Buried Treasures in North America John Dillinger's Suitcase

About buried treasure in North America, history of John Dillinger's suitcase, account of searches and location in California.


John Dillinger's Suitcase

John Dillinger, Public Enemy No. 1, buried $200,000 in the Wisconsin woods three months before his death. Ken Krippene, author of Buried Treasure, heard the story from Patricia Charrington (or Cherrington), girl friend of a member of Dillinger's gang.

How It Got There: Small, pug-nosed Dillinger parked himself in the Little Bohemia roadhouse, 8 mi. southeast of Mercer, for a weekend with six of his gang, including "Baby Face" Nelson and "Three-Fingered Jack" Hamilton, in late April, 1934. On Sunday, at 7:45 P.M., FBI men in bulletproof vests surrounded the place and waited until three men came out. Unfortunately, the three were not gang members, but two CCC workers and a gas station attendant. The FBI killed one of them and wounded the other two. In the confusion, Dillinger and his gang escaped out a back window. The FBI waited until the next morning, when they teargassed a building devoid of criminals.

Once out of the roadhouse, Dillinger ran 500 yd. north into the woods, dug a hole near two pines and an oak, and buried in it a suitcase containing $200,000 in small bills obtained from the sale of $1 million in stolen securities.

Back in Chicago, Dillinger reputedly underwent plastic surgery to change his appearance so that he could escape unrecognized to South America and safely retire. However, on July 22, 1934, he was shot and killed outside the Biograph Theater by the Feds, who had been tipped off by Dillinger's girl friend's landlady, afterwards known as "the woman in red." (See "Was Dillinger Really Killed by the FBI?" Chap. 9.)

Previous Searches: None Known.

How to Get There: Mercer, Wisc., is a small town on Route 51 near the Michigan border. Once there, ask how to get to the Little Bohemia roadhouse.

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