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John Dillinger - Allen County Museum - Lima, OH

John Dillinger was born in Indianapolis, IN in 1903. He had a difficult upbringing and was often in trouble. In 1923 Mr. Dillinger joined the Navy but deserted after only a few months. He went back to Indiana and was involved in a mugging and was arrested. He spent the next ten years in prison learning all about robbing a bank from the inmates. In May 1993 Mr. Dillinger started robbing banks in Indiana and Ohio. In September of 1933 he was caught and jailed in Ohio. In October 1933 some of his gang broke him out of jail. In the process of breaking Mr. Dillinger out of prison, a sheriff, Jesse Sarber, was shot and killed.


He once again went on another bank robbery spree. He was once again jailed and broke out of prison on March 3, 1934 by carving a fake pistol out of wood and coloring it back with shoe polish. He once again started robbing banks and became Public Enemy #1 by the FBI.


On the night of July 22, 1934 Dillinger went to a movie at Biograph Theatre with his girlfriend, Polly Hamilton, and Anna Sage (a Romanian-born brothel madam). Anna tipped off the police as to where Mr. Dillenger would be in return for not being deported from the United States. Anna told the police she would be wearing an orange skirt, but under the lights that night the skirt looked red - nicknaming her “The Lady in Red”. The FBI were waiting for John Dillinger when he left the theatre. Dillinger ran and was shot four times in an alley.


Located at: 632 West Market Street, Lima, OH


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