John Dillinger
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Biography for
John Dillinger (Character)
from Public Enemies (2009)

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John Herbert Dillinger (June 22, 1903 - July 22, 1934) was a notorious bank robber in mid-western America. Some considered him a dangerous criminal, while others idolized him as a present-day Robin Hood. He gained this latter reputation (and the nickname "Jackrabbit") for his graceful movements during bank heists, such as leaping over the counter (a movement he supposedly copied from the movies) and many narrow getaways from police. His exploits, along with those of other criminals of the 1930s Depression era, such as Bonnie and Clyde and Ma Barker, dominated the attention of the American press and its readers[1] during what is sometimes referred to as the public enemy era (1931-1935), a period which led to the further development of the modern and more sophisticated FBI. John Dillinger was a bank robber in the "Public Enemy" Era of the 1930's, considered by many to be a dangerous criminal.

John's criminal career began when he participated in the mugging of a local grocer. He was captured shortly afterwards and sent to the Indiana State Reformatory. He later requested a transfer to the State Prison. Embittered by an overly harsh sentence, he embraced the prison lifestyle, and spent his time with bank robbers; Joseph Burns, Harry Pierpont and Russel Clark. As former protegees of "Baron" Lamm, fellow prisoners Walter Detrich and James Clark shared their knowledge Lamm's infamous bank robbery techniques. They planned heists that they would commit after they were released. After Dillinger was paroled, he allegedly helped his friends, who worked with him in the prison shirt factory, escape and formed the first Dillinger gang.

Dillinger's career as a bank robber, spanning only 15 months included over a dozen robberies; stealing over $300,000. His career finally came to an end when he fell under the jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation after crossing the Indiana/ Illinois stateline in a stolen vehicle. The FBI initiated a nation wide manhunt for the now notorious bank robber, ending in his fatal shooting by the FBI in front of Chicago's Biograph Theater in July 1934.

The life of John Dillinger has been portrayed in numerous films by a number actors, including the 1945 picture "Dillinger" starring Hollywood tough guy Lawrence Tierney. In development is a film depicting the life of John Dillinger and the subsequent manhunt by the FBI, starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale.

Page last updated by karink, 7 years ago
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