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Behind the headlines: Bonnie and Clyde had tattoos for other lovers

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Nothing lasts forever except true love, and tattoos

Bonnie and Clyde made plenty of mistakes in their short lives (she died at 24, he at 25) but misguided tattoos were somewhere near the top of the list.

When they were gunned down outside Sailes, Louisiana on May 23, 1934, Bonnie died with her husband’s name tattooed on her leg — Roy. That’s right, she wasn’t married to Clyde (though they often told people they were married). She was still legally married to high school sweetheart, Roy Thornton. She married Roy at 16 and after a few months, his drinking and violence put her off him for good, but not before she got a pair of intertwined hearts with their first names tattooed on her knee. He was a thief too (she had interesting taste in men), and was in jail when he heard Bonnie died.

Clyde’s tattoo choices were even worse, mostly because he had so many more—reputedly five. One was of his sweetheart’s initials — nope, not BEP. It was EBW, for Eleanor B. Williams, the little gal he hoped to marry before a rental car mix up on his way to see her set him on a life of crime. He also had a tattoo of a shield and anchor and “USN” on his left arm. Was he ever in the US Navy? Nope. He tried to enlist as a teen, and was so excited to serve his country that he got the tattoo, and then was rejected for medical reasons. He had several more tattoos as well, including one of a woman’s face. It wasn’t Bonnie’s either.

The story of Bonnie and Clyde comes with many lessons — a life of crime is probably a bad choice, true love can’t stop high caliber bullets and think long and hard before getting a tattoo — they last forever, even into the grave.