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Ma Barker
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    (October 8, 1873-January 16, 1935)
    Birth name is Arizona Donnie Clark
    Alleged head of Barker-Karpis gang responsible for several bank robberies, kidnappings and murders from 1931-1935
    Mother of criminals Hermann, Lloyd, Doc and Fred Barker
    She is said to have admired Jesse James as a child.
    J. Edgar Hoover called her a ‘veritable beast of prey.'
    She may have led one of the most notorious gangs of the 1930's.
    At the very least she sheltered brutal killers and profited from their crimes.
    She continually made excuses for her sons and accused the police of picking on them.
    She may have had her lover Arthur Dunlop killed for indiscretion about the gang's activities.
    When asked if she had organized their crime sprees, a former gang member said ‘the old lady couldn't organize breakfast.'
    She made sure her robbing and murdering sons went to church every Sunday.
    Many seem to find the idea of an old lady gang leader endearing.
    She was loyal to thugs only a mother could love.
    Her husband walked out on her, leaving her to raise her children in poverty.
    She was shot to death (perhaps unintentionally) with her son Fred by the FBI for resisting arrest.
    Today many experts doubt she had any real part in the Barker-Karpis gang's criminal activities.
    Some theorize the FBI exaggerated her involvement to excuse its accidental shooting of her.
    She was portrayed by Shelley Winters in the Roger Corman film ‘Bloody Mama (1970).'

Credit: Georgina

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