Museum to show Dillinger death mask

News-DemocratSeptember 25, 2013 

Want to learn more about John Dillinger?

One of only four death masks of one of the most notorious criminals in U.S. history will be on display at The Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation museum Thursday through Saturday in Springfield. The museum will hold extended hours so visitors can view the mask.

Four plaster death masks were cast from Dillinger's face shortly after his death. One of which is on display at the National Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington, D.C. The Dillinger death mask is part of the Gangs of Illinois display at the Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation Museum.

"The Dillinger death mask is symbolic of the Prohibition era when mob bosses and bootleggers struggled to control territory through violence with each other and with law enforcement," said foundation President Ron Cooley.

Dillinger pulled off numerous robberies and murders across four states between 1933-34. Wanted by dozens of police, sheriffs and the FBI, Dillinger died in a hail of gunfire during a shootout with law enforcement outside a crowded Chicago theater.

The museum will be open for this rare viewing opportunity from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday through Saturday in conjunction with the Route 66 Mother Road Festival. The ISPHF Museum is located on old Route 66 at 4000 N. Peoria Road., Springfield.

For additional information, visit isphf.org, or call 217-525-1922.

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