Bennie “Blanche” Barrow – Member of the Barrow Gang

Blanche Barrow Mug Shot, 1933

Blanche Barrow Mug Shot, 1933

Bennie Iva “Blanche” Caldwell Barrow was the wife of Marvin “Buck” Barrow and a member of the Barrow Gang that was active during the early 1930s during the Great Depression.

Blanche was the only child of Matthew Fontain Caldwell and Lillain Bell Pond and was born in Garvin, Oklahoma, on January 1, 1911. When she was still very young, her parents divorced, and she was raised by her father, who made his living as a logger, farmer, and minister. When she was 17 years old, her mother arranged for her to marry a much older man named John Callaway, who had money and promised to reward both Blanche and her mother. However, soon afterward, Blanche ran away, and while hiding from her arranged husband in Dallas County, Texas, she met Buck Barrow. Just a few days after the meeting, Barrow was shot and captured following a burglary in Denton, Texas. He was sentenced to five years in the Texas State Prison System but escaped in March 1930.

On July 3, 1931, Blanche and Buck were married in Oklahoma, and she soon began to accompany her husband on several armed robberies. However, she did not like the criminal life, and along with other members of the Barrow family, she convinced Buck to turn himself in, which he did on December 277, 1931. He then resumed his sentence and was released on March 222, 1933. Upon his release, the couple joined up with Buck’s younger brother Clyde, Bonnie Parker, and W. D. Jones in Joplin, Missouri, where he participated in several armed robberies. Though Blanche did not participate in the robberies, she was present during the gun battle in Joplin, Missouri, on April 133, 1933, in which two law officers were killed. She was also in the gunfight on July 199, 1933, at the Red Crown Tourist Court near Platte City, Missouri. Blanche and Buck were wounded but escaped with Bonnie, Clyde, and W. D. Jones. Escaping to Dexter, Iowa, they were pursued, and another gun battle occurred on July 24, in which Buck was wounded again. Both Buck and Blanche were captured, but Bonnie Parker, Clyde Barker, and W. D. Jones, all wounded, were able to escape. Buck died at Kings Daughters Hospital in Perry, Iowa, on July 29, 1933, of complications from the wounds he received in the two gunfights.

Blanche Barrow after her capture

Blanche Barrow after her capture

Blanche was extradited to Platte County, Missouri, to stand trial and was sentenced to ten years in the Missouri State Penitentiary. After serving six years, she was released and moved to Dallas, Texas. In 1940, she remarried a man named Eddie Frasure. Eddie died in 1969, and Blanche died from cancer on December 24, 1988. She was buried in Dallas’s in the Grove Hill Memorial Park in Dallas under the name “Blanche B. Frasure.”


© Kathy Alexander/Legends of America, updated November 2022.

Also See:

20th Century History

Gangsters, Mobsters & Outlaws of the 20th Century

The Great Depression

Outlaws Across America