Charles Makley was Framed!


If you've wandered on to this website, you're probably looking for something related to the 1930’s outlaws, John Dillinger, “Handsome Harry” Pierpont and “Baby Face” Nelson, all former associates of “Fat Charley” Makley.  Hopefully you won't be disappointed.

Originally this website was started to tell the story of how Charles Makley was framed for the murder of Jesse Sarber, the former sheriff of Lima, Ohio in 1934. The Lima prosecuting attorney, Sarber’s widow and some folks in St. Marys, Ohio all did a pretty good job of rewriting history.  

Even Makley himself, would change the facts to suit the circumstances. He was charismatic, clever, and the instigator of a great many myths about himself. However it turns out that some of those far fetched stories are actually the truth. And because of that, this website has taken on a life of its own.    

Charles Omer Makley lived quite the life long before he ever met up with John Dillinger.  He covered a lot of ground, spanning the country from coast to coast. His story is, and continues to be, a fascinating tale of adventure, deception, love that was lost, and maybe in the end a little bit of redemption.  

I hope you’ll agree.

You made one mistake, buddy, but you’re lucky, it turned out O. K.”

     Charles Makley, October 1933


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Coming Attractions:

I had fully intended to relate the  tale of the Cannon Ball Safe from the Linn Grove, Indiana Bank which  Charley robbed. Twice. But as they say about good intentions...

I've happened on to something more pertinent to the overall Dillinger story. It appears that John Dillinger's Dayton attorney, John E. Egan played a key role in the Lima, Ohio jail break of John Dillinger. At this point, I have an interview Charley gave shortly before he died and information from the Lima newspaper, both placing Egan in Lima a day or so before  the break out.

So if any of you have information on John E. "Jack" Egan that you would be willing to share, it would be greatly appreciated.


A"Safe"Safe...the story behind New Knoxville's Cannonball Safe.

At the end of the 19th century, the Mosler Company of Hamilton, Ohio was producing the most popular burglar-resistant safe at the time. It was nicknamed "the Cannonball"  because of its innovative round door design and the fact that it was far heavier than other safes of the same size.  

Earlier versions of "Cannonball" safes had cemented it's reputation by thwarting a host of bank robbers, including Jesse James. By the time Herman Kuhlman decided to open the Peoples Savings Bank of New Knoxville, Ohio in 1910, the purchase of a "Cannonball" safe was one of the best ways to assure folks that their money would be safe and secure. 

Learn more about "Cannonball" safes, the people who made them and the burglars who tried to crack them on Sunday, August 28th, @ 1:00 PM. DM. Testa, an avid history buff of the early 20th century and writer, (who happens to have her own "Cannonball" safe) will be on hand at the New Knoxville Historical Society to give a brief presentation and answer questions.


Diaper Money, A Tale of Two Robberies, Billy Miller, Billy Miller - The Conclusion, Long Ride to the Ridge, A Bank Robber  But No Murderer, The Players, A Homecoming of Sorts, When You Hear  Hoofbeats and What is Truth but Compromise are copyrighted. They cannot  be reproduced in part or in full without the author's permission.

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