The Surprising Reason Clyde Barrow Lost Two Of His Toes

History has a tendency at times to romanticize certain people or events. Whether it's because the truth of what happened was deemed too boring or too awful for the public, we can often come to view history through rose-colored lenses. A prime example of this is one of America's most famous couples: Bonnie and Clyde, Bonnie Parker (per Biography) and Clyde Barrow (also posted at Biography). The lovers and outlaws are best known for their legendary crime spree in the 1930s that resulted in a national manhunt for the couple and their gang.

According to the FBI, Parker and Barrow (above, around 1926) met in 1930, and their criminal escapades as a couple began when Parker helped Barrow escape from jail. The two then joined up with a few others, including Barrow's brother and sister-in-law, as they robbed and murdered their way across the country. However, luck eventually ran out for the law-breaking duo when they met their end in a massive shootout with police on May 23, 1934.

They had one physical issue in common

Though the twosome is best known for the short time of their lives they spent together, they did have lives before that. As Biography reports, Bonnie Parker was not a criminal before she met Clyde Barrow and fell in love with him. Barrow, however, already had a significant criminal record by the time the two met, and went back to prison shortly after that (also according to Biography). While the duo lived very different lifestyles prior to meeting, during their four years together they did develop some similarities. One of the things they had in common was a problem with walking.

According to History, Parker's leg was damaged by car battery acid in a car crash actually caused by Barrow's driving. Though her leg did eventually heal, it never functioned properly again, and at times Barrow had to carry her.

The reason for Barrow's unusual gait was a lot more gruesome. History tells us that while in prison, Clyde Barrow actually mutilated himself by cutting off two of his toes — left big toe and part of the second — with an axe. Most of us would wonder what on earth would possess him to do such a thing. Turns out he did it in hopes of getting transferred out of the brutal Eastham Prison Farm where he was serving a 14-year sentence. Ironically, he was paroled six days later. but as a result was maimed and limped for the rest of his life.