Tourism body shops around collection of Dillinger artifacts

September 20, 2021 GMT

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A northwest Indiana tourism body is shopping around its collection of John Dillinger memorabilia.

The South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority is considering unloading the artifacts, including a photo of the 1930s gangster’s lifeless face, one of his submachine guns and his original tombstone from Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis. The items have been sitting in storage since the John Dillinger Museum closed in 2017 at the Crown Point Courthouse.

Board member Tom Dabertin said he has reached out to Chicago museums to gauge interest and assess the potential value of the artifacts.

The Old Sheriff’s House Foundation, which operates the Old Sheriff’s House and Jail in downtown Crown Point where Dillinger once escaped, has inquired about acquiring the entire collection, The (Northwest Indiana) Times reported.

Authority board President Andy Qunell said his preference would be to keep the collection in northwest Indiana. Crown Point would be an ideal spot given its connection with Dillinger, he said.

Dillinger was fatally shot in July 1934 by FBI agents outside a Chicago theater.