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 Russell Lee Clark

Russell Lee Clark

Vigo County, Indiana, USA
Death 24 Dec 1968 (aged 70)
Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Burial Troy, Oakland County, Michigan, USA
Memorial ID 12817 · View Source
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Organized Crime Figure. Born in Vigo County, Indiana, he was known as the good natured mobster of the John Dilinger gang. He began his criminal career in 1919, after being dishonorably discharged from the US Marine Corps. He was a partner of Ralston "Blackie" Linton during the early 1920s and together they robbed a series stores and roadhouses. He was finally caught after a robbery in Huntertown, Indiana and was sentenced to twenty years imprisonment in December 1927. A popular jokester among inmates, he was a pal of John Dilinger and when Dillinger was paroled, he financed the escape of his friends which enabled Clark and nine other convicts with guns to make a mass escape from the penitentiary in 1933. With Dilinger, he took part in the robbery of a Chicago bank, plus others through the mid-western states up to Michigan. The gang decided to hide out in Florida during the Christmas holidays of 1933 and regrouped in Tucson, Arizona, in early January 1934. On January 22, 1934, after a fire broke out in their hotel a local firefighter, recognized Clark who was the first to be arrested and returned to Michigan City. Ranked as the Nation's fifth most wanted criminal for robbery and the murder of Michigan City Sheriff Jess Sarber, he was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment on March 24, 1934. He remained imprisoned for the next 34 years until being paroled for health reasons on August 14, 1968. He died of cancer four months later in Detroit, Michigan and was the last surviving member of the original Dillinger gang.

Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 9 Oct 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 12817
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Russell Lee Clark (9 Aug 1898–24 Dec 1968), Find A Grave Memorial no. 12817, citing White Chapel Memorial Park Cemetery, Troy, Oakland County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .