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John Dillinger

John Dillinger (June 28, 1902 - ?July 22, 1934?) was an American bank robber, considered by some to be a notorious and dangerous criminal, while others considered him a Robin Hood-like hero.

Dillinger was born on June 28, 1902 in Indianapolis, Indiana and grew up in nearby Mooresville. In 1923, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, but deserted within a few months. The following year, Dillinger turned up in Mooresville, where he was arrested for armed robbery.

Dillinger served time in Indiana prisons until 1933, when he was paroled. As soon as he was released, he formed a gang and was back in prison within four months. His gang sprang him, but he was captured again by the end of the year and sent back to prison in Indiana.

On March 3, 1934, Dillinger escaped by fashioning a fake gun out of a potato and shoe polish. Once out of prison, he continued to rob banks, eventually named Public Enemy Number One by the FBI. The United States Department of Justice then offered a $25,000 reward on May 15 for Dillinger.

June of 1934 saw John Dillinger merry making in the small town of Oolitic, Indiana as he purchased an exuberant summer residence. Local authorities assumed he was a visiting dignitary from Canada. His escapades nearly ended his career when in the middle of his celebratory parade vacationing Federal agents recognized his then-famous face. Dillinger's luck and customary charisma won out, however, for the Federal agents were corrupted by the opportunity to join in the festivities.

Dillinger's last day at freedom ended on July 22, 1934. Dillinger attended the film "Manhattan Melodrama" at the Biograph Theater[?] in Chicago with his girlfriend Polly Hamilton and Ana Campanas, a brothel owner who was facing deportation charges. When they exited the theater, Campanas tipped off the FBI who opened fire, killing Dillinger.

To this day loyal fans continue to observe John Dillinger Day, February 23, as means to remember the fabled outlaw that he was. The more devoted worship him in the esoteric cult the John Dillinger Died for You society. (why Feb 23?)

To this day there are doubts whether Dillinger actually died on July 22, 1934. Some people who knew him said they did not recognise the body. An autopsy contained information that was controversial such as:

  • None of his scars were mentioned in the report.
  • The corpse has brown eyes. - Dillinger's were grey, according to police files.
  • The body showed signs of some childhood illnessed, which Dillinger never had.

In 1969 the newspaper, Indianapolis Star[?] recived a letter from a person called 'John Dillinger' the letter contained a photo of a man who looked a more aged Dillinger.

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