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John Dillinger - public enemy number one

John Dillinger - a new type of criminal, are widely used technical achievements of civilization. It is actively used in automobiles and one of the first to introduce a system of capture of hostages during bank robberies. For a long time, Dillinger was a headache the entire police of America, managing to make the shoots of the well protected prison. His adventures and death in many ways reminiscent of the story of a romantic couple robbers - Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.

His popular "public enemy number one", John Herbert Dillinger was required for the most part good looking, humor, flirty conversation with an elderly lady in the banks that he robbed, as well as the reputation of a sexual man - he seemed to have not spent a single night in bed without women adored him. The greatest interest is the question: why a man who never killed innocent bystanders, and even, perhaps, not be held personally responsible for the deaths of police officers during the shootings, were so serious "public enemy," more dangerous than Al Capone's thugs?

John Dillinger was born on June 28, 1903 in Indianapolis in the family respectable businessman and board member of the parish council of Charles Dillinger. Dillinger's father was married second marriage, and, apparently, the education of children was not his calling. John, which is not very favored stepmother was left to himself. In the footsteps of his father, he did not go, even at an early age to find traction to break the law.

In high school, John was known as a tough guy. At the age of nine years old boy managed to create a band called "12 villains." And it was not just a game - after a short time, John caught stealing coal. Small hope to send Dillinger on the right path loomed in 1919 when, leaving school, he became a mechanic. This profession he liked, he loved mechanisms and good judge of them. Later, he used this knowledge when choosing and preparing vehicles for crime.

Meanwhile, Dillinger's family moved to live in Morrisville. John and here continued to show bad inclinations. The father repeatedly beat him for refusing to work on the family farm, built elder Dillinger in 1920 near Morrisville.

When one day in 1923, John's father refused to give his car, he stole someone else's, but was caught by police, released on bail and fearing his father's anger, home did not return.

In the same year, John is going to serve in the Navy on the cruiser "Utah", but soon deserts. Back in Morrisville, John was arrested for stealing chickens, but the sentence was canceled. The next year, falling in love with a teenage girl, Dillinger ends with the bachelor life. He moved to the home of a young wife and her parents. Under their influence, John made another attempt to live honestly - Draper got a job at a furniture factory and became a member of the local baseball club. But enjoying family happiness did not last long. Soon, Dillinger and his new friends decided to rob a local department store. Arrested John promised leniency for confession. John "split" and received 10 years in prison, which he obviously did not expect.

As with many well-known criminals, the prison was for Dillinger school life. There he met Harry Pierpoint - the person who suggested to John scope of application of his uncommon energy. Scope, however, turned out to be banal - armed robbery of banks. With Pierpoint and other prisoners was John for a list of banks in the Midwest, which was worth robbing. Here, in prison, he looked after and future associates. He mastered and effective method of robbing banks, developed by the Prussian Baron Lamm: planning military operations by type - exploration, taking into account the time and check departure routes.

For good behavior Dillinger was released on parole in 1933. America has become quite different. Postwar prosperity was replaced by the most severe economic crisis. Millions of unemployed and homeless people, queues at soup kitchens and doss houses, desperate people outside labor exchanges ... But Dillinger is not scared. He has already chosen his path.

When he was released, the first thing Dillinger got a gun and amassed a gang. It included Harry Pierpoint, John Hamilton and several others. The gang start to "work" in September 1933. Consistently they robbed a small bank, two supermarkets, a plant and another bank. The first robbery, John made the jump across the almost five-meter barrier in the manner of his favorite actor Douglas Fairbanks.

Four months after the beginning of the robberies the police figured out and arrested the gang leader. During the trip, he behaved like a car in the village Blefton shot down a goose. But it is not passed by, and out of the car and began to apologize to the hostess knocked birds. She demanded compensation. Dillinger refused to pay. The woman offered to settle the dispute call the local sheriff Jesse Sarbera and foolishly agreed Dillinger! Sheriff at a glance recognize the man whose photograph along with the announcement about the search for a long time hung in his office. He immediately put quite bewildered by gangster surprises under lock and ordered an urgent phone call from FBI headquarters in central Washington.

And then there was what village policeman had not expected: instead of the FBI armored vehicle designed for the transport of prisoners, appeared in Bleftone blue "Chrysler" with three members of the Dillinger gang! Around 10 pm, when Jess Sarber waited impatiently in his office the arrival of the promised FBI escort, went to his gangsters Harry Pierpoint, Russell Clark (young but experienced robber), Charlie Maclay more like a bank director. The three had the police officers and demanded a meeting with the prisoners Dillinger. The local sheriff appeared suspicious and wanted to see documents confirming the authority of "officers". Over its suspicions sheriff paid with his life - Pierpoint shot him. Taking the keys, the bandits found the camera Dillinger and released him.

Now Dillinger gang and Pierpoint starts vengeance host Indiana. To get weapons, they attack even at police stations. State Police will organize a general roundup, but Dillinger was hiding in Chicago and New Year sends police chief Indiana mocking gift - the book "How to become a detective." Here in Chicago, the bandits joined Billy Frechet, friend John, and his wife Mary Kinder Pierpoint.

Another armed robbery in Dillinger makes Grinkastle. And suddenly - an unexpected illness. At the doctor identified Dillinger, he narrowly escapes arrest. The car on which he left the chase, police bullets pierced in a dozen places.

To cope with the disease, Dillinger continues a series of robberies in different states. Objects are the same - the banks. Another puncture - and this time the culprit was arrested in Tucson (Arizona). A cause of the puncture has become ... his generosity. The "Congress" hotel, where we stayed gang members, there was a fire. One of the fire, pulled out of the fire traveling bags and suitcases gangsters, they gave $ 12 "for tea". Firefighter fire victims remembered generous and saw in the newspaper portraits of wanted criminals, immediately recognized them. Fastest police acted Indiana. While in Arizona has only subscribed to a warrant of arrest of the gang members, investigators Indiana already loaded Dillinger on a plane to deliver to their staff and tried for murder. In Chicago, Dillinger met a convoy of 85 police cars and 13 motorcycles 12 - consistent with the romantic gangster fame and popularity among the poor, who saw in it a "people's avenger" rich. Thousands of people poured into the streets in the hope of seeing their idol.

In Indiana Dillinger expected sheriff woman Lillian Holley, who succeeded his murdered husband. Holly and the prosecutor were willing to enter into a legal battle with the best known at the time the criminal America. John Dillinger was placed in a hard-labor prison Crown Point with such precautions as sentenced to death the day before the execution. Bound hand and foot, he was in the cage, six illuminated by powerful searchlights. Three guards with guns at the ready watched his every move. Location Dillinger carefully concealed from the public. Security was transferred to the barracks and did not communicate with the outside world. One who dared to suggest that Dillinger would soon be free, and do not have time to complete the preparation of the prosecutor of the indictment, commits a new bank robbery, would have been considered crazy.

And yet, two weeks after the placement of Dillinger in Crown Point was just that! After that, the American press has openly declared that Dillinger accomplices to be found in the government and in the police manual. Government threw the reproach that the government and police of the simple instinct of self-preservation can not allow an open process against the Dillinger gang. They are so deeply permeated by corruption, is now forced to save at all costs gangsters.

Meanwhile, Dillinger arrested accomplices, to get him out of prison in Lima, Pierpoint, McCloy and Clark, transferred to a prison in Kolombos (Ohio). At a court soon Pierpoint and McCloy were sentenced to death, and Clark to life imprisonment. This time, Dillinger was powerless. Handsome Pierpoint said goodbye to life in the electric chair, and McCloy was shot while trying to escape.

The glory and authority among criminals Dillinger were such that a gang of new people to fill it was not difficult. Among them was and Lester Giles, better known by the nickname Baby Face Nelson. However, he preferred to call themselves Big George Nelson. Unlike other members of the gang, who killed only in case of danger of arrest, Baby Nelson killed with pleasure, and with difficulty kept from the use of weapons at the slightest provocation.

In the end, in the resolution of the situation I had to intervene to President Roosevelt. He instructs the Attorney General of the United States Cummings to take special measures to eliminate the Dillinger gang. Cummings convene a meeting in which, in addition to FBI chief Hoover's ability to participate and famous prosecutors and forensic United States.

As a result of this meeting Dillinger was declared "a state criminal Room" and together with his gang outlawed. All FBI agents and police were instructed to conduct a "hunt without mercy" on a gang of bank robbers! This meant that from now on any police officer in the United States could not prevent shoot anyone who looked like Dillinger or someone from the members of his gang.

Dillinger, however, confident. His crimes are becoming bolder. Finally, he comes to the idea of the hostage-taking at robbing banks. He first used this tactic during a robbery in Sioux Falls, during which Baby Nelson shot a policeman. Taking hostages, Dillinger put them on the steps of cars under the guise of human beings as human shields.

Dillinger continued to rob banks. After another robbery and chase crazy he was injured. Together with one of his men and his mistress fled to St. Paul, a favorite place of gangsters. He rented an apartment for himself and his mistress, but suspicious neighbors called the FBI. After the shooting, in which Dillinger was wounded in the leg, he barely managed to escape.

Hunted like an animal, Dillinger decided to take a desperate step - April 5, 1934, he came to the aged father in Morrisville. Father and son forgave each other all past grievances and staged a secret party for family and friends, but this time the police searched the family of the family farm. FBI and it never occurred to John dares to such audacity - to hide in the house of his father.

Later, the father of Dillinger made this statement: "I - John Dillinger's father, and I feel that John should be forgiven for all that he has done And I do not think he did as much as he is credited with, but I believe.. that if he were given a chance, it would be corrected in the bosom of the family, and we talked about it on Sunday for lunch. When we were getting ready to sit down at the table, we did not know that John would come, he fell out of the blue. "

Billy John Frechet introduced the family as his future wife. Four days later, she was arrested for harboring a criminal, and he again escaped the snares Dillinger FBI.

Late at night April 13, 1934, he and his new accomplice Homer Van Meter frantically drove the car north to somewhere restock weapons. In the town of Warsaw (Indiana), they found that the police station is guarded by only one on duty. The bandits broke into the police station, the policeman on duty was hit four times in the head and some of the weapons seized from the site of the arsenal.

April 20, along with members of his gang and several young girls having fun Dillinger in a boarding house "Little Bohemia" on the shores of lakes Little Star (Wisconsin). This resort town was perfect for hiding, as the holiday season holiday has not yet come. Dillinger, Hamilton and several gangsters were in the main building, and Baby Nelson and Van Meter with the girls housed in a cottage near the lake.

Resort owner quickly realized that for guests to come for him, and informed the police. April 22, 1934 the FBI received guidance from their information confidential informants that Dillinger and several bandits hiding in the villa pxtnosti month class on the shore of Lake Michigan. Melvin Purvis, the FBI chief in Chicago Branch, immediately sent to the address of the car with four policemen. At night, with the lights extinguished and muffled motors, they arrived at the hotel, and holding guns at the ready, began to surround him.

Suddenly three men appeared in the doorway of the hotel. At the same moment the police opened fire. In response to the roof of the hotel began to beat a heavy machine gun. The shooting lasted only a few minutes, but in the dark, the police did not dare longer pop out of the armored car. Only at dawn, when it became clear that no one, they decided to storm the two-story house on the roof of the hotel. They expected an eerie discovery: three people, shot them, turned out to be harmless hotel guests who did not have nothing to do with a gang. As for Dillinger and his associates, they managed to escape safely.

At great risk wounded Hamilton transported to the doctor Joseph Moran. As a surgeon, he served gangsters wounded. Moran tried to save Hamilton, but could not.

Despite the loss in the band, Dillinger was still a bone in the throat of the police a dozen states. For his capture was promised a reward to the first ten thousand dollars, and then to twenty thousand - a huge sum for those times. Photos gangster hung in public places. Police learned them better than the pictures of famous movie stars. Dillinger, however, has organized another robbery in his home state of Indiana, in which Baby-Face killed another policeman. Thus the total number of Dillinger's gang victims has reached 10 people. Of the bandits was wounded Van Meter only. He survived, and later died in another skirmish with the police.

Gradually, targeted search and FBI criminal blockade forces began to bear fruit. But as long as the boss of the Chicago FBI office conducted the largest of all known hunting for criminals John Dillinger here in Chicago, just a few blocks from the main apartment Purvis did plastic surgery! On Norts-Crow Ford Avenue, 2309 of criminal №1, whose face was known throughout America better than those movie stars, and whose fingerprints knew by heart even rural policemen, for $ 10,000, "sculpted" the other person.

On the instructions of Dillinger's lawyer Luiz Piquet found doctors who agreed to a 5 thousand dollars to make a gangster plastic surgery. It was William Howard Leser and Cassidy. May 27, they operated on Dillinger. During the operation, the gangster was almost killed. When he recovered and was able to look at myself in the mirror, I almost shot Surgeons - because he did not like the result. After that, Dr. Leser decided not to destroy the papillary line Dillinger surgically and carefully etched the skin on the fingertips acid.

While operating heal scarring, Dillinger released a short beard and dyed hair. At the end of the old gangster boss remained only black evil eye. Even close friends who knew about the operation, shook their heads in disbelief, first glancing at his new face. Do not be so familiar to them that look and this short, slightly stooped figure, they would not have believed that before them is really John Dillinger.

To arrange a police check, as well as to fill up the empty cashier Dillinger with two accomplices June 30, 1934 robbed a bank in South Bend, Indiana, but police quickly established the "handwriting" that was operating here opyat-taki his gang. The American public was again agitated. New attack showed that all the promises of the authorities, all hopes of "hunt without mercy" assurances - all this is not worth a penny. As if deliberately taunting the police with a handful of gangsters Dillinger freed former gang member Clyde Barrow of the penitentiary in Huntsville.

After parting with surgeons, Dillinger with his new mistress waitress Polly Hamilton was hiding in the northern neighborhoods of Chicago. He wanted to collect a sum of money to go to Mexico and live there. Under the name of Jimmy Lawrence Dillinger rented an apartment in the Romanian emigrant Anna Sage. But she was afraid of the police, as had expired residence permit. In order to earn the favor of the police, the owner had reported on suspicious lodger.

July 20, 1934 in the Office of Melvin Purvis was the mistress of the Pension Anna Sage and innocent, friendly smile said that the day after tomorrow night at the cinema "Biograph" on Lincoln Avenue should meet with John Dillinger, they get together to watch a movie "Manhattan Melodrama". In addition they will have another friend of Dillinger, but it does not hurt the cause. She, Anna Sage, Dillinger is taken to show the police.

Only now Purvis learned about plastic surgery on her face and fingers Dillinger. He reported to Hoover about impending arrest and received an indication from Washington: Dillinger killed on the spot! Purvis was beside himself! Dillinger will come in the evening one. For the first time have the opportunity to take him alive, to bring to justice, it will be possible to know everything about him and his gang to find out who in the government agencies and the police were bribed them, who covered him and organized the escape. You could finally clear the government and police of corrupt elements. However, Hoover insisted: Dillinger shot on the spot. And, as if fearing that Purvis not acted on his own, sent to him in support of two of his men: snipers Hollis and Cowley.

on July 22 in the quarter, where he was hiding a gangster, he was pulled a large police detachment. The street was a wild heat. At this time, Dillinger, and Polly Anna Sage, wearing a red dress, looking in the cinema "Biography" movie "Manhattan tragedy" with Clark Gable in the lead role. Later, his action Anna Sage explains: "When I learned that he was John Dillinger, I remembered that he was killing people without mercy So I went to a friend the policeman, and he arranged for me to meet with the government agent on July 22 I informed the agent.. that Dillinger is going to go to the movies. " However, the real reason for the denunciation was the desire to get a view of the legal residency in the United States for himself, her husband and son, in which, incidentally, Romanian wife was denied. However, she received the 5000 dollars from the amount promised for the capture of the criminal, and the nickname "lady in red".

Evening session ended at a cinema in the middle of the ninth. The street was still light. Purvis was sitting behind the wheel of a sports car. In the back seat - Hollis and Cowley. When Anna, dressed in a conspicuous red dress with Dillinger and his girlfriend came out of the movie, the two sniper jumped out of the car. The first started shooting Cowley. From a distance of two meters, he released Dillinger in the whole clip. Hollis behind only a fraction of a second. Dillinger stood for a moment, raised his gun, but then fell dead on the pavement.

Both snipers on the same night was summoned to Washington. FBI Chief Hoover personally met them at the airport, they shook hands in front of the camera lens, and said: "Thank you on behalf of the American police you were able to restore her honor.." And the same night Melvin Purvis, the FBI chief in Chicago department, wrote a report about his resignation.

Experts have identified the person killed John Dillinger, however, not all believe it. Dillinger's eyes were gray-blue, and the deceased - brown, the gangster had a few scars, dead - no. John never suffered from rheumatism, heart of the dead man was struck by rheumatism. Finally, Dillinger has a marvelous sight, and the dead wore glasses. Among the criminals for a long time, rumors circulated that the offender No.1 retired and lives in Los Angeles.

Dillinger's funeral was attended by 5000 people. An impressive figure! criminals such as Dillinger or Barrow for unemployed American, robbed banks, that is, the rich were personified Robin Hoods, although they are not handing out the stolen money to the poor. A halo of romance that surrounded Dillinger, and fueled his image: he was a slender, flexible, deftly jumping over the counter at the bar, I had an easy gait and elegant gestures, wrung foppish hat. Ideals Dillinger is a hero-lover of silent films. That means - no rudeness, vulgarity, underlined respect for the individual. And even if you kill this person, do it with dignity, dammit!

In subsequent decades, the pattern Dillinger gang, tens of thousands of crimes were committed. Even today, not only in America but also in Europe imitators Dillinger suggest bank employees horror ...

Sharpey - specifically for the site MikeMouse © 2007
Reprints available with the permission of the author

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