William Helmer Q&A #10

Co-author of DILLINGER: THE UNTOLD STORY

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William Helmer Q&A #10

Unread postby Liz » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:50 am

ONBC: Did John Dillinger really waltz through the police station in Chicago, as indicated in the film? If so, approximately when was this?

WH: Not to my knowledge. Sounds like a movie invention, as was Dillinger’s restaurant encounter with Purvis in the older Warren Oates Dillinger movie.
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Re: William Helmer Q&A #10

Unread postby nebraska » Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:58 am

Visually, it was a very cool scene! But I suspected it was pure movie invention.

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Re: William Helmer Q&A #10

Unread postby shadowydog » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:53 am

Burroughs said that he did walk through a police station when he took Polly there to get her license. :perplexed:
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Re: William Helmer Q&A #10

Unread postby fansmom » Wed Aug 12, 2009 11:08 am

nebraska wrote:Visually, it was a very cool scene! But I suspected it was pure movie invention.
My daughter whispered to me, "Did that really happen?" She doesn't know much about Dillinger's story (ask her about pirates!) but the scene seemed invented to her.

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Re: William Helmer Q&A #10

Unread postby deppaura » Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:02 pm

Liz wrote:[

WH: Not to my knowledge. Sounds like a movie invention, as was Dillinger’s restaurant encounter with Purvis in the older Warren Oates Dillinger movie.[/size][/b]

I loved the suspense of that scene, the tension between Purvis and Dillinger.

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Re: William Helmer Q&A #10

Unread postby nebraska » Wed Aug 12, 2009 2:44 pm

shadowydog wrote:Burroughs said that he did walk through a police station when he took Polly there to get her license. :perplexed:


Interesting. I don't remember that, but it very well could have happened. Dillinger was a pretty gutsy guy sometimes!

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Re: William Helmer Q&A #10

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:57 pm

shadowydog, was that in the Burrough book or something he said in an interview?

I read (somewhere - a review I believe) that the point of the police station scene was for Dillinger to realize the death and chaos that surrounded his notoriety. When he sees the department dedicated to him and the wall with all the photos of his friends and colleagues, people that had died or gone to jail during the gang's run, he realizes how many lives have been lost or altered. The theory being (movie version) that Dillinger knew he was about to be captured or killed and knew his time was up.
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Re: William Helmer Q&A #10

Unread postby shadowydog » Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:47 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:shadowydog, was that in the Burrough book or something he said in an interview?

I read (somewhere - a review I believe) that the point of the police station scene was for Dillinger to realize the death and chaos that surrounded his notoriety. When he sees the department dedicated to him and the wall with all the photos of his friends and colleagues, people that had died or gone to jail during the gang's run, he realizes how many lives have been lost or altered. The theory being (movie version) that Dillinger knew he was about to be captured or killed and knew his time was up.


I think it was either in an interview or on his blog. :perplexed: Also there is a guy on IMDB who is writing a novel about Dillinger and has done a great deal of research who also confirms that his research shows Dillinger strolled through a police station.

Now... I think I might have read this the same place where they talked about Dillinger walking up to a police officer at the fair and asking him to take a picture of himself and Billie and handing the officer his camera. :perplexed:
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Re: William Helmer Q&A #10

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Aug 13, 2009 7:51 am

Thanks, shadowydog. I do remember reading the story about Dillinger and Billie having the policeman take their picture at the World's Fair. I"m pretty sure that was in PE.
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Re: William Helmer Q&A #10

Unread postby gemini » Thu Aug 13, 2009 3:55 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Thanks, shadowydog. I do remember reading the story about Dillinger and Billie having the policeman take their picture at the World's Fair. I"m pretty sure that was in PE.


The Worlds Fair photo was taken with Mary Longnaker of Dayton Ohio, not Billie. He took her and a friend on a 10 day trip to the world Fair in Chicago. He dated her from his parole in May 1933 to his arrest at her apartment ( Sept 22 1933) shortly before his gang broke out of Michigan City. She was the sister of his cell mate James Jenkins ( who was killed a couple days after the Michigan City escape). She wanted JD to help her brother escape. Burroughs refers to her as his summer romance.

On July 10 1934 Dillinger and Van meter took Polly Hamilton and Marie Conforti on double date to the World Fair. He did like to go there.
Last edited by gemini on Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: William Helmer Q&A #10

Unread postby gemini » Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:10 pm

shadowydog wrote:
DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:shadowydog, was that in the Burrough book or something he said in an interview?



I read (somewhere - a review I believe) that the point of the police station scene was for Dillinger to realize the death and chaos that surrounded his notoriety. When he sees the department dedicated to him and the wall with all the photos of his friends and colleagues, people that had died or gone to jail during the gang's run, he realizes how many lives have been lost or altered. The theory being (movie version) that Dillinger knew he was about to be captured or killed and knew his time was up.
I think it was either in an interview or on his blog. :perplexed: Also there is a guy on IMDB who is writing a novel about Dillinger and has done a great deal of research who also confirms that his research shows Dillinger strolled through a police station.

Now... I think I might have read this the same place where they talked about Dillinger walking up to a police officer at the fair and asking him to take a picture of himself and Billie and handing the officer his camera. :perplexed:


Page 393 of PE
It says Dillinger felt safe enough while living with Polly Hamilton and Anna Sage that he took four separate visits to the Chicago detective bureau while Hamilton was applying for a new waitressing job, and needed a certification. The medical examiner was in the same bulding as the detective bureau and he waited for her on the 13th floor two floors below the detective bureau. He and Polly double dated with Sages son Steve and his girlfriend and usually went to the movies.
Last edited by gemini on Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: William Helmer Q&A #10

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:48 pm

Thanks, gemini for clarifying for us on both points. So the scene in the movie was expanded to Dillinger actually going into the detective bureau instead of just being in the same building. Still a pretty gutsy move!
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Re: William Helmer Q&A #10

Unread postby gemini » Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:12 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Thanks, gemini for clarifying for us on both points. So the scene in the movie was expanded to Dillinger actually going into the detective bureau instead of just being in the same building. Still a pretty gutsy move!


No problem, I have been rereading PE while we discuss Dillinger the Untold Story, so it's fresher in my mind. I can't believe all the things I read in Dillinger the Untold Story that are in PE and didn't sink in the first time. I guess back then it was too many facts all at once and now its more familiar.
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Re: William Helmer Q&A #10

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:15 pm

There was a lot of information about many people to take in when reading PE. I wish I had more time to go back and read it again now after reading the Helmer/Girardin book.
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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