Roy Glenn Thornton, husband of Bonnie Parker

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(Image credit: findagrave.com)

Roy Thornton was the husband of Bonnie Parker.  He was born in 1908 to Wilmer Harrison Thornton (1863-1945) and Florence May Marcy Thornton (1878-1920).  Roy was killed in an attempted prison break from the Huntsville State Prison on October 3, 1937.  His remains were interred at the Hutchings-Alston-Haden Family Cemetery, also known as the Eastham State Farm Cemetery.  He and one other inmate were slain when they and two dozen other inmates attempted to break out of the prison.

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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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Texas Prison Rodeo

The Texas Prison Rodeo (earlier known as the Huntsville Prison Rodeo) was an event that Texans looked forward to for many years.  It began in 1931 when  Marshall Lee Simmons, then serving as general manager of the Texas Prison System, conceived of it as a means for the prisoners to have recreation and as entertainment for the prison employees and their families but it quickly grew to a ticketed event that would play to a full grandstand of 14,000 to 15,000 people per performance.  The event covered costs and raised money for an inmate treatment, education and recreation fund for the prisoners.  Eventually the performances were held each Sunday in October and would total as many as 100,000 attendees per season.  In its later years, it would not be unusual for the prison rodeo to earn $450,000 in a season for the inmate fund.

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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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Unsolved Mystery: Billy the Kid

Saturday, December 29, 1950, there was a funeral in Hico, Texas for O. L. Roberts (some accounts call him William Henry Roberts) who claimed to be Billy the Kid.  He had come to Hico in the late 1930s from his previous home in Gladewater, claiming to be Billy the Kid, who was born Henry McCarty and also known as William Bonney.  We’ll refer to the outlaw as Bonney.

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