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 Post subject: Dillinger Question #4 ~ Crown Point
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:02 pm 
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Pg. 159. Dillinger chuckled. “Why, Crown Point’s the safest place in America.”

What do you think really happened at Crown Point?

And what do you think Dillinger meant by that remark?



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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #4 ~ Crown Point
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:31 pm 
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I do believe that when JD made that remark it had a bit of a mocking tone, a bit of braggadocio. Even a prison in Crown Point couldn't hold him, so why should he worry about being caught there? In fact, anyone should be safe there, as it had "the strongest jail in Indiana," according to its sheriff (and JD's lawyer!). Besides mocking the CP crew, I think he was mocking the FBI because they never could get used to the idea that he could be so bold as to be in plain sight and go about his business.
Unbelievable as it seems, the version of CP they said Dillinger gave is the one I tend to believe. He needed a lot of luck to encounter each victim individually or in such a way as to be able to scare them with his 'gun.' Somehow he managed to lock up "every living thing but the cat".......thirty of 'em! :eyebrow: (I'm guessing such a thing would be impossible in prisons today!) Then he was off to the garage where he'd prearranged for a car and......freedom! :gangster:
Oh, yeah, I neglected to mention that there was definitely some outside help involved. The 'gun' was fashioned outside of the prison and delivered. And the East Chicago police apparently were more instrumental in allowing the escape than in preventing it. :-O But, outside help or not, I think only Dillinger, with the same swagger he used in robbing banks, could have pulled this off. :dillingergun:



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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #4 ~ Crown Point
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:00 pm 
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I think the remark "Crown Point is the safest place in America" is an example of Dillinger's humor and as Betty Sue said - his swagger. The wooden gun escape made the Crown Point jail and deputies look like silly fools. But altho not proved - it seems a good possibility that Dillinger had inside help and well as outside help. Deputy Blunk appeared a bit suspicious and very co-operative to me. But if Dillinger held a gun to me - I would be co-operative too.


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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #4 ~ Crown Point
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 6:21 pm 
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He didn't want to go back to the Michigan City penitentiary because it would have been more difficult if not impossible to escape from by that time. Some of his bravado in this statement might have been a taunt to make sure he stayed in Crown Point where he felt he had a chance to get away. Law enforcement there was less sophisticated (not because the sheriff was a woman but because it still had a small town mentality - look at the prosecutor's behavior!) And at Crown Point he had easier access to his "buddies" and his public. So Crown Point was indeed safer for Dillinger, if not the law-abiding public.

I am curious more and more how much Zarkovich and the East Chicago police were involved in the Crown Point escape and Dillinger's career in general.


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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #4 ~ Crown Point
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:41 pm 
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Remember it was Mrs Sheriff Holly that first replied to Piquette in defense of her Crown Point jail in front of Judge Murray that " There isn't anything wrong with it, It's the strongest jail in Indiana". Dillinger probably remembered this remark and changed it for humor.

I suppose Dillinger staying in Crown Point in a tourist camp after his escape was because no one would expect him to stay there even for a few days. I am sure the remark was sarcasm since he had escaped their jail but hanging around there was probably, besides being un expected, it was not a big city with a lot of police and in that way safer for him.

As for the escape itself, he certainly had inside help in the form of Deputy Blunk, but it was his moxy that enabled him to bluff 30 people behind bars with a fake gun. His jailers also knew he was desperate not to go to Michigan and stand trial. They didn't want to play hero and since he had been friendly with them during his stay there, they hoped if they co operated he would not harm them.



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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #4 ~ Crown Point
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 9:40 pm 
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nebraska wrote:
I am curious more and more how much Zarkovich and the East Chicago police were involved in the Crown Point escape and Dillinger's career in general.

And also Piquette. Wonder what the payoff was to keep Dillinger active? Power or money seem always to be at the root of these corruptions.


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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #4 ~ Crown Point
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:41 pm 
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deppaura wrote:
nebraska wrote:
I am curious more and more how much Zarkovich and the East Chicago police were involved in the Crown Point escape and Dillinger's career in general.

And also Piquette. Wonder what the payoff was to keep Dillinger active? Power or money seem always to be at the root of these corruptions.

I wouldn't be surprised if either of them were involved. And Piquett kept asking for money. It seems like Johnnie was always behind on payments.

I really don't have anything to add. I agree with all that all of you have said. :cool:



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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #4 ~ Crown Point
PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:16 pm 

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"Why, it's the safest place in America." :lol: Still cracks me up. Like gemini I took it as a direct jab at Sheriff Holly and the Crown Point police, probably delivered with a good dose of sarcasm and that infamous crooked smile. :gangster: Recall that the newspapers were poking fun at Sheriff Holly too in their cartoons and editorials. Poor woman. I do feel sorry for her.

The Crown Point escape was my favorite part of the book! I laughed so hard the DH asked if I was ok and I had to read parts out loud to him. :rotflmao: So what really happened? Well, Dillinger certainly had help. Blunk, Piquette, O'Leary, and Saeger for starters (according to Girardin). And that all seems plausible to me. Zarcovich and East Chicago? Wouldn't surprise me either. Did he really lock up more than 30 people? Ok, that might be a bit exaggerated. I think I read other accounts of 17-20. But in any case, could he really have locked up that many people unwillingly? Using just his reputation, moxy and a wooden gun!? It's a great tale, but I really think maybe one or two more in the jail must have been "in the know".


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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #4 ~ Crown Point
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:01 am 
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You guys pretty much nailed it. The comment was obviously said mockingly in regards to Crown Point. They just weren't prepared for a criminal of Dillinger's stature. And I too felt sorry for Mrs. Sheriff Holley. It was so easy to pass the buck off on her simply because she was a female. It was ignored that Dillinger had tons of outside and inside help. People didn't even question Warden Baker when he issued the wrong license plate number. And to add insult to injury, he stole the beaten sheriff's car. But I think the good sheriff was a little too confident in the security of her jail. Dillinger should have been placed in a more secure location but I think people we're counting on her needing to prove herself in a man's world.
I think she was the only person in town not in on it. He made a joke of her Alcatraz.



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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #4 ~ Crown Point
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 12:05 pm 
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trygirl wrote:
And I too felt sorry for Mrs. Sheriff Holley. It was so easy to pass the buck off on her simply because she was a female. It was ignored that Dillinger had tons of outside and inside help. People didn't even question Warden Baker when he issued the wrong license plate number. And to add insult to injury, he stole the beaten sheriff's car. But I think the good sheriff was a little too confident in the security of her jail. Dillinger should have been placed in a more secure location but I think people we're counting on her needing to prove herself in a man's world.
I think she was the only person in town not in on it. He made a joke of her Alcatraz.

I got the impression when I was researching the town back when we were discussing PE, the book, that it was quite an embarrassment to the town. I can't remember where I got that idea--it was either on a website I perused or from the Crown Point librarian I talked to. Of course, that was before the movie was filmed there. :lol:



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 Post subject: Re: Dillinger Question #4 ~ Crown Point
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 2:33 pm 
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Just a side note here...I'm interested in Piquet and O'Leary too. In fact I have a discussion question coming up about them! :lol:



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