CRIME MUSEUM - CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
JOHN DILLINGER’S LIFE AND TIMES
June 1903 through July 1934
June 22, 1903, John Herbert Dillinger is born in Indianapolis, IN. From birth to age sixteen young John lived at 2053 Cooper Street in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Feb. 1, 1907 when John Dillinger was 3-years-old, when his mother became very ill, and was hospitalized. She had developed serious health problems, suffered a stroke, underwent surgery and died. She was 47 years old.
1908, John Dillinger enters school at Public School 38, in Oak Hill, Indianapolis, Indiana.
1912, John's father courted, and married Elizabeth Fields of Mooresville, a small town South of Indianapolis.
1914, John Dillinger’s half brother Hubert was born.
1916, John Dillinger’s half sister named Doris was born.
1922, John Dillinger’s half sister named Frances was born
March of 1920, Dillinger family moves to Mooresville, IN, located approx. 20 miles south of Indianapolis. He pusetrchased a sixty-seven acre farmhouse, just off Highway 267.
July 24, 1923, Dillinger joins the U.S. Navy. He was listed as a Fireman Third Class and stationed on U.S.S. Utah, scheduled to ship out in three weeks.
Dec. 4, 1923, after being reported for going AWOL, Dillinger deserts the Navy and is dishonorably discharged. He returns to Mooresville and joins a baseball team in Martinsville, IN called the Atletics (AC); he was noted as a good second baseman, and a shortstop, where he meets and courts 17-year-old Beryl Ethel Hovious
April 12, 1924, John Dillinger marries Beryl Ethel Hovious of Martinsville. Beryl’s brother William Hovious was one of the witnesses. Dillinger and brother-in-law become good friends.
July 1924, Dillinger works at Mooresville Furniture Factory as an Upholsterer
September 6, 1924, John Dillinger and Ed Singleton are intoxicated on (Corn Liquor) Moonshine when they attempt to rob Mooresville Grocer Frank Morgan. The robbery is unsuccessful.
September 6, 1924, Deputy sheriff John M. Hayworth and Marshal Greeson arrested John Dillinger on charges of conspiracy to commit a felony and assault with intent to rob.
September 14, 1924, John Dillinger admits to his crime with the advice of his father, who tells him ro tell the truth.
September 15, 1924, John Dillinger is taken to the same courthouse where he had married beryl Hovious, five months earlier. In a trial that lasted all of five minutes with no legal council present, Dillinger was sentenced two-to-fourteen years on first account and ten-to-twenty on the second charge.
September 16, 1924, a bitter John Dillinger begins his sentence at Pendleton Indiana State Reformatory
May 22, 1933 Released from Indiana State Prison at Michigan City; sentence began September 16, 1924
June 20, 1929, Beryl Hovious divorces John Dillinger because she believes he will never get out of jail (according to Beryl Hovious)
July 15, 1929, John Dillinger transfers to Indiana State Penitentiary at Michigan City
April 1933, Mooresville citizens sign petition to have John Dillinger paroled from jail
May 20, 1933, John Dillinger’s stepmother Lizzie suffers a stroke
May 22, 1933, John Dillinger paroled from prison. John Dillinger’s stepmother Lizzie dies.
June 24, 1933, Dillinger and William Shaw attempt to rob the Marshall Field Thread Mill in Monticello, Indiana,
June 29, 1933, Dillinger and Shaw rob sandwich on East 28th Street, Indianapolis
July 17, 1933, John Dillinger, Harry Copeland and Hilton Crouch rob the Commercial Bank of Daleville and escapes with $3,500 in cash
August 4, 1933, John Dillinger, Copeland and Crouch rob First National Bank of Montpelier, Indiana, and escapes with $6,700 in cash
August 14, 1933, Dillinger, Copeland and Crouch rob Citizens National Bank of Bluffton, Ohio, and escapes with $6,000
Sept. 6, 1933, rob Massachusetts Avenue State Bank in Indianapolis with Copeland and Crouch and escapes with $24,000
Sept. 1933, Patricia long introduces Johnnie to Evelyn Frechette in North Side Chicago nightclub.
Sept. 22, 1933, John Dillinger is captured in Dayton, Ohio, while visiting Mary Longnaker. A map of Indiana State Prison at Michigan City in found in his possession.
Sept. 23, 1933, Dillinger is transferred to Allen County Jail, Lima, Ohio under heavy guard.
Sept. 26, 1933, Dillinger aids in the escape of ten prisoners from Indiana State Prison at Michigan City. The escapees include: Harry Pierpont, Charles Makley, Russell Clark, John Hamilton, James Jenkins, Ed Shouse, Walter Dietrich, Joseph Fox, James Clark and John Burns,
Sept. 29, 1933, Michigan City escapee James Clark arrested in Hammond, Indiana
Sept. 30, 1933, Michigan City escapee James Jenkins (brother of Mary Longnaker) is killed by vigilantes in Bean Blossom, Indiana
Oct. 12, 1933, Harry Pierpont, Charley Makley and Russell Clark enter the Lima jail to liberate Dillinger. Harry Copeland, John Hamilton or Ed Shouse stands guard outside. During the ordeal Pierpont kills Sheriff Jesse Sarber.
Oct. 14, 1933, John Dillinger, Harry Pierpont and others rob the Auburn, Indiana police department of their arsenal, which includes three bulletproof vests, one Colt .45, two .38 pistols, one .44 Smith & Wesson, one .45, one German Luger one Thompson machine gun, one .30-caliber rifle, one shotgun and over 1,200 rounds of ammunition
Oct. 20, 1933, six days later, Dillinger, Pierpont and Makley rob the Peru, Indiana, police department of their arsenal, which includes Two Thompson machine guns, six bulletproof vests, two sawed-off shotguns, four .38 police specials, two .30.30 Winchesters
October 23, 1933, Dillinger robs Central National Bank of Greencastle, Indiana, along with Pierpont, Makley and Harry Copeland or John Hamilton. Copeland is later convicted of the crime and sentenced to twenty-five years in prison. The gang escapes with $74,728.
Nov. 11, 1933, Police attempt to arrest Tommy Carroll in Minneapolis on suspicion of participating in the Brainerd holdup. Escaping barefooted, he leaves behind $1,600 in cash, a rifle, a machine gun, and a shotgun
Nov. 15, 1933, Dillinger seeks treatment from Dr. Charles Eye in Chicago after catching ringworms during his stay at Lima jail. Police Informant Arthur McGinnis contacts authorities, shots are fired but Dillinger and Frechette escapes trap.
November 17, 1933, Harry Copeland is arrested in Chicago, after drawing a gun on his girlfriend during a heated argument.
Nov. 19, 1933, Harry Copeland is returned to prison
Nov. 20, 1933, John Dillinger, Pierpont, Makley, Clark, Hamilton rob the American Bank and Trust Company in Racine, Wisconsin and escapes with $27,000
Dec. 6, 1933 Walter Dietrich and Jack Klutas are trapped in Bellwood, Chicago. Klutas is killed as he goes for a gun, and Dietrich is captured and returned to prison.
Dec. 11, 1933, Tommy Carroll kills Detective H.C. Perrow during a fierce gun battle with police in San Antonio, Texas.
Dec. 14, 1933, Three days later, John Hamilton kills Sgt. William T. Shanley as he attempts to pick up his car being repaired at Broadway Auto Shop in Chicago
Dec. 1933, John Dillinger and Billie Frechette drive to Daytona Beach, Florida, where they meet up with Russell Clark and Opal Long, Harry Pierpont and Mary Kinder
Dec. 20, 1933, Edward Shouse captured in Paris, Illinois, but not before officer Eugene Teague is accidentally killed by another police officer. Shouse is returned to Michigan City Penitentiary.
Dec. 21, 1933 Charley Makley and Homer Van Meter arrive in Daytona to meet the rest of the gang.
Dec. 25 1933 Christmas Day After exchanging gifts, John Dillinger sends Billie Frechette back to the Neopit, Wisconsin Indian reservation
Jan. 1, 1934 The Dillinger gang blasts their machine guns in the air on Daytona Beach to celebrate the New Year
January 1934 Billie contacts lawyer George R. Brokins, about divorcing her husband, Welton Spark, who is serving time in Leavenworth Penitentiary, in Kansas
Jan. 1934 Charley Makley and Russell Clark leave for Tucson, Arizona, and arrive around January 10. Harry Pierpont and girlfriend Mary Kinder join the group, arriving in Tucson on the January 16.
Jan. 15, 1934 John Hamilton and others robs First National Bank of East Chicago, Indiana, and kills Officer William Patrick O'Malley, after O’Malley wounded Hamilton. Hamilton is shot in right hand and four times in groin. Hamilton loses two fingers, earning the nickname 3-finger-jack. Dillinger is later blamed for this murder, even though he is not present during this robbery. The gang escapes with $20,000.
Jan. 15, 1934, The same day of the East Chicago robbery, John Dillinger and Billie Frechette were busy attending an automobile show in St. Louis at the Municipal Auditorium. Jan. 16, 1934
The Bloodstained and bullet-riddled Plymouth used in the East Chicago robbery (getaway car) was found at Byron Street and California Avenue, Chicago. The blood was John Hamilton’s.
Jan. 22, 1934 The Congress Hotel catches on fire cause from a boiler in the hotels basement. This is the same hotel where Clark and Makley are staying. Makley pays firemen $3.00 to retrieve two heavy suitcases.
Jan. 23, 1934 Alert firemen flipping through pages of detective magazine recognize Clark and Makley and contact Tucson police.
Jan. 25, 1934 Russell Clark is traced to 927 North Second Avenue. After a fierce fistfight with officers he is apprehended. Soon afterwards, Pierpont reads of Clarks captured and is also arrested on South Sixth as he tries to flee town. Next Charles Makley arrested in a radio store in downtown Tucson. John Dillinger and Billie Frechette are also arrested at the North Avenue residence where Clark was captured.
Jan. 26, 1934 The gang appeared before the Justice of the Peace C.V. Budlong, at the Pima County Courthouse. Bond set at $100,000 for Dillinger and gang members. Jan. 29, 1934
Dillinger is forcefully taken by officers and flown on American Airlines to Douglas, Arizona, to Dallas, Fort Worth, Little Rock, and Memphis and onto St. Louis. The plane touches down at Midway Airport in Chicago.
Jan. 30, 1934 Thirteen-car motorcade with 180 armed guards takes Dillinger to Crown Point, Indiana. The outlaw arrives at the Lake County Jail at 7:40 p.m. and is greeted by hundreds of spectators and the press.
Feb. 1, 1934 Attorney Louis Piquett arrives in Crown Point Indiana to meet with Dillinger. After being searched by Warden Lou Baker he is allowed to see Dillinger.
Feb. 5, 1934 Dillinger enters the Lake County Court for a preliminary hearing before Judge William J. Murray. He is shackled with no less than fifty armed guards present. Dillinger is represented by Joseph Ryan (a lawyer paid by Dillinger’s father), but the outlaw demands to see Piquett as his defense lawyer.
Feb. 9, 1934, Dillinger is arraigned and a trial is set for March 12
Feb. 10, 1934, Prosecutor Robert Estill recommends that Judge Murray transfer Dillinger to the Michigan City Penitentiary until his trial, but the request is denied by Murray.
Feb. 17, 1934, While Dillinger faces the electric chair in Crown Point, Harry Pierpont, Charley Makley and Russell Clark all plead not guilty to the killing of Sheriff Jesse Sarber. Feb. 26, 1934, Billie Frechette is allowed to visit Dillinger at the Jail in Crown Point, pretending to be his wife
Feb. 28, 1934, The wooden gun that Dillinger will use to escape Crown Point is being made by a unidentified German woodworker in Chicago
March 3, 1934, Dillinger escapes from Crown Point jail with inmate Herbert Youngblood, armed only with the wooden gun and his wits. Dillinger also steals Sheriff Lillian Holley's police car and speeds for Chicago.
March 4, 1934 Billie Frechette rents a room at the Santa Monica Apartments apartment at 3252 South Girard Avenue, Minneapolis,
March 5, 1934 Sheriff Lillian Holley's car is located at 1057 Ardmore, Chicago. Dillinger is now wanted by the FBI for driving a stolen car across state lives, violating the Dyer Act, a federal offense.
March 6, 1934, Dillinger, Homer Van Meter, Eddie Green, Tommy Carroll, and Baby Face Nelson rob the Security National Bank in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, escaping with $49,500
March 7, 1934, The FBI officially announces they are entering the Dillinger case. March 13, 1934, Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Homer Van Meter, Eddie Green, Tommy Carroll, and John Hamilton rob the First National Bank of Mason City, Iowa, escaping with $52,000
March 14, 1934, Herbert Youngblood is killed in a shootout in Port Huron, Michigan. During the battle, officer Charles Cavanaugh is also killed
March 14, 1934, Hamilton is taken to the home of Dr. Mortensen, located at 2252 Fairmount Avenue, St. Paul,
March 18, 1934, Billie Frechette travels to Mooresville to deliver a letter from Dillinger, and wooden gun is given to Audrey Hancock’s husband
March 20, 1934, Dillinger and Frechette move into the Lincoln Court Apartments, at South Lexington Avenue, St. Paul, using the alias names of Mr. and Mrs. Carl T. Hellman.
March 23, 1934, Dillinger drives to Leipsic, Ohio, and visits Harry Pierpont's mother to help finance his trial.
March 24, 1934, Pierpont and Makley sentenced to death for the murder of Jesse Sarber, both are given the electric chair. June 13, 1934 is date of executions. Russell Clark is sentenced to life in prison.
March 27, 1934, Harry Pierpont and Charley Makley transferred to the Columbus State Penitentiary to await execution.
March 31, 1934, Suspicious neighbors contact the FBI, Agents along with a St. Paul detective who investigate the residence at apartment number 303. Homer Van Meter posing as a soap sells man fires shots as agents and escapes on a coal truck. Dillinger hears shots and is wounded in left calf during his escape. Dillinger and Frechette drive to Eddie Green's apartment at 3300 Fremont Avenue. Green takes Dillinger to see Dr. Clayton E. May, at 1835 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, treats Dillinger’s leg. He stays with Dr. May and his nurse, Augusta Salt, until April 4
April 3, 1934, Eddie Green machine gunned by Federal Agents at his residence located at the 778 Rondo Avenue, St. Paul. Agents mortally wound the outlaw as he attempts to flee. He is unarmed.
April 4 1934, During a nationwide hunt, Dillinger and Frechette quickly flee to Mooresville, Indiana to visit John's father, arriving on the 5th. Knowing that the cops are looking for him, Frechette tries to talk Dillinger out of going to Mooresville. Dillinger replies, “Now Billie, who’s smarter, me or the cops?”
April 8, 1934, Dillinger attends a family reunion in Mooresville, while the farm is under surveillance by the State Police. Newspapers have a field day when the FBI claims they are hot on the outlaws trail.
April 9, 1934, Billie Frechette is arrested in a Chicago Tavern located at 416 North State, while Dillinger watches from across the street.
April 11, 1934, Dillinger outlaw Eddie Green dies and is buried at St. Peter's Cemetery, Mendota, Minnesota.
April 13, 1934, Dillinger and Homer Van Meter rob the Warsaw, Indiana, police department of their arsenal, taking two pistols and several bulletproof vests.
April 17, 1934, John Dillinger and John Hamilton drive to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, to visit Hamilton's sister and leave several weapons in a parked car.
April 20, 1934, John Dillinger, Homer Van Meter, Marie Comforti, John Hamilton, Pat Cherrington, Tommy Carroll, Jean Delaney, Pat Reilly, Helen Gillis and Baby Face Nelson all arrive at Little Bohemia Lodge in Manitowish, Wisconsin for a vacation from bank robbery.
April 21, 1934, Homer Van Meter sends Pat Reilly and Pat Cherrington to drive to St. Paul to collect $10,000 from Harry Sawyer.
April 22, 1934, The FBI surrounds the Little Bohemia Lodge after being tipped off by Mrs. Emil Wanatka, wife of owner of the Lodge. The gang escaped without firing a shot. Helen Gillis, Marie Comforti, and Jean Delaney are captured by Federal Agents. The FBI wounded innocent victims John Hoffman, John Morris and killed Eugene Boiseneau. Agents J.C. Newman, Carl C. Christensen are wounded at nearby Lodge by Baby Face Nelson during his escape. Nelson also killed agent W. Carter Baum.
April 23, 1934, attempting to drive into St. Paul, John Hamilton is fatally wounded in back as Dillinger, Van Meter battle with police. Dillinger contacts Doc Moran, an underworld Doctor who had treated the Barker-Karpis gang, but he refused to help.
April 27, 1934,John Hamilton dies in Aurora, Illinois. He is buried by Dillinger, Van Meter, and members of the Barker-Karpis gang.
May 2, 1934, The most talked about bloodstained getaway car is found abandoned at 3333 North Leavitt, Chicago
May 15, 1934, Trial of Billie Frechette, Dr. Clayton May and Augusta Salt begins in St. Paul.
May 23, 1934 Frechette and May found guilty of conspiring to harbor John Dillinger. Nurse Salt was released and charges dropped. Billie Frechette was sentenced to two years at the women’s federal prison in Milan, Michigan. Dr. May sentenced to two years at Leavenworth penitentiary.
May 24, 1934, East Chicago Officers Martin O'Brien and Lloyd Mulvihill are killed by Mobsters in East Chicago. John Dillinger and Van Meter gets the blame, but this was not their style.
May 27, 1934, Dillinger moves into the home of James Probasco at 2509 Crawford Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.
May 28, 1934 Dr. Wilhelm Loeser and assistant Harold Cassidy begin plastic surgery on Dillinger at the Probasco home. Loeser also removes Dillinger's fingerprints with boric acid.
May 31, 1934, Dillinger’s bandages are removed to display his new face
June 1934,while trying out his new face, Dillinger meets Polly Hamilton at the “Barrel of Fun Club” in Chicago
June 3, 1934, Dr. Loeser now begins plastic surgery on Homer Van Meter as he did John Dillinger with the help of his assistant Dr. Cassidy
June 7, 1934, Dillinger gangster, Tommy Carroll is shot to death by Waterloo detectives in Iowa. He is buried at Oakland Cemetery, St. Paul.
June 21, 1934, Homer Van Meter picks up girlfriend Marie Comforti and the two travel to Calumet City, Illinois, where they rent a room under assumed names
June 22, 1934, John Dillinger celebrates his 31st birthday with Polly Hamilton at the French Casino nightclub, in Chicago. The FBI sends a birthday present for Dillinger…on this day he is the first criminal in history to be named “Public Enemy Number One” on the FBI’s most wanted list.
June 23, 1934, John Dillinger and Polly Hamilton return to the French Casino Nightclub to celebrate her birthday.
June 26, 1934, With Polly Hamilton, John Dillinger attends Cubs game at Wrigley Field.
June 27, 1934, Harry Copeland sentenced to 25 years for his part in the Greencastle bank robbery.
June 30, 1934, Supposedly John Dillinger, Homer Van Meter, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd and John Paul Chase rob the Merchants' National Bank in South Bend, Indiana, The gang escapes with $30,000. There is actually no solid evidence that Dillinger and Floyd were involved in this robbery.
July 2, 1934, John Dillinger enjoys a movie at the Biograph Theater located at 2433 Lincoln Avenue in Chicago.
July 7, 1934, Pat Cherrington and Opal Long are sentenced to two years on harboring charges in the federal prison for women at Milan, Michigan, on harboring charges
July 10, 1934, John Dillinger, Polly Hamilton, Van Meter and Marie Comforti all attend the World's Fair together.
July 11, 1934, John Dillinger meets with Arthur O'Leary in Chicago to help Billie Frechette gain her freedom.
July 22, 1934, After making a deal with the Feds to help save her from being deported out of the country, Madam Anna Sage calls Agent Melvin Purvis to inform him that Dillinger, Polly Hamilton and herself will either attend the Biograph or the Marlboro Theater. The FBI set a trap. About 8:30 P.M., John Dillinger, Polly Hamilton and Anna Sage (The Lady In Red) all arrive at the Biograph Theater. The three enter the theater, while 22 federal agents and five East Chicago officers surround the area so tight, a Nat couldn’t escape the net. At 10:35 P.M., Dillinger leaves the Theater with a woman on each arm. Four shots are fired, and Dillinger is hit twice, one bullet hit his left side, and the other entered the back of his neck and exiting beneath the right eye, killing the most celebrated gangster of the 1930s. . Dillinger is carried in wicker basket from the undertaker to the hearse to begin journey to Mooresville. After a six-hour ride, the caravan arrives. The body is carried into the Harvey Funeral Home. Body is removed at 10:15 p.m. and moved to Maywood, Indiana, to the home of Audrey Hancock, Dillinger's sister
July 25, 1934, Audrey Hancock allows public viewing of her brother, and America’s number one criminal John Dillinger. Dillinger is buried next to his mother at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Dillinger, The Hidden Truth – A Tribute to Gangsters & G-Men of the Great Depression era by Tony Stewart