I was born and raised in southern Wisconsin. It’s where a significant amount of John Dillinger’s activity took place. As a young boy I became enamored with all the history here. It’s incredible to be able to access all these places in such short order and relive history the way I do every day. From the bank robberies in Kenosha and Racine to the remote hideouts of the north, it happened right here.
In the early 1960’s my parents always took our family on summer vacations to the Northwood’s and it was during one such summer we vacationed next to Little Bohemia on the shore of Little Star lake in Manitowish Waters (where the Dillinger gang had the infamous shootout with the F.B.I on April 23, 1934) and it was then that my interest was born in this pursuit to write Billie’s life story.
As a young boy I was always interested in history and being able to see Little Bohemia when I was so young and impressionable really had an influence on me. It would however, take decades before this interest developed into the desire to do serious research on Evelyn Billie Frechette. Later in life I moved from southern Wisconsin and put down roots in Wausau (North Central Wisconsin). Wausau has put me at ground zero for my writing on Evelyn "Billie" Frechette.
Evelyn was born in Neopit, WI. in the fall of 1907. Neopit, and the Menominee Indian Reservation are very close to Wausau which allows me to do research and interview her descendants and other tribal members that knew her as a child on the reservation. She’s a fascinating woman and continues to amaze me as I research her life’s story.