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John Dillinger Killed? Could it Have Been Mistaken Identity?

Updated on October 27, 2020

Back in the 1960s, we had a neighbor, Mrs. Osborne. My dad would do small errands for her because she couldn't get around well. She was an elderly woman who lived alone. She asked dad one time to take a look at some old pictures she had. She asked him, "Who does the man in these pictures remind you of?"

Dad looked at the pictures and asked her if she was related to the famous bank robber, John Dillinger? She just smiled and said,"No, that is my son. He has been missing since July of 1934." She told dad that her son had been arrested twice because he looked so much like the infamous criminal.

Her son had also pretended a few times with the ladies to get attention. The last time she saw her son was in June of 1934. He went to Chicago on a business trip and told his mother that he would be gone a few weeks. She claimed that he would always send postcards from the hotels he stayed at. She said her son would always write her.


She stated that after July, the postcards never came again. Her son never came home. He disappeared from the face of the earth. She contacted the local police and wrote the FBI. The police pretty much ignored her and the FBI never responded.

Her son was in his mid 30s when he disappeared. He always wore a suit and a nice fedora hat. I wish I could remember more details about the story. I was only six years old when we lived across from Mrs. Osborne. Dad would talk about her many times throughout the years. He always spoke of how much the pictures of her son looked like John Dillinger.

All I can remember of her is a red and gray dress she wore while watering her flowers.

Was it her son that the FBI killed that day? Was she just a victim of timing and her son never returned for an unknown reason? She shared the story with my dad and my dad shared it with me. Brookville Indiana is where we lived at the time. Mrs. Osborne will always be in my memories.

Such a lonesome feeling when I think of her.


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