John Dillinger Museum

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If the City of Chicago is unwilling to own up to the fact that John Dillinger is still considered to be one of its most infamous historical figures, then suburban Hammond, Ind., is happy to satisfy the public's unending fascination with Public Enemy No. 1. The John Dillinger Museum is part of the Lake County (Ind.) Interstate Visitors Information Center, located 30 minutes east of the Loop just off Interstate 80/94. A large mural at the entrance sets the scene: Chicago's 2400 North Lincoln Avenue block, just outside the Biograph Theatre, where Dillinger was shot dead on July 22, 1934. The museum takes pains to not glorify Dillinger ("Crime does not pay," a spokesman declares), but the dozen or so interactive displays feature some fascinating artifacts purchased from the former Dillinger museum in Nashville, Ind. Among them are the wooden handgun he carved to break out of the Lake County Courthouse, a 1933 black Essex Terraplane just like his getaway car ... even the stuff found in his pockets the day he died.