Bang! John Dillinger's pistol hits the block
Gangster John Dillinger's derringer goes up for auction after Johnny Depp's new movie about his life, 'Public Enemies,' brings in millions at the box office.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Legendary bank robber John Dillinger is becoming even more notorious thanks to Johnny Depp, who portrays him in the new movie "Public Enemies." That resurgence in Dillinger's public profile could mean tidy profits for a pair of gun owners later this month.
Dillinger's derringer, a miniature pistol that was found in the outlaw's sock when he was arrested in 1934, is going up for auction on July 25 and is expected to fetch $45,000.
Meanwhile, the gun that felled Dillinger could bring in $12,000 when it goes on the block on July 28 - one day after the 75th anniversary of his death.
Dillinger became famous during the Depression for his brazen bank robberies and his knack for avoiding capture. His life and criminal career are now the subject of "Public Enemies," which stars Depp and Marion Cotillard, and grossed more than $25 million at the box office when it was released last week.
The Remington .41 Rimfire "double derringer" was taken from Dillinger when he and members of his gang were arrested in Tucson, Ariz., in 1934, according to a description posted on the Web site of Heritage Auction Galleries, which is offering the pistol.
After his arrest in Arizona, Dillinger was flown to Indiana to face trial for murder. But he managed to escape by carving a pistol out of wood. It was the second time that Dillinger escaped from prison, but his freedom was short-lived.
Five weeks later, on July 22, 1934, Dillinger was gunned down in Chicago by federal agents, including Capt. Timothy O'Neil of the East Chicago Police Department.
O'Neil's gun, which fired two of the shots that killed Dillinger, is being auctioned by Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. The .38 Colt Army Special is estimated to garner bids between $8,000 and $12,000.
The sheriff who originally arrested Dillinger later gave the Derringer to Evelyn Jenney, described by Heritage Auction Galleries as "an attractive young widow."
Jenney then gave it to her son, William Jenney, in 1949. A decade later he sold the weapon to an unnamed party, who is now auctioning off the derringer.