84 Years Ago, John Dillinger’s Outlaw Career Ended in Chicago
Sunday night marked the anniversary of the former "Public Enemy #1" being killed by federal agents outside Chicago's Biograph Theater.
On a day that 23 other people also died in Chicago because of the intense heat and humidity, one theory posits that Dillinger ended up at the Biograph Theater simply because it had air-conditioning (or, as the photo below shows, it was "cooled by refrigeration"):
From the Chicago Tribune:
At the time of his death, handsome, daring bank robber John Herbert Dillinger was as famous as anyone in America. In little more than a year, Dillinger had robbed several banks, escaped from two jails, eluded police traps and killed at least one police officer.
Despite Justice Department rewards totaling $15,000, he had lived an unnoticed and relatively normal life on Chicago's North Side. He often had dinner at the Seminary Restaurant at Lincoln and Fullerton Avenues. He went to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field and pulled one of his trademark bravado stunts by saying hello to his lawyer, who was chatting with a police officer.
As Dillinger and two female companions (one, the infamous "Lady in Red") left the theater at around 10:30pm, the end came quickly:
More than 20 law-enforcement officers were waiting. As the three walked south on Lincoln, Dillinger realized he was walking into a trap and bolted for the alley. Shots rang out. One bullet hit Dillinger in the back of the neck and exited through his right eye. That shot killed him.
Then, in a move that would shock the country if it were done today, John Dillinger's dead body was put on display by the Cook County morgue. The public was free to come by and have a look. And they did, many waiting in line for hours.
This guy was there when it happened: