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Dillinger's last robbery: In South Bend!

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  • Dillinger's last robbery: In South Bend!

    Here's a 20-minute video from The History Museum next door to The Studebaker National Museum.

    The museum's Deputy Executive Director describes the last bank robbery every conducted by notorious 1930s (and Indiana native), criminal John Dillinger and his gang. They conducted this robbery of The Merchants National Bank in downtown South Bend about three weeks before he was slain in Chicago. Modest Studebaker content as she [unfortunately] describes the South Bend Studebaker police cars as being "too slow" to catch Dillinger's famous Hudson as he escaped town!

    Interesting nonetheless:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jxCBjeoXDo
    We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

    Ayn Rand:
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

    G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

  • #2
    She is the "Deputy Executive Director" or as the sign on her desk says; "boss lady".
    I didn't realize before that he was younger than my father.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

    Comment


    • #3
      At least he didn't know when payday was at Studebaker and where the pay wicket was in the Administration Building where all employees received their pay in CASH at the time!! I wonder what the haul would have been before any employee picked up their pay envelope!

      Craig

      Comment


      • #4
        My dad told me about Dillinger leaving a flat tire to be fixed at dads gas station (in Waterford Ind.). When dad went to repair it there was a bullet hole in the rim (at that time he made the gangster connection to the tire problem). A short time later a group from the sheriff's office showed up and took the tire / rim as evidence. Dad was glad John never came back to ask for his missing property.

        Comment


        • #5
          Six Months before his death, John Dillinger and his gang stopped by for a short visit in Tucson.
          10 things you might not know about John Dillinger's capture in Tucson | History | tucson.com

          A cousin of his was born in 1935 and lived in San Diego until his death. I had suggested to the Dillinger Days group to contact him to appear during one of the Dillinger Days reenactment but he was not in good enough health to attend.

          Bob Miles

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by firestoper 25 View Post
            Dad was glad John never came back to ask for his missing property.
            "HIS" missing property??? I bet the car it came off of was stolen by JD!!

            Craig

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by 8E45E View Post
              At least he didn't know when payday was at Studebaker and where the pay wicket was in the Administration Building where all employees received their pay in CASH at the time!! I wonder what the haul would have been before any employee picked up their pay envelope!

              Craig
              I can remember working at a factory that paid everyone in cash. That was in the 1950s and was a union shop.
              Gary L.
              Wappinger, NY

              SDC member since 1968
              Studebaker enthusiast much longer

              Comment


              • #8
                When I was looking into the history of our Golden Hawk 400 I came across Sylvester Zell Jr. (Zeke) a Studebaker employee in the Trim Dept. While researching him I came across this history of the Dillinger/Baby Face Nelson robbery in South Bend on June 30, 1934, shortly before Dillinger's death. Zeke's father was one of the policeman involved in the shoot out downtown with the gang. In a later conversation Zeke Jr., at the time 92, confirmed the story that he was told by his dad and was also published in a book. This is an account from the Baby Face Nelson Journal, interesting reading for South Bend history buffs.

                south bend 3 (babyfacenelsonjournal.com)

                “Baby Face” Nelson – Midwest Gangster – Legends of America














                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by studegary View Post

                  I can remember working at a factory that paid everyone in cash. That was in the 1950s and was a union shop.
                  Heck, I was a Service Writer at Lawrence Auto Company Chevrolet-Oldsmobile NE of Indianapolis in summer 1969 and we were paid in cash even that late date. BP



                  We've got to quit saying, "How stupid can you be?" Too many people are taking it as a challenge.

                  Ayn Rand:
                  "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality."

                  G. K. Chesterton: This triangle of truisms, of father, mother, and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ref. post # 6 - 8E45E

                    Gee wizz I never thought about the car being stolen ! That is a very good point and an added dimension to be considered.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BobPalma View Post

                      Heck, I was a Service Writer at Lawrence Auto Company Chevrolet-Oldsmobile NE of Indianapolis in summer 1969 and we were paid in cash even that late date. BP


                      I was referring to a large plant of a major corporation. Like you, I worked at smaller businesses that paid in cash at a later date.
                      Gary L.
                      Wappinger, NY

                      SDC member since 1968
                      Studebaker enthusiast much longer

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The United States Army was still paying cash in 1972. When stationed at Fort Ord I would collect about $40,000 in cash the first of every month and pay the recruits (and permanent party) in the Basic Training Company I was assigned to

                        Tom

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                        • #13
                          My Grandparents owned the Wabash Tavern in North Liberty, about 15 miles Southwest of South Bend on SR23, in this time frame. Grandma and Grandpa both passed in the 1970's, but they left me with the story of the day Dillinger stopped in to refuel at the Tavern (Grandpa sold Johnson Gasoline from a pump in front of the Tavern).

                          Grandpa went out to deliver the fuel, and saw a couple machine guns across the back seat of the sedan they were driving. Dillinger came into the Tavern with Grandpa to pay for the fuel, and made no fuss doing so. A couple patrons and Grandpa knew who they were, and they pleaded with Grandma to get on the phone and call the North Liberty Town Marshall to report them. Grandma refused, as the Marshall was a family friend, and she did not want to get him killed.

                          Dillinger had nothing against the common folk, but would kill bank employees and law enforcement in a heartbeat. A true story, and the day Grandma always claimed was the day she saved the life of the North Liberty Town Marshall.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Another tidbit from my Grandmother, who was born in 1910. For those familiar with South Bend, there used to be a barn that stood on the West side of Old 31 just south of the Abandoned Citgo Station/Majority Builders that had a stone foundation. She told me every time we passed it that this was the headquarters for Baby Face Nelson and Dillinger as they "worked" South Bend and Goshen. The Barn has been torn down since, and is probably 5-7 miles south of Downtown South Bend. The Police Booth erected to protect the banks in Goshen, still stands though: Goshen Police Booth | Goshen Historical Society

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                            • #15
                              I know that several times it has been published that John Dillinger had written Henry Ford about the V8 cars he acquired. However, in Tucson and other places, John D seems to have preferred Hudson. I have other people years ago telling me that during the 30's and 40's that Hudson made a fast car.

                              So I had to check it out:

                              The Real History Of John Dillinger And Henry Ford (jalopnik.com)

                              This is only one of several references about the "letter" As someone once said "Bad publicity is better than no publicity". Attributed in some form to PT Barnum and Oscar Wilde. Since this is April 1st, that is probably not true either.

                              Bob Miles

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