On this day American FBI agent Melvin Purvis arrested Arthur ‘Doc’ Barker, marking the beginning of the end for one of America’s most ruthless criminal gangs, “Ma’s Boys.” For more than 20 years, in what was known as the “public enemy era ”Kate “Ma” Barker and her sons terrorized the American Midwest, by robbing banks and killing at will. The villainous deeds of Barker and her violent sons are probably best known for influencing Roger Corman’s film 1970 ‘Bloody Mama’ and the dancefloor hit song ‘Ma Baker’ by Boney M. Primarily composed primarily of four brothers – the offspring of Barker – the gang had committed an impressively long and lucrative list of high profile crimes, and split a great deal of blood by the time of Purvis’s arrest. J. Edgar Hoover once described Barker as “the most vicious, dangerous and resourceful criminal brain of the last decade.
” Though Hoover targeted her as a mastermind ringleader of one of the United States most notorious gangs, those who knew her closely claimed she had no involvement in her sons dealings. Later killed by an FBI agent on Hoover’s instruction many feel Barker was used as a scapegoat to further Hoover’s public image.