Preacher’s Baby Girl / Gangster’s Wife


A reading of historical newspapers from the golden age of yellow journalism.

The Trial and Travails of Norma Brighton Millen

On Sunday, I will be presenting the final chapter of the Dillinger saga, which I recorded from the main stage of the Biograph Theater, where the scoundrel John Dillinger watched his last gangster picture.

Today’s episode takes place around the same time that the Dillinger story began reaching its climax in the first half of 1934.

It’s the story of a young girl, the daughter of a prominent minister and graduate of a fine finishing school, who fell into the wrong crowd and married a man who would be executed for the crime of the gang he was trying to build.

The papers never said, but I can’t help but think the Millen-Faber Gang fancied themselves to be the Dillingers of the East Coast.

The story grabbed my attention because of the way Norma Brighton Millen presented herself after her capture.

Is she the innocent dupe as she proclaimed? Or was she using her pretty face and sophisticated air to disguise her inner bad girl and get off easy? I’d like to hear your thoughts, so leave me some comments on my Facebook page after you listen.


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Dillinger’s Bloody Escape


A Reading from America’s Historic Newspapers

The Gangster Chronicles

Volume 1, Chapter 1

Dillinger’s Bloody Escape

May to October 1933

In this first volume of “The Gangster Chronicles,” we will follow the trail of terror blazed by one of America’s most famous, perhaps most beloved, gangsters, John Dillinger. From the time he was paroled from the Michigan City prison in May, 1933, to the time he was gunned down by police on a Chicago sidewalk in front of the Biograph Theater 14 months later, John Herbert Dillinger was one of America’s most notorious scoundrels. Chapter One will detail some of Dillinger’s earliest known robberies and his murderous escape from the Lima jail.  We plan to tell the Dillinger saga in five chapters. After this first one, you can expect a new installment at 7 p.m. on the first Sunday of the month. We’re considering the options for Volume 2 and are welcome to suggestions. Please email us at with your thoughts.

Visit for a slideshow, clippings and drawings.

Music by Audionautix. Theme song by Josh Woodward.


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