Saturday, February 13, 2010

Who Was Harry A. Wells?

An enigmatic pair of coroner's snapshots I bought on eBay of a certain Harry A. Wells, deceased.
The first morgue shot is badly flaked, but the bullet hole in his chest is plain.
The typewritten notice on the back of the morgue photo, indicating that Wells was a Dillinger associate, doesn't match the rest of the caption. The only Harry Wells I've been able to associate with Dillinger (based on very, very cursory research) was an Indiana bank teller the gang robbed, not a member of the gang.
Apparently Harry was sitting on that short concrete wall when Officer Tom Cardwell shot him.


  1. I have a number of books with cororner photos and crime scene shots fromt he 40s and 50s. amazing stuff and just screams material for story telling.

    These are really cool. it looks like the cop just popped him for no reason other than sitting on a stoop.

  2. This was Harry Wells the notorious loiterer. Dillinger would have him sit around on streets near banks they wanted to rob and annoy the beat cops with bad jokes and religious hymns as a distraction for the caper.

    He had it coming.

  3. what i love is the, eh, insouciance of the guy checkin him out. you know, hand in pocket plus a hat.

    hey!!! that's like a french word, right?!

  4. Scott, what kind of searches are you putting in eBay to find this stuff?

    (BTW, I apologize for this ahead of time:

  5. And hey, what about the casual chat unfolding behind the body? .... I have been to open-casket funerals, and I am always blown away how casual we all get after a short while, talking casually four feet away from someone's corpse.

  6. Being English I have no idea who he is...although I have heard of Dillinger of course.

    Where's your short story? Scrolling down. Tally Ho! On we go!

  7. I can't stop looking at the photo of him sprawled on the lawn. You should host a contest for stories inspired by the photos.