Blanche Barrow was the wife of Buck Barrow, the elder brother of the notorious outlaw Clyde Barrow. She joined her husband and his gang, which included Clyde and his girlfriend Bonnie Parker, on a four-month crime spree in 1933. But unlike Bonnie, who embraced the life of a fugitive, Blanche was a reluctant accomplice who wanted nothing to do with violence and robbery. She witnessed the brutal deaths of her husband and his brother, and spent six years in prison for her involvement. She later remarried and lived a quiet life until her death from cancer in 1988. This is the story of how Blanche Barrow survived the bloody end of Bonnie and Clyde.
Blanche Barrow’s Early Life And Marriage To Buck Barrow
Blanche Barrow was born Bennie Iva Caldwell on January 1, 1911, in Garvin, Oklahoma. She was the only child of Matthew Caldwell and Lillian Pond, who divorced when she was young. She was raised by her father, a logger and farmer, who was also a devoutly religious man. Blanche had a poor relationship with her mother, who arranged for her to marry John Calloway, a much older man, when she was 17. Blanche later claimed that Calloway was abusive and that he made her unable to have children.
Blanche met Buck Barrow on November 11, 1929, while hiding from her husband in Dallas, Texas. Buck was a twice-divorced criminal with children from a previous marriage, who was eight years older than Blanche. He was also the brother of Clyde Barrow, who had already started his criminal career with Bonnie Parker. Blanche and Buck fell in love at first sight, but their romance was interrupted when Buck was arrested for a burglary in Denton, Texas. He was sentenced to five years in prison, but he escaped in 1930 with Blanche’s help. They got married and Blanche convinced him to surrender and serve the rest of his sentence. He was released in 1933 and granted a pardon that wiped out his conviction.
Blanche Barrow’s Involvement With The Barrow Gang
Shortly after Buck’s release, he was reunited with his brother Clyde, who had become a notorious outlaw with Bonnie. Clyde and Bonnie invited Buck and Blanche to join them on their crime spree, which involved robbing banks, gas stations, and stores across several states. Buck agreed, but Blanche was reluctant. She did not want to live a life of crime, and she hoped to persuade her husband to leave the gang. However, she loved him too much to abandon him, so she followed him wherever he went.
Blanche Barrow was not a criminal by nature. She never used a gun, and she often tried to dissuade the others from committing violent acts. She also suffered from poor eyesight, which made her a liability during shootouts and getaways. She was also uncomfortable with the living conditions of the gang, who often slept in their car or in rented cabins. She missed the comforts of a normal home, and she longed for a peaceful life with her husband.
Blanche Barrow was involved in several notorious incidents with the Barrow gang, such as the Joplin shootout, the Dexfield Park shootout, and the Platte City shootout. She witnessed the deaths of several gang members, including W.D. Jones, Henry Methvin, and Joe Palmer. She also saw her husband being shot several times, and she risked her life to save him. She was blinded in one eye by flying glass during a car crash, and she was captured by the police along with her dying husband in Iowa. She was charged with assault with intent to kill the sheriff of Platte County, Missouri, who had led the attack on the gang’s hideout. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but she was paroled in 1939 after serving six years.
Blanche Barrow’s Later Life And Death
Blanche Barrow never saw her husband again after their capture. He died of his wounds in a hospital on July 29, 1933. She also never saw Clyde and Bonnie again, who were killed in an ambush by the police on May 23, 1934. She was devastated by the loss of her loved ones, and she regretted her involvement with the gang. She later said that she wished she had never met Buck, and that she hated Clyde for leading him astray.
After her release from prison, Blanche Barrow changed her name and moved to Dallas, where she worked as a taxi driver and a beautician. She married Eddie Frasure, a warehouse worker, in 1940, and they lived happily together until his death in 1969. She also reconciled with her mother, who lived with her until her death in 1995. Blanche Barrow became a devout Christian, and she attended church regularly. She also wrote a memoir of her life with the Barrow gang, titled My Life with Bonnie and Clyde, which was published posthumously in 2004.
Blanche Barrow died of cancer on December 24, 1988, at the age of 77. She was buried next to her second husband in Dallas. She was the last surviving member of the Barrow gang, and the only one who lived to see old age. She was also the only one who expressed remorse for her actions, and who sought redemption for her sins. She once said, “I don’t want to die being remembered as a Barrow gang member. I want to be remembered as me, Blanche Caldwell Barrow, a woman who had a lot of love in her heart.”