Kate “Ma” Barker, despite a popular myth that emerged after her death, wasn’t really the brains behind the crimes of the Barker boys.
Her biggest crime was harboring, excusing, and overindulging her criminal children—Freddy, Herman, Lloyd, and Doc—and their delinquent friends.
Elmer H. Inman, a glasses-wearing, professor type, was the real mastermind.
Others were Glen Leroy Wright and Raymond Karpavioz, also known as Alvin Karpis, which is why the gang was sometimes referred to as the Barker-Karpis Gang.
In 1935, Ma Barker and son Freddy ended up catching some bullets from the FBI at their Florida hideout on Lake Weir. Both died.