Bonnie and Clyde on the slab at the Conger furniture store and funeral home in Gibsland, Louisiana in May 1934. (DPL)
When Bonnie Parker's body was returned to Dallas in May of 1934, it didn't immediately go the funeral home. Instead, Bonnie was placed inside an attorney's office until the funeral home could pick her up. Bonnie had wanted to have her funeral at home, but it was impossible to lay her out for viewing without substantial assistance from a funeral professional, so instead, Bonnie's viewing and funeral were held at the McKamy & Campbell Funeral Home neat Fair Park in Dallas.
The funeral director lived and worked in the building, with his apartment situated above the viewing area. He had to move into the Adolphus Hotel during the viewing period, however... you can learn why while reading this letter, found in the archives of the DeGoyler Library at Southern Methodist University.
Page 1 on Adolphus Hotel, Dallas Texas stationary
Tear this up please?
Tear this up please?
Here's first hand on Bonnie & Clyde as we had Bonnie. She was about the size of Rose Grace, weighing a 100 pounds (a thousand pounds of dynamite though). She was very pretty of course her skin was some what torn [?] Her nails were beautiful. Le[??] for [?] nails. Her toes looked like fingers. [indecipherable] burnt, and a deep coral shade polish on them. The most beautiful toes I [?] saw, feet perfect. Her permanent just a [?] and had it washed. Her face right side was blown off, we her and you could hardly tell it. Just one bullet went through her brains, [?] and number grazed her head as there were 3 big holes in her scalp, but [?] through skull. Her left eye terribly black, [?] I used eye was [?] up. Now, her body was just mutilated and torn to pieces from shots! Her right hand nearly blow off (known as her trigger hand) her body be- Sides being full of bullet holes was Full of buckshot, pellets all over her
body. We received body ten minutes of [?]. Joe and I [?] on her until three that afternoon. At that time they say 75,000 people were lined up outsides. It took 2 hours picking dirt, rocks etc. from her hair then to [?] it and have waved. A tattoo on right leg two heart and read Roy, the other Bonnie. Roy you know was her husband (Roy Thornton now in pen). All fluid the undertaker in Arcadia LA., used leaked out she was torn up so she was a a [sic] mass of blood, caked & dried. Several hours of bathing her. Had to scrape some of it off and [?] [?] dust to [?] of it. She had skin slip that might [?] fluid leaking [?] to smell the next washing, turning dark, smell- ing worse. The first day [?] rotten so to speak. The odor was awful. Her mother thought [sic] sat in room alone with her head over casket. How she stood it Lord knows. The other children couldn’t. Mother [?] 2.30 that night I asked if she wouldn’t like to go home, she went. By then the entire house smelt. We had to keep her so Sister Billy that was in jail in Ft Worth could get out & come to funeral. She was buried in an all steel metal casket. Paper said $1000 is wrong about $600 maybe less. Paper said $1000 for vault wrong there was no vault
buried in an ice blue neglegee [sic] (is this spelled right) She was dressed in ex- pensive clothes when killed. About 40,000 people came to view her. Paper said $1,500.00 damages done to Funeral Home, wrong about the extent of $2.50. They did not tear windows etc as stated. The woman next door though turned hose on them to keep her flowers from being walked on. We had 38 officers stationed (3 shifts) all over house and front & back yard, keeping crowd [?] and all of us as well. 4 operators on the 4 phones. They rang every minute for two days & nights. More people came to see Bonnie then [sic] to see Clyde. Our new [?] furniture was damaged. We had a rubber mat about ½ inch in thickness all over Funeral House. Officers
stationed to keep people on it so as not to wear rug out (Big movie star) My picture was shown in movies. the paper stretched their stories. she was not to become a mother as stated. She was diseased slightly as stated. Now you have it first hand as I worked on her. Joes & my work was praised very highly [?] other line in papers and if I do say it, it was good. And she looked [?] of [?] [?] showing. The crowd did not steal anything to take home. All paper talk. Example crowd lined up as far as Fair Park, now judge how it looked. They brought their lunches. Such fools.