Bootleggers, Bandits, and Badges: From Dry Times to Hard Times in Dayton, Ohio

“Bootleggers, Bandits, and Badges: From Dry Times to Hard Times in Dayton, Ohio” is now open! Chief Rudy Wurstner is one of the three principal figures. He represents the “Badge” and is one of the many police officers to be featured. The other two principal figures are Chicago bootlegging mob boss Bugs Moran, whose crime career ended in Dayton, and the infamous bandit, John Dillinger, who was taken down in Dayton.

The draw for an exhibit like this is always the gangsters – notorious bootleggers and bandits. Stories about these two law-breakers and others have to be told for they are the reason policing exists. But the goal is for visitors to leave the exhibit learning far more about law officers Pfauhl, Gross, McCully, Rice, Post, Grundish, Yendes, Sammons and many more….

Regrettably, history affords national notoriety to a killer like Dillinger. Hopefully, visitors will leave this exhibit realizing that the man who deserves national legendary acclaim is more properly Chief Wurstner. And, hopefully, a few other law officers of the time may receive some overdue local recognition as well. The exhibit will remain open through 2023.