Jack “Red” Hamilton

Jack “Red” Hamilton

Byng Inlet, Parry Sound District, Ontario, Canada
Death 30 Apr 1934 (aged 34–35)
Aurora, Kane County, Illinois, USA
Burial Oswego, Kendall County, Illinois, USA
Memorial ID 8653270 · View Source
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Gangster. Original of the John Dillinger/Harry Pierpont bank robbing gang. A native of Canada, Hamilton was known as Red by his friends and "Three Finger Jack" by authorities, because he had only three digits on his right hand due to an unknown incident. A botched 1927 robbery in Indiana landed Hamilton in Michigan City prison, where he became close friends with Dillinger, Pierpont, and other stalwarts of the future gang. Using guns smuggled in by Dillinger, Hamilton and the others pulled off a daring escape from the prison on September 26, 1933, and immediately began robbing banks all over the Midwest. While hiding out with the gang in Chicago, Red Hamilton was caught in a garage at 5320 Broadway by Chicago police sergeant William Shanley. Hamilton ended up shooting the sergeant to death and taking off, causing the whole Dillinger gang to flee to Florida. A month later, Hamilton, Dillinger, and Pierpont robbed the bank at East Chicago, Indiana, with Patrolman William O'Malley dying in the robbers' bloody getaway. Red Hamilton did not accompany the gang to Arizona, and subsequently was not apprehended with the rest of them. Red Hamilton rejoined with John Dillinger after the latter's escape from the Crown Point Jail in March 1934. Along with Homer Van Meter, Baby Face Nelson, and others, they got back on the outlaw trial. After the furious gun battle with the FBI at Rhinelander, Wisconsin's Little Bohemia lodge on the morning of April 22, 1934, the gang split up, with Nelson heading into Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Hamilton, Dillinger, and Van Meter for St. Paul. Near the Minnesota capital shortly afterwards, they were ambushed by lawmen and Hamilton sustained a mortal wound in the back. After driving him south to Chicago over an agonizing 12-hour period, Red Hamilton was denied medical care by a notorious underworld doctor. Holed up at a hideout of the Barker-Karpis gang in Aurora, Illinois, Hamilton grew steadily weaker, dying in the last days of April in the company of Dillinger, Van Meter, and possibly Volney Davis, Edna Murray and Dock Barker. The men buried his remains in a quarry near Oswego, Illinois, where they were unearthed in August 1935. ID'd by dental records, Hamilton was interred in an unmarked grave in the local cemetery.

Bio by: Dennis Rice

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Dennis Rice
  • Added: 19 Apr 2004
  • Find a Grave Memorial 8653270
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Jack “Red” Hamilton (1899–30 Apr 1934), Find a Grave Memorial no. 8653270, citing Oswego Township Cemetery, Oswego, Kendall County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .