A Famous Gangster’s Face and a Notorious Place
Despite the crack in the oath, FBI’s Public Enemy Number One, John Dillinger, called St. Paul his home in March 1934. He had recently broken out of jail in Indiana, robbed an Iowa bank resulting in a gunshot wound. Dillinger came to the Twin Cities to recover, preparing for the next round of robberies. He and girlfriend Evelyn Frechette, under the pseudonym Hellman, rented an apartment in the Grand Avenue area, the Lincoln Court Apartments. The couple took great pains to be discreet. They only used the back door. They refused to let anyone aside from their associates into the apartment. But this discretion actually caught the attention of the couple’s landlord, Daisy Coffey. When the couple refused to let a maintenance worker into the apartment for maintenance, her suspicions flared. She contacted the FBI about the couple, who sent St. Paul Police officers to observe the building.