Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Gangsters, Wisconsin Style

News you can use

The long-awaited movie, “Public Enemies” that was filmed in several Wisconsin locations last year opens in theaters July 1, 2009. An adaptation of notorious gangsters from the era of the great depression and Prohibition, the movie features the popular Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, America’s first Public Enemy Number One, and Christian Bale as the government agent in hot pursuit, Melvin Purvis.

To mark the occasion of the movie’s opening, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is encouraging visits to the many locations used to film action scenes. You are invited to take it on the lam and go on a Wisconsin gangster tour.

Wisconsin was a favored getaway destination for Chicago criminals in the 1920’s and 1930’s like Dillinger and Al Capone, thanks to our wooded and rural landscapes. The Department of Tourism suggests a Northern and Southern tour of Wisconsin sites that served as gangster hideouts and were used to film, “Public Enemies.”

The Southern tour includes Milwaukee, Racine, Madison, Darlington, Columbus, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin Dells, Lake Delton, Oshkosh, and Lake Geneva.

Numerous scenes were shot at the Milwaukee County Historical Society Building. One of them was, appropriately, a bank robbery sequence. The downtown building was a bank before it became the Historical Society took it over.

Filming took place at the state Capitol building. There were also street scenes shot in Madison.

During 1933, Dillinger robbed a bank in a building that is now the Racine Art Museum. That portion of the movie was filmed at the Oshkosh Masonic Temple.

The entire downtown area of Columbus was transformed into Greencastle, Indiana, the site of a 1933 bank robbery by Dillinger.

A wild car chase was shot near the popular Ishnala Supper Club in Wisconsin Dells. Some night scenes featuring gunshots and screeching cars took place at the Mirror Lake State Park in Lake Delton

The Hotel Rogers in Beaver Dam was chosen to be filmed as the spot where Dillinger was captured.

Visit the Lafayette County Courthouse in Darlington to see where Johnny Depp was filmed on trial for the movie. The courthouse was used to represent the actual location of Dillinger’s arraignment, the Lake County Courthouse in Crown Point, Indiana.

Check out the Watersedge and the French Country Inn, both located in Lake Geneva. The Watersedge was used often as a hideout by Bugs Moran. Moran, Dillinger, Capone, and Babyface Nelson all hid out at the French Country Inn, known as the Lake Como Hotel at the time.

The Oshkosh Public Museum will have an exhibition, The Era of Public Enemies: A Wave of Crime in a Troubled Time that will run from June 27 through October 18, 2009.

Oshkosh's EAA Airventure Museum has, as part of its permanent collection, the 1929 Ford Tri-Motor aircraft seen in the movie as the plane that officials flew Dillinger from Chicago to Arizona. Even more exciting than seeing the plane is flying on it. You can book a flight on the nine-passenger plane by visiting the EAA Airventure Museum website.

There are also historic gangster sites in the northern part of the state in Manitowish Waters, Couderay, Lac du Flambeau, Minocqua, Hayward, Mercer, Hurley, and Miscuano Island.

For more information about Wisconsin’s Gangster Tour, please visit the Department of Tourism website at

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