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John Dillinger Exhibit at Alcatraz East Crime Museum

Alcatraz East Crime Museum will open a temporary exhibit on March 3, 2022, that focuses on the anniversary of one of the most infamous prison escapes in American history. Titled “The Beginning of the End: John Dillinger’s Final Jail Break,” the exhibit will feature information and artifacts about the gangster’s final prison break. The exhibit will run for one year in the prison section of the museum.

“This is an escape story that captured the nation’s attention back in the 1930s and continues to do so,” says Ally Pennington, artifacts and programs manager for Alcatraz East. “We are thrilled to share what happened and show people some interesting artifacts from the story.”

John Dillinger is remembered as one of the most famous bank robbers in the country. Along with his gang, they killed 10 people, wounded seven others, and robbed a string of banks in just over a year. In addition, he is also widely known for his escaping authorities. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), he staged three jailbreaks, killing a sheriff during one of them.

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On March 3, 1934, Dillinger used what turned out to be a gun that he carved out of wood to escape from jail for the final time. The Indiana jail was thought to be escape-proof, but he pulled it off, taking hostages with him. When he was in the clear and released the hostages, they told the FBI how he escaped and in what direction he went. A nationwide search led the FBI to him, where he was shot to death while escaping.

The temporary Dillinger exhibit at Alcatraz East Crime Museum includes the FBI’s wanted poster, escape “gun,” Crown Point prisoner’s record, and Dillinger’s famous death mask, which was created 12 hours after his death at the Cook County Morgue. “The Beginning of the End: John Dillinger’s Final Jail Break” exhibit will run through March 3, 2023.

“The story of John Dillinger’s final escape is an interesting part of American crime history,” added Pennington. “We look forward to sharing this display and others with those who visit the museum. The prison break was 88 years ago, and yet so many are still intrigued by it.”

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With over 100 temporary and permanent exhibits, the Alcatraz East Crime Museum sheds light on crime throughout the country. The museum features information and artifacts about the history of crime, crime scene investigation, consequences of crime, crime-fighting, counterfeit crimes, pop culture, and more. There are numerous popular items on display for people to see, including the famous white Bronco from the O.J. Simpson chase and Ted Bundy’s famous Beetle. The museum also features special guest speakers throughout the year.

This top museum is open at 10 a.m. daily. The last tickets are sold 60 minutes before closing. These interactive experiences are available for birthday parties, school groups, scouts, team building, or other special events for an additional fee.

About Alcatraz East

Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests of all ages can encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime-solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages – so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction is located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. The last ticket is sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: alcatrazeast.com.


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