Bonnie and Clyde were America’s dangerous sweethearts. They robbed banks, gasoline stations and stores. They killed police officers. Their notoriety captivated the entire nation. But Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, reared in the West Dallas slums, may have been their biggest fans.

The Depression-era America was enamored with these love-struck outlaws. But historians say, the life of Bonnie and Clyde on the run was far from glamorous. They were clumsy criminals. They didn’t always rob banks, often resorting to stealing small sums of cash from mom-and-pop stores, living out of their stolen cars.

On May 23, 1934, Texas Ranger captain Frank Hamer and his team tracked down Bonnie and Clyde in Louisiana. They set themselves up to ambush the couple on Highway 54. Based on official document, 107 rounds of bullets were shot in less than 2 minutes. Many bullets shot through the car, both bodies, then out the other side. Bonnie and Clyde had been hit 50 times each. And just like that, America’s dangerous lovers were gone. The long awaited justice for America had been served.

Below are rare photos of the ambush aftermath from PDNB Gallery that show the get away car, Texas Ranger Captain, Frank Hamer, and a post mortem of the couple.

Barrow’s stolen Ford V8, 1934



Clyde Barrow, 1934



The bodies of Bonnie and Clyde, 1934



The jacket of the infamous Clyde Barrow, 1934



Bonnie Parker, 1934



Clyde’s bullet riddled Ford V8 Sedan with Texas rangers in the background, 1934



The automobile of Bonnie and Clyde, 1934



Clyde Barrow’s criminal record, 1934



Former Texas ranger, Frank Hamer, and the posse that ended the lives of the notorious Bonnie and Clyde, 1934



Bonnie and Clyde, kissing and embracing, 1933



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Gene Roddenberry’s plane crash-landed in Syrian Desert


He was famous for his classic Star Trek television series, which set the rules for modern sci-fi. But years before Gene Roddenberry became a TV legend, he was nearly killed when his plane lost two engines in mid-flight and burst into flames. It crash-landed in the Syrian Desert.

His story should have ended there had he not saw a light in the distance. He sent two men there while he tended the wounded. It turned out the light belonged to a Syrian military outpost. They were later rescued.

Martin Scorsese nearly died on cocaine overdose


He’s one of the greatest American film directors. But in 1970s, cocaine overdose nearly killed Scorsese. Thanks to Robert de Niro’s intervention, he finally kicked the deadly habit and returned to film the classic Raging Bull.

Clint Eastwood survived one of the strangest plane crashes in history


In 1950, Eastwood hitched a ride on a Navy plane. During the flight, the door below him suddenly sprang open nearly flinging him from the plane. He nearly died from lack of oxygen and passed out.

The pilot was able to save him by crash-landing into the sea, but the impact jettisoned Eastwood into the ocean with its vicious current that almost dragged him to his death. Eastwood had no choice but to summon all his strength and swim like hell to the nearest shore.

Everyone around Nostradamus died of the Black Death


In early 16th century, thousands died every week from the Black Death. People stayed away from infected towns. Not Nostradamus. The young prophet visited plague homes and helped treating the victims. Although his entire family died of the plague, it didn’t seem to affect him.

Nostradamus also survived the Inquisition.

Hernan Cortes was nearly sacrificed to the Aztec god of war


Without Hernan Cortes, modern Mexico would be a much a different place today. But he was off to a bad start not long after landing when he lost 68 men during a raid, in which all them were dragged away to the temple and sacrificed to the Aztec god of war. Cortes luckily escaped.

After a series of skirmishes against the Aztec warriors, the Spanish Conquistador was penned and was on the cusp of death when a loyal soldier, Cristobal de Olea, did a heroic act to save him. Cortes managed to escape at the cost of Cristobal’s life.

George Orwell nearly killed in Spain (twice)


When the civil war broke out in Spain, George Orwell went to fight against the Fascist. He was shot through the neck by a fascist sniper that nearly killed the writer. He luckily survived and went on to write the classics Animal Farm and 1984.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky came within seconds of execution


He’s one of the most influential and greatest writers of our time. But at 28, he was accused of being a part of a revolutionary group and was condemned to death by firing squad.
The soldiers were already aiming their rifles and were seconds to firing when an order from the Tsar came through to spare the young writer’s life. He was sent to do hard labor in Siberia for eight years.

He later wrote the great classical novels such as Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov.

Franklin D. Roosevelt almost died of Spanish flu


The Spanish Flu killed 50 million people worldwide. It also nearly claimed the life of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1918. He was assistant secretary to the Navy at that time when he contracted the killer flu. Fortunately, he survived the scary infection.

Gandhi was nearly lynched


We know him today as one of the greatest leaders in history. But when he was a young lawyer working in South Africa, an angry mob nearly lynched him after he wrote the Green Pamphlet, a controversial treatise that criticized South Africa’s ruling white minority.

After his trip home to India, Gandhi returned to Durban, South Africa, with the mob waiting for him. They battered him with stones and brickbats, and were on the verge of lynching him when the wife of the local Police Superintendent intervened.

She managed to hold the attackers at bay until the police arrived. Thanks to her, Gandhi survived the ordeal and went on to become one of world’s greatest leaders of men.

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About 300 km east of Mumbai, in the remote Indian village of Shani Shingnapur, crime is a concept so alien that villagers here have stopped guarding their houses, their properties and their valuables. Nobody locks their cars and motorbikes anymore. Shopkeepers leave cash in unlocked drawers overnight, and housewives keep jewelry in unlocked boxes, inside houses that have no doors —just a wooden door frame with a curtain drawn across to protect the privacy of the residents. Such is the faith the villagers have on their heavenly guardian, Lord Shani, who they believe protects them from thieves. The belief, that whoever steals anything from this place will incur the wrath of Lord Shani —a Hindu god known for his mad temper and penchant for revenge— and will have to pay dearly for their sins, has kept wrong doers away from Shingnapur for the last 300 years.


A home in Shani Shinganapur, India, where nearly all residences have no doors.

Legend has it that hundreds of years ago, after a period of intense rain and flooding, a heavy slab of black stone was found washed up on the shores of a river that runs through the village. When locals touched the stone, the story goes, that blood started oozing out of it. Then one night, the village head had a dream in which Lord Shani spoke to him and revealed that the slab was, in fact, god himself. Shani instructed the villagers to keep the stone in the village because he wished to stay there, and protect its people. But they should keep the slab in the open so that he could oversee the village.

The next day, the villagers dragged the stone to dry land and installed it on a roofless platform at the center of the village. They also decided to do away with all doors and locks on their houses. With the Lord watching over them, they didn’t need doors anymore. The tradition has continued since then.

Over the years, the lore has grown. Villagers are full of tales about failed robbery attempts where thieves walk all night thinking they have left the village only to find themselves still in the village in the morning. Apparently, they were walking in circles. Another local lore says that one villager installed doors on his house and had a car accident the very next day.


The slab of stone, now a shrine.

Shingnapur remained in obscurity until the 1990s, when it appeared on a Bollywood flick, after which it began drawing thousands of tourists and pilgrims from across the country. But according to some residents, the village’s crime-free image is just a ploy to bring more tourist. They claim that petty crime and thefts occur all the time but temple officials keep everything hushed up to protect Shinganapur's reputation.

When a journalist visited Sonai Police Station last year, under which the jurisdiction of the village fell before Shingnapur got its own police station, he found 46 criminal cases registered from the village in the last six year, out of which 11 were cases of thefts. As one probes deeper, more instances of crime begin to emerge. One Shingnapur resident recalls how his mother's gold necklace got stolen one night from their house when he was still a teenager. Pickpocketing is also rampant around the temple area but they are seldom reported. The fact that Shingnapur has a police station is a sign in itself that its image of a crime-free utopia is a myth.

The first public incident to rock the village’s reputation occurred in 2010 when cash and items worth Rs. 35,000 were stolen from a vehicle. Then in 2011, cash and valuables were stolen from the home of a former temple trustee, and then again in January 2012 gold ornaments were stolen from within the temple.


Another doorless house in Shani Shingnapur.

Shani Shingnapur is now changing. When a local bank opened a branch in the village in 2011, they installed a Plexiglas front door with no padlocks to respect the village’s tradition, but the door is held shut by a remote-controlled electromagnetic lock. Many houses and local business, especially hotels, began installing sliding doors that slipped back behind the wall, creating an illusion of a doorless entry. Even the temple keeps security guards in the premise along with baggage checks and security cameras. Their donation box is kept locked.

Temple trustees and villagers, whose economy depends on tourism, try hard to keep the village's reputation up. The police station and the increased security is for crowd management, not crime patrol, they say. Some still maintain that there are no crimes in the village, and that the police station in Shingnapur “is the only one in the entire country without doors”, blatantly ignoring the solid wooden panels guarding its entrance.


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