Sunday, April 22, 2012

John Dillinger conferring with lawyers in court, Crown Point, Indiana 1934

On March 3, 1934, Crown Point etched its name forever in the history books as the infamous bank robber and FBI "Public Enemy #1" John Dillinger escaped from the "escape-proof" (as it was dubbed by local authorities at the time) Lake County Jail which was guarded by many police and national guardsmen. Dillinger apparently escaped using a hand-carved wooden gun blackened with shoe polish, although this was disputed by some witnesses. Dillinger further embarrassed the city, 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." Furthermore, Sheriff Holley made certain the Dillinger name would have no standing in Crown Point up until her death in 1994 at 102.

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