Dillinger 'death mask' sells for $3,000

Nov. 19, 2010 at 1:23 PM
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CHICAGO, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- A Chicago businessman was the $3,000 high bidder for a mold of John Dillinger's face made after the notorious gangster's death.

Ed Hirschland bought Dillinger's "death mask" Thursday for $3,000, plus $660 in fees, at an auction featuring 65 pieces of Chicago history at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday.

"I'm a Chicago aficionado," Hirschland said. "One of the areas that's so interesting about Chicago is crime. This is such an incredible crime item."

The plaster cast of Dillinger's face was made by Kenneth "Doc" Coffman, who got past guards at the morgue to make the mask after the gangster's 1934 death.

Other items sold at the auction include Al Capone's monogrammed scarf and a first-edition copy of Daniel Burnham's Plan of Chicago.

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