Sunday, July 22, 2012
Dillinger shot July 22, 1934
1934 – Bank robber John Dillinger (pictured), whose exploits were sensationalized across the United States, was shot dead by police in an ambush outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago. John Herbert Dillinger, Jr. (June 22, 1903 – July 22, 1934) was an American bank robber of German descent in the Depression-era United States. He was charged with, but never convicted of, the murder of an East Chicago, Indiana, police officer during a shoot-out. This was his only alleged homicide, and was likely not his action. His gang robbed two dozen banks and four police stations. Dillinger escaped from jail twice. 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.
Dillinger was ask, "Why do you rob banks"? He replyed, "Because that's where the money is".