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 Post subject: William Helmer Q&A #12
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 7:44 am 
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ONBC: Mr. Helmer - if you could ask John Dillinger one question - what would that be? Do you think Dillinger would enjoy the renewed notoriety that he is receiving with the popularity of Johnny Depp's portrayal of him?

WH: Ah, let's see. Only one question to ask Dillinger? :censored: but OK.

Did Pretty Boy Floyd, the "famous robber from the west," join you for your last South Bend job, as Nelson's friend Fatso Negri claimed?

Other questions would be:
• How did you hook up with Anna Sage? (Despite her statements to the contrary, it wasn't through Polly Hamilton. Maybe Zarkovich or Piquett or some member of the criminal community? He presumably knew Zark via his E. Chicago mob connections.)
• Who all got the bribe money to facilitate the Crown Point wooden-pistol escape?
• How was the Michigan City breakout arranged? General belief is that weapons got in via a box of thread with an X, which Girardin says was a phony effort cooked up via an outsider in E. Chicago who sent in the thread with return address as though from the real company, while O'Leary told him it was via two attempts to toss them over the wall (one batch of which was discovered by another inmate).

I imagine Dillinger would enjoy his enduring notoriety as he even contemplated somehow doing a “Crime Does Not Pay” documentary, but he’d quarrel with the timeline and probably would have preferred the Warren Oates performance in the movie Dillinger to Johnny Depp’s in Public Enemies, which lacked his outgoing personality and sense of humor.



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 Post subject: Re: William Helmer Q&A #12
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:06 pm 
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Interesting questions!

Even with Girardin's manuscript surviving for so many years and with so much first hand information , well let's face it, mostly second hand information via Piquette .....there is much that we don't know and never will know now.


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 Post subject: Re: William Helmer Q&A #12
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:48 pm 
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Ah Mr. Helmer, I can see you are a man of my own heart.
I also could not stick to just one question if I could talk to Mr Dillinger.
I have spent weeks piecing bits and pieces together from books and websites trying to get more of the story. I really was really taken, not only with Dillingers life but several of the lives of his gang.
You have asked a couple of the most interesting points. The escape from Michigan City and how it was done, the insiders on his wooden gun escape and of course Anna Sage. All of these questions would shed light on how much help or hindrance he got from insiders or the mob. I would add that I would like to know a bit more about the fixed bank jobs for the same reasons.
I am sure Dillinger would be happy with knowing there will be years of speculation about it all.



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 Post subject: Re: William Helmer Q&A #12
PostPosted: Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:14 pm 
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gemini, you are becoming quite the Dillinger scholar, thanks for sharing what you are discovering.

nebraska, we are lucky that Mr. Helmer was lucky enough to find Mr. Giardin and share that much with us even though we have many unanswered questions. Maybe that is part of what keeps the public's interest in Dillinger alive?

How about you, Noodlemantras...if you could ask Johnnie Dillinger one question, what would it be?



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 Post subject: Re: William Helmer Q&A #12
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 12:27 pm 
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Any regrets, Johnnie???


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 Post subject: Re: William Helmer Q&A #12
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:02 pm 
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If you had a "do over" would you follow the same path? Or maybe not go to the movies? ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: William Helmer Q&A #12
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:25 pm 
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ladylinn wrote:
Or maybe not go to the movies? ;-)
:lol: :applause2:


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 Post subject: Re: William Helmer Q&A #12
PostPosted: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:06 pm 
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I think I would just like to sit down and have a meal and absorb the persona.

Who are you, John Dillinger? Can I get a sense of who you are just by "being" with you a while? Can I look in your eyes and "see" who you are? does your voice, your smile give me a clue of what lies within?

If I were to come right out and ask a question out loud, it would probably have to do with the East Chicago police and the mob and how much they controlled John's "career". A part of me believes they took advantage of him and his desire to please and his desperation to escape the boring life at home.


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 Post subject: Re: William Helmer Q&A #12
PostPosted: Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:51 pm 
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I would ask him about his prior involvement with Anna Sage and Zarkovich.

But I, too, would like to sit down with him.....or better yet, spend a few days with him, and just try to get to know him to see if I could make a determination on who the real John Dillinger was.



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 Post subject: Re: William Helmer Q&A #12
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:13 pm 
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Liz wrote:
I would ask him about his prior involvement with Anna Sage and Zarkovich.

But I, too, would like to sit down with him.....or better yet, spend a few days with him, and just try to get to know him to see if I could make a determination on who the real John Dillinger was.


I am moseying back to this question because I am reading Helmer's "The complete Public Enemies Almanac". It is more like a dictionary of every criminal in the era. There is only a short description of each but handy to have around for reference.
In it under Dillinger is a line that answers one of the our questions.
Quote:
New evidence indicates that Dillinger and Ana Sage had mutual acquaintances in the Northern Indiana criminal community and that her friends in the East Chicago Police Department, who contacted the FBI, insisted on participating in the ambush to make sure Dillinger was killed so he couldn't learn of his betrayal and expose their corruption.

It seems we weren't far off in our suspicicians.



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 Post subject: Re: William Helmer Q&A #12
PostPosted: Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:13 pm 
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VERY :interesting: gemini. I'm sure Bill will be flattered to know that you are reading his latest (I think that's his latest :dunce: ). Thanks for sharing from it. :cool:



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The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.
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