Modern 'Bonnie and Clyde' Had Odd Link to Real Ones

Rolling Stone profile: All four have a connection to Joplin, Missouri
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 9, 2016 10:27 AM CDT
Modern 'Bonnie and Clyde' Had Odd Link to Real Ones
This composite document released by Perry, Ga., police shows photos of Blake Fitzgerald and Brittany Harper.   (Perry Police Department via AP)

For a while earlier this year, Blake Fitzgerald and girlfriend Brittany Harper of Joplin, Missouri, were on the run amid a multi-state crime spree that drew them comparisons to a "modern-day Bonnie and Clyde." In fact, the US Marshals Service used that exact phrase during the manhunt, notes Rolling Stone, which takes an in-depth look at the pair, their increasingly violent crimes (including kidnappings and armed robberies but no murders), and the final shootout that left Fitzgerald dead and a wounded Harper under arrest. Among the noteworthy tidbits: Fitzgerald called home to his mom frequently during their spree, and their public claim of trying to get to Florida to marry may have been a sham. But the piece by William Browning also ferrets out a strange connection between the two and the actual Bonnie and Clyde.

It seems that in 1933, the outlaws stayed in Joplin with a few other members of their gang for two weeks before police rousted them. The apartment they rented there is on the National Register of Historic Places, and its owner once had a booth in the antiques store in town owned by Fitzgerald's mother. The apartment owner recalls that Bonnie and Clyde memorabilia would turn up in the shop, and Fitzgerald himself (a "polite, nice kid") was interested in stopping by the famous apartment to check it out. "He must have had an interest there that we didn't know about," says the owner. Whether deliberate or not, another parallel emerged later: The real Bonnie and Clyde reveled in their fame, and Fitzgerald and Harper seemed to do the same, posting social media updates about their escapes while on the lam. (Click for the full story.)

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