He will give his angels charge of you,
To guard you in all your ways.
четвъртък, 29 ноември 2012 г.
Chicago theater thought to be
haunted by the ghost of bank robber John Dillinger. The
Biograph Theater is located on the north side of town and
gained fame when Dillinger was gunned down near the
alley outside on July 22, 1934.
Dillinger (1903–1934) enjoyed a spectacular career as
a robber, earning him the title of the fi rst Public Enemy
Number One (a title also shared by ALPHONSE CAPONE).
Born in Indianapolis in 1902, he started his crime life at
a young age, when he linked with the Dirty Dozen gang
and stole coal from the Pennsylvania Railroad.
In 1924, Dillinger’s professional crime life began with
the attempted robbery and assault of a grocer. He served
nine years in prison in Mooresville, Indiana, and was
released in 1933. His time in jail was well spent, for he
got to know many bank robbers who later became his
Once out of prison, Dillinger became a robber in earnest,
moving from city to city. In the space of 11 months,
he robbed between 10 and 20 banks, plus police arsenals.
He seemed to be a magic escape artist, evading traps set
for him, and once even escaping from jail armed with a
phony wooden gun. He murdered 10 men and wounded
many more. A $10,000 reward was offered for him, dead
Dillinger hid at the home of his waitress girlfriend,
Polly Hamilton. He was betrayed by Anne Sage (real name
Anne Cumpanis), Hamilton’s roommate. Sage was in danger
of being deported and struck a deal with the federal
government to inform on Dillinger in exchange for staying
in the United States.
The fateful night came on July 22, 1934, when Dillinger
took Sage and Hamilton to the Biograph Theater to
see Manhattan Melodrama, starring Clark Gable. Dillinger
was well dressed and wearing a straw hat. Melvin Purvis,
the head of the FBI in Chicago, set up a trap. Sage would
identify herself by wearing a red dress (actually orange).When Dillinger exited the theater at 10:40 P.M. with
the two women, one in a reddish dress, Purvis signaled
his waiting agents to draw their guns. He identifi ed himself
to Dillinger and ordered him to surrender. Dillinger
turned and fl ed toward an alley. FBI agents fi red on him.
Two bullets hit his left side and one entered his back and
exited through his right eye, tearing it to bits. Dillinger
was killed instantly and collapsed just short of the alley.
He was rushed to Alexian Brothers Hospital, even though
he was already dead.
Sage, who became known as the “Lady in Red,” was
paid $5,000 by the federal government for her part—but
was deported anyway.
According to lore, instant souvenir hunters dabbed
handkerchiefs in Dillinger’s blood at the scene, before his
body was whisked away to the hospital. Others hunted
for bullet fragments.
Since that violent night, passersby have reported seeing
glimpses of a ghostly replay of the killing. A blue-gray
silhouette of a man is seen leaving the theater, running
toward the alley, falling, hitting the pavement, and then
disappearing. A ghostly fi gure also is seen hovering near
the spot where Dillinger fell dead. The alley is known as
“Dillinger’s Alley.” The Biograph has gained a reputation
for being haunted too; visitors can sit in the same seat
once occupied by Dillinger on the last night of his life.
Popular lore persists that the man killed that night was
not Dillinger, but a small-time criminal. Dillinger himself
is said to have gotten away and lived out his life under a
new identity. Little evidence exists to support the belief,
which seems to be rooted in a common romanticism that
denies the deaths of famous—and infamous—fi gures.