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FAMOUS CRIMINALS FROM THE 1930s (1 of 6)
John Herbert Dillinger – (June 22, 1903 – July 22, 1934) was an American gangster in the Depression-era United States. He operated with a group of men known as the Dillinger Gang or Terror Gang, which was accused of robbing 24 banks and four police stations, among other activities. Dillinger escaped from jail twice. He was also charged with, but never convicted of, the murder of an East Chicago, Indiana, police officer who shot Dillinger in his bullet-proof vest during a shootout, prompting him to return fire; despite his infamy, it was Dillinger’s only homicide charge.
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 Cumpănaș (the owner of the brothel where Dillinger had sought refuge at the time). On July 22, 1934, the police and the Division of Investigation closed in on the Biograph Theater. Federal agents, led by Melvin Purvis and Samuel P. Cowley, moved to arrest Dillinger as he exited the theater. He drew a Colt Model 1908 Vest Pocket and attempted to flee, but was killed. This was ruled as a justifiable homicide.