Lot 168: Crisp fountain pen signature, "John Dillinger," on an off-white 6.25 x 4 album page. Newspaper clippings are affixed to the top and bottom, reading, "Dillinger Is Prisoner In Jail," and "Middle Western Bank Robber is Lodged in Crown Point County Prison." An ink collector's notation to the lower right reads, "World Famous Outlaw John Dillinger, Prisinor [sic] of Lake County Jail 2/1/34." In fine condition.Two weeks after the mid-January 1934 First National Bank robbery in East Chicago, Indiana, Dillinger was placed in the Lake County Jail in Crown Point to face charges for the murder of heist victim officer William O'Malley. During his stay, even the lawmen were captivated by the mythical outlaw—prosecutor Robert Estill posed for a photo with the prisoner, and reporters were enthralled by his charisma and sense of humor. The media was granted unparalleled access to Dillinger while he was imprisoned, which is likely how this autograph was obtained just two days after he arrived at the jail. Crown Point later became the site of one of Dillinger's crowning achievements the next month, when on March 3rd he used a 'gun' to threaten the guards and escape from prison—a legendary feat that has been debated in Dillinger lore ever since. Signed while held in the Lake County jail during a period that defined his legacy, this is an absolutely remarkable autograph of the utmost desirability.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 456
Wednesday, 15th July 2015
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