Thursday, February 7, 2013

American History: A Famous American Criminal

200px-John_Dillinger_mug_shot John Herbert Dillinger, Jr. (June 22, 1903 – July 22, 1934) was an American bank robber in the Depression-era United States. His gang robbed two dozen banks and four police stations. Dillinger escaped from jail twice. Dillinger was also charged with, but never convicted of, the murder of an East Chicago, Indiana, police officer during a shoot-out, Dillinger's only homicide charge.

In 1933–34, seen in retrospect as the heyday of the Depression-era outlaw, Dillinger was the most notorious of all, standing out even among more violent criminals such as Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Bonnie and Clyde. (Decades later, the first major book about '30s gangsters was titled The Dillinger Days.) Media reports in his time were spiced with exaggerated accounts of Dillinger's bravado and daring and his colorful personality. The government demanded federal action, and J. Edgar Hoover developed a more sophisticated Federal Bureau of Investigation as a weapon against organized crime and used Dillinger and his gang as his campaign platform to launch the FBI.

After evading police in four states for almost a year, Dillinger was wounded and returned to his father's home to recover. He returned to Chicago in July 1934 and met his end at the hands of police and federal agents who were informed of his whereabouts by Ana Cumpănaş (the owner of the brothel where Dillinger sought refuge at the time). On July 22, the police and Division of Investigation closed in on the Biograph Theater. Federal agents, led by Melvin Purvis and Samuel P. Cowley, moved to arrest him as he left the theater. He pulled a weapon and attempted to flee but was shot three times (four according to some historians) and killed.


And In A Tucson Hotel…

A fire broke out at the Hotel Congress in Tucson where members of the Dillinger gang were staying. Forced to leave their luggage behind, they were rescued through a window and down a fire truck ladder. Charles Makley and Russell Clark tipped a couple of firemen $12 to climb back up and retrieve the luggage, affording the firefighters a good look at several members of Dillinger's gang. One of them, William Benedict, later recognized Makley, Pierpont, and Ed Shouse while thumbing through a copy of True Detective and informed the police, who tracked Makley's luggage to a second hideout. Makley was the first to be arrested. Clark was the next one to be arrested at the hideout. To arrest Pierpont, the police staged a routine traffic stop and lured him to the police station, where they took him by surprise and arrested him. Dillinger was the last one to be arrested.They found them in possession of over $25,000 in cash and several automatic weapons. Tucson celebrates the historic arrest with an annual "Dillinger Days" festival, the highlight of which is a reenactment.,

Now, stay clear of the bad guys!





  1. Yep .. don't like bad guys at all. Well, I do like to read about them at times.

  2. Always enjoy the interesting stories of the bad guys, thanks for sharing.

  3. Huh, evaded the police and then caught while the authorities were saving their lives.

  4. They just don't make bad guys like they used to - great history lesson!


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