Dillinger Question #3 ~ The Women in His Life

by G.Russell Giradin & William J. Helmer

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Re: Dillinger Question #3 ~ The Women in His Life

Unread postby gemini » Wed Jul 08, 2009 11:52 pm

Liz wrote:
sleepy wrote:I recently watched part of a tv special called 18 months of mayhem. I didn't see it all, but I recall a girl called "Mary" who seemed to be a significant girl friend, at some point (after prison).

Hi Sleepy. Nice to have you join our discussion. :cool:

Mary Longnaker was mentioned in both books. She was the GF between Beryl and Billie. She lived in Dayton, OH. And Dillinger was put in the Lima, Ohio prison because marshalls were watching her rooming house. Apparently she made a trip to Mooresville with him prior to that. I couldn't find much else on her---like why their relationship ended. Could be that the cops were watching her.


I found in the book how he met Mary Longnacre . She was the sister of Joseph Jenkins one of the 10 inmates that escaped from Michigan City when Dillinger supplied them guns. Joseph Jenkins was killed 4 days after the jail brake but had told Dilinger about his sister while in prison and Dillinger had promised several fellow prisoners that he would look her up when he was released since she was an attractive divorcee. It was Mary and one of her girlfriends he took to the Worlds fair in Chicago.
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Re: Dillinger Question #3 ~ The Women in His Life

Unread postby Liz » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:03 am

gemini wrote:
Liz wrote:
sleepy wrote:I recently watched part of a tv special called 18 months of mayhem. I didn't see it all, but I recall a girl called "Mary" who seemed to be a significant girl friend, at some point (after prison).

Hi Sleepy. Nice to have you join our discussion. :cool:

Mary Longnaker was mentioned in both books. She was the GF between Beryl and Billie. She lived in Dayton, OH. And Dillinger was put in the Lima, Ohio prison because marshalls were watching her rooming house. Apparently she made a trip to Mooresville with him prior to that. I couldn't find much else on her---like why their relationship ended. Could be that the cops were watching her.


I found in the book how he met Mary Longnacre . She was the sister of Joseph Jenkins one of the 10 inmates that escaped from Michigan City when Dillinger supplied them guns. Joseph Jenkins was killed 4 days after the jail brake but had told Dilinger about his sister while in prison and Dillinger had promised several fellow prisoners that he would look her up when he was released since she was an attractive divorcee. It was Mary and one of her girlfriends he took to the Worlds fair in Chicago.

Thanks for finding that, gemini. :cool:
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Re: Dillinger Question #3 ~ The Women in His Life

Unread postby nebraska » Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:11 am

gemini wrote:
I found in the book how he met Mary Longnacre . She was the sister of Joseph Jenkins one of the 10 inmates that escaped from Michigan City when Dillinger supplied them guns. Joseph Jenkins was killed 4 days after the jail brake but had told Dilinger about his sister while in prison and Dillinger had promised several fellow prisoners that he would look her up when he was released since she was an attractive divorcee. It was Mary and one of her girlfriends he took to the Worlds fair in Chicago.


Could this be the woman in the movie who asks John to take her with him at the farm where the escapees change clothes? With the license to tweak history, perhaps that was the movie Mary. I didn't quite "get" that scene.

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Re: Dillinger Question #3 ~ The Women in His Life

Unread postby Liz » Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:57 am

nebraska wrote:
gemini wrote:
I found in the book how he met Mary Longnacre . She was the sister of Joseph Jenkins one of the 10 inmates that escaped from Michigan City when Dillinger supplied them guns. Joseph Jenkins was killed 4 days after the jail brake but had told Dilinger about his sister while in prison and Dillinger had promised several fellow prisoners that he would look her up when he was released since she was an attractive divorcee. It was Mary and one of her girlfriends he took to the Worlds fair in Chicago.


Could this be the woman in the movie who asks John to take her with him at the farm where the escapees change clothes? With the license to tweak history, perhaps that was the movie Mary. I didn't quite "get" that scene.


I don't think so. Didn't she say, "Take me with you, mister"? It was so hard for me to make out what they were all saying in the beginning of the movie. Anyway, if she called him Mister, I think that means that she didn't know him very well.
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Re: Dillinger Question #3 ~ The Women in His Life

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:12 pm

Liz wrote:I don't think so. Didn't she say, "Take me with you, mister"? It was so hard for me to make out what they were all saying in the beginning of the movie. Anyway, if she called him Mister, I think that means that she didn't know him very well.

Yes, that's what she said. (I caught it the 2nd time through). Didn't she appear to know Red Hamilton in that scene? Maybe she was Red's sister?

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Re: Dillinger Question #3 ~ The Women in His Life

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:51 pm

When they are making their escape in the car Dillinger asks one of the guys (Red?) how far it is to the farm. It could be that they were relatives or they had already scoped out the place in advance. It was hard to tell but my impression was she did not know Dillinger. To me it just showed the desperation and hopelessness that so many people were living with in the Depression.
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Re: Dillinger Question #3 ~ The Women in His Life

Unread postby deppaura » Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:49 pm

[quote="gemini" To me, he loved Billie, but by the time she was arrested he was living his life day to day and didn't look at things like someone who had the rest of their life ahead of them. I don't think he liked Billy any the less, he just knew that he may never get to see her again.[/quote]
Thanks for pointing that out. Good insight. Guess he was always on the fast track. Some sort of driven, maybe perverse thrill.

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Re: Dillinger Question #3 ~ The Women in His Life

Unread postby gemini » Sat Jul 11, 2009 1:41 am

This question has me pondering the Dillinger timeline.
I've been looking at the dates and was truly surprised at some of what I found. He was only free a few months of his adult life.
He went to prison at 21 in 1924 and was paroled 8 1/2 yrs later on May 10 1933. He was killed July 22 1934 only 14 months later.

Out of that 14 months, he was arrested in Ohio in Sept 22 1933 and his gang broke him out in Lima Ohio on Oct 12 1933 and then he was arrested in Tucson late January 1933 and escaped Crown Point Mar 3 1933. He lost about 4 months in those two jails so he was only free about 10 months total.

Billy was arrested in April 1934 and sent to prison so and its sometime after the Oct break out of his friends from Michigan city that its mentioned he meets Billy. That means they were together less than 7 months before she was arrested.

Considering he only lived 4 months after Billy's arrest, he didn't know Polly Hamilton too long either. Somewhere in the beginning of that 10 months he was with Mary Longnacre. All of his relationships were short. He married his wife April of 1924 and went to jail the same year so he was only with her a few months of their 5 yr marriage. Wonder how long he was with Francis Thorn before her parents ran him off?
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Re: Dillinger Question #3 ~ The Women in His Life

Unread postby Liz » Sat Jul 11, 2009 9:13 pm

Gemini, this has come up numerous times in my discussion of the movie with my son and DH. My son complained that it was such a short period of time that was covered in the movie. He wanted to know more backstory. I had to tell him that he was in prison for 9 years. And then I, like you, started thinking about how long he had known Billie and then known Polly. So much happened to him in such a short period of time. It exhausts me just to think about it.

Sorry. I shouldn't have started talking about the movie. A comparison question will come later.
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Re: Dillinger Question #3 ~ The Women in His Life

Unread postby nanjacb » Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:34 pm

I have a question about Anna Sage. I had also had a question about Polly, which was answered here. Was Anna also a lover of Dillinger's at one time? I remember hearing that in the video narration with Dillinger's great nephew. Also, why did Mann have Anna in a white bloust and orange skirt. Was this the truth as opposed to her wearing the red dress?
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Re: Dillinger Question #3 ~ The Women in His Life

Unread postby Liz » Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:27 pm

Hi nanjacb. :welcome: to ONBC.

Here's the story on Anna Sage's clothing:

In Public Enemies (Burrough) she is covered in a chapter entitled "The Woman in Orange". And in Helmer’s book the following is said by Girardin on pg. 245:

In the backwash of the Dillinger case there reappeared Anna Sage, whose misdescribed orange skirt gained her worldwide notoriety as “the Woman in Red,” to her considerable annoyance. After issuing corrections as to the actual color, she next complained that the federal government was taking advantage of her trusting nature and double-crossing her in regard to deportation.
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Re: Dillinger Question #3 ~ The Women in His Life

Unread postby nanjacb » Sun Jul 12, 2009 4:13 am

Thanks for the explanation of Anna's clothing, Liz. That cleared up a question that several of my friends had too.
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Re: Dillinger Question #3 ~ The Women in His Life

Unread postby Liz » Sun Jul 12, 2009 10:29 am

nanjacb, unfortunately, that only explains why her skirt was orange in the movie. I can't remember why the press mistakenly called her "the woman in red". I'm not sure if we know.
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Re: Dillinger Question #3 ~ The Women in His Life

Unread postby fansmom » Sun Jul 12, 2009 2:05 pm

Liz wrote:nanjacb, unfortunately, that only explains why her skirt was orange in the movie. I can't remember why the press mistakenly called her "the woman in red". I'm not sure if we know.
The only thing close to an explanation that I've read is that the lights outside the theater distored the color. :perplexed:

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Re: Dillinger Question #3 ~ The Women in His Life

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Jul 12, 2009 2:56 pm

The distortion by the lights was my understanding, fansmom.

nanjacb, to answer your other question about Anna and Dillinger having been lovers...I don't know that there was ever anything confirmed on that, only speculation. It is believed that they definitely knew each other as he probably frequented her place of business but as to whether they had a personal relationship I haven't seen anything definite on that.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!


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