Ma Barker

The Legend

Early Life and What She Was Known For

Ma Barker's real name was Arizona Donnie Barker but she was sometimes referred to as Kate Barker. To the public, she was known as Ma Barker, one of the most ruthless leaders of a gang (the Barker Gang) to be known in that time. It is said she coordinated all of her sons crimes, but people who knew her said that she didn't do any criminal activity herself.

Family Life

It was said that Ma was willing to do anything for her kids and got them out of trouble whenever they got arrested. There were rumors circulating that she didn't like any of the girlfriends that her boys brought around and tried her best to run them off. Her husband had left her after he started to believe their sons deserved to be punished for the crimes they committed. She was willing to do anything to get them off the hook, so it was rumored that she kicked him out because of this.

She was carted around by her sons whenever they moved around and kept in different apartments that they provided for her. She took care of them and acted as their mother under different names.


Ma Barker's Hideout Explained

Actual Life and Death

People who were close to Ma Barker said that she actually had nothing to do with the crimes her sons committed. She was aware that they were criminals but didn't actually plan or have anything to do with the crimes. She was basically just a mother who cared about her kids through anything and didn't let anyone hurt them.

She was killed by the FBI who found the hideout of her and her sons in Chicago on January 8th, 1935. She was shot to death. The man who conducted the shootout was the one who called her so ruthless and a criminal mastermind. It is believed he did this to justify shooting an old woman. In the FBI's account of the shooting, there was a gun in her hand after she had died, but it is believed it was just lying in between her and her son Fred. She was buried next to both of her sons at the age of 61.