- NAME: John Dillinger
- OCCUPATION: Thief, Organized Crime Boss
- BIRTH DATE: June 22, 1903
- DEATH DATE: July 22, 1934
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Indianapolis, Indiana
- PLACE OF DEATH: Chicago, Illinois
- Full Name: John Herbert Dillinger
- Nickname: "Public Enemy No. 1"
- AKA: John Dillinger
- AKA: Johnnie Dillinger
- Nickname: "Jackrabbit"
- AKA: Jimmy Lawrence
Best Known For
John Dillinger was an infamous gangster and bank robber during the Great Depression, and was know as "Jackrabbit" and "Public Enemy No. 1."
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Several people came running toward the bank, including police officer Howard Wagner. He hid behind a car and started firing at Van Meter who was standing as lookout in front of the bank. After pushing off a few townspeople who had come to help, he shot back at Wagner, killing him. A shop owner brandishing a pistol hit Nelson as he came out of the bank, but the bulletproof vest he was wearing saved him. He spun around, shooting wildly, and wounded two pedestrians. The shop owner backed off,
only to be replaced by a teenager who jumped on Nelson's back, beating him with his fists. Nelson threw him off through a window and fired a shot, hitting the boy's hand.
As Dillinger and the others were exiting the bank with hostages, police and citizens fired at them. Most of their bullets hit the hostages. The gun battle raged on as the gang members tried to make it to their getaway car. Van Meter was shot in the head as a gang member dragged him into the car. The bullet, a .22 caliber, entered his forehead near the hairline and burrowed under his scalp, exiting six inches out the back. The total take on the bank robbery netted each gang member only $4,800. It was later revealed that the unprecedented reception by the fair citizens of South Bend was spurred on by their greed for the reward money.
It's not known for sure how John Dillenger met Anna Sage, also known as Ana Cumpanas. Some stories say their relationship went back several years. Others say they met in the summer of 1934 through his girlfriend, Polly Hamilton, who worked for Sage. Sage was born in a small village in Romania and moved to the United States with her husband in 1909, settling in East Chicago, Indiana. Soon after the birth of her son, her marriage broke up and she supported herself as a prostitute and later as a madam for mobster "Big Bill" Subotich. Later, after Big Bill's death, she opened up her own brothel.
For a time she was under investigation for immigration violation by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and charged as an "alien of low moral character." At some point during her time in East Chicago, she had become involved with one of the city's police detectives, Martin Zarkovich, either as a friend or romantic interest. After Sage told Zarkovich of her problems with the INS, he arranged a meeting with FBI agent Melvin Purvis.
Purvis and Sage met on July 19, 1934. He promised to do all he could to stop her deportation proceedings, but said that he couldn't guarantee anything. She told Purvis that she, Dillinger and Hamilton sometimes went to the Marboro Theater to see a movie, and that they might be going again soon. She agreed to work with Purvis and keep him informed as to when Dillinger might come to her home. Purvis assembled a team of FBI agents and hired guns from police forces from outside the area because he felt that the Chicago police had been compromised and couldn't be trusted.
On Sunday, July 22, 1934, at 5 p.m., Anna Sage told FBI agents that she and Dillinger were planning to go to the movies, and were planning to either go to the Biograph or to the Marboro theater.
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