Bonnie and Clyde guns could sell for $200,000, auctioneer says

Reuters News

7/14/2012 2:44:19 PM - Reuters News

By Chris Francescani

(Reuters) - The guns that infamous killers Bonnie and Clyde were carrying when they were killed in 1934 could sell for as much as $200,000, auctioneer Bobby Livingston of New Hampshire based RR Auction said on Saturday.

The online site is preparing for a September 30 auction of the two guns along with the gold pocket watch Clyde Champion Barrow was carrying when he died at age 25, and his 23-year-old girlfriend Bonnie Parker's cosmetics.

For several years in the early 1930s, young outlaws Bonnie and Clyde crisscrossed the U.S. South robbing banks, stealing cars, killing cops and charming the tabloid press with daring photos left behind at crime scenes.

"In the depths of the Great Depression, when so many people were suffering at the hands of banks and corporations, Bonnie and Clyde were seen as acting out against those big banks,'' Livingston said.

"Which was a myth that was later totally and completely disproved," he said, recounting their history of murdering 11 cops and other people.

"After they killed two fresh young Texas patrolmen who came upon them in 1934 - they just massacred them - that's when the press turned against them and they were tracked down in Louisiana and killed."

The auction firm worked with Bonnie and Clyde author Jonathan Davis to authenticate the material, and hired a firearms experts who verified gun records through the manufacturer, Colt.

"Before I began this process, I might have had a more glorified impression of Bonnie and Clyde, that these two kids had some redeeming values,'' he said. "But they didn't."

"Now, you've got this rogue killer out on the road, who could have easily sent this girl home to her parents at any point, but he doesn't. He sticks with her."

Bonnie and Clyde were gunned down by a posse of lawmen in Louisiana on the morning of May 23, 1934. Legend has it Bonnie Parker had time to scream before the bullets hit.

(Reporting By Chris Francescani; Editing by Greg McCune)