Members of the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council and their families received a historical lesson on why crime doesn’t pay during a preview tour of the John Dillinger Museum in Crown Point on Wednesday, June 17.
Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter led the tour with Speros A. Batistatos, president and CEO of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority.
“The museum is not here to make Dillinger look good or glamorize what he did. What the museum is really doing is showing the significance of what his actions were and how law enforcement reacted to it, such as securing radios in state police cars and how the FBI did investigations,” said Carter. “The prosecutors see bad guys every day, so a bad guy like Dillinger is nothing new to us other than the historical significance. But at the same time, there are victims to those crimes and we’re there to protect those victims. It helps give us a perspective.”
The museum, which was previously located at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond, will offer visitors an educational journey through the life and times of John Dillinger and his gang while discussing the rise of the FBI and advancements made in crime fighting technology.
“A lot of people think crime pays – the sad reality is it doesn’t,” stated Rodney Cummings, Madison County prosecutor. “You just need to be caught once and you’ll serve time. He (Dillinger) probably lived a good life for a short time, but he paid for that with his life at a young age.”
The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council scheduled the tour during their annual summer conference. More than 100 attendees from throughout the state traveled to Northwest Indiana to receive continued training and education. In addition to the tour, attendees were able to participate in a dine-around of the Crown Point square.
“The crimes of John Dillinger and his gang helped spur significant advancements in law enforcement and crime fighting,” explained Batistatos. “The museum tells the story of Dillinger and his gang with a strong ‘crime doesn’t pay’ message.”
The museum is scheduled to open on July 22, 2015 – the 81st anniversary of the death of John Dillinger. A grand opening celebration will be hosted in conjunction with the weekly Crown Point Car Cruise on Thursday, July 23.
For more information on the John Dillinger Museum, please contact the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority at 219-989-7770.