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Public Enemy #1

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Primary Sources: A Note Before a Jaillbreak

Dillinger scrawled this upbeat note to his family on jail letterhead before he made his famous escape from the jail at Crown Point.



Dear Sis and all,
Received your letter O.K. and was sure glad to hear from you. I am well and getting along fine. I would sure like to see all of you. Mrs. Holley will let any of you in to see me so whenever any of you have an opportunity you and Frances can come along to see me. Tell Dad to send me ten dollars right away. He can send it in a letter. I hope Hubert is feeling better by now. Both of my attorneys were here Friday to see me and everything is progressing along fine.

How does Francis like her schooling Does Dad let you and Francis go to the show as often as I used to take you? I would sure like to see all of you kids, was sorry I didn't get to take you to the worlds fair, maybe though you will get a chance to go this summer the fair will be bigger and better this year. I wish you kids could see the country Ive seen the last few months it would sure have been a treat to you.

I am glad you are such a big help to Dad for he is getting along in years and he needs your help. Mr. Ryan says Hubert is thinking of quitting his job. I think he had better reconsider as scarce as jobs are now. Well honey I guess Ill ring off for this time tell everyone hello and love to all from your brother Johnnie.

John Dillinger

From Girardin, G. Russell, with William J. Helmer, Dillinger: The Untold Story. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994, p. 77. Letter source: John Dillinger Museum.

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