John Dillinger, Indiana’s most infamous criminal, was gunned down by police in Chicago in 1934. His brief but violent bank-robbing and jail-breaking spree captured headlines and enhanced the FBI’s crime-fighting image. By chance, Helmer, an editor at Playboy magazine and a crime buff, discovered Girardin’s contemporary manuscript, an expansion of articles he sold to the Hearst press during the 1930s. It was based on interviews with Dillinger’s lawyer, himself convicted in the case and thus a shaky source. Whatever its degree of accuracy, the mass of detail, largely favorable to Dillinger, is likely to benumb the general reader. The book does capture the flavor of the 1930s, and Helmer’s extensive commentary and notes will appeal to those with a special interest in the subject.
Author: G. Russell Girardin
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN-13 Code: 9780253221100