Who says crime doesn’t pay? A police car stolen by notorious mobster John Dillinger during his infamous escape from Indiana’s Crown Point Jail in 1934 sold for $149,788 at Witherell’s Auction House, August 26.
The 1933 Ford V-8 belonging to Sheriff Lillian Holley, was stolen by Dillinger in a daring jail escape in March of 1934. The story of the escape made sensational headlines around the world. Dillinger, one of the country’s most celebrated criminals, was behind bars in Crown Point awaiting trial for the alleged murder of a Chicago police officer.
Authorities touted the jail as “escape proof” and posted additional guards. According to reports, Dillinger used a fake gun whittled in his cell to corral the guards and take off in Sheriff Holley’s Ford V-8. The car theft was a federal crime and a fatal mistake, causing the FBI to join the manhunt.
On his 31st birthday, June 22, 1934, Dillinger was declared America’s first Public Enemy Number One. A month later, Dillinger was killed by agents after walking out of a Chicago movie theater.
The carved wooden gun Dillinger reportedly used during the escape sold for $75,313, against a presale estimate of $2,500-$5,000.
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