Female Gangsters That Stole And Killed Their Way Into The Underworld

Published February 9, 2017
Updated November 8, 2023

From the "Mack Truck" to the "Kissing Bandit" these cold-blooded female gangsters prove that you don't need a Y chromosome to be vicious.

Bonnie Parker
Stephanie St Clair
Kathryn Kelly
Mary O Dare
Female Gangsters That Stole And Killed Their Way Into The Underworld
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On the morning of May 23, 1934, infamous gangsters Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were driving their stolen Ford through Bienville Parish, Louisiana. They had no idea that six lawmen with rifles and shotguns had been camped out in the bushes alongside the road since the night before.

As the car approached, the officers rose up and fired a combined 100-plus rounds, hitting the pair several dozen times, and bringing their headline-grabbing multi-year crime spree to a dramatic end.

As their bodies lay dead and the coroner arrived on the scene, he noticed bystanders who had begun collecting souvenirs from the bodies including shell casings and clothing. One man, he noted, even reached over with a pocket knife and tried to remove Barrow's left ear.

Such is the bizarre type of fame that Parker and Barrow achieved -- and the strange hold that the gangster has had in the American imagination in the decades since.

But as much as we immortalize men like Al Capone and John Dillinger, and as much as we flock to films like The Godfather and Scarface, seldom do we think of the female gangsters that have stood at the center of violent, prosperous crime rings as well.

Although many still know the name Bonnie Parker -- herself immortalized in the film Bonnie and Clyde -- dozens of equally ruthless and successful female gangsters have since left their mark on the underworld.

From the "Mack Truck" to the "Kissing Bandit," meet some of these women in the gallery above.

Fascinated by these female gangsters? Next, check out three of the most ruthless, powerful gangsters alive today, before looking at the most brutal gangs around the world.

John Kuroski
John Kuroski is the editorial director of All That's Interesting. He graduated from New York University with a degree in history, earning a place in the Phi Alpha Theta honor society for history students. An editor at All That's Interesting since 2015, his areas of interest include modern history and true crime.
Savannah Cox
Savannah Cox holds a Master's in International Affairs from The New School as well as a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and now serves as an Assistant Professor at the University of Sheffield. Her work as a writer has also appeared on DNAinfo.
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Kuroski, John. "Female Gangsters That Stole And Killed Their Way Into The Underworld." AllThatsInteresting.com, February 9, 2017, https://allthatsinteresting.com/female-gangsters. Accessed June 25, 2024.