A year ago, August 2020, a huge crane lifted a solid steel holding cell door from the basement of the Superior Courthouse in Michigan City. It was thought that John Dillinger may have been held in that cell. The door was donated and installed near other artifacts pertaining to the history of the La Porte County Jail, sheriff, police and fire departments in the La Porte County Historical Society Museum. Then, I began to research the life of Dillinger in Indiana and specifically in La Porte County.

John Dillinger Jr. was an infamous gangster and bank robber known as “Public Enemy No. 1.” He was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, on June 22, 1903. His father owned a grocery store, and his mother died when Johnnie was 3 years old. His father remarried in 1912 to a good and kind woman, but Dillinger never got over the loss of his mother.

Bruce Johnson is the La Porte County Historian

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