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John "Red" Hamilton, @1934

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dillinger gang member,  John "Red" Hamilton can be as elusive as you want him to be.   

Known to his gangster friends as "Red," there are some today, including Hamilton's relatives, who are convinced he wasn't killed and had escaped to Canada (his native country) to live on, dying in the 1970's.  Some today challenge the dental reports, the FBI investigation, the motives of perhaps Volney Davis and conclude that the individual found in the grave was someone other than Hamilton. 

Gangster Volney Davis, a participant in Hamilton's burial, gave a very detailed account of Hamilton's death and burial to the FBI, in addition to identifying the place where he was buried. If you take Davis' report into account along with dental records, (although minimal), surrounding investigation by Agents and the ultimate finding of a body, a "reasonable man" can only conclude one thing.

The reports of SAC Connelley and SA S. K. McKee lay out the investigation of the Hamilton finding under the supervision of SAC Earl J. Connelley (whose name spelling is botched in the media account to the left). Connelley was a very competent Agent In Charge and had been involved in many of the high profile gangster cases.  I think many who are familiar with FBI protocol would agree that if there was any INKLING OF DOUBT that Hamilton was dead, and his body was found, that Connelley would never have reported such to Hoover.

Along with SAC Earl J. Connelley, participants in the investigation involved SA's R. D. Brown,  S. K. McKee, Daniel P. Sullivan, John L. Madala, and R. W. Austin among others whose names were not legible in the FBI reports. 

In 1980, SA Thomas M. McDade, who played a role in many of the high profile gangster cases, wrote an article for the "Grapevine" magazine reflecting on his 1978 visit to Spain, meeting his old nemesis, Alvin Karpis.  During his interview with Karpis, McDade asked about Hamilton.  Karpis stated, "Freddie (Barker) called me in Cleveland and I went to the apartment where he (Hamilton) was dying.  He had no doctor;  I left, and Dillinger buried him in the woods."  (McDade's full article is over in the "navigation" area.)

Readers here are urged to check our "G-Man Blog" and read family member Ken Hamilton's input on this subject and his thoughts of "wishful thinking" and family lore. ( Scroll down to Ken's comments.)

In the meantime:

Early Volney Davis admissions/info

Connelley's preliminary phone call to Hoover 

Connelley's lengthy report on the findings

The overall report of SA S. K. McKee

The Hamilton Coroner's opinion