Bank robber John Dillinger - a babysitter?

This is a 1934 file photo of desperado John Dillinger near Moore, Ind. (AP Photo, File)
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MOORESVILLE, Ind. (WTHR) - Eighty-five years after John Dillinger's death, the infamous bank robber is making headlines again.

Family members are preparing to exhume Dillinger's body at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis. That's reviving the facts, the fiction, and the myths of his gangster life. A life that one Mooresville woman said included a little babysitting.

"Grandma laughed one time and said, 'It's kind of funny you didn't know that John Dillinger used to babysit you'," Barbara Barlow said. "I said, 'You're kidding me.' She said no."

Barbara Barlow's grandparents knew John Dillinger before he became the most wanted man in America. (WTHR/Rich Van Wyk)

So yes, Barbara Barlow grew up learning about the life, the lore, the legend of John Dillinger.

"My granddad said he was a real nice young man," she said. "He came over our house and spent a lot of time."

And this is a man robbing banks?

"At the time, that hadn't happened yet," Barbara answered.

Many of her family stories are about a young man from Mooresville before he connected with a rough crowd.

There's the one about Dillinger, her grandma and her grocery store.

"So she owned the store," Barbara explained. "When she closed the store, she'd tuck the money in her bra. Of course John knew that" and his new friends tested him.

"That was his challenge to rob grandma one night. He refused to do it," she said.

But not many years later, Dillinger was Public Enemy Number One. He robbed banks and was accused of gunning down anyone in his way. Barbara doesn't believe that.

"Granddad said talking to him, he swore he never killed anybody but one in self-defense. That's what my grandfather said," she explained. "Lot about what they said about him, my grandparents say was untrue."

But John Dillinger was a bad guy?

"Yes," Barbara answered. "He became one, yes."

Dillinger was cornered and killed by police on a Chicago street when Barbara was barely three years old. If she could meet him today, she would have lots of questions.

"I would say, 'Tell me the truth and how much of it was made up'," Barbara said. "I would love to know the truth, but I never will."

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