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John Herbert Dillinger: A Brief Biography

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John Herbert Dillinger was born June 22, 1903 in Indianapolis, Indiana. He had two nicknames in his life, Jackrabbit when he was younger and later on he became Public Enemy Number One. He was the younger of two children; his sister’s name was Audrey. His mother’s name was Mary Ellen “Molly” Lancaster and his father’s name was John Wilson Dillinger. Molly passed away from a stroke before John was 4 years old. John Sr. went to church faithfully and was a self-made businessman who owned a small neighborhood grocery store along with a couple of rental homes. As a child, Dillinger committed small theft, he was frequently in trouble. His father was a violent and cruel force at times and would hit his son for disobeying the law and then give him money for candy. Dillinger quit school at the age of 16, he wanted to go out in the world and make his own living. He became an associate at an Indianapolis machine shop; he had a great talent working with his hands, but soon became bored. On July 21, 1923 John stole a car to impress a girl he was on a date with, cruising the Indianapolis streets and being caught by a police officer. The officer attempted to place him under arrest but Dillinger broke free and fled the scene. The following day he joined the U.S. Navy,…show more content…
The heists were always carefully planned and often had a theatrical flair; from posing as alarm system sales reps to pretending to be a film crew looking for locations to film a bank robbery movie. “Bystanders looked amused as the real bank heist took place.” (history.com) Soon after, stories began coming out of the wood work; at one time there was a farmer who had an interaction with John Dillinger. Dillinger asked the farmer if the money he had out was the banks money or his money and the farmer replied with “his” and Dillinger told him to put it away and that they were only there for the banks
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