I Give My Love
Evelyn Frechette went on a U.S. speaking tour from 1936 to 1941. As John Dillinger's girlfriend, she had a story to tell. She transformed her tramatic experiences in the carnival atmosphere of the "Crime Does Not Pay" show. Her life story became a light concoction, like the cotton candy her audiences carried into her talks. It was Evelyn Frechette all the way. She never asked for pity, and was tough to the end of her life.
Evelyn Frechette was a loyal companion to John Dillinger until her arrest in March 1934, and subsequent trial, conviction and sentencing for harboring a federal fugitive.
Evelyn Frechette was born on September 15, 1907 in Wisconsin. She was a member of the Menominee tribe and and had a blended heritage of French and American Indian. As a child, she attended St. Anthony's Catholic Mission School in Neopit, Wisconsin. She later left the reservation to receive her secondary education at the Riggs School at Flandreau, South Dakota, from which she graduated.
But education didn't help her find work and she was forced to take whatever employment she could find. She migrated through Wisconsin into Chicago. She was married to Welton Spark, who was imprisoned for post office robbery, and went under the name "Billie" Spark.
She was first identified as Dillinger's companion by Matt Leach, Captain of the Indiana State Police located in Indianapolis. Her first experience in a shootout with Dillinger occurred in November, 1933, as the two were leaving the office of Dr. Eye in Chicago. After Dillinger's accomplice, John "Red" Hamilton shot and killed Sergeant William Shanley on December 8, 1933, the gang left Chicago. Evelyn traveled with Dillinger in a route that would take them through Florida and into Tucson, Arizona. There, they were both arrested on January 25, 1934, along with other members of the group known as the "First Dillinger Gang." They were Russell Clark, Charles Makley, and Harry Pierpont. The women arrested with Frechette were Opal Long and Mary Kinder. Evelyn was not identified in Tucson and was released on a bond under the alias of "Ann Martin."