On September 25, 1926, less than a week before her sixteenth birthday, Parker married Roy Thornton. The marriage was short-lived, and in January 1929 they separated but never divorced; Parker was wearing Thornton's wedding ring when she died. His reaction to his wife's death was, "I'm glad they went out like they did. It's much better than being caught." On March 5, 1933, Thornton was sentenced to five years in prison for burglary. He was gunned down by guards on October 3, 1937, during an escape attempt from Eastham Farm prison.