John Dillinger

Josh Perkins

On June 22, 1903 a man named John Dillinger was born. He grew up in the Oak Hill Section of Indianapolis. When John was three years old his mother died, and when his fatehr remarried six years later, John resented hes stepmother.

When John was a teenager he was frequently in trouble. He finally quit school and got a job in a machine shop in Indianapolis. He was very intelligent and a good worker, but he soon got bored and often stayed out all night. His father began to think that the city was corrupting his son, so he sold his property in Indianapolis and moved his family to a farm near Mooresville, Indiana. John reacted no better to rural life than he had to that in the city and soon began to run wild again.

At the age of 21 he attempted his first robbery, robbing a grocery store, in his home town. He was caught and imprisoned for nine years until 1933. Soon after he was released, Dillinger robbed a bank in Bluffton, Ohio and was arrested by the Dayton police. He was put in Lima county jail to wait for his trial. The Lima police found a document on John which seemed to be a plan for a prison break, but he denied everything. Four days later, using the same plans, eight of Dillinger's friends escaped from the Indiana State Prison, using shotguns and rifles which had been smuggled into their cells. During their escape, they killed two guards.

On October 12, three of the escaped prisoners and a parolee from the same prison showed up at the Lima jail where Dillinger was. They told the sheriff that they had come to return Dillinger to the Indiana State Prison for violation of his parole.

When the sheriff asked to see their credentials, one of the men pulled a gun, shot the sheriff and beat him into unconsciousness. They took the keys, freed Dillinger, locked the sheriff's wife and a deputy in the cell, and left. Leaving the sheriff to die on the floor.

These four mens fingerprint cards were pulled, indicating that they were wanted. Meanwhile, Dillinger and his gang pulled several bank robberies. They also stole several machine guns, rifles, and revolvers, a quantity of ammunition, and several bulletproof vests.

By mid-1934, Dillinger had been involveed in at least ten bank robberies in Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, and South Dakota. He was hiding in Chicago with a woman by the name of Anna Sage. This acquaintace was said to be the one who told on John. She told federal agents she would be wearing a red dress when she and a girl friend accompanied Dillinger to the theater. Sage became famous as the "lady in red."

Agents were waiting outside to arrest him. Dillinger grabbed a pistol from his trouser pocket and attempted to flee, the three agents opened fire. Dillinger was pronounced dead at 10:50 p.m. at Alexian Brother's Hospital. John Herbert Dillinger was killed July 22, 1934 in front of a Chicag movie theater. He was shot four times. Two shots grazed his face, one shot pertruded into is arm ,and the fourth shot entered the back of his head, exiting underneath his right eye.

John was 31 years old when he died. He had been at the top of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's "Ten Most Wanted" list for a month before he died. He and his gang terrorized the Midwest, killing ten men, wounding seven others, robbing banks and police arenals, and stageing three jail breaks---killing a sheriff during one and wounding two guards in another.