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Dillinger-Bonnie & Clyde: Villainous Memorabilia

It’s been 75 years since John Dillinger met his fate. And today collectors continue to be fascinated with outlaws like Dillinger and Bonnie & Clyde. With the release of Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Dillinger in “Public Enemy” and two biographicals produced in 2009 about Bonnie & Clyde the fascination has not faded, even after 75 years. What is it about these dangerous villains that many collectors find so appealing? I myself am not a collector of outlaw memorabilia. However, many years ago after receiving a never-ending slew of requests for such original vintage material I made a few investments . I was amazed that outlaw memorabilia would became one of the most desirable and fastest selling categories of collecting. Also, outlaw collectors seem to be more serious than many other categories on our web site.

For example, we get several requests every month for memorabilia of John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Vintage horror, Three Stooges. But, many of those collectors are not as serious and loyal as outlaw collectors. When we get a request for a John Dillinger Wanted Poster and then acquire such a piece, the collector always follow through and buys the item. Whereas, when we get a superior John Wayne or Frank Sinatra piece, the collector who was so “serious” and resolute about acquiring the item often disappears after we make such an acquisition. Hence, we are more inclined and motivated to make investments in outlaw memorabilia, even though it is not one of our own collecting passions.

Some of our current outlaw items include rare John Dillinger wire “death” photos, Bonnie & Clyde Wanted Poster and a swatch from Clyde Barrows “death” pants. (the death panst are even mentioned in one of the recent biographies).

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