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John Dillinger Chicago, Illinois bank...

Item # 587689

December 14, 1933

THE DETROIT FREE PRESS, Detroit, Michigan, December 14, 1933

* John Dillinger bank robbery 
* Before He became nationally known 
* Chicago IL Illinois 

This 26 page newspaper has one column headlines on the front page: "Gunmen Loot Deposit Boxes", "5 Bound by Robbers in Daylight Raid".

Though not mentioned because of the unknown at the time, this was in fact the work of John Dillinger. Rare to find reporting on his earlier bank robberies prior to 1934 when he became nationally known.

Other news of the day. Light browning, minor margin wear, otherwise good condition.

wikipedia notes: The Federal Bureau of Investigation was brought into the investigation to help identify the criminals, although the men had not violated any federal law. It was one of the first cases in which the FBI intervened in matters outside of their jurisdiction. Using their superior fingerprint matching technology, they successfully identified all of the suspects and issued national bulletins offering rewards for their capture.

Dillinger and his gang, in the meantime, began a streak of bank robberies across Indiana, although the first bank he ever robbed was in New Carlisle, Ohio on June 10 1933. Among Dillinger's more celebrated exploits involved his pretending to be a sales representative for a company that sold bank alarm systems. He reportedly entered a number of Indiana and Ohio banks and used this ruse to assess security systems and bank vaults of prospective targets. Another time, the gang pretended to be part of a film company that was scouting locations for a "bank robbery" scene. Bystanders stood and smiled as a real robbery ensued and Dillinger and friends escaped with the loot. Stories such as this only served to increase Dillinger's burgeoning legend. Dillinger was believed to have been associated with gangs who robbed dozens of banks and accumulating a total of more than $300,000. Banks allegedly robbed by Dillinger and his associates included the Commercial Bank, Daleville, Indiana of $3,500 on July 17, 1933; Montpelier National Bank, Montpelier, Indiana of $6,700 on August 4, 1933; Bluffton Bank, Bluffton, Ohio, of $6,000 on August 14, 1933; Massachusetts Avenue State Bank, Indianapolis, Indiana, of $21,000 on September 6, 1933; Central National Bank and Trust Co., Greencastle, Indiana, of $76,000 on October, 23, 1933; American Bank and Trust Co., Racine, Wisconsin, of $28,000 on November 20, 1933; Unity Trust and Savings Bank, Chicago, Illinois, of $8,700 on December 13, 1933; First National Bank, East Chicago, Indiana, of $20,000 on January, 15, 1934; Securities National Bank and Trust Co., Sioux Falls, South Dakota, of $49,500 on March 6, 1934; First National Bank, Mason City, Iowa, of $52,000 on March 13, 1934; and Merchants National Bank, South Bend, Indiana, of $29,890 on June 30, 1934.

To get more supplies, the gang attacked the state police arsenals in Auburn and Peru, stealing machine guns, rifles, revolvers, ammunition and bullet proof vests. They then headed to Chicago to hide out. On December 14, Gang member John "Red" Hamilton murdered a police detective. A month later, Dillinger led the gang in another bank robbery, holding up the First National Bank in East Chicago and killing police officer William O'Malley. Dillinger was officially charged with the murder although the identity of the actual killer was debatable, and it is in question whether Dillinger participated in the robbery at all. As police began closing in again, the men left Chicago to hide out in Florida; the Gardener Hotel in El Paso, Texas, where a highly visible police presence dissuaded Dillinger from trying to cross the border at the Santa Fe bridge in downtown El Paso to Ciudad Juárez, Mexico; and then Tucson, Arizona.

Category: The 20th Century

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