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Unlike scenarios in many MMO games of today, not a single gun shot was fired during the very real Greencastle bank robbery, yet it would be the gangs largest robbery.


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Photo created by Tony Stewart

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Gordon Sayres left being interviewed by author Tony Stewart. Sayres was in the Greencastle bank when John Dillinger robbed it. 






JD Color Ohio


(Photo Colorization and effectsby Kimberly Stewart)

In prison, Dillinger admired Pierpont’s many stories about professional bank jobs, and now he would finally see him in action. In Michigan City, Dillinger listened carefully to every detail while Harry Pierpont explained the expert skills of using scientific techniques to succeed in robberies with timed precision.


Harry Labelled



The following day police officers questioned Mrs. Sarber and Deputy Sharp. The two were shown several pictures of the ten men who escaped from Michigan City. Both Mrs. Sarber and Deputy Sharp picked out Pierpont’s picture, identifying him as the man who shot and killed Sheriff Sarber.
Makley Labbelled


Charley Makley was also identified as the man who slugged Sheriff Sarber. Harry Copeland was also involved, but was not identified, because he had been outside keeping a lookout, and went unnoticed. It is not clear if Russell Clark was actually involved in the liberation of Dillinger, but it is clear that he had taken part in the meeting with attorney Chester M. Cable, prior to the break at Lima. Pierpont was now a cop killer, a bank robber, and an escapee of the Michigan City prison. Dillinger had been captured four days before the Michigan City break, when officers found the detailed map of the prison in his procession. If they would have investigated this matter more thoroughly, and notified Michigan City of their findings, perhaps the escape might have been prevented. Also, if this information had presented to prison officials, most likely the Dillinger gang would have never existed. Dayton officials were suspicious of the map, but Dillinger was no longer their concern once he was in Sarber’s custody. This error of judgment by Ohio officials would change history forever, and help create the most wanted man of the nineteen thirties. Captain Matt Leach knew Pierpont’s reputation, and profiled him to be the leader of the gang. Leach would later take the credit for naming the Dillinger gang to cause problems between Harry Pierpont and John Dillinger. But the plan didn’t work because there was no leader in the gang. If there had been a leader, it would have most likely been Harry Pierpont, and this would have undoubtedly crowned the outlaws, as the Pierpont gang. The fact is that Leach did not actually name the gang, but did deserve credit for keeping the Dillinger gang name alive to the public. Since these outlaws came to Lima to liberate Dillinger and their identities were not yet known, newspapers branded the outlaws the Dillinger Gang, not Matt Leach. Harry Pierpont would later say, if it hadn’t been for Matt Leach, no one had ever heard of them. This was true, and Leach did deserve some credit for pursuing the gang’s livelihood and reputation. Newspaper headlines would help to keep the gang on the run, displaying daily photographs of the bandits. These news reports would also supply the gang with valuable information. But John Dillinger didn’t have to read the headlines in daily papers to know that there was no turning back. When he walked out of the Allen County Jail, he stepped into this super-gang of criminals; his life would never be the same.

On October 14, the same day thousands gathered to attend Sheriff Sarber's funeral, the gang would make newspaper headlines again. Two men identified as Pierpont and Dillinger, walked into the Auburn Police Department in Indiana, and approached the desk of Henry West. Officer Fred Krueger was eating a bag of popcorn, when the Well-dressed men walked in. The Chief and Sheriff John P. Hoff had just left the station a few moments earlier. The two men produced revolvers, as one of them said, "You might as well sit still, we don't want to kill anyone unless we have too. Have you got any guns?" Krueger replied yes, and motioned to the gun on his hip. Pierpont said, "Oh no, I'll get it" and removed Krueger's gun from his holster. West was also disarmed and ordered to open the gun cabinet. The officers gave to resistance, especially after Pierpont mentioned that he hadn't killed anybody in a week. The officers were then locked in a cell, while the outlaws carried out armfuls of guns. There were so many guns that they had to make two trips. The guns that were taken included one Thompson Sub-machinegun, a Colt .45, a Smith and Wesson .44, a .25 German Luger, two .38 revolvers, A Winchester automatic rifle, a Shotgun, a .30 caliber Springfield rifle, a large supply of ammunition, and three bulletproof vests. The officers were smart for co-operating because when Pierpont told them that he would only kill if he had too, he meant it. Pierpont had already proved that he wasn't a man to be taken lightly. Several daring robberies continued to explode across the Midwest in the months that followed. The police were aware of the recent crimes, but had no idea the magnitude of the situation. Police officers in Ohio and Indiana searched desperately for the ten escapees from Michigan City Prison. They were also searching for the killers of Sheriff Sarber. Matt Leach of the Indiana State Police believed that Dillinger and Harry Pierpont were involved in both incidents. He knew that these men were very dangerous, and had to be stopped. Police believed that Harry Pierpont was responsible for the robbery at St. Mary's, and that if trapped or cornered, he would not hesitate to fight back with a deadly response.

Police didn’t realize the St. Mary’s robbery was actually Makley’s idea. Actually there were several other gangs raping the banks across the country around the same time, such as Bonnie and Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd, Alvin Karpis and the Barker gang, Harvey Bailey, Machinegun Kelly and many more. In fact, from 1929 to 1934, there were close to 3,500 robberies. Working in a bank was a very dangerous occupation during the Great Depression era. People were desperate, and robbers seemed to appear out of the woodwork. Oddly enough, many of America's most deadliest and dangerous criminals never even made it to the FBI's most wanted list. Yet Dillinger, who was accused of one murder (which was never proved), would go straight to the top of the FBI's most wanted. Why? Because Hoover needed criminals who could make big headlines on front-pages of newspapers. He needed Dillinger to help build the FBI’s reputation. Hoover was a very stubborn and arrogant man, he repeatedly denied the Mafia existed. This denial of organized crime would allow the mob to continue their daily activities of crime and corruption and would claim the lives of hundreds in the process. There were several crimes committed in 1934, which were blamed on the Dillinger gang. Although many of these crimes carried the Dillinger trademark, he wasn't even involved. There were several copycat gangs, who thought they were tough and wanted to be like the Dillinger. They would try to copy Dillinger’s style, which would lay the blame on America’s number one criminal.


J. Edgar Hoover used his own a quick fix method for solving America’s crimes, which worked very effectively. He would simply put the blame on some unfortunate individual, whether he or she was guilty or not a particular crime, and the case was solved. Hoover ruined the lives of many people who may have been innocent, but he didn’t care as long as he received the credit for solving the crime. It was the Government who helped create the Depression, which greatly contributed to the birth of crime. Police officials did not know the identities of the men who raided the Auburn police department, but they were concerned about the nature of the crime. These outlaws escaped with an arsenal of weapons that was large enough to rage a war. Never before had police seen men so daring that would actually raid a police department. Even notorious outlaws like Jesse James would have never attempted such a crime. Never in history had any criminal gang been so daring. The Dillinger gang was out to teach law officials a lesson of a lifetime. This would be a lesson that would not be forgotten for years to come. Harry Pierpont would later die in the chair for the murder of Sheriff Jesse Sarber. When Deputy Sharp heard the shots, he immediately looked up seeing both men with guns drawn. He would later pick out Pierpont as the killer, because he was the man giving all the orders. Harry Copeland, who was also involved in the Lima incident, would turn states evidence against Pierpont and Makley to save his own skin.

This guaranteed the death penalty and sealed their certain doom. In prison, Pierpont was known for a man who would take the rap for friends. He would never snitch on a friend. For these strong willed acts, Pierpont gained a lot of respect and confidence from fellow inmates in the pen. Whether it was Makley or Pierpont who fired the fatal shots that killed Sheriff Sarber doesn’t really matter. Both men were involved and both would die for their participation in the crime. Makley would escape the fate of the chair, and go down with lead during one final attempt for freedom. Pierpont and Makley’s time was limited; they had close to a year left to live after the murder of Sheriff Sarber. On October 20, the Dillinger gang struck again and raided a police department in Peru, Indiana. The police report stated that three men entered the police department, with automatic weapons and demanded to see the police arsenal. One man carried a machinegun, while another held a shotgun. All three police officers on duty were locked in the basement, while the outlaws fled with the weapons. The bandits made off with the entire police arsenal, leaving the cupboards bare. They made off with two submachine guns, four shotguns, four automatic revolvers, one tear gas gun, several hundred rounds of ammunition and nine bulletproof vests. Two of the men were identified as escapees from the State Penitentiary at Michigan City.

One of the bandits was identified as Merritt Longbrake, an Indiana bank robber who escaped from Bellefontaine, Ohio. The officers were correct when they stated two escaped prisoners from Michigan City were involved, but Longbrake had nothing to do with the Dillinger gang. The three robbers were probably Dillinger, Makley, and Pierpont. One thing was for certain; this was the beginning of the most daring group of criminals in history. This was the making of the Dillinger gang, and they were armed and ready. These criminals were unique in comparison to other gangs. Not many gangs would dare raid a police station, and then use the very same weapons to rob banks. This gave policemen a bad taste in their mouths. The act of using these weapons to rob banks made the police look weak and foolish. This would become Dillinger’s trademark. He would make fools out of the police and the FBI, and did so with a smile. John Dillinger’s name was now headlining newspapers across the country and he was hotter than ever. Police Departments everywhere were put on heavy guard. But the Dillinger gang had plenty of weapons and was now on the scout for a big bank to hit. The gang headed for Greencastle, Indiana where they planned to rob the First National bank.

The Greencastle bank robbery occurred on Monday, October 23, 1933; another fall day in Greencastle, located in Putnam County, Indiana. The temperature was mildly warm and overcast with a gentle early winter breeze. The time was 2:45 p.m.; bank tellers were busy working at the Central National bank with last minute customers, as closing time grew nearer. This day wasn't any different than any other except this day would soon be marked in history crime journals around of the world. Charley Makley had recently cased the bank on the previous Friday afternoon; he learned that DePauw University was about to make a huge deposit. This was very interesting news to Charley Makley who looked and dressed the part of a friendly businessman. Makley met with his fellow business associates and a carefully planned operation was put into action. Every detail of a successful robbery was discussed until everyone was knew exactly what their role, like actors in a well-researched hit Broadway movie.

The Greencastle job would be the biggest robbery of Dillinger’s career as well as his first job with his mentor, Harry Pierpont.

Dillinger was now on his way to the big time with the all-star gang. Just outside the bank a black Studebaker with Ohio plates circled the building a couple of times before coming to a stop on Jackson Street. They double-parked the car on the West Side of the building, next to the bank. The occupants inside the car were John Dillinger, 31, Harry Pierpont, 31, Charles Makley, 44, and Harry Copeland, 38. The outlaw gang got out of the car, and approached the front door of the bank. Pierpont, Makley, and Dillinger walked inside, while Copeland stood guard just outside the front entrance on Washington Street. Directly above the front entrance, inside the bank was a steel cage where an armed guard was stationed, so he could survey the bank lobby in case of trouble. But for some strange coincidence the bank guard Len Ratcliffe had just left the steel cage, and went to the basement to stoke the furnace just moments before the gang entered. One-question remains; why would the bank guard leave his station fifteen minutes before closing time to stroke the furnace? This just doesn’t make any since unless he knew the outlaws were coming and was in on the take. Employees would later state that if the guard had been present in the cage, there would have surely been bloodshed.

The men all wore long overcoats with their weapons concealed beneath them. Witnesses reported that the outlaws had their collars up above the neck to hide their faces. Pierpont walked up to the fourth tellers cage window and asked Ward Mayhal if he could give him change for a twenty-dollar bill. Ward Mayhal was busy sorting paperwork, and without lifting his nose from his work, he told Pierpont to take it to Harry Wells at the next teller window. Pierpont didn’t except the reply, he took a step a back and pulled out a sawed-off shotgun from his overcoat. He aimed it at the Mayhal who finally looked up to find him self-staring down the barrel of Pierpont’s gun. At this exact moment, Dillinger pulled out his .38 automatic and leaped over the bank’s marvel counters.


Dillinger tried to open a door leading to the teller cages but it was locked, so he busted it open with his shoulder. Normally the teller would have pressed a button to let someone in, but the last thing Dillinger wanted was a teller pressing any buttons, and perhaps hitting an alarm. Pierpont quietly gave the order, "Don't anyone touch anything! This is a stick up, do as we tell you!" The smart minded employees and customers did as they were told without any trouble during the robbery. One of the employees would later remark, “Every minute seemed like an eternity.”                                                     

   While Dillinger was busy emptying out the cash drawers in the teller cages, Pierpont lead employees and customers back to the vault at the rear of the building. Makley stood guard in the lobby and kept his machinegun on people inside the bank, while Copeland kept a close eye on things outside. As Pierpont approached the vault, 22 year old Gordon Sayres asked the gunman if he wanted him to open the steel bar doors, which lead to the vault. Pierpont gave him the Okay,” and Sayres quickly opened the steel doors, which took no time to open. Sayres then put his back again the steel door to hold them open for Pierpont.   Pierpont ordered Harry Wells to open the vault, which usually took about fifteen minutes to open, but this time Wells managed to open the vault the first time around. Once inside, Pierpont pulled a large white sack out of his pocket, and began looting the vault. Dillinger pulled the drawers from the teller cages and set them quickly on the counter, not seeing seventeen dollars and fifty cents on the counter because he set the cash drawer on top of the money.

During the robbery, one of the employees took a long look at Dillinger. Dillinger was not amused and said, “Look at me good buddy, so you'll know me the next time you see me.” Pierpont had just finished emptying the vault and they were about ready to exit the bank. As the robbers calmly walked out the door, a man named Rex Thorlton had managed to walk past Harry Copeland, and was heading towards the front door of the bank. Thorlton, was a manager of A&P Grocery, and was about to bank to make a deposit. When the outlaws came out, Thorlton was reaching for his wallet, and the gang thought he was reaching for a gun. He was struck in the head with a pistol, and knocked to the ground. The gang then jumped into their getaway car sped off. Thorlton had been lucky that the outlaws didn’t shoot him. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  The outlaws headed down highway 231, and turned off on Jackson Street, then headed east on Washington Street. Next they headed south on Bloomington Street, where they met a train that was blocking the crossing at the South edge of town. They decided to follow the railroad tracks West on dirt roads, until they came to Berry Street, then onto Manhattan road where the outlaws headed south and completely vanished. Just before the outlaws made their getaway, a bank employee named William Stiles, managed to exit out the back door.  

He ran to the hardware store to purchase some roofing tacks, which he placed under the tires of the outlaw’s car. Stiles figured he could prevent them from escaping, but the tacks didn't even puncture the tires, and the outlaws fled out of town with no problems. The alarm was not set off until hours after the bandits had fled, because the bank’s insurance policy stated that the bank must first contact them before contacting the police. This way the policy was written, so the insurance company could perform their own investigation without the interference of police. The vault alarm box was mounted outside, on the side of the building facing north, in the direction of the Sheriff's Department and jail.  It was about one half a block distance. Directly across the street is the Police Department, located in City Hall less than fifty feet away from the bank. If the alarm would have been set off, the gang may have possibly been stopped in their tracks. The Greencastle bank reported a total loss of $74,728. The gang escaped with $18,428 in cash, and $56,300 in bonds. After a full-scale investigation, the bank later reported that the true amount taken was $144,000. This brings fourth the question of where did the rest of the money go? A difference of $69,272 just seemed to disappear.On an inflation growth scale, we can calculate that $13.40 in the year 1934 would be equal to $152.50 in the year 1995. This means that $74,728 in 1934 would be equal to roughly $287.000 today. This is over one quarter of a million dollars. These calculations are very accurate on the comparison and value of the dollar with inflation increases included in over a sixty -year period. 

One of the employees Gorgon Sayres, who witnessed the robbery, said Harry Pierpont had the meanest looking blue eyes that he had ever seen.Meanwhile, the Dillinger gang was busy having the time of their lives in Florida. They relaxed in the sun, went swimming, and even watched the Miami Air Races. On Christmas day, everyone exchanged gifts, and celebrated with champagne.



Dillinger had bought Billie Frechette a big diamond ring. Later that day Dillinger asked Billie and Mary Kinder to stop drinking so much, the comment soon grew into a heated argument. Dillinger pointed out that it was too dangerous for anyone to be drunk in his line of business.He grew frustrated, gave Billie some money and sent her back to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in his car, for a week. The gang celebrated New Years Eve with their guns blazing into the dark sky as fireworks exploded around them. In Daytona, Florida the gang were getting ready for another trip. This time they decided the destination would be Tucson, Arizona, which would prove to be the gang’s downfall. 


On the afternoon of January 15, 1934 Dillinger and Hamilton were supposedly identified in the robbery of the First National Bank of East Chicago. Policeman Patrick O’Malley was killed during the robber. John Hamilton was involved in the robbery, but Dillinger was in route to Wisconsin to pick up his sweetheart, Billie Frechette. This was on the same day Charles Makley, Russell Clark and Opal Long had just arrived in Tucson, Arizona. They took up residence at the Congress Hotel in room 329, which was located on the third floor.  The Congress Hotel was a big luxurious hotel with all the comforts to make guests feel right at home. The three crooked guests enjoyed their stay at the hotel, but were in the process of looking for a more private and secluded hideout. Around this time, John Dillinger and Billie Frechette were in St. Louis attending an automobile show at the Municipal Auditorium. Dillinger often preferred the 1933 Hudson Terreplane as his choice in getaway cars; he also admired the new 1934 Ford V-8.



IN DEFENSE OF DILLINGER: As an author: I don't condone crime, but I do believe in "Innocent, until proven Guilty" Eyewitnesses present at the robbery that occurred at the First National Bank in East Chicago, Indiana on January 15, 1934, stated that Patrick O'Malley shot one of the bank robbers four times in the groin area as he exited the bank, and the robber returned fire, killing the officer. Dillinger NEVER received any of these wounds, but John Hamilton (a known cop killer) did.

Two days after the East Chicago robbery, John Dillinger told his father (At the Mooresville, IN farm) that he had just returned from Florida. This was .He was telling the truth. Dillinger, Pierpont, Kinder, Makley, Opal Long and Clark had been seen in Daytona Beach, Florida on January 14, and several witnesses verified this. THE FACTS: The distance between Daytona, Florida and East Chicago, Indiana is approximately 1132.56 miles. To reach East Chicago, and rob the bank, he would have had to drive for 20.6 hours non-stop (WITHOUT STOPPING FOR GAS) at 56 miles an hour, which seems highly improbable in the old cars on poorly paved two lane highways, during the cold month of January.

Dillinger left Florida with Makley, Clark and Long. The group drove 1300 miles to Wisconsin to pick up Billie Frechette, stopping at his father’s Mooresville farm in Indiana along the way. Dillinger and Billie traveled to 120 miles to Chicago to visit a fatally wounded John Hamilton, and then drove on to St. Louis, where they attended an automobile show over 200 miles away, at the Municipal Auditorium. Next they drove another 1275 miles, arriving in Arizona on January 22. Dillinger drove over 3000 miles in seven days, 428 miles a day, on the old single lane roads, making stops for gas and to rest. The fact is that it was not possible that Dillinger was not involved in the East Chicago robbery, and he did not kill O’Malley.

The true robbers were John Hamilton and Harry Copeland, who had been staying in different hideouts in Chicago at the time, not Florida. They drove into East Chicago, Indiana and hit the bank the same day. John Hamilton was severely wounded during the robbery with four bullets in the groin and the loss of a finger. The first officials reports identified John Hamilton as the killer of O’Malley, which I believe to be accurate. Copeland may have mistaken for John Dillinger during the robbery, and may have also been the man who killed Officer O’Malley.

First reports of the robbery clearly named John Hamilton as the killer, but changed after money was found on Dillinger from the East Chicago robbery. Wearing a trench coat with collar pulled up and hat, Hamilton could have resembled Dillinger from a distance. After Dillinger had traveled for seven days straight from Florida, to Indiana, Wisconsin, Chicago, and onto St. Louis and then Arizona, he was exhausted when he rolled into Tucson (Look at photographs of him on the plane and in Tucson. Another, thing .....Dillinger weakness was he could never lied to his father, who was a Deacon of the Friends church in Mooresville.

MONEY FOUND OF DILLINGER FROM THE EAST CHICAGO ROBBERY: Dillinger left Florida and received word from Patricia Cherrington that Hamilton that been seriously wounded. Dillinger went to Chicago to see the dying Hamilton, who asked Dillinger to give money to his family. This money was found on Dillinger at the time of his arrest and he was falsely charged with the murder. If he would not have escaped Crown Point jail, Dillinger would have been found innocent of murder...after Matt Leach had cleared his name.




On January 22, the two drove into Arizona City in a big Hudson.  They rented a room at a Motor Court Resort, and registered under the assumed names Frank Sullivan and Ann Martin. Billie had brought along her pet Boston bull terrier puppy. Soon after their arrival they spotted Harry Pierpont and Mary Kinder on the main highway near the Veterans Hospital. Pierpont and Kinder were driving a Buick, and Dillinger spotted the car right away. The gang had made arrangements to meet up in Tucson on January 25, but on the same day that Dillinger arrived, fatality struck. The Congress Hotel had caught on fire. Many hotel visitors were unaware of the fire, until it began spreading up the elevator shaft to the occupied rooms, and residents were quickly evacuated. One employee named Mrs. Nelson was busy on the telephone trying to warn residents to evacuate. She continued until the fire eventually wiped out all telephone communications. The fire began just before 7:00 a.m., when an overflow of oil from the furnace erupted into flames, and spread quickly down the corridor.  As the outlaws attempted to flee the burning infernal, they soon learned that there was no way out. The fire was spreading so rapidly throughout the building, and was now heading up the main stairwell, eliminating any options of escape. The outlaws were trapped in the building. They ran back to their room and looked out the window, where firemen spotted them.                                                       

The firemen raised a ladder to the window and the outlaws climbed out, leaving behind suitcases of money and guns. Makley began climbing back up the ladder to rescue their belongings when firemen stopped him because it was too dangerous. The firemen were persuaded to an attempt rescue to the outlaw’s luggage. Fire fighters entered the outlaw’s room, which was now in flames and kicked down a door leading to the bedroom, where they located the luggage. Upon rescuing the luggage, firemen noticed that one piece of luggage in a fabric box was extremely heavy.  He began to throw it out the window, when Makley shouted, "Don't throw it!" The firemen didn’t know the box contained machineguns and several rounds of ammunition, which could have been very dangerous if the luggage, would have caught fire. After firemen retrieved the gang’s personal belongings, Makley thanked them with a generous tip of two dollars, and a big smile of relief. After receiving their processions, the gang fled the scene in a hurry. The firemen became suspicious of the heavy luggage, but just wrote it off as tourists traveling the county. The following day while the firemen were all sitting around the fire department talking, one of them was reading a True Detective Magazine. He turned the page to find pictures of Makley and Clark staring him in the face. The fast-thinking firemen alerted the Tucson police, which would amazingly lead to the capture of the entire gang.

Jd Collection

Russell Clark, Charley Makley, Harry Pierpont, and John Dillinger CAPTURED!



One by one each gang member was arrested without firing a shot.  Russell Clark was the first to fall into the net, but he would not be an easy capture. Detectives soon learned that a few of the suitcases left behind containing clothes had been sent to a house rented by a man named J.C. Davis. Mr. Davis was an alias used by Russell Clark.  Clark and Opal Long were alone in the house waiting for the arrival of other gang associates. Four Patrolmen dressed in plain clothes surrounded the building, watched and waited. With no signs of any activity going on at the premises, Officer Chet Sherman walked down the sidewalk and paused directly in front of the house. He was looking at a piece of paper and pretending to be confused and lost. He walked up to the house and knocked on the door. Clark heard the knock and his immediate thought was the rest of the gang had arrived. He jumped up and opened the door so quickly that it startled the officer, who reacted by pulling his gun. Clark grabbed the barrel of the gun, and pulled the officer into the house. As Clark pulled the officer inside, he simultaneously slammed the door on Officer Dallas Ford’s hand, breaking one of his fingers and causing excruciating pain.                           

 Chief of Police Frank Eyman and Kenneth Mullaney were close by when the door slammed shut. Inside the house, Officer’s could hear sounds of Sherman and Clark struggling over the gun. The two struggled around the living room knocking over several items. Meanwhile, outside officers Eyman and Mullaney were having troubles getting the front to open. Clark and Sherman were still fighting over the gun, but were now in the bedroom. During the struggle, Sherman tripped and fell onto the bed. At this point Clark over powered the officer, threw him to the floor, and pulled his own gun out. Clark aimed his gun at the Sherman's head, just as Eyman and Mullaney burst through the front door and subdued Clark by hitting him over the head with a pistol. Clark was bleeding, but the wound was not serious.  He was handcuffed and promptly hailed off to police headquarters. Inside the house, officers were amazed at the large amount of firepower found. They confiscated several weapons including machineguns, bulletproof vests, and ammunition. A large amount of money and diamonds valued at five hundred dollars was also recovered. The money, police believed was stolen from the First National Bank of East Chicago, Indiana, where Officer Patrick O'Malley was killed. Even through the money was found in Hamilton’s procession, he was never charged with any involvement with the murder of O’Malley. Upon questioning, Clark was no help in locating Makley or other members of the gang. He claimed that he didn't know anything, and kept complaining that his head was hurting from the blow that officers gave him.


Charley Makley was the next to fall into the trap. Police began searching around the area for the outlaws. Makley had drove into the business district of Tucson to acquire information about a police radio receiving set. He located the equipment at Grabbe Electric and Radio Store, and was asking the attendant questions when Officer Sherman walked into the store. Sherman glanced over at Makley, then walked up to a salesperson and asked him to look to at Makley’s left hand to see if his index finger was missing. After the salesperson confirmed the index finger was indeed missing, Sherman exited the building.  He walked to his car where officers Ford, Robbins, and Eyman were waiting and explained the situation. The officers decided it was time to make an arrest, and proceeded into the store. The officers surrounded Makley with guns drawn and arrested him. He put up no resistance, but asked to be taken to a house on North Second Street. The officer's told Makley they weren't taking him anywhere except to the Tucson Police Department. Makley figured Clark would be at the house, and they could blast their way out of this dilemma. Makley wasn’t aware that Clark had been captured, and was in a jail cell with a bad headache.     

Russell Labelled



Harry Pierpont learned from the afternoon edition of the newspapers that Russell Clark had been arrested. Pierpont contacted Attorney O.E. Glover by telephone and asked him to represent Clark, alias J.C. Davis, and the name he used when he was arrested. When Attorney Glover arrived at the police department, he was asked by officers to describe the man who called him. Glover told officers that the man whom he spoke to had a soft-spoken voice. Hearing the description, one of the officers remembered talking to a man at an auto camp that talked with a soft-spoken voice.  Officers decided to check it out and drove to the camp, which was a couple of miles outside town. As they arrived Pierpont was just about to drive away in a car bearing Florida license plates. When police approached Pierpont, who a man described in reports as the triggerman of the Dillinger gang, they were very cautious. Pierpont smiled pleasantly as he glanced up at the officers through his spectacles. Officers told Pierpont that he would need to obtain a visitors permit sticker to drive his automobile in Tucson.  

They added that if he would follow them to the police department, it would only take a moment to get the permit. Pierpont agreed, and then followed officers to the station. Pierpont was suspicious, but played along; believing that the officers may be on the level, and all he had to do is pay for the permit and leave. Once Pierpont was in the headquarters of Police, he was told he was under arrest. The quick drawing outlaw drew a pistol from a waist holster. Patrolman Frank Eyman grabbed the gun, but as he tried to disarm Pierpont, the outlaw pulled another gun from his shoulder holster.  After a brief struggle, officers had to restrain the outlaw. During the struggle his spectacles fell off, deleting his disguise, and now there was no doubt that police had in their custody Harry Pierpont. Upon searching the outlaw further, police found another gun in his sock. Pierpont then grew angry; he sneered and yelled at the officers, calling them, “Small town cops.”As Pierpont was locked up in a cell, he swore that he would get out of jail and would be back to settle accounts with them.

8. Billie & JD


John Dillinger and Billie Frechette would be the last to be apprehended. At the moment, they were in route to the very same house where Clark had been arrested.  Tucson Police were still watching the house, in hopes that Dillinger might show. Dillinger had no idea that he was about to walk into a trap. The outlaw walked up to the building and put a key in the door, suddenly fifteen officers’ came running out from every direction, and greeted Dillinger with several guns leveled at his head. Dillinger reacted by putting his hands in the air; he stated that his name was Frank Sullivan.  At the police department, Dillinger reluctantly admitted his identity, after he was confronted with photographs, fingerprints samples, and specimens of his handwriting. Dillinger had in his procession, over one thousand dollars in five-dollar bills.

The entire gang had been successfully rounded up with no fatalities. The four outlaws were booked as fugitives from justice, and charges of carrying concealed weapons. An arraignment was set for a speedy return of prisoners to the states where crimes were committed.  Now came the real battle, the legal battle over which state receives which criminal. The outlaws were wanted for bank robberies all over Indiana, Wisconsin, and Ohio. Tucson was entitled to the rewards on the outlaws so the biding began. Tucson Police decided to turn over the outlaws to either Ohio or Indiana, who offered to pay the largest rewards. Besides, Wisconsin didn't even have the death penalty.  Ohio offered to give Dillinger to Indiana, but in return, Ohio wanted Pierpont, Makley, and Clark. Ohio wanted these men to stand trial in Lima for the murder of Sheriff Sarber. Indiana officials wanted to try Dillinger for the murder of Officer O'Malley, and agreed to the offer. Dillinger stated that he was innocent of this charge, claiming he was still in Florida at the time of the robbery.  

A hearing was prepared by Justice of the Peace, C.V. Budlong to set bond amounts for each outlaw. Dillinger had served notice to Tucson authorities that he would pull every string to prevent extradition to Ohio or Indiana, where he had a murder charge hanging over his head. Dillinger asked reporters to have the best lawyer in Tucson contact him immediately and prepare to frame up something to keep the outlaws in Arizona.  One reporter asked Dillinger if he thought he would stay in jail very long, and Dillinger replied, "It's just one of those things." Then he added, "Well, It looks that way right now, but you never can tell about those things, we’re in for now and that's what matters. How we happened to get caught, I don't know exactly how or why?” The women arrested with gang members were identified as Opal Long, Mary Kinder, and Ann Martin, alias Billy Frechette. This looked like the end of the road for the Dillinger gang. As crowds of thousands gathered outside the jail, John Dillinger had no idea what was coming next.

On January 27, four Indiana officials armed with a murder warrant for Dillinger, left the Chicago Municipal Airport for Tucson, Arizona. Aboard the airplane was the Prosecutor of Lake County, Robert G. Estill, along with officials who claimed they had witnessed the robbery of the First National Bank of East Chicago, Indiana.  

John Labelled


Before departing, Estill told reporters, "We will make a fight all the way to bring Dillinger back to Indiana to stand trial. We are not so much interested in the others as we are in him, we have waited only long enough to get extradition papers for Dillinger." Legal technicalities would replace guns in John Dillinger’s the fight for freedom. The Dillinger gang had shot their way out of two prisons, robbed several banks and escaped police traps, but now they had to rely on the strategy of Attorney John Van Buskirk. The Tucson jail had been under heavy guard every since the outlaws were captured.  Attorney Van Buskirk planned to seek Writs of Habeas Corpus, when the bonds were fixed at one hundred thousand dollars for each of the quartet. He also planned to resist extradition proceedings to Indiana and Ohio, where the outlaws were wanted on murder charges.

Charles Makley’s bail was set at one hundred thousand dollars. Both Harry Pierpont, the soft-spoken triggerman of the gang and Russell Clark's bail set at one hundred five thousand. Governor George White of Ohio conferred with Indiana authorities on the agreement to return Clark, Makley and Pierpont to Lima, Ohio to stand trial for murder.   Governor White added that the Dillinger gang had also been charged with a string of bank robberies, which added up to an estimated two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.