A letter penned by John Dillinger sold for $60,400 at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers
in Chicago on Tuesday, July 28, more than ten times its pre-sale estimate of $4,000 6,000. Likewise, the highly anticipated Colt Army Special .38 revolver owned by East Chicago Police Captain Timothy ONeil and used in the final shootout at the Biograph Theatre, ignited heated competition among five telephone bidders. It sold for $36,400 to Wayne Lensing, owner of the Historic Auto Attractions Museum in Roscoe, Illinois.
The letter, dated December 18, 1932, was written by Dillinger during his incarceration at the Crown Point jail. He writes his niece, Mary Hancock, discussing his wish to be with the family at Christmas, and says it will be his last Christmas in jail. He goes on to press his niece for details about her current boyfriend and jokes that he may need to borrow money once hes released from jail. Dillinger would later famously escape from the Crown Point jail using a fake gun carved out of wood.
Chicago and Americana, including True Crime, were highlights of the Fine Books and Manuscripts auction. The event was a success, drawing $212,210 against the high estimate of $211,250 with 85 percent of lots selling.