Skip to Main Content

True Crime Book Club - Past Titles: May 2023

Trigger Warning: Take a look through our previous titles from our True Crime Book Club.

"Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde" by Jeff Guinn

  1. Did you know the story of Bonnie & Clyde before reading “Go Down Together”?
  2. What did you learn from the book that you hadn’t known before?
  3. Why do you think Bonnie & Clyde are still glamorized in pop culture? What makes them more interesting than Blake Fitzgerald & Brittany Harper?
  4. In what ways are Bonnie and Clyde portrayed as heroes? What were some of their personality traits?
  5. Based on the book's cover, what were your expectations for the book? Were you right?
  6. The cover depicts an iconic, vintage photo of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. What do the photo and the rest of the cover suggest regarding the time period, the individuals pictured there, etc.?
  7. Thinking about how each of the characters grew up, how did that affect their lives?
  8. How did Clyde’s time in prison contribute to his criminal lifestyle? Would anything have deterred him?
  9. What do you make of the relationships between Blanche & Buck? Even after Blanche’s most prized possession, Snow Ball is lost to her, she continues to stay by Buck’s side while nagging him. Why?
  10. What do you make of the family dynamics between the Parkers and Barrows? Why did the family unwaveringly protect the criminals? What does this say about familial bonds?
  11. What legacy did Bonnie & Clyde leave behind? Is being infamous criminals a legacy?
  12. Do you think that Guinn got to the truth about Bonnie & Clyde? What truths did you discover that differ from the legend usually surrounding Bonnie & Clyde?
  13. Did you find yourself doing any research on topics brought up in the book? If so, on what?
  14. Did you read any of Bonnie’s poems? What did you think of them? Was she a good poet or simply glamorized for her escapades? 
  15. Bonnie had big dreams for her life (a Broadway actress, a well-known poet, etc.). Why do you think she ‘settled’ for the criminal lifestyle of Clyde? Love? Popularity? Being seen?
  16. Was there an end to how far Bonnie & Clyde would’ve gone for each other? Why or why not? What bonded them together in such a way?
  17. Why do you think image was so important to Bonnie & Clyde? Bonnie is more upset with being thought of as a cigar smoker than being a criminal. Clyde makes all of the Barrow Gang members dress in suits. 
  18. Do you think the deaths of Bonnie & Clyde were fair? Should they have been given the chance to surrender by Hamer and his posse? Would they have done so? Or was death the only way to stop Bonnie & Clyde?

Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow were an American criminal couple who traveled the Central United States with their gang during the Great Depression. The couple was known for their bank robberies, although they preferred to rob small stores or rural funeral homes.


FBI — Year of the Gangster, Part 2

FBI 100 - Bonnie and Clyde

FBI Records: The Vault — Bonnie and Clyde   

Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum 

Poet Bonnie Parker's Poems 

Trace the Historic, Tragic Saga of Notorious Criminals Bonnie and Clyde With This Southern Road Trip 

  • “Guinn’s “clear-eyed” account acquits the couple of some of the gang’s worst transgressions but never romanticizes them” (The Week)
  • “if we examine their lives as a story, then it has everything: young kids rebelling against authority, there's the Romeo and Juliet thing, true love, and think they're really mostly interesting to us finally because of the way they die in this bloody, graphic, ambush when, essentially, they're blown, in the words of one of the deputies during the shooting, into a pile of wet rags. Would they have been as interesting to us if, let's say, they'd surrendered meekly that day, got long prison sentences, and came out sort of bent, worn-out old people? No, I don't think so. You had to have the great supposed tragedy and the drama of their deaths, and that's why, in various forms, the story's held us ever since. It's been 75 years, and yet thousands of people still troop out to look at their graves every month.” (NPR)
  • “In a sense, all my books are about how our culture takes history and re-shapes it into whatever mythology suits our collective needs and interests at a given time. I wanted to answer two questions in Go Down Together. The first was, why would two young people willingly give up their lives for a very brief period of lawbreaking? Second, why would a nation find them fascinating and elevate them to the same sort of iconic heights enjoyed by Charles Lindbergh and Babe Ruth just a few years earlier? There had to be some sort of event-driven sociological chemistry at work. What was it?” (CBS News)
  • “In a very real sense, Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker are less important for themselves than for what they represent. They reflect a time in our history when there was a huge chasm between a few very rich Americans and millions of poor ones. Young people born into poverty had no hope for improving their lives. Yet modern media - movies, newspapers, magazines - shoved into their faces images of fancy cars, fine clothes, glamour in every conceivable form - on a daily basis. When ambitious kids want things they can't have by following the rules, they break them. That's immutable fact. The parallels between the Barrow Gang era and modern-day America are staggering. Once again, many struggling people don't trust the government, think of the banking industry as the enemy, and feel helpless to save themselves and their families by doing what they are told to do (obey all the laws, trust the government). We can either learn from the past or, in some more modernized form, repeat it.” (CBS News)

True Crime 

The Last Gunfight

Go Down Together 


The Road to Jonestown



The Vagabonds

War on the Border

Our Land Before We Die

Something in the Blood

The Sixteenth Minute


Dallas Cowboys: The Authorized Pictorial

You Can't Hit the Ball With the Bat on

When Panthers Roared

Sometimes a Fantasy


Silver City


Buffalo Trail


The Autobiography of Santa Claus

How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas

The Christmas Chronicles

The Great Santa Search

Santa's North Pole Cookbook

Jeff Guinn

  • Movie & Television Appearances
    • Writer
      • Love Is a Gun (pre-production)
      • 2018 - Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle (TV Mini-Series documentary) 
    • Producer
      • 2018 - Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle (TV Mini-Series documentary) 
    • Personal Appearances
      • 2020 - Helter Skelter: An American Myth (TV Mini-Series documentary)
      • 2019 - Manson: Music from an Unsound Mind (Documentary)
      • 2019 - Very Scary People (TV Series documentary) 
      • 2018 - Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle (TV Mini-Series documentary)
      • 2018 - Truth and Lies: Jonestown, Paradise Lost (TV Movie documentary)
      • 2017 - 20/20 (TV Series documentary)
        • Truth and Lies: The Manson Family (March 17, 2017)
      • 2016 - American Experience (TV Series documentary)
        • Bonnie & Clyde (January 19, 2016)
      • 2015 - CNN Special Reports (TV Series)
        • Face of Evil: The Charles Manson Murders (August 18, 2015)
      • 2013 - The Cycle (TV Series)
        • Episode dated 6 August 2013 (2013) 
      • 2009 - Timewatch (TV Series documentary)

The Real Bonnie and Clyde (July 30, 2009)

Bonnie & Clyde

  • “The Other Side of Bonnie & Clyde” 1968
  • “The Bonnie Parker Story” 1958
  • “Bonnie & Clyde vs Dracula” 2008
  • “Heaven's Burning” 1997
  • “Teenage Bonnie & Klepto Clyde” 1993
  • Bonnie & Clyde” 1967
  • Infamous” 2020
  • “Bonnie & Clyde: Justified” 2013
  • “Bonnie & Clyde: The True Story” 1992
  • “Chasing Bonnie & Clyde” 2015
  • “The Highwaymen” 2019
  • “Love is a Gun” pre-production
  • “Bonnie & Clyde Italian Style” 1982
  • “Bonnie & Clyde” miniseries 2013
  • “Timeless: Last Ride of Bonnie & Clyde” season 1, episode 9 2016
  • “Legend of Bonnie & Clyde” by Merle Haggard
  • There are numerous other references to Bonnie & Clyde in popular culture!

Photos from Flickr



Photos by Kristen Barenthaler (Bonnie and Clyde Museum and Death Site, 2019)


Westwood Public Library

Main Library

660 High Street
Westwood, MA 02090
Email Main Library

Islington Branch

273 Washington Street
Westwood, MA 02090
Email Branch Library