John Dillinger Research Paper

Topics: John Dillinger, Public Enemies, Charles Makley Pages: 5 (1709 words) Published: May 5, 2013
Criminal Justice
Research paper-John Dillinger

Why did John Dillinger rob those banks, did he do it because he needed the money or was he mentally unstable? John had two personalities as a childhood, part of him other people found enjoyable to be around, and another part that was always getting him in trouble with small crimes and violent actions. These two personalities and a violent childhood are signs that point toward him being mentally unstable. John’s troubled personality became more profound in adulthood and the crimes he committed put him in an unrecoverable position that eventually led him to his death. John Dillinger was born on June 22, 1903 in Indianapolis. He lived in the Oak Hill section which was a middle-class residential neighborhood. He was raised by his father and under heavy discipline most of the time. John was raised as a hard working boy, but was also often getting into trouble. “He would commit small time pranks and petty theft with his neighborhood gang, ‘the Dirty Dozen.’” (John Dillinger Biography). These “petty thefts” later turned into violence. John's mother died when he was three, and john hated his step mother that his father married. This may have contributed to the stress in John’s childhood. As a child, john’s true personality began to reveal it’s self as he was often causing or getting into trouble. He left school and got a job working in a machine shop in Indianapolis. John was smart, and remained a hard worker as well, but he quickly became bored and had a tendency to stay out all night. His father was concerned that his teenage son was becoming corrupted. As a result, his father moved his family to a farm near Mooresville, Indiana. This change of location did not affect John though and he continued to act out and a wild manner. “In 1923 Dillinger fell in love, but the girl's father ended the romance. Embittered, Dillinger stole a car which he later abandoned” (Encyclopedia of World Biography). John enlisted in the navy after the conflict with his father and with the law over the car theft. He did not stay in the navy long because he continued to get into trouble. He left while the ship was docked in Boston and returned to Mooresville where he married 16-year-old Beryl Hovius in 1924. The new couple moved back to Indianapolis but John could not find work in the city and joined up with Ed Singleton trying to make some easy money. The two of them attempted to rob a Mooresville grocer, but were arrested. Singleton pleaded not guilty, and trial was sentenced to two years in prison. Dillinger followed his father's advice to confess and was convicted of assault and battery with intent to rob and conspiracy to commit a felony. He received joined sentences of two to 14 years and 10 to 20 years in the Indiana State Prison. Frustrated by the harsh sentence as a result of his honesty, John became a bitter man in prison. This was the beginning of his crime streak and the downfall of himself. John Dillinger became infamous May 10, 1933. On this day he was paroled from prison after serving eight-and-a-half years of his sentence. Nearly immediately after being released, Dillinger attempted to rob a bank in Bluffton, Ohio. The robbery was a success but the Dayton police later arrested him on September 22, and he was placed in the county jail in Lima Ohio to wait until the date of his trial. When the Lima police searched Dillinger, they found what appeared to be a plan for a prison break, but he denied knowledge of the plan. Four days after the document was discovered, eight of Dillinger's friends escaped from the Indiana State Prison using the plan. On October 12, three of the prisoners which had escaped and another man showed up at the Lima jail where Dillinger was being held. They pretended to be officials and told the sheriff that they had come to take Dillinger back to the Indiana State Prison for the “violation of his parole”. When the sheriff tried to confirm their identities, one of the men...

Cited: "Dillinger, John (1903-1934)." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Criminal Justice Collection. Web. 18 Feb. 2013. (Book)
"Famous Cases & Criminals." US Government, n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2013. <>. (Choice)
"John Dillinger Biography." A&E Networks Television, Sept. 2010. Web. 27 Feb. 2013. <>. (Data base)
"Dillinger 'death mask ' sells for $3,000." UPI NewsTrack 19 Nov. 2010. Criminal Justice Collection. Web. 15 Feb. 2013. (Data base)
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