Legends Of America
Since 2003

Gangsters & Outlaws of the 1920-30's - C-G

Index:   A-B  C-G  H-L  M-Z


James "Oklahoma Jack" Clark - A Depression-era outlaw and bank robber, he was a protégé of bank robber Hermann "Baron" Lamm and participated in the gang's final robbery against the Citizens State Bank in Clinton, Indiana on December 16, 1930. The gang escaped with $15,567 in cash, but Clark and others were tracked down by a posse at Sidell, Illinois. In the ultimate gun battled that ensued, Lamm and two other gang members were killed. Clark and fellow gang member, Walter Dietrich, Clark were  arrested by authorities and extradited to Indiana. They were both sentenced to the state prison at Michigan City, Indiana on bank robbery charges. While there, they met John Dillinger, Harry Pierpont, Charles Makley and Homer Van Meter. Clark and Dietrich were among ten prisoners who escaped using pistols smuggled into the prison by a recently paroled John Dillinger on September 22, 1933. Just two days later; however, Clark was recaptured at Hammond, Indiana and returned to prison where he remained for the rest of his life.


Joseph Paul CretzerJoseph Paul Cretzer (1911-1946) - A bank robber, Cretzer was sent to prison at Alcatraz where he participated and was killed in the bloody "Battle of Alcatraz." Born on April 17, 1911 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he grew up to start his criminal career at an early age and went to prison for the first time in 1927. He got involved in more crime with his wife's husband, Arnold Kyle, and the two formed the Cretzer-Kyle Gang which robbed a number of banks along the west coast. By 1939, he was listed as the FBI's 4th most wanted man. He was captured in Chicago, Illinois and sentenced to 25 years in prison. He and Kyle both began serving time at McNeil Island in Washington in February,  1940. Just two months later, the pair escaped, but were recaptured just three days later. The two were sentenced in  Tacoma, Washington to another five years for the escape attempt. When the sentence was handed down, they tried to escape again and killed a U.s. Marshal in the process. They were then sent to Alcatraz, where they again tried to escape in May, 1941, along with fellow prisoners Sam Shockley and Lloyd Barkdoll. His last escape attempt resulted in the "Battle of Alcatraz" in which he was killed on May 4, 1946.



DeAutremont BrothersDeAutremont Brothers - Wannabee train robbers, Hugh, Ray and Roy DeAutremont ambushed a Southern Pacific Railroad train in southern Oregon on October 11, 1923. During the robbery, they shot and killed the train's brakeman, engineer and fireman. The brothers then used dynamite to blow their way into the mail car but they used too much and the explosion killed the mail clerk and started a fire that destroyed the mail car. Though rumor had it they made of with some $40,000, they actually left empty handed. An extensive manhunt resulted in the arrest of Hugh DeAutremont who had joined the army under an assumed name. Before long his brothers were captured in Steubenville, Ohio and all three were convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Hugh DeAutremont was paroled in 1959 and died just a few months later. Roy was given a frontal lobotomy while in prison, was paroled in 1983 and died three months later. Ray was paroled in 1961and went to work as a custodian for the University of Oregon. He died on December 22, 1984 in Eugene, Oregon.


John Herbert Dillinger (1903-1934)Dillinger Gang, aka: The Terror Gang (1933-1934) - While spending  9˝ years in the Indiana State Prison for robbery, John Dillinger hooked up with a number of unsavory characters that would later form the Dillinger Gang. Dillinger was paroled in May, 1933 and and almost immediately robbed a bank in Ohio. Police arrested him on September 22nd and while he was in jail, officers found a document which seemed to be a plan for a prison break, but Dillinger denied knowledge of any plan. Four days later, using the same plans, eight of Dillinger's friends escaped from the Indiana State Prison, using shotguns and rifles which had been smuggled into their cells. During their escape, they shot two guards. it was many of these escapees who hooked up with Dillinger to form a ruthless criminal gang. Dillinger, along with such infamous names as  Baby Face Nelson, Homer Van Meter, Eddie Green, Harry Pierpont, Charley Makely, Russell Lee Clark, John Hamilton, and Thomas Carrol soon began to terrorize the Midwest over the next year, killing as many as 16 people and robbing as many as 20 banks. With the exception of Lee Clark, who received a life sentence behind bars, all of the gangsters met violent deaths before the end of 1934. Dillinger, who escaped jail twice, was declared "Public Enemy No. One” before being killed by FBI agents in front of the Biograph Theater in Chicago on July 22, 1934.  




John Herbert "Jackrabbit" Dillinger (1903-1934) - Midwestern bank robber during the early 1930s, Dillinger was a dangerous criminal who was responsible for the murder of several police officers, robbed at least two dozen banks, and escaped from jail twice. - See full article HERE.






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Index:   A-B  C-G  H-L  M-Z

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