Dillinger Is Still Making Money

Auctions drawing big dollars for memorabilia

Sunday, Aug 2, 2009  |  Updated 10:48 AM CDT
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Depp, Bale Work Crowd at "Public Enemies" Premier

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The portrayal of John Dillinger by Johnny Depp is helping turn his crimes into money-making ventures for auctioneers.

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John Dillinger was best known for making money by robbing banks when he was alive.

In death, it seems auctions have become a popular way to cash in as Hollywood has made good on the bad guy with the movie "Public Enemies."

Last week, a letter hand written by Dillinger sold for $60,400 in Chicago, more than ten times its pre-sale estimated value.

The auction Tuesday by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers also netted $36,400 for a Colt Army Special .38 revolver owned by East Chicago Police Captain Timothy O'Neil.

The gun was used when Dillinger was killed outside Chicago's Biograph Theater in 1934. It sold for $36,400 to Wayne Lensing, owner of the Historic Auto Attractions Museum in Roscoe.

The letter, dated Dec. 18, 1932, was written by Dillinger at the Crown Point, Ind., jail. He writes his niece, Mary Hancock, discussing his wish to be with the family at Christmas.

A Remington .41 caliber double derringer that was used by the outlaw brought $95,600 at auction in Texas last week.

And last month, a South Bend, Ind,. theater bearing bullet marks from Dillinger's final bank-robbery shoot was auctioned off by a New Mexico company.

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