- Category : Criminal
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 2/4 - Hermit / Opportunist
- Definition : Split - Small (5,29,34,58)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Vessel of Love 2
- Birth Year: 1903
- Birthday: 22. June
- Birthplace: New York, USA - New York
- Category: Criminal
- Profile: 2-4
- Type: Pure Manifesting Generator
- Inc.Cross: The Vessel of Love 2
- Definition: Double Split - Small (5,29,34,58)
- Variables: BLR-MLR
- 2145 The Money Line
- 0360 Mutation
- 1648 The Wavelength
- 2551 Initiation
- 1057 Perfected Form
John Dillinger (June 22, 1903 – July 22, 1934) was an American bank robber, considered by some to be a dangerous criminal, while others idealized him as a latter-day Robin Hood. He gained this reputation (and the nickname "Jackrabbit") for his graceful movements during bank heists, such as leaping over the counter (a movement he supposedly copied from the movies) and narrow getaways from police. His exploits, along with those of other criminals of the 1930s Depression era, such as Bonnie and Clyde and Ma Barker, dominated the attentions of the American press and its readers during what is sometimes referred to as the public enemy era, between 1931 and 1935, a period which led to the further development of the modern and more sophisticated FBI.
He was born June 22, 1903, in Brightwood, Mooresville, Indiana, and grew up in nearby Mooresville. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy, but deserted within a few months and was later dishonorably discharged. Dillinger returned from a daily daily to Indiana where he married a local girl named Beryl Hovious and attempted to settle down. However, he had difficulty holding a job and his marriage disintegrated. One night in 1924, a small-time criminal who was a friend of Dillinger convinced him to collaborate in the mugging of a well-known Mooresville grocer named Frank Morgan. The two believed that the grocer carried a large amount of cash. They were soon captured. Dillinger's friend employed a lawyer and received only two years in jail, whereas Dillinger, unable to afford legal representation, was convicted and sentenced to 10-20 years in prison despite having no prior criminal record. It has been reported that Dillinger, who was a member of the prison baseball team, played so well that he could have been drafted under normal conditions as a professional major league player. Dillinger was paroled after serving 9 years.
Dillinger embraced the criminal lifestyle behind bars, learning the ropes from seasoned bank robbers like Harry Pierpont of Muncie, Indiana and Russell "Boobie" Clark of Terre Haute. The men planned heists that they would commit soon after they were released. Once Dillinger was released from Indiana State Prison at Michigan City, he helped conceive a plan for the escape of Pierpont, Clark and several others, most of whom worked in the prison laundry. The group known as the "first Dillinger gang" included Pierpont, Clark, Charles Makley, Edward W. Shouse, Jr., of Terre Haute, Harry Copeland, "Oklahoma Jack" Clark, Walter Dietrich and John "Red" Hamilton. Homer Van Meter and Lester Gillis (a.k.a. Baby Face Nelson) were among those who joined the "second Dillinger gang" after he escaped from the county jail at Crown Point, Indiana. Altogether, gangs with whom Dillinger was believed to have been associated robbed about a dozen banks and stole over $300,000, an enormous sum in the Depression era, totaling nearly five million in today's economy.
Dillinger served time at the Indiana State Prison at Michigan City, until 1933, when he was paroled. Within four months, he was back in jail in Lima, Ohio, but the gang sprang him, killing the jailer Sheriff Jessie Sarber. Most of the gang was captured again by the end of the year in Tucson, Arizona due to a fire at the Historic Hotel Congress. Dillinger alone was sent to the Lake County jail in Crown Point, Indiana. He was to face trial for the suspected killing of Officer William O'Malley during a bank shootout in East Chicago, Indiana, some time after his escape from jail. During this time on trial, the famous photograph was taken of Dillinger putting his arm on prosecutor Robert Estill's shoulder when suggested to him by reporters.
On March 3, 1934, Dillinger escaped from the "escape-proof" (as it was dubbed by local authorities at the time) Crown Point, Indiana county jail which was guarded by many police and national guardsmen. Newspapers reported that Dillinger had escaped using a wooden gun blackened with shoe polish, although the fake gun he used to escape the jail was actually one that he had carved out of a potato.
Dillinger further embarrassed the town, as well as then-42-year-old Sheriff Lillian Holley, by driving off in her brand new V-8 Ford. The press augmented her chagrin with such headlines as: "Slim woman, mother of twins, controlled Dillinger as sheriff."
Incensed, Holley declared at the time, "If I ever see John Dillinger again, I'll shoot him dead with my own gun. Don't blame anyone else for this escape. Blame me. I have no political career ahead of me and I don't care."
Driving across the Indiana-Illinois state line in a stolen vehicle, Dillinger violated a federal law and thus caught the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. An investigation concerning the facts of the escape was carried out some time later by the Hargrave Secret Service of Chicago, Illinois on the orders of the Illinois governor. The governor and Illinois state Attorney General Philip Lutz eventually chose not to release information because they did not want Dillinger to know of the informants with whom they spoke. As a result the findings about the gun in the escape were never made public, and this, coupled with Dillinger himself actively perpetuating the wooden gun story as an ego boost, is a reason many believe the "wooden gun" escape was real.
Once out of prison, he continued to rob banks. The United States Department of Justice offered a $20,000 reward on June 23 for Dillinger's capture, or $5,000 for information leading to his apprehension.
In April, the gang settled at a lodge hideout called Little Bohemia owned by Emil Wanatka, in the northern Wisconsin town of Manitowish Waters. The gang assured the owners that they would give no trouble, but the gang monitored the owners whenever they left or spoke on the phone. Emil's wife Nan and her brother managed to evade Baby Face Nelson, who was tailing them, and mailed a letter of warning to a U.S. Attorney's office in Chicago, which later contacted the FBI. Days later, a score of FBI agents led by Hugh Clegg and Melvin Purvis approached the lodge in the early morning hours. Two barking watchdogs announced their arrival, but the gang was so used to Nan Wanatka's dogs that they did not bother to inspect the disturbance. It was only after the FBI mistakenly gunned down a local resident and two innocent Civilian Conservation Corps workers (as they were about to drive away in a car) that the Dillinger gang were alerted to the presence of the FBI. Gunfire between the groups lasted only momentarily, but the whole gang managed to escape in various ways despite the FBI's efforts to surround and storm the lodge. Agent W. Carter Baum was shot dead by "Baby Face" Nelson during the gun battle. Barney G. Louis Boeding accompanied him during the robberies
By the summer of 1934, Dillinger had dropped out of sight. He had, in fact, drifted into Chicago and went under the alias of Jimmy Lawrence. Taking up a clerk job, he also found a new girlfriend named Polly Hamilton, who didn't really know it was Dillinger. In a large, sprawling metropolis like Chicago, Dillinger was able to lead an anonymous existence for a while. What Dillinger didn't realize was that the center of the FBI dragnet happened to be in Chicago. When the authorities found Dillinger's bloodied getaway car on a Chicago sidestreet, they were positive that he was in the city.
Dillinger's last day of freedom was July 22, 1934. Dillinger attended the film Manhattan Melodrama (coincidentally, a gangster film) at the Biograph Theater in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago with his girlfriend, Polly Hamilton, and Ana Cumpanas (a.k.a. Anna Sage), who was facing deportation charges for running a brothel. Sage worked out a deal with Purvis and the FBI to set up an ambush for Dillinger and drop the deportation charges against her. When they exited the theater that night, Sage tipped off the FBI agents who opened fire as Dillinger ran, drawing his weapon, killing him. Dillinger was struck three times, twice in the chest, one actually nicking his heart, and the fatal shot, which entered the back of his neck and exited just under his right eye. According to Purvis, Dillinger died without saying a word. Sage had identified herself to agent Melvin Purvis by wearing an agreed-upon red dress, which led to the enduring notion of the "Lady in Red" as a betraying character. Though she had delivered Dillinger as promised, Sage was still deported to her home country of Romania in 1936, where she remained until her death 11 years later.
Purvis had assembled a team of both FBI agents and hired guns from police forces outside Chicago (Milwaukee, Michigan City, Indiana, etc.) because it was felt that the Chicago police had been compromised and could not be trusted. As a matter of fact, during the stakeout, the Biograph's manager thought the agents were hoodlums that were setting up a robbery. He called the Chicago police who dutifully responded and had to be waved off by Purvis, who told them that they were on a stake out for a much more mundane quarry. Earlier in the day, Sage had called Purvis and told him that Dillinger was going to the movies that night and might even go to two separate shows just to avoid the murderous heat that was smothering Chicago that week. Two theaters were mentioned. One, the Marboro, was downtown, and the other was on the North side (the Biograph).
Not chancing another embarrassing getaway, Purvis split the team in two and dispatched one team downtown while he accompanied the other group to the Biograph. When the movie let out, Purvis stood by the front door and signaled Dillinger's exit by lighting a cigar. Both Purvis and the agents reported that Dillinger turned his head and looked directly at Purvis as he walked by, glanced across the street, and then moved ahead of his female companions and bolted into a nearby alley drawing a pistol when he quickly came under fire from a number of different guns. Two women bystanders were slightly wounded in the legs and buttocks by flying bullet and brick fragments. An ambulance was summoned and although it was clear that Dillinger had quickly died from his gunshot wounds, he was taken to a nearby hospital where his corpse was briefly placed on the grass outside the emergency room where a harried intern came out and officially pronounced Dillinger dead.
The body was then taken to the Cook County morgue where the body was repeatedly photographed and death masks were made by local morticians in training, who inadvertently damaged the facial skin. Throughout that night and most of the next day, a huge throng of curiosity seekers paraded through the morgue to catch a glimpse of Dillinger in death. The chief medical examiner finally complained that this mob was interfering with his occupation and Cook County sheriff's deputies were posted to keep these macabre tourists at bay. There were also reports of people dipping their handkerchiefs and skirts into the pools of blood that had formed as Dillinger lay in the alley in order to secure keepsakes of the entire affair.
Dillinger is buried at Crown Hill Cemetery (Section: 44 Lot: 94 ) in Indianapolis. His gravestone is often vandalized by people removing pieces as souvenirs.
To this day, loyal fans continue to observe "John Dillinger Day" (July 22) as a way to remember the fabled bank robber. Members of the "John Dillinger Died for You Society" traditionally gather at the Biograph Theater on the anniversary of Dillinger's death and retrace his last walk to the alley where he died, following a bagpiper playing "Amazing Grace". Dillinger and his men had a hideout in Langlade County just south of Forest County, Wisconsin along Highway 55, which is now a small bar named Forest Inn.
Was it Dillinger?
To this day, there are doubts whether Dillinger actually died on July 22, 1934. Some researchers (chief among them famed Chicago crime writer Jay Robert Nash) believe that the dead man was in truth a petty criminal from Wisconsin named Jimmy Lawrence, who had dated Dillinger's sometime girlfriend Billie Frechette and bore a close resemblance to the famed bank robber. Some people who knew him said they did not recognize the body; in fact, Dillinger's father had suddenly exclaimed when first seeing his son's corpse, "That's not my boy!" After all, John Dillinger did receive rather crude plastic surgery some time before his death. Moreover, if indeed the agents did mistake Lawrence for Dillinger, the FBI would have had a strong incentive to cover up such a blunder, since J. Edgar Hoover was on the verge of being fired as Bureau director in the wake of the extensive public outrage over the earlier Little Bohemia incident. An autopsy contained information that was controversial, such as:
The corpse had brown eyes. Dillinger's were grey, according to police files.
The body showed signs of some childhood illness which Dillinger never had.
The body showed a rheumatic heart condition, yet according to the later testimony of Dr. Patrick Weeks — Dillinger's physician at Indiana State Prison — Dillinger could not have suffered from this disease as he was an avid baseball player while in prison and had served in the Navy.
The small Colt semi-automatic pistol that Dillinger had allegedly drawn on the approaching FBI agents outside the Biograph (and was for years shown in a display case at FBI Headquarters along with Dillinger's death mask) was not his; it had, in fact, been manufactured five months after Dillinger's death, which supports the claim that the FBI agents, without warning, shot and killed an unarmed Dillinger.
In 1963 the newspaper The Indianapolis Star received a letter from a person called "John Dillinger" with a return address in Hollywood, California. The letter contained a photo of a man who looked like a more aged Dillinger. When this was ignored, another letter was sent to Emil Wanatka Jr, the proprietor of the Little Bohemia Lodge.
The body was positively identified as John Dillinger by his sister Audrey, through a scar on his leg received in childhood.
The mistake concerning the corpse's eyes may have been an error on the part of the coroner resulting from eye discoloration caused by a traumatic head wound or decomposition in the intense summer heat.
The FBI has at least two sets of post-mortem fingerprints of the dead man. Though scarred by corrosive acid, the prints shared the same characteristics as those of John Dillinger.
A 2006 Discovery Channel documentary titled The Dillinger Conspiracy examined the legends surrounding his death. Several historians, detectives, and forensic scientists examined the autopsy, the 1963 letter, and East Chicago Police Sergeant Martin Zarkovich's gun to determine the true story behind his death. Ultimately, the show suggested Zarkovich fired the final bullet which did in fact kill Dillinger, and that the FBI was complicit in his death.
Many legends surround John Dillinger.
One of the rumors that followed his death was that he had a very large penis (which Hoover later kept in a jar). This legend is the result of the photograph of his corpse; the bulge caused by his arm, stiff from rigor mortis, covered with a sheet; some who saw grainy newsprint copies of the photo mistakenly believed it to be his unnaturally large erect penis.
The "Lady in Red" story stems from a poem allegedly chalked on the alley wall where Dillinger was shot:
"Stranger stop and wish me well,
Just say a prayer for my soul in hell.
I was a good fellow, most people said,
Betrayed by a woman dressed all in red"
Over the years, reports have come in of Dillinger deliberately taunting J. Edgar Hoover by making collect phone calls to the FBI HQ in DC as well as sending him Christmas cards. There can be no doubt that Hoover became irrationally obsessed with apprehending Dillinger to the exclusion of all other duties. At one time, a third of the entire budget of the FBI in 1934 was devoted to hunting down this one man. Hoover was known to have referred to Dillinger by name in the majority of his private correspondence to friends and family in the months leading up to Dillinger's death. After Dillinger was gunned down, Hoover maintained a macabre private museum of Dillinger artifacts including the gun, hat, pocket change and eye glasses that were found on the body that night in Chicago. For the rest of his life, Hoover would refer to these curios with great pride and obvious personal satisfaction.
During his brief stint in the navy, Dillinger was assigned to both the USS California and USS Nevada. Both ships were among those tied up at Battleship Row the morning of 7 December 1941 and fell victim to Japanese air attack. Others place him instead on the crew rosters of the USS Arizona and USS Oklahoma in the months before his desertion. There was no social security system then and there were numerous J. Dillingers in the fleet at that time so it is difficult to track his movements.
Sandy Jones and the John Dillinger Society purchased what is believed to be the 1933 Hudson Essex-Terraplane 8 that Dillinger and girlfriend Billie Frechette were driving when in a machine gun battle they narrowly escaped police. They had been hiding out under assumed names in a St. Paul, Minnesota apartment.
Tributes to Dillinger
A mathcore band from New Jersey named The Dillinger Escape Plan was named after Dillinger. They have been dubbed the "Most Dangerous Band" by NME in honor of Dillinger.
One of the pioneers and legacies of the drum and bass movement goes by the name of Dillinja as a tribute to the infamous criminal.
A well known respected Gang leader in Chicago who died in the early 80's who's name was Prince Toddy "Dillinger" Brewer R of the Simon City Royals. As you can see Todd showing a reference in his nickname to the slain John Dillinger who also died in Chicago.
Humphrey Bogart's big break out role in film came through the portrayal of vicious fugitive gang leader Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest, a character based on Dillinger down to the same haircut and black suit vest.
The English band These Animal Men recorded a song entitled "You're Not My Babylon" which was about Dillinger's girlfriend Billie Frechette.
Rap artist Daz Dillinger was dubbed the name Daz "Dillinger" by Tupac Shakur in reference to John Dillinger.
In the film Reservoir Dogs, Joe Cabot states that Mr. Blue, one of the robbers, was "dead as Dillinger." Cabot is played by Lawrence Tierney, who also played the title role in the first "Dillinger" film, created in 1945 (and showing the character to be a murderous lunatic). Though Mr. Blue's fate is not shown in the film, in the video game of the same name, he is shot by the police in a movie theater as a nod to Dillinger's death.
In addition to Tierney's 1945 version, the story was retold in 1973 by director/writer John Milius, with Warren Oates in the title role, Ben Johnson as Melvin Purvis, Richard Dreyfuss as a psychotic "Baby Face" Nelson, Harry Dean Stanton as Homer Van Meter, Michelle Phillips as Billie Frechette, Geoffrey Lewis as Harry Pierpont, Steve Kanaly as "Pretty Boy" Floyd, and Cloris Leachman as the infamous Anna Sage, aka the "Woman in Red". It presents the gang in a much more sympathetic light than the 1945 film, as was the norm in the anti-hero era after "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967).
In 1974, during his first trip to America, artist Joseph Beuys paid tribute to John Dillinger by reenacting his death outside the Biograph Theatre.
Beat Generation author William S. Burroughs dedicated his 1989 short story collection Tornado Alley to Dillinger "in hope that he is still alive."
John Dillinger is one of the main characters in the series of science fiction books The Illuminatus! Trilogy, by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, which plays off the rumor that Dillinger was not the man gunned down outside the Biograph. In the trilogy, Dillinger is depicted as having been present at the assassination of John F. Kennedy and aware of who really shot JFK. It is also revealed that the Dillinger of this work is not one man but five -- quintuplets, born before the Dionne Quintuplets.
Stephen King wrote a short story called "The Death of Jack Hamilton", printed in Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales, in which Dillinger is a main character.
Dillinger appeared as one of the members of the "Jury of the Damned" in The Simpsons episode "Treehouse of Horror IV".
"Dillinger" is the name of an upgrade weapon in the The Godfather game for PlayStation 2.
A reference is made to John Dillinger's demise in the film High Fidelity starring John Cusack
In a parody of Dillinger's escape with a phony gun, Woody Allen tries the same stunt in his 1971 movie, Take the Money and Run. He shapes a bar of soap into a gun, blackens it with shoe polish, and threatens the guards if they don't release him. But it is raining and his "weapon" turns into a handful of dirty soap suds.
In the text-based RPG known as Colossal Cave Adventure, a poster appears in a brick building at the beginning with a public service announcement from the John Dillinger Died For You Society.
There is a restaurant in Calumet City,IL dubbed "Dillinger's," which is named after John Dillinger. They also have some photos and history of Dillinger posted throughout the restaurant.
Johnny Depp will be playing John Dillinger in the film adaptation of Bryan Burrough's book Public Enemies which will be directed by Michael Mann.