Friday, August 23, 2019

John Dillinger

John Dillinger was behind bars in the Lake County jail in Crown Point, Indiana in early 1934. His jailers boasted that their facility was escape-proof. Dillinger whiled away his time carving a piece of wood used as a shelf in his cell. He turned it into a replica of a small handgun, painting it with shoe polish. He bluffed his captors and managed to escape.

Dillinger's gang was responsible for 10 deaths, three jail breaks and more than 20 bank robberies. He became America's Public Enemy No. 1.
To cap off a day of making cops look like fools, he stole Sheriff Lillian Holley's brand new Ford V8 and used it in a crime spree across the Midwest. Two months later, Dillinger supposedly drops a handwritten note to Henry Ford, thanking him for building such a great car. The letter is dated May 16th, 1934 and postmarked from Detroit. The text is flowery and highly complimentary of Ford. It was likely a fake.
As with many celebrity deaths, rumors persist that the man killed that night was actually a double. There is no doubt Dillinger was killed outside Chicago's Biograph Theater.

The bullet that killed him entered the back of his neck and exited under his right eye. Two of Dillinger's descendants claim that they doubt it's really his body that's buried.
It's widely seen as another publicity stunt, this time for reality TV.