior years.

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Bonnie and Clyde Film (1967) versus the historical facts

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(Image credit: IMDB.com)

This summer will mark the 50th anniversary of the release of the feature film Bonnie and Clyde.  It was directed by Arthur Penn (1922-2010), who also directed around two dozen other films including The Missouri Breaks, Night Moves, Little Big Man, Alice’s Restaurant and The Miracle Worker.  Penn had received his start in the early days of television, having been involved with productions in series including The Gulf Playhouse, Goodyear Playhouse, Playhouse 90 and others.

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Murder of “Alamo” Actress, 1959

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(Image credit: Albuquerque Journal)

On October 12, 1959, the Associated Press column appeared in newspapers across the country with similar headlines to this one, “Admirer Kills Young Actress In Alamo Movie.”  The article reported the death of LaJean Eldridge, an actress in the John Wayne film project being shot in Bracketville, Kinney County, Texas.  Ms. Eldridge, about 26 years old, had died the day before, the victim of a stabbing that took place in a rented residence that she and five male actors shared in nearby Spofford, Texas.  The group were members of a little theater troupe.  Eldridge had been cast in the film as “Mrs. Guy” and the alleged killer, Chester Harvey Smith, about 32 years old, was her boyfriend who had been cast as an extra in the project.

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