Pistol pulled from Bonnie Parker's bloody skirt set for auction

Fri Dec 27, 2013 12:44pm EST
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By Tim Ghianni

(Reuters) - A pistol retrieved from the skirt of Bonnie Parker of the infamous Depression-era outlaw duo of Bonnie and Clyde as her bullet-riddled body was stripped for embalming in 1934 will go up for auction on January 25 in Knoxville, Tennessee.

"I don't know that it gets any better than this," said John Case, president of Case Antiques, Auctions & Appraisals, which is handling the sale. "I am not aware of a more-documented item from that time period."

The semi-automatic .38 caliber Colt, complete with the clip and six bullets, has a pre-auction estimate of between $125,000 and $175,000, Case said.

The winning bidder will also receive historic photos and documentation of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow's last stand, when the partners in life and crime were ambushed by law enforcement officers in Louisiana.

The story of the desperadoes-turned-folk-heroes was celebrated in the 1967 Arthur Penn movie "Bonnie and Clyde," starring Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty. The crime duo got fresh attention this winter in the television miniseries "Bonnie & Clyde" on the A&E channel.

Their weapons arsenal has attracted considerable interest in previous auctions.

A .45-caliber Thompson submachine gun and a 12-gauge Winchester shotgun seized by police after a shootout with Bonnie and Clyde in which two officers died fetched $130,000 and $80,000 respectively at a 2012 auction in Missouri.

Case said the detailed chain-of-custody documentation of the pistol makes this auction especially unusual.   Continued...