John Dillinger: The Dirty Dozen

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As a boy, John Dillinger was constantly getting into trouble. He would commit small time pranks and petty theft with his neighborhood gang, “the Dirty Dozen.” Most of his neighbors would later say he was generally a cheerful, likable kid who didn’t get in to any more mischief than other boys. But there were also accounts of severe juvenile delinquency and malicious behavior as a teenager. To a degree, both of these perceptions are correct and were evident in his adult life. Like any celebrity, accounts describing his early life were shadowed by his later exploits and added either positively or negatively to his reputation.

Dillinger was the youngest of two children born to John Wilson Dillinger and Mary Ellen “Molly” Lancaster. The elder Dillinger was a somber, church-going small businessman who owned a neighborhood grocery store and some rental …show more content…

Dillinger had been in the state pen for almost four years. He was notified by his family that his stepmother was near death. He was granted parole, but arrived home after she had died. Seizing on the moment, he joined up with a few of Pierpont’s men and began a string of robberies that netted nearly $50,000. With the aid of two female accomplices, Pearl Elliott and Mary Kinder, Dillinger put the escape plan in motion. He arranged for several guns to be packed in a box of thread, and smuggled into the shirt factory. The prison break was set for September 27, 1933.Having some time on his hands, Dillinger decided to visit lady friend Mary Longnaker in Dayton, Ohio, whom he had met earlier that year. Unfortunately, the police had been stalking him through much of this time as he gathered the funds for the prison break. After receiving a tip from his landlady, they stormed into Mary’s room and arrested Dillinger. He was on his way back to prison. In the meantime, Pierpont and his men escaped from Indiana State Prison and made their way to the gang’s hideout in Hamilton,

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