On the night of November 8, 2016, a good friend of mine, Denise Rector, flew into Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to spend seven days with me. It was a week dominated by a fun road-trip that took us from my Arlington, Texas home to Austin’s Museum of the Weird, from Austin to San Antonio, and then back to Arlington. One of the things I did while Denise was in town was to take her to see what I call “The M.I.B. Grave.” You may well wonder what it is! No, it’s not the final resting place of a pale-faced, fedora-wearing Man in Black. You might, however, be forgiven for thinking that that is exactly what it is.
Western Heights Cemetery is located at 1617 Fort Worth Avenue, Dallas, Texas. It’s a tiny, blink and you’ll miss it type of place that is sandwiched between two small, old roads. Not particularly well looked after, the cemetery has most definitely seen better days. It has, however, a notable claim to fame. Or, rather, a claim to infamy! It just happens to be the final resting place of Clyde Barrow – as in Bonnie and Clyde, the infamous gangsters who lived and died by the bullet on May 23, 1934. Actually, by a hell of a lot of bullets. As for Bonnie, she is buried in Dallas’ Crow Hill Memorial Park Cemetery, which is just a short drive from Clyde’s grave. It so happens that buried next to Clyde are the remains of his brother. His name was Marvin, and he too came to a bloody end. To his friends, Marvin was known as Buck.
As we drove to the cemetery, I told Denise why I call Marvin’s final resting place “The M.I.B Grave.” The answer is very simple: Marvin’s full name was Marvin Ivan Barrow. In other words, his initials are M. I. and B. And, there is a small headstone at the grave which reads, in capital letters, “M.I.B.,” and nothing else. We were soon at Marvin’s grave, which, like that of his brother, Clyde, now pretty much languishes in obscurity – unless, that is, you have a yearning to find it and see it.
As we stood around the graves and looked around, I told Denise how, on several occasions, odd synchronicities had occurred in relation to Marvin’s grave and the real MIB. I’ll explain what I mean by that. Back in the mid-1980s, as one example, the Dallas police responded to a number of calls – covering what turned out to be a four-day-long period – of a man dressed in a black suit and a black hat who stood in the cemetery and stared at passers-by in a stone-cold, eerie fashion. He was never questioned or caught and had a strange ability to disappear and reappear. Whether he was a real Man in Black, or just some weirdo in a black suit, is anyone’s guess. More than thirty years later, we’ll likely never know.
On top of that, on the morning of the first day I ever went there – which was back in December 2012 – I had been working on an MIB-themed article that just happened to have involved a Man in Black seen at a cemetery in Dorset, England in 1992. Imagine my surprise when, on reaching the Western Heights Cemetery only a few hours later, I stumbled on Marvin’s MIB grave. This all struck me as some kind of classic “Trickster”-type phenomena at work. Fortunately, that atmosphere of eeriness was completely absent when Denise and I were wandering around the old gravestones. Or, maybe, unfortunately should be the case, as Denise is quite partial to all things of the supernatural kind.