John Dillinger's death mask on display in Springfield, Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - He was ruthless and one of the most feared mobsters of all time.

"John Dillinger was the most famous criminal in the way he was shot," Illinois State Police Heritage Foundation treasurer Heinz Mueller told WAND News.

Now part of Dillinger's history will be on display this weekend in Springfield.

"At that time, to prove who you were, they would make a mask of the person.  That was the only way to prove that he was dead to a lot of people," added Mueller.

The mask will be on display at the 12th Annual US Route 66 Mother Road Festival, so history buffs will have to add one more stop to their visit.

The death mask is part of a private collection, so this is a rare chance for the public to see the artifact.

Courtesy: WAND, NBC News Channel


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