The Truth About Buck Barrow, Clyde Barrow's Older Brother

Oftentimes joining the family business can be a good thing and helps to create a positive family legacy. Sometimes, however, people would definitely be better off avoiding familial interactions, especially when money or crime are involved. One case where it would have likely worked out better if the family had avoided working together is the case of the Barrow brothers. The Barrow name might sound familiar because it is tied to one of the most notorious criminals in American history, Clyde Barrow. He's the Clyde of the legendary gangster couple Bonnie and Clyde.

Turns out Clyde wasn't the only Barrow who got involved in the world of crime. Turns out he had an older brother, writes The Famous People: Marvin Ivan Barrow, better known as Buck. Before Buck joined Clyde's notorious crime spree in the summer of 1933, he was a criminal in his own right. According to All That's Interesting, Buck mostly dabbled in petty crimes like stealing cars and cockfighting. Upon his release from prison in March of 1933, he reportedly swore off crime and was looking to live life on the straight and narrow. He even wanted to help his younger brother do the same. Unfortunately, things didn't work out quite like he hoped. Buck Barrow's squeaky clean life lasted all of about three weeks. After he left prison, he and his wife, Blanche, met up with Clyde and his partner in crime Bonnie Parker.

He tried to leave behind his life of crime

Despite what may or may not have been Buck's best intentions, in a short amount of time he returned to his criminal ways and joined his brother's gang in a series of small robberies. Per All That's Interesting, Buck Barrow became a hardcore criminal when he, his brother, and a fellow gang member killed two police officers while trying to avoid arrest. They all then went on the run for the next few months before their actions caught up with them in a big way.

In July 1933, the gang chose to stop and rest near Platte City, Missouri, which unfortunately for them was the favorite hangout for local law enforcement. While the gang was relaxing, the cops were planning a raid, due to "suspicious behavior" they noticed. The raid took place on July 19 and resulted in a gunfight with police. During the shootout, Buck Barrow was seriously wounded when he was shot in the head. He miraculously survived long enough to escape with the gang, only to be involved in another gun battle with police four days later.

Buck and Blanche Barrow (above) both managed to survive that debacle as well, but were taken into custody while Clyde, Bonnie, and the rest of the gang escaped. The couple were taken to the hospital, where Buck would die 10 days after being shot, on July 29, 1933. Even more tragically, the couple reportedly had resolved to leave their life of crime behind and flee to Canada for a new life, a decision made the night before the first police raid.