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15 Details from the In Cold Blood Killers’ Case Files

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On November 15, 1959, the Clutter family—Herb and Bonnie, their daughter Nancy, and son Kenyon—were brutally murdered in their Holcomb, Kansas, home. Convicted of the crime were Perry Edward Smith and Richard Eugene Hickock, who were sent to the Kansas State Penitentiary. Soon after, the killers became the subjects of Truman Capote’s non-fiction novel, In Cold Blood. Capote conducted a number of interviews with the inmates before they were executed by hanging on April 14, 1965.

The Kansas Historical Society recently released Smith and Hickock’s inmate case files—593 pages and 727 pages, respectively—which include their criminal histories, warrants, legal correspondence, and notes to and from Capote. Here are a just few details from the files that shed light on their lives behind bars.

1. During his first stay in prison, Smith was busted for contraband.

A search of Cell 228 on March 6, 1957, when Smith was behind bars for burglary, revealed:

1 Box in the making, with drawer.
Some sandpaper.
1 New 12 inch ruler.
1 Pair pliers.
1 piece of band saw blade.
1 Piece of file.
1 Jar of glue.
2 pieces of rubber innertube.
1 roulette game.
1 stinger.

Smith pleaded guilty to having the items, but told officer E. Golden that he was “of a creative nature and likes to build things … The roulette wheel was for his own amusement in order to figure out percentages.” Though it was the first report for Smith in the year that he had been in prison, the document filed by the custodial officer continued, “[he] appears to be an unstable individual who follows his own impulsive nature without weighing the consequences.” Smith was sentenced to indefinite isolation, followed by 30 days restriction.

2. During his first stint in prison, Hickock worked at the tag factory.

His duties included “taking paint off the machine and placing it on the conveyor, also is an extra operator when one is needed,” reported E.G. Peters, supervisor of the tag factory, on May 27, 1959. “This man requires little supervision. His quality of work, dependability and attitude is above average.” His work was good enough that earlier that year, Hickock had been given a raise, and made 20 cents a day.

3. Smith went on a hunger strike in the first year of his second sentence.

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After going on a “self-induced starvation diet for five (5) months” that left him weighing just 108 pounds, Smith’s doctors recommended he be sent to Larned State Hospital for psychiatric evaluation. In a Special Progress Report dated October 13, 1960, that request was denied: “It would be difficult to transfer the patient that distance due to deterioration caused by self-starvation and due to maximum security measure involved in commitment to a medical institution.” (Later records in the file show that Smith was taken to a hospital.)

4. During his second sentence, Hickock took courses on the Bible.

Because he was on Death Row, Hickock couldn’t go to church—so instead, he participated in Bible Correspondence courses, according to a Special Progress Report from October 7, 1960.

5. Hickock was a college football fan.

Kansas University, specifically. In a letter to Warden Tracy Hand dated August 15, 1960, Hickock wrote, “It is that time of year when football season is just around the corner. I am quite an ardent fan of the University Kansas … The first game of the season is the 17th of September. Would it be possible for the game of the University of Kansas to be put on the speaker on top of the jail, Saturday afternoon?” Hickock’s request was granted.

6. When Capote interviewed Hickock and Smith in 1962, he also got a tour of the institution.

Kansas Memory

Capote’s requests for an interview were initially denied; though the inmates had given interviews to reporters before, the prison decided “interviews with condemned inmates serve no constructive purpose.” Eventually, though, Capote got his interview—and a tour.

The author visited and interviewed the inmates many times. In a September 1964 letter included in both Smith and Hickok's files, Capote wrote Warden Sherman Crouse informing him that he planned to visit Smith and Hickock once again. “Please do not bother to answer this request by letter,” Capote wrote, “as I will telephone you well in advance.”

Kansas Memory

Crouse forwarded the letter to Stucker, acting Director of Penal Institutions, describing Capote as “a rather well known author who is writing a book on the Clutter murder case. … Perhaps I should alert you to the fact if a man about 5 feet tall, approximately 50 years of age, and with a walk and voice such as you have seen and heard many times during your prison career, comes to your office it almost undoubtedly is Mr. Capote.”

Crouse went on to explain that Capote attended the trial and kept in touch with the two inmates since that time. “I have been informed Hickock will request that Mr. Capote attend his execution, if and when it takes place,” he wrote. “It is understood Mr. Capote is holding up the completion of his book until the fate of Hickok and Smith is finally settled.”

7. Harper Lee wanted to correspond with Smith.

Nelle Harper Lee—yes, the author of To Kill A Mockingbird—helped Capote with his research for In Cold Blood. She also visited Hickock and Smith in jail with Capote, and tried to correspond with Smith. In a March 20, 1962 letter to Colonel Guy C. Rexroad, Director of Penal Institutions, lawyer Clifford Hope wrote that Lee “was advised that Perry Smith would like to correspond with her. I trust that this privilege could not be granted unless Smith himself would make a request for it. I understand Miss Lee’s letters have been returned undelivered.”

In his reply, Rexroad made clear that “it is not possible to grant this request.” The rules of the institution mandated that inmates were only allowed to correspond and visit with members of their immediate families. “Inmates without immediate relatives, [sic] may request permission to have a friend or more distant relative approved as a correspondent. This exception cannot be applied in [Smith’s] case, since he has a father. … I am sure that the need for uniformity in the administration of the Penitentiary rules will be clear to Miss Lee and hope that she will understand the reasons that make it impossible for this office to grant her request.” (According to another document, Smith was permitted to have a 5x7 photo of Lee.)

8. Hickock told his life story to someone other than Capote.

That person was Mack Nations, who wrote an article, "From the Death House A Condemned Killer Tells How He Committed American's Worst Crime in 20,” that was published in the December 1961 issue of Male magazine. When he discovered that Hickock was also speaking to Capote, Nations was incensed—and sent letters to that effect. "Richard Eugene Hickock granted to Mack Nations exclusive rights to any and all of [his life story] forever," he wrote to Warden Hand on January 23, 1962, just a few days before Capote conducted one of his interviews. "In the event that Richard Eugene Hickock violates that contract, verbally or otherwise, with or by giving interviews concerning his life to Truman Capote or any other person, then Richard Eugene Hickock automatically forfeits forever the one-half interest the contract calls for him to receive of any and all moneys from the sale of the story by Mack Nations." Nations, who asked the warden to pass this information along to Hickock, also threatened to sue the inmate.

9. They really, really wanted radios.

Kansas Memory

Smith and Hickock repeatedly requested radios for the five men on death row at Kansas State Penitentiary. “Music is soothing to anyone’s nerves,” Hickock wrote in a 9-page letter to Robert J. Kaiser, Director of Penal Institutions, on September 12, 1963. “It keeps the mind off one’s troubles—family, financial, death, etc. A radio is the answer to our mental depression.” Smith even sent clippings of advertisements hawking radios to warden Crouse. Their requests were denied, both because of Death Row’s proximity to a segregation area, where inmates weren’t permitted to listen to radios, and because there weren’t funds to purchase radios with headphones.

10. Capote sent Smith magazines.

In a September 20, 1964 letter, Smith wrote to Capote “I finally got around to making a perusal of Bogdanovich’s article in the Sept. issue of Esquire which you sent recently. … Thank you for sending along the two outdoor mags … they are much appreciated. But please don’t send me any more … We get many of them here sometimes and it’s a waste of $$—and the outdoor, automobile and sports don’t interest me in the least anymore. … Instead of some of the magazines you have been sending, you may, if you would, send a TIME; U.S. News & World Report; or Newsweek.”

11. Smith wanted to paint a portrait of the warden.

In a bizarre letter to Crouse dated October 13, 1964, Smith asked how the warden and the Christmas spirit were "making out," and went on to say, “(smile) I thought that I would like to paint a portrait or two of you if permitted to, and finish some others too, should the art material privileges be returned :(it has been five (5) months now). … Funny thing how the Christmas spirit grabs hold of ya sometimes—but when it does, it usually puts on in a benevolent frame of mind, especially around this time of year.” (Enclosed with this letter were the aforementioned ad clippings of radios.)

Crouse passed the letter and clippings on to Nova Stucker, acting Director of Penal Institutions, and noted, “I am sending these to you ... to let you know there is still some humor left on death row; also to relay part of the attitude of a man who has been on death row for over four years and is about at the last stage of legal help. In my opinion, he would kill anyone without a thought if he saw an opportunity to make a break.”

Smith’s request for art supplies was denied.

12. They read … a lot.

Smith’s reading list included Freud Dictionary of Psychoanalysis, You and Your Handwriting, Man’s Presumtuous Brain, Life Pictorial Atlas of the World, Born Under Saturn, The Clouds, The Brain, Thimm’s Spanish, and more. Hickock, meanwhile, read Gents and Motor Trend magazines, and books like One Hundred Million Dollar Misunderstanding, Never Love a Stranger, Stiletto, Where Love Has Gone, and The Origin of Species, among others.

13. Smith sent a telegram to Capote the day before his execution.

Kansas Memory

"Am anticipating and awaiting your visit," the telegram, sent at 1:16 p.m. on April 13, 1965, read. "Please acknowledge by return wire when you expect to be here." But Capote never showed: According to an interview prison director Charles McAtee gave the Lawrence Journal-World in 2005, the author called at 2 p.m. that day to say he wouldn't be coming because "the emotional buildup to the execution would be too much to bear." (Capote's name, written in his own handwriting, was on the authorized witness list for Smith's execution, however.)

14. At least one letter sent to Smith arrived too late.

Smith corresponded with Donald E. Cullivan, whom he knew from his time in the military, for much of the time he was in prison. On April 11, 1965, Cullivan sent out another letter. “I appreciated your last letter very much,” he wrote. “I too have enjoyed your friendship and I hope I hear from you again.”

The response he got was not the one he wanted. “Dear Mr. Cullivan,” Warden Crouse wrote. “Your letter … arrived too late. The execution was carried out, as scheduled, early on the morning of April 14, 1965. Very truly yours, S.H. Crouse.”

15. They had the same last meal.

It included shrimp and strawberries.

We didn’t make it through every piece of information in these files. If you’d like to check them out yourself, head over to Kansas Memory.

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Beyond CSI: 10 Fascinating Forensic Careers
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If you were to believe everything you saw on television about a day in the life of a forensic science professional, it would be all crime scene investigation all the time. As pulse-poundingly exciting as the investigative antics on CSI, NCIS, Dexter, and Criminal Minds may be, the day-to-day duties of forensic professionals aren’t always so cinematic. From accountants to astronomers, here are 10 lesser-known—but entirely fascinating—forensic careers.

1. FORENSIC LINGUIST

From pronunciation to word order, the patterns with which a person communicates are almost as distinct as the sound of his or her voice. Which makes them an identifiable piece of evidence in a criminal investigation, particularly in cases where fraud or plagiarism are concerned. Though the field of forensic linguistics emerged in the late 1960s, it didn’t come into popular use in the U.S. until the mid-1990s, when FBI forensic linguist James Fitzgerald convinced his employer that publishing the Unabomber's “manifesto” could possibly help them catch the man who had killed three people and injured nearly two dozen others with the homemade bombs he’d been mailing to unsuspecting victims for nearly two decades. It worked. Several people called in tips after reading the manifesto, recognizing the writing style, which eventually led them to Ted Kaczynski.

If you've been watching Discovery's Manhunt: Unabomber, you've already gotten a sense of what Fitzgerald's job entails. He's portrayed by Sam Worthington in the series, and Fitzgerald, a.k.a. "Fitz," has been impressed with the series' accuracy. "They are in the high 80 percentile [of accuracy]," Fitzgerald told Bustle, noting that "the Fitz character is a composite character." He describes the series as "a metaphorical look at my role in the Unabomber case, as well as bits and pieces of other agents who did it. It’s relatively factual. I will say, if it is about language analysis that is shown on the screen, that was me. That was the real Fitz."

2. FORENSIC OPTOMETRIST

Diagnosing astigmatism and glaucoma is all in a day’s work for an optometrist. Catching a murderer? Not so much. But Graham Strong has spent more than two decades doing just that, helping to prove the ownership of eyewear evidence left behind at crime scenes. It all started in 1989, when he assisted investigators in proving that the glasses found beneath the body of a murder victim were the same ones that their key suspect was wearing in an earlier mug shot. “I obtained more than 20 measurements that enabled me to conclude that the glasses found at the scene were identical to photographs in every way,” Strong explained of his investigative process. The evidence resulted in a first-degree murder conviction.

3. FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGIST

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If you’ve ever watched an episode of Bones, you kinda sorta know what’s in a forensic anthropologist’s job description: to help identify and investigate decayed or damaged skeletal remains. If the science in the show seems sound, that’s because (for the most part) it is: The series, which ended its 12-season run in March 2017, is based on the life, work, and writing of Kathy Reichs, who is one of only 100 forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology (she’s also a best-selling author and was one of the show’s producer).

4. FORENSIC ARCHAEOLOGIST

Part Indiana Jones and part Sherlock Holmes, forensic archaeologists work with the police and other government agencies to locate, excavate, and analyze historical evidence, from buried personal items to mass graves. Employing the same techniques they would at a dig site, forensic archaeologists help to organize a crime scene and preserve potential evidence and are being increasingly called upon by organizations such as the United Nations in genocide investigations in Rwanda, Argentina, and Bosnia. 

5. FORENSIC ACCOUNTANT

Some investigators carry a gun; others wield an adding machine. Consider this: When the FBI was founded in 1908, 12 of its 34 original investigators were bank examiners. Today, about 400 of the FBI’s special agents are accountants. Forensic accountants are also found in accounting firms of varying sizes, as well as in law firms and police and government agencies, where they investigate a range of crimes that have been committed in the name of financial gain, which could include anything from murder to securities fraud. 

6. FORENSIC ASTRONOMER

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Not even Copernicus could have likely imagined that the field he pioneered would one day be able to aid in the delivery of legal justice. But the celestial bodies that continue to confound us regular folk have been used in much more practical ways for several centuries now, dating all the way back to Abraham Lincoln’s days as a lawyer, when he successfully defended a client against murder by being able to establish the position of the moon on the night of the altercation (which disproved the testimony of the prosecution’s key witness).

7. FORENSIC ODONTOLOGIST

In the late 1960s, there was a serial killer and rapist on the loose in Montreal who earned the nickname “The Vampire Rapist” because of the signature bite marks he left on the breasts of his victims. That vicious calling card became the undoing of Wayne Boden, the 23-year-old former model who was arrested in 1971 when Gordon Swann, a local orthodontist, was able to show 29 points of similarity between Boden’s chompers and the marks left on the body of Elizabeth Porteous, his final victim. Boden’s conviction was the first in North America to rest on odontological evidence, but certainly not the last; in 1979, forensic odontologist Richard Souviron was a key witness in the prosecution of Ted Bundy for the Chi Omega murders at Florida State University.

8. FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST

Forensic pathologists—medical doctors tasked with examining corpses to determine identity and the cause and manner of death—have found themselves in the spotlight in recent years with the popularity of reality television series like Dr. G: Medical Examiner, which followed Dr. Jan Garavaglia, Orlando’s Chief Medical Examiner, who famously identified the remains of Caylee Anthony. A decade earlier, HBO premiered Autopsy, a documentary series in which Dr. Michael Baden—the former Chief Medical Examiner of New York City—explained the science behind some of the most notorious crimes of the century, including the assassination of JFK, the death of Sid Vicious, and the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson. Lesser-known Autopsy cases examined how maggots, tattoos, breast implants, and chewing gum have all helped solve crimes. 

9. FORENSIC MICROSCOPIST

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The most damning evidence at a crime scene is usually the kind that is impossible to see with the naked eye. Enter forensic microscopy, the science of trace evidence, which can offer valuable clues in solving a crime by examining a variety of substances such as hairs, fibers, soil, dust, building materials, paint chips, botanicals, and food. Skip Palenik has spent a lifetime using microscropy to solve real-world crimes, analyzing trace evidence in the cases of the Hillside Strangler, JonBenét Ramsey, the Unabomber, and the Green River Killer. In 1992, he founded Microtrace LLC, an independent laboratory and consultation firm focused on small particle analysis. 

10. FORENSIC NURSE

Nurses are the first point of contact for many a crime victim, so it only makes sense that they would play an important role in the legal system. From collecting blood and DNA samples to counseling crime victims, the specializations of a forensic nurse can vary, as can their training. Writer-producer Serita Stevens—a forensic nurse herself—explores the field in depth in her book Forensic Nurse: The New Role of the Nurse in Law Enforcement, which notes of the job that “When the human body itself is a crime scene, [the forensic nurse] is the most critical investigator of all.”

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13 Infamous Facts About Bonnie and Clyde
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Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were two of the most popular celebrity criminals of the 1930s (and they had a lot of competition in that decade). More than 30 years later, America fell in love with them all over again through Bonnie and Clyde, a zeitgeist-capturing movie that spoke to the dissatisfaction and unrest that people (especially young people) felt in 1967. And hey, it was the first major film appearance for Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, and Gene Wilder, and featured a future Duke of Hazzard (Denver Pyle, a.k.a. Uncle Jesse). On the 50th anniversary of its release, get to know your favorite movie about your favorite outlaws a little better with these behind-the-scenes tidbits. 

1. BEFORE IT WAS MADE IN THE STYLE OF THE FRENCH NEW WAVE FILMS, IT ALMOST WAS A FRENCH NEW WAVE FILM.

Like many young cinephiles of their day, Bonnie and Clyde's screenwriters, Robert Benton and David Newman, were enamored of the French New Wave, the influential movement that included films like The 400 Blows, Jules and Jim, and Breathless. These movies tended to have young, iconoclastic, sexually liberated protagonists and unhappy endings, making the true story of Bonnie and Clyde a perfect fit. Director Arthur Penn wound up using some of the New Wave's aesthetic techniques, too—like quick cuts, zooms, stylized photography, and abrupt changes in mood—making Bonnie and Clyde the first major American film to imitate the style. But before Penn came onboard, the screenwriters pursued two actual French New Wavers: François Truffaut (The 400 Blows) and Jean-Luc Godard (Breathless). Each filmmaker eventually passed on the project, but both offered suggestions that were incorporated into the final product. 

2. FAYE DUNAWAY'S STAR-MAKING PERFORMANCE ALMOST DIDN'T HAPPEN.

Warren Beatty, doing double duty as star and producer, and director Arthur Penn considered many other actresses first, including Tuesday Weld, Jane Fonda, Natalie Wood, Sharon Tate, Leslie Caron, and Ann-Margret. (Back when he was only producing it and not starring in it, Beatty had also considered his sister, Shirley MacLaine, for the role.) Beatty said they were turned down "by about 10 women," though he would later say Weld was the only one they made a firm offer to. When Beatty met Dunaway, he didn't think she was right for the part, but he told her to meet with Penn, who he thought would think she was perfect. Beatty was right. 

3. THE WRITERS HAD NO IDEA WHAT THEY WERE DOING.

Benton and Newman worked at Esquire (as editor and art director, respectively), and had no screenwriting experience whatsoever. But they loved the story of Bonnie and Clyde, which Benton, growing up in the Dallas area, had heard his entire life as part of local folklore. (Benton's father had actually attended Bonnie and Clyde's funeral in 1934.) Benton and Newman didn't have experience writing movies, but they did have a well-connected friend of a friend who put them in touch with the French filmmakers and offered some working capital. It was through these connections that the script fell into the hands of Warren Beatty, who immediately contacted them and set the project in motion. 

4. THE FIRST DRAFTS HAD CLYDE SWINGING BOTH WAYS.

Newman and Benton worked closely with Beatty and Penn in fine-tuning the screenplay, which all four men later described as a positive, low-conflict collaboration. The only major problem had to do with sex. Newman and Benton's version had Bonnie and Clyde having a threesome with C.W. Moss (Michael J. Pollard), a composite character based on several members of Bonnie and Clyde's gang, the idea being that Clyde couldn't perform without a third party. Beatty claimed he had no problem playing a bisexual character, but he and Penn were both concerned that the audience would view Clyde as a sexual deviant and ascribe his lawbreaking to that. But Penn thought the idea of there being some kind of sexual dysfunction in the group was important. Eventually the four collaborators settled on Clyde being impotent. 

5. WHATEVER YOU THINK THE FILM “REALLY” MEANS, YOU'RE PROBABLY WRONG.

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Some viewers interpreted Bonnie and Clyde as a commentary on other issues, but Newman and Benton said they didn't intend it that way. As they wrote in an introduction to a published version of their screenplay, "[People] have told us that Bonnie and Clyde was REALLY about Vietnam, REALLY about police brutality, REALLY about Lee Harvey Oswald, REALLY about Watts. After a while, we took to shrugging and saying, 'If you think so.'" 

6. THE STUDIO THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO FLOP AND TREATED IT ACCORDINGLY.

Jack Warner, who measured films according to how well they convinced him not to leave the screening room to use the bathroom, hated Bonnie and Clyde. "That's the longest two hours and 11 minutes I've ever seen!" he reportedly said after seeing an early cut. "That was a three-piss picture!" (Also: "This gangster stuff went out with [James] Cagney!") Thinking they had a turkey on their hands, and despite a warm reception at a film festival in Montreal, Warner Bros. dumped the movie in drive-ins and second-run theaters in August of 1967.

7. THE STUDIO'S LACK OF FAITH MADE WARREN BEATTY VERY, VERY RICH.

Thinking the film wouldn't make any money, Warner Bros. offered Beatty a ridiculous deal: a $200,000 salary, plus 40 percent of the gross. Yes, 40 percent. Of the gross, not the net. The film made more than $50 million. 

8. MOVIE CRITICS KILLED THE FILM, THEN SAVED IT.

Warner Bros.' wariness was validated by the early reviews. Variety was lukewarm, and The New York Times' Bosley Crowther, then the most influential critic in America, hated it. HATED it. He wrote about it more than once, and would drop scathing references to it in reviews of other movies. To him, the film’s wanton violence represented everything that was wrong with modern cinema. (It's worth noting that Crowther was 62 years old and had been the Times' chief critic since 1940.)

Early box office reflected the bad reviews. But then came Pauline Kael, a vocal champion for the film who wrote 9000 words about it for The New Yorker. She was soon followed by Newsweek's Joseph Morgenstern, who gave the film a bad review, then retracted it a week later with a new, glowing appraisal. TIME magazine, which had also panned it, recanted and put the film on the cover of its December issue. Word began to spread. Warner Bros. re-released the film into more theaters and, by the end of 1967, it was on its way toward becoming one of the top-grossers of the year. It made most of its money, however, in early 1968, when Warner Bros. put it in wide release to take advantage of its 10 Oscar nominations. (Post-script: Bosley Crowther was removed as the Times' lead film critic in early 1968.)

9. IT TURNED AN OLD SONG INTO A NEW HIT.

Flatt & Scruggs' banjo-heavy bluegrass tune "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" serves as the film's theme music, even though it was recorded in 1949 and is anachronistic for a movie set in the 1930s. Even more anachronistic, though, is the fact that when the song was re-released in conjunction with the movie, it became a hit, reaching number 55 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. It's now a standard in the bluegrass genre, and is often used in movies and TV when there's a chase scene set in a rural area. 

10. IT INSPIRED SONGWRITERS AS WELL AS FILMMAKERS.

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As Americans fell in love with Bonnie and Clyde the movie, they also became captivated by Bonnie and Clyde the outlaws, and the nation's troubadours took to the airwaves to sing about the tragic lovers. Merle Haggard, Georgie Fame, Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot, Mel Tormé, and Bonnie's sister Billie Jean Parker all recorded new songs in the wake of the movie's success, and the aforementioned Flatt & Scruggs wrote an entire album.

11. IT INSPIRED A CLOTHING FAD, TOO.

Faye Dunaway's period costumes caught the attention of the fashion-minded, and soon berets (which hadn't been popular since the '30s) were back in vogue. The trend coincided with French designers wanting to move from mini-skirts to maxi-skirts, and gave women an appealing example of how great a maxi could look. 

12. THE CINEMATOGRAPHER QUIT MIDWAY THROUGH FILMING.

Burnett Guffey, a respected veteran in the industry who'd shot close to 100 movies and had served as president of the American Society of Cinematographers, was frequently at odds with Penn (who was fairly new to film) and with production designer Dean Tavoularis. Not only was Guffey older than most of the crew (he was born in 1905), but the "new Hollywood" visual style that Penn and Tavoularis wanted for the film didn't mesh with his old-school sensibilities.

After butting heads with the director one too many times, Guffey quit and was replaced by another old-timer, Ellsworth Fredericks. But this lasted only a few days, as Fredericks' competent-but-uninspired work made Penn realize how hard Guffey had been trying to capture his vision. He wooed Guffey back to finish the film, for which Guffey would win his second Oscar. 

13. IT CONTAINS A REFERENCE TO THE ASSASSINATION OF JOHN F. KENNEDY.

When Bonnie and Clyde are pumped full of lead in the film's bloody climax, you can see a fragment of Clyde's scalp flying off. Penn and editor Dede Allen both confirmed that this was a deliberate reference to the Zapruder film of JFK's death, which had happened in Dallas, not far from where Bonnie and Clyde grew up.

Additional sources:
Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood, by Mark Harris

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