Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22 - John Dillinger

On July 22, 1934, serial bank robber John Dillinger was identified and shot by agents of the Bureau of Investigation (later called the FBI) outside Chicago’s Biograph Theater. A thief since his teenage years in Indiana, Dillinger and his gang robbed 24 banks and four police stations. He was also charged with the murder of an Indiana policeman and escaped from two jails. Of the many violent criminals who arose in the early 1930s (including Bonnie and Clyde), Dillinger was especially notorious as “Public Enemy No. 1,” attracting intense media attention for the number of his crimes, his recklessness in committing them (including gun battles), his eluding of authorities and his brash personality. In May 1934 he underwent crude plastic surgery to avoid detection. It didn’t work. After watching the movie “Manhattan Melodrama” with a brothel madam and another prostitute, he was shot dead in an alley near the Biograph, which the Bureau had staked out. A crowd gathered around his body, and several people dipped handkerchiefs into his blood for souvenirs.

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