Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress

Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress
Dillenger Days at Hotel Congress (Source: KOLD)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Tucson is taken back to the 1930’s when gangsters like John Dillinger ruled the streets. The outlaw, public enemy number one, was arrested in Tucson.

Reenactments, old cars and the fashion make the Dillinger Days festival come to life.

“You come to Dillinger Days, you dress up….and you take it all in,” said Sandy Fieszel, an attendee.

Fieszel was at the event with her friend, Edye Redar, and both dressed to the nines.

But, this year is about more than fashion. A letter found in the wall at Hotel Congress last year remains a mystery. There could be a connection to “the public enemy.” As the story goes, Dillinger was eating a piece of a letter when he was apprehended.

The letter found in the walls at the hotel was found to only have been a third of a full letter. Dillinger was taken in by authorities the same year the letter was dated, 1934. There is no proof there is a connection, but a family member of the late Dillinger reached out to see if it could be a part of the letter. Todd Hanley, general manager of Hotel Congress, said it is nothing but speculation.

“But, solid speculation that is an association,” said Hanley.

Still no answers for what the letter was about, who it was to or why it was hidden in the hotel, but the public was charged to fill in the missing bits as a fun competition. The hotel announced the winner of the competition, Lisa Falk, who thought the letter was meant for love. Falk wrote this letter:

"My dearest,

I hope your travels to that dusty town of outlaws have been safe and lucrative. Be careful with the card tricks. I don’t want you caught! Oh my dearest how I miss you and remember our time together in Chicago. When you are back we’ll go dancing—You know how much I want us to win the jitterbug contest! And the club has the most delicious Cosmopolitan. My love, I miss you and can’t wait to be in your arms again. Yours truly, Mary."

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