Gangster’s Wives: Mary Evelyn “Billie” Frechette

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Mary Evelyn Frechette, also known as Billie, met John Dillinger in 1933. She experienced her first taste of her boyfriend’s criminal life that same year. As the couple was leaving a Chicago doctor’s office, a shootout ensued. Later that year, Dillinger’s buddy killed a police sergeant; forcing the gang to leave the city. Evelyn left with them and traveled through Florida, to Arizona; where they were both arrested. Evelyn was released because she couldn’t be identified under the alias she used. Evelyn was present during many of the crimes committed by the man declared Public Enemy #1; including the ST. Paul shootout that took place after his escape from jail.

Billie was arrested for harboring the fugitive. Dillinger watched her arrest from a about a block away.  She was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison; she served two years and a day. After her release, she traveled with John’s family and told stories of her life. She would later settle down again and live the rest of her days out on the Indian Reservation on which she was born.

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