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The notorious John Dillinger

John Dillinger, center, is handcuffed to Deputy Sheriff R. M. Pierce, left, during Dillinger's court hearing in Crown Point, Indiana, during the first weeks of February 1934. Dillinger was charged with killing patrolman William O'Malley, 43, during a bank robbery in East Chicago, Indiana, on Jan. 15, 1934. His trial date was set for March 12, 1934. Dillinger would break out of the Crown Point jail on March 3, 1934.
(Chicago Tribune historical photo)

The notorious John Dillinger

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John Herbert Dillinger was a Depression-era bank robber from Indiana. From September 1933 until July 1934, he and his violent gang terrorized the Midwest, killing 10 men, wounding seven others, robbing banks and police arsenals, and staging three jail breaks.
Dillinger charged
John Dillinger, center, is handcuffed to Deputy Sheriff R. M. Pierce, left, during Dillinger's court hearing in Crown Point, Indiana, during the first weeks of February 1934. Dillinger was charged with killing patrolman William O'Malley, 43, during a bank robbery in East Chicago, Indiana, on Jan. 15, 1934. His trial date was set for March 12, 1934. Dillinger would break out of the Crown Point jail on March 3, 1934.
John Dillinger, center, is handcuffed to Deputy Sheriff R. M. Pierce, left, during Dillinger's court hearing in Crown Point, Indiana, during the first weeks of February 1934. Dillinger was charged with killing patrolman William O'Malley, 43, during a bank robbery in East Chicago, Indiana, on Jan. 15, 1934. His trial date was set for March 12, 1934. Dillinger would break out of the Crown Point jail on March 3, 1934. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
"Dillinger On Rampage"
Sgt. Edward A. Grim of the North Robey Street police station with a Dubuque, Iowa, newspaper found in John Dillinger's stolen and abandoned automobile on May 2, 1934. The bloodstained getaway car, found at 3338 N. Leavitt St. in Chicago, had a surgical kit, matches from the Little Bohemia Resort, and the newspaper dated April 23, 1934, with the headline "Dillinger On Rampage."
Sgt. Edward A. Grim of the North Robey Street police station with a Dubuque, Iowa, newspaper found in John Dillinger's stolen and abandoned automobile on May 2, 1934. The bloodstained getaway car, found at 3338 N. Leavitt St. in Chicago, had a surgical kit, matches from the Little Bohemia Resort, and the newspaper dated April 23, 1934, with the headline "Dillinger On Rampage." (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Ten fugitives
Indiana State Police surround the house where two escaped convicts were holed up, circa October 1933. On Sept. 26, 1933, 10 convicts, led by John “Red” Hamilton, broke out of the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, using guns smuggled to them by John Dillinger.
Indiana State Police surround the house where two escaped convicts were holed up, circa October 1933. On Sept. 26, 1933, 10 convicts, led by John “Red” Hamilton, broke out of the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, using guns smuggled to them by John Dillinger. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Dillinger caught
John Dillinger, center, is led through the Crown Point, Indiana, court building on Jan. 31, 1934, to be viewed by witnesses from the First National Bank robbery that occurred on Jan. 15, 1934 in East Chicago, Indiana. Dillinger had been caught in Arizona and flown back to Indiana to be tried for the murder of patrolman William O'Malley, 43.
John Dillinger, center, is led through the Crown Point, Indiana, court building on Jan. 31, 1934, to be viewed by witnesses from the First National Bank robbery that occurred on Jan. 15, 1934 in East Chicago, Indiana. Dillinger had been caught in Arizona and flown back to Indiana to be tried for the murder of patrolman William O'Malley, 43. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Heavily guarded
John Dillinger arrives back at the county jail in Crown Point, Indiana, on Jan. 30, 1934, after being caught in Arizona five days earlier. Authorities were fearful that Dillinger's gang would try to rescue their leader, so heavily armed guards surrounded the courthouse and jail. Dillinger was charged with killing patrolman William O'Malley, 43, during a bank robbery in East Chicago, Indiana, on Jan. 15, 1934.
John Dillinger arrives back at the county jail in Crown Point, Indiana, on Jan. 30, 1934, after being caught in Arizona five days earlier. Authorities were fearful that Dillinger's gang would try to rescue their leader, so heavily armed guards surrounded the courthouse and jail. Dillinger was charged with killing patrolman William O'Malley, 43, during a bank robbery in East Chicago, Indiana, on Jan. 15, 1934. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Hearing at Crown Point
John Dillinger is handcuffed and guarded as he smokes during a court recess while Deputy Sheriff R. M. Pierce, left, looks on during Dillinger's hearing in Crown Point, Indiana, in February 1934. Dillinger was charged with killing patrolman William O'Malley, 43, during a bank robbery in East Chicago, Indiana, on Jan. 15, 1934. His trial date was set for March 12, 1934. Dillinger would break out of the Crown Point jail on March 3, 1934.
John Dillinger is handcuffed and guarded as he smokes during a court recess while Deputy Sheriff R. M. Pierce, left, looks on during Dillinger's hearing in Crown Point, Indiana, in February 1934. Dillinger was charged with killing patrolman William O'Malley, 43, during a bank robbery in East Chicago, Indiana, on Jan. 15, 1934. His trial date was set for March 12, 1934. Dillinger would break out of the Crown Point jail on March 3, 1934. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Surrounded
John Dillinger arrives at the county jail in Crown Point, Indiana, on Jan. 30, 1934, after being caught in Arizona five days earlier. Authorities were fearful that Dillinger's gang would try to rescue their leader, so heavily armed guards surrounded the courthouse and jail.
John Dillinger arrives at the county jail in Crown Point, Indiana, on Jan. 30, 1934, after being caught in Arizona five days earlier. Authorities were fearful that Dillinger's gang would try to rescue their leader, so heavily armed guards surrounded the courthouse and jail. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Wooden gun
John Dillinger escaped from the county jail in Crown Point, Indiana, with only a toy gun on March 3, 1934. Dillinger threatened deputy sheriffs with a wooden gun and then locked up more than a dozen guards before fleeing in the sheriff's own car. Dillinger was in jail awaiting trial for killing patrolman William O'Malley, 43, during a bank robbery in East Chicago, Indiana, on Jan. 15, 1934. His trial date had been set for March 12, 1934.
John Dillinger escaped from the county jail in Crown Point, Indiana, with only a toy gun on March 3, 1934. Dillinger threatened deputy sheriffs with a wooden gun and then locked up more than a dozen guards before fleeing in the sheriff's own car. Dillinger was in jail awaiting trial for killing patrolman William O'Malley, 43, during a bank robbery in East Chicago, Indiana, on Jan. 15, 1934. His trial date had been set for March 12, 1934. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Escape from Crown Point
The Crown Point, Indiana, jail, right, and county courthouse, left, after John Dillinger escaped with only a toy gun on March 3, 1934. Dillinger threatened deputy sheriffs with a wooden gun and then locked up more than a dozen guards before fleeing in the sheriff's own car.
The Crown Point, Indiana, jail, right, and county courthouse, left, after John Dillinger escaped with only a toy gun on March 3, 1934. Dillinger threatened deputy sheriffs with a wooden gun and then locked up more than a dozen guards before fleeing in the sheriff's own car. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Bloodstained Ford
A police officer shows the busted-out rear window of John Dillinger's stolen and then abandoned automobile at the North Robey Street police station on May 2, 1934. The bloodstained Ford V-8 sedan, found at 3338 N. Leavitt St. in Chicago, had a surgical kit, matches from the Little Bohemia Resort and a Dubuque, Iowa, newspaper dated April 23, 1934, with the headline "Dillinger On Rampage."
A police officer shows the busted-out rear window of John Dillinger's stolen and then abandoned automobile at the North Robey Street police station on May 2, 1934. The bloodstained Ford V-8 sedan, found at 3338 N. Leavitt St. in Chicago, had a surgical kit, matches from the Little Bohemia Resort and a Dubuque, Iowa, newspaper dated April 23, 1934, with the headline "Dillinger On Rampage." (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Raid on Little Bohemia
Government men at the Little Bohemia Resort in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin, where a gunbattle with John Dillinger and his gang took place on April 22, 1934. Leading the group were federal agents Melvin Purvis and Hugh Clegg. FBI agents had surrounded the lodge, but Dillinger and his gang were able to escape along the shore of the nearby lake.
Government men at the Little Bohemia Resort in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin, where a gunbattle with John Dillinger and his gang took place on April 22, 1934. Leading the group were federal agents Melvin Purvis and Hugh Clegg. FBI agents had surrounded the lodge, but Dillinger and his gang were able to escape along the shore of the nearby lake. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Raid on Little Bohemia
Max Organist looks at the guns left behind by John Dillinger and his gang on April 22, 1934, at the Little Bohemia Resort in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin. FBI agents had surrounded the lodge where Dillinger and his gang were staying, but the outlaws were able to escape along the shore of the nearby lake.
Max Organist looks at the guns left behind by John Dillinger and his gang on April 22, 1934, at the Little Bohemia Resort in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin. FBI agents had surrounded the lodge where Dillinger and his gang were staying, but the outlaws were able to escape along the shore of the nearby lake. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Raid on Little Bohemia
Government men stand by the Ford that was abandoned by John Dillinger during a gunbattle between authorities and Dillinger's gang at the Little Bohemia Resort on April 22, 1934, in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin. FBI agents had surrounded the lodge, but Dillinger and his gang were able to escape along the shore of the nearby lake. Two people were killed during the raid, an FBI agent and a local man who was mistaken for one of Dillinger's gang.
Government men stand by the Ford that was abandoned by John Dillinger during a gunbattle between authorities and Dillinger's gang at the Little Bohemia Resort on April 22, 1934, in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin. FBI agents had surrounded the lodge, but Dillinger and his gang were able to escape along the shore of the nearby lake. Two people were killed during the raid, an FBI agent and a local man who was mistaken for one of Dillinger's gang. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
FBI agent killed
Men carry the body of Chicago federal agent W. Carter Baum, who was killed by "Baby Face" Nelson of John Dillinger's gang, during a shoot-out at the Little Bohemia resort in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin, on April 22, 1934. Two people were killed during the raid, an FBI agent and a local man who was mistaken for one of Dillinger's gang.
Men carry the body of Chicago federal agent W. Carter Baum, who was killed by "Baby Face" Nelson of John Dillinger's gang, during a shoot-out at the Little Bohemia resort in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin, on April 22, 1934. Two people were killed during the raid, an FBI agent and a local man who was mistaken for one of Dillinger's gang. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Constable shot
Constable Carl C. Christensen with Mary Levendoski at the Twin City Hospital in Ironwood, Michigan, after Christensen was shot by "Baby Face" Nelson of the John Dillinger gang during a gun fight at the Little Bohemia Resort in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin, on April 22, 1934. Christensen, a Spider Lake, Wisconsin, constable, was said to be gravely wounded but survived his wounds.
Constable Carl C. Christensen with Mary Levendoski at the Twin City Hospital in Ironwood, Michigan, after Christensen was shot by "Baby Face" Nelson of the John Dillinger gang during a gun fight at the Little Bohemia Resort in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin, on April 22, 1934. Christensen, a Spider Lake, Wisconsin, constable, was said to be gravely wounded but survived his wounds. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
"Crime Doesn't Pay"
Eveyln "Billie" Frechette was released from prison on Jan. 30, 1936. Frechette was arrested in Chicago while her boyfriend, John Dillinger, watched helplessly nearby on April 9, 1934. Frechette, who had met Dillinger in 1933, was charged with harboring a fugitive in her St. Paul, Minnesota, apartment. She spent two years in jail, getting out in 1936. Upon her release, Frechette toured in a theatrical production called "Crime Doesn't Pay" with members of Dillinger's family.
Eveyln "Billie" Frechette was released from prison on Jan. 30, 1936. Frechette was arrested in Chicago while her boyfriend, John Dillinger, watched helplessly nearby on April 9, 1934. Frechette, who had met Dillinger in 1933, was charged with harboring a fugitive in her St. Paul, Minnesota, apartment. She spent two years in jail, getting out in 1936. Upon her release, Frechette toured in a theatrical production called "Crime Doesn't Pay" with members of Dillinger's family. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Arrested
John Dillinger and his gang arrive in Chicago on Jan. 30, 1934, after their arrest in Arizona five days earlier. Dillinger had been caught in Arizona and flown back to Indiana to be tried for the murder of patrolman William O'Malley, 43. O'Malley was shot down during the First National Bank robbery in East Chicago, Indiana. Dillinger's trial date was set for March 12, 1934. Dillinger would break out of the Crown Point, Indiana, jail on March 3, 1934.
John Dillinger and his gang arrive in Chicago on Jan. 30, 1934, after their arrest in Arizona five days earlier. Dillinger had been caught in Arizona and flown back to Indiana to be tried for the murder of patrolman William O'Malley, 43. O'Malley was shot down during the First National Bank robbery in East Chicago, Indiana. Dillinger's trial date was set for March 12, 1934. Dillinger would break out of the Crown Point, Indiana, jail on March 3, 1934. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Dillinger's gang
John Dillinger's gang, circa December 1933, from top left: Harry Pierpont (11014), Charles Makley (12636), John Dillinger (13225) and Russell Clark (12261).
John Dillinger's gang, circa December 1933, from top left: Harry Pierpont (11014), Charles Makley (12636), John Dillinger (13225) and Russell Clark (12261). (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
The Biograph Theater
John Dillinger was shot and killed by FBI agents on July 22, 1934, at the Biograph Theater on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago after agents received a tip from Dillinger's friend Anna Sage. Sage, known as the "Woman in Red," told authorities that she, Dillinger, and Dillinger's girlfriend, Polly Hamilton Keele, would be at the movies and to look for her dressed in red. Some reports say Sage was actually dressed in orange.
John Dillinger was shot and killed by FBI agents on July 22, 1934, at the Biograph Theater on Lincoln Avenue in Chicago after agents received a tip from Dillinger's friend Anna Sage. Sage, known as the "Woman in Red," told authorities that she, Dillinger, and Dillinger's girlfriend, Polly Hamilton Keele, would be at the movies and to look for her dressed in red. Some reports say Sage was actually dressed in orange. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Dillinger shot
People stand around the bloodstain from John Dillinger, 32, in the alley behind the Biograph Theater in Chicago. Dillinger was shot and killed by FBI agents on July 22, 1934.
People stand around the bloodstain from John Dillinger, 32, in the alley behind the Biograph Theater in Chicago. Dillinger was shot and killed by FBI agents on July 22, 1934. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Woman in Red
Anna Sage, nicknamed the "Woman in Red," at the Sheffield Avenue police station in July 1934. Sage, who wore red or orange as a mark for the FBI, had been with John Dillinger when he was shot and killed by the agents outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago on July 22, 1934. Sage said she made a deal with famous FBI agent Melvin Purvis. In exchange for information on Dillinger's whereabouts, she would not be deported to her home country of Romania for running a brothel.
Anna Sage, nicknamed the "Woman in Red," at the Sheffield Avenue police station in July 1934. Sage, who wore red or orange as a mark for the FBI, had been with John Dillinger when he was shot and killed by the agents outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago on July 22, 1934. Sage said she made a deal with famous FBI agent Melvin Purvis. In exchange for information on Dillinger's whereabouts, she would not be deported to her home country of Romania for running a brothel. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Manicured feet
John Dillinger's body lies in the Cook County morgue after he was shot and killed by FBI agents on July 22, 1934, at the Biograph Theater in Chicago. According to the Chicago Tribune, Dillinger was "partly covered with a sheet below which well manicured feet protrude, a tag labeled ‘Dillinger’ on each big toe."
John Dillinger's body lies in the Cook County morgue after he was shot and killed by FBI agents on July 22, 1934, at the Biograph Theater in Chicago. According to the Chicago Tribune, Dillinger was "partly covered with a sheet below which well manicured feet protrude, a tag labeled ‘Dillinger’ on each big toe." (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Dillinger's death mask
Professor D. E. Ashworth lifts a plaster death mask off the face of John Dillinger while his students watch on July 23, 1934, at the Cook County morgue in Chicago. Ashworth, of the Worsham College of Mortuary Science, had told employees at the morgue that he had permission to create the mask, but he didn't. Ashworth and his students were ousted from the morgue, and the partially completed mask was confiscated by the police. Unbeknownst to the FBI, a complimentary copy of another death mask was sent to the bureau from the Reliance Dental Corporation, which also did not have permission. To this day, there is controversy over how many death masks were made of Dillinger's face and the authenticity of the masks.
Professor D. E. Ashworth lifts a plaster death mask off the face of John Dillinger while his students watch on July 23, 1934, at the Cook County morgue in Chicago. Ashworth, of the Worsham College of Mortuary Science, had told employees at the morgue that he had permission to create the mask, but he didn't. Ashworth and his students were ousted from the morgue, and the partially completed mask was confiscated by the police. Unbeknownst to the FBI, a complimentary copy of another death mask was sent to the bureau from the Reliance Dental Corporation, which also did not have permission. To this day, there is controversy over how many death masks were made of Dillinger's face and the authenticity of the masks. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Crowds gather
Betty Nelson and Rosella Nelson view the body of John Dillinger, 32, while in bathing suits at the Cook County morgue in Chicago. In the days after Dillinger was killed on July 22, 1934, massive crowds lined up outside the morgue to get a glimpse of the notorious public enemy.
Betty Nelson and Rosella Nelson view the body of John Dillinger, 32, while in bathing suits at the Cook County morgue in Chicago. In the days after Dillinger was killed on July 22, 1934, massive crowds lined up outside the morgue to get a glimpse of the notorious public enemy. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
Claiming Dillinger
John Dillinger's body leaves the Cook County morgue at Polk and Wood streets to be taken to McCready Funeral home at 4506 Sheridan Road on July 24, 1934. Dillinger's father, John Dillinger Sr., 70, traveled from Mooresville, Indiana, to claim his son's body. Dillinger was embalmed and then taken back to Indiana for burial.
John Dillinger's body leaves the Cook County morgue at Polk and Wood streets to be taken to McCready Funeral home at 4506 Sheridan Road on July 24, 1934. Dillinger's father, John Dillinger Sr., 70, traveled from Mooresville, Indiana, to claim his son's body. Dillinger was embalmed and then taken back to Indiana for burial. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
"Crime Doesn't Pay"
John Dillinger Sr., father of notorious gangster John Dillinger, seated signs a contract to appear at a Walk-a-thon in Calumet City, Illinois, while Frank Gladdin, general manager of the Metropolitan Vaudeville Agency, watches at the Woods Theater building on Aug. 28, 1934. With Dillinger Sr. are, from left, Frances Dillinger, 12, Doris Dillinger, 16 (both step-sisters of John Dillinger Jr.), Audrey Hancock, (John Dillinger Jr.'s sister), and her husband, Emmett Hancock. The Dillinger family, along with John Jr.'s girlfriend, Evelyn "Billie" Frechette, toured with a theatrical production called "Crime Doesn't Pay" after Dillinger's death.
John Dillinger Sr., father of notorious gangster John Dillinger, seated signs a contract to appear at a Walk-a-thon in Calumet City, Illinois, while Frank Gladdin, general manager of the Metropolitan Vaudeville Agency, watches at the Woods Theater building on Aug. 28, 1934. With Dillinger Sr. are, from left, Frances Dillinger, 12, Doris Dillinger, 16 (both step-sisters of John Dillinger Jr.), Audrey Hancock, (John Dillinger Jr.'s sister), and her husband, Emmett Hancock. The Dillinger family, along with John Jr.'s girlfriend, Evelyn "Billie" Frechette, toured with a theatrical production called "Crime Doesn't Pay" after Dillinger's death. (Chicago Tribune historical photo)
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