John Herbert Dillinger, Jr.
Burial Location Visited
Indianapolis, Indiana August 20, 2004


Why am I not in this picture you ask? At the                                Here is a closeup shot of Dillinger's grave.
time of my visit in 2004, I had never even                                   Next time I return to Indianapolis, I will be
heard of John Dillinger. I was only concerned                              sure to revisit John Dillinger's grave, and I
about the presidents. My dad felt otherwise                                 will not make the mistake that I made the
however, and had me take his picture at the                                last time.
bank robber's grave. Rest assured, I was
actually there.

                                       *** Interesting Facts ***

* Even early on, John Dillinger made life harder for others. In his youth, Dillinger ran into several conflicts with the police, having been charged with petty theft. In his late teens, he was convicted of stealing a car in his hometown of Indianapolis. Actions such as these greatly separated Dillinger from his father, who was harsh and abusive during his son's childhood.

* John Dillinger's first notable crime was the robbery of a grocery store in 1924. He and friend Ed Singleton stole $20 from the establishment, but were recognized upon their departure and arraigned by the police. In court, Singleton avidly claimed that he was innocent, while Dillinger admitted his guilt. He had hoped that this would bring leniency his way, but he was in reality sentenced to ten to twenty years in jail. Outraged, Dillinger vowed to become a hardened criminal behind bars. After having served in the Indiana State Prison for over eight years, Dillinger was released on parole in 1933. As this occurred in the Great Depression, there were little to no jobs available, and Dillinger automatically returned to crime. He committed a bank robbery in Bluffton, Ohio and was apprehended shortly after. Within a period of four days, Dillinger was able to smuggle rifles into the cells of acquaintances in a separate jail. With the rifles, the group was able to escape and traveled to Lima, where Dillinger was being held. Impersonating police officers, the gang sprung Dillinger from jail. It was shortly after that the gang pulled its most notorious bank robberies.

* Eventually, John Dillinger was reprehended and placed in Indiana's Crown Point jail. The local police claimed that the prison was escape-proof, and this comment ultimately proved to be their undoing. Cleverly, Dillinger whittled the top part of a washboard and covered it completely in black shoe polish, disguising it as a gun. With the fake gun, Dillinger was able to fool a guard into unlocking his cell door and releasing him. After locking all of the jail's guards in the cell, the criminal escaped the scene in Sheriff Lillian Holley's brand new Ford and drove all of the way to Chicago, Illinois.

* In April of 1934, Dillinger and his gang were hiding out in the Little Bohemia Lodge, a small cottage located in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin. Throughout the duration of the gang's stay, the owners of the lodge were under constant supervision, out of fear that they would report the criminals to the police. While out in town one day, the family was able to elude their pursuer and mail a letter that explained their situation to a U.S. Attorney in Illinois, who redirected it to the DOI (the Department of Investigation, which evolved into the FBI). Within a week of receiving the letter, the DOI arrived at the lodge. While the officers wanted to take the gangsters by surprise, they instead alerted them to the situation when they shot several bystanders they mistook for the criminals. Hearing the gunfire, Dillinger and his fellow criminals drew their guns and dashed for the exits. Though there were many people involved, the shootout only lasted several minutes. Each member of the gang escaped, leaving behind one less member of the DOI, killed by Baby Face Nelson.

* By the month of July, law enforcement had lost all traces of Dillinger. During the course of that month however, his blood-covered car was discovered by the police in the city of Chicago. After several days of fruitless searching for the criminal mastermind, the authorities caught a break. The police had been contacted by Anna Sage, a prostitute who was facing deportation back to her native Romania. Sage made a proposition: she would tell them all of her information on Dillinger, and they would stop her deportation. The police contacted the DOI, and they agreed to Sage's terms. She told them that she and an acquaintance were going to a theatre with Dillinger the following night, which was July 22nd. She also acknowledged that she would be wearing a red dress, so she would be easy to identify. Acting fast, DOI head J. Edgar Hoover set up a team to stake out the city's theatres the next night. After it was confirmed that Dillinger, Sage, and their companion were seen entering the Biograph Theatre, members of the law enforcement scattered themselves around the outside of the building. When the film, Manhattan Melodrama, commenced, the trio slowly exited the theatre. Dillinger recognized Purvis instantly and ran up the street past his female companions. He attempted to pull out his revolver, but was too late. Several gunshots later, John Dillinger was dead, having been betrayed by the "Woman in Red".

Spouse: Beryl Ethel Hovious (1906-1993)

Last Words:
 "You got me."
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