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FAMOUS CRIMINALS FROM THE 1930s (3 of 6)
Ma Barker – (October 8, 1873 – January 16, 1935), born in Arizona Donnie Clark better known as Ma Barker, and sometimes as Arizona Barker, was American mother of several criminals who ran the Barker gang during the “public enemy era,” when the exploits of gangs of criminals in the U.S. Midwest gripped the American people and press. She traveled with her sons during their criminal careers.
After Barker was killed during a shoot-out with the FBI, she gained a reputation as a ruthless crime matriarch who controlled and organized her sons’ crimes. J. Edgar Hoover described her as “the most vicious, dangerous and resourceful criminal brain of the last decade”. Ma Barker has been presented as a monstrous mother in films, songs and literature. However, those who knew her insisted she had no criminal role, and they as well as others allege Hoover created such accusations to excuse the FBI for killing her.