He continued to exhibit the good manners he’d been taught at home. His Sunday school teacher would later recall that he always tipped his hat to her when they passed on the street. And at home, his family grew, as his father and stepmother welcomed John’s younger sister, Doris M. Dillinger Hockman, in 1918. Some of his behavior concerned his parents, especially in light of their growing brood. His gallant, middle-class manners seemed incongruous with one of the pranks he and his friends pulled. Bullying another child, they pretended that they planned to cut him with a saw. Unwilling to hurt him, Dillinger stopped the blade a few inches from the child’s face. It is unknown the thoughts of the other children who participated, but John later stated that he only did it to scare the young man. Many people noticed this odd dichotomy, referred to later in Federal Bureau of Investigation documents as “the flaws in his bewildering personality.”

Dillinger didn’t like school although he evidenced a high IQ. Intellectually curious, he enjoyed working with his hands and creating intricate plans. During his school years, he played baseball, but love of the sport wasn’t enough to keep him in school. He quit high school at 16 to take a job at an Indianapolis machine shop. The job didn’t last long, and the teen Dillinger began to move toward what his father considered too wild of behavior. He gave up his grocery shop in 1920 and purchased a farm in Mooresville, Indiana, his second wife’s hometown. The elder Despite his dislike of school, Dillinger had a high IQ.



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