Other Celebrities
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

Dillinger, John

(John Herbert Dillinger, 1903.06.22-1934.07.22)  FBI Public Enemy Number One.

Captured in Tucson

The crook with a crooked smile--FBI mug shot of John Dillinger.

When asked where the infamous bank robber John Dillinger was captured, most people would say outside of the Biograph Theater in Chicago.  That would not be correct.  John Dillinger was killed in Chicago in an FBI shootout following his escape from jail; Dillinger and most of his gang were captured in Tucson.

Bad seed.  Little Johnny Dillinger, the son of a church-going grocer, was the bad seed of the Dillinger family.  Before his teens, Johnny organized a gang of kids called the Dirty Dozen.  When the gang was brought before Juvenile Court for stealing coal from Pennsylvania Railroad cars, he was the only gang member not intimated by the judge.

The stern punishment he received from his seemed to only make his behavior worse.  At 13, Johnny and his gang buddies took a girl to an old shack where each had his turn at her.  By sixteen he had dropped out of school.  After a brief return to school, he joined the navy for a military career which lasted less than five months, ending when he jumped ship.

Marriage, chicken thievery, baseball and armed robbery.  1924 was a very busy year for the 20 year-old Dillinger.  In April he married a 16 year old girl he met after jumping ship the previous December.  A few weeks later he was arrested for stealing 41 chickens, but was kept out of jail by a deal his father made.  That summer, Johnny joined the Martinsville baseball team, playing shortstop.

On a tip from the umpire Johnnie wrapped his .32 caliber pistol in a handkerchief and whacked over the head of a grocer who was supposed to be carrying the day's receipts.  When the grocer fought back causing the gun to discharge, Johnny ran down the street where the umpire was supposed to be waiting with the getaway car.  As it turned out, both of the umpire's suppositions proved incorrect, and Johnny was sentenced to 10 to 20 years at the Pendleton Reformatory.

Besides having webbed hands and a troubled life, the umpire had significant drinking issues which may have contributed to his unreliability. Years later it would result in his death when he passed out on railroad tracks and was decapitated by a passing freight train.

Reformatory crime school.  It could not be said that the Pendleton Reformatory was a total success for Johnny.  Within six months he had made three unsuccessful escape attempts which added a year to his sentence.  In the first six years, the maturing Dillinger received punishment for numerous infractions which included fighting, gambling, concealing a razor and food in his cell, destroying prison property, and generally ignoring prison regulations.

Dillinger also met the blue eyed, sandy haired, handsome Harry Pierpont at the reformatory.  Pierpont would become his close friend and future partner in a short life of crime.










John Dillinger (left) at a reenactment of his capture staged outside the Congress Hotel in Tucson. 1-06.








Other Celebrities
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  
� Copyright 2006 by aroundaz.com This page was last revised on 02/14/06.