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Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Elwood D. Watson

Committee Members

Victoria Meyer, Stephen G. Fritz, Brian J. Maxson


No singular study in history has exclusively focused on Bonnie Parker. She is usually grouped with her companion Clyde Barrow or among other female outlaws of the Great Depression. The historiography of Bonnie remains largely inaccurate with portrayals of her either as ringleader of the Barrow Gang or the passive girlfriend aiding her criminal man. While the truth lies somewhere between these two statements, no effort has been made to fully understand Bonnie alone without Clyde.

The American news media of the 1930's gave Bonnie a very different public life than the one she lived privately. The media created the legend of Bonnie Parker, and by the time the famous 1967 movie was produced, the fictionalized Bonnie resembled nothing of the real Bonnie. Thus, Bonnie Parker lived a dual life: a private one remembered by her family members, and a public one portrayed in newspapers, films, and writings.

Document Type

Thesis - restricted


Copyright by the authors.