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Looking back at John Dillinger's Mason City bank robbery

KIMT went to the archives to take a look back at Dillinger's 1934 robbery of First National Bank in Mason City.

Posted: Jul 31, 2019 9:46 AM

It was announced Tuesday that the body of notorious 1930s gangster John Dillinger is expected to be exhumed from an Indianapolis cemetery in September, more than 85 years after he was killed by FBI agents outside a Chicago theater.

KIMT went to the archives to take a look back at Dillinger's 1934 robbery of First National Bank in Mason City.

"You just never would have dreamed it would have happened here," said Kay Ingersoll, director of the Kinney Pioneer Museum. "When they pulled up, nobody expected this. They thought a movie was being shown here in town, so people were actually flocking to the bank instead of fleeing from the bank robbery."

Dillinger got away with $52,000 in the bank robbery, which would equate to around $1M today.

The Indiana State Department of Health approved a permit July 3 sought by Dillinger's nephew, Michael C. Thompson, to have the body exhumed from Crown Hill Cemetery and reinterred there.

The permit doesn't give a reason for the request, and Thompson couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The Indianapolis-born Dillinger was one of America's most notorious criminals. He and his gang pulled off a bloody string of bank robberies across the Midwest in the 1930s. The FBI says that Dillinger's gang killed 10 people, but Dillinger was never convicted of murder.

Dillinger was awaiting trial in the slaying of an East Chicago police officer when he escaped from jail in Crown Point, Indiana, in March 1934 with a gun carved out of wood. While on the run, he underwent plastic surgery to alter his face and was said to have tried to remove his fingerprints with acid.

For more, click on the video tab. 

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