Dillinger Death Photos Of Celebrities Famous People
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.
Dillinger's girlfriend was a red-haired waitress named Polly Hamilton. Her landlady, Anna Sage, who was to become known legendarily--though inaccurately--as "the Woman in Red," was Dillinger's confidant and knew his identity.
In the heat of that July, movie houses advertised that they were "air-cooled." Perhaps that's what made Dillinger decide to take Hamilton and Sage to a movie that evening. If so, there were 24 heat-related deaths that day.
Dillinger told the women he wanted to go to the Biograph Theater on Lincoln Avenue where " Manhattan Melodrama," starring William Powell and Clark Gable, was playing. Sage told the law.
Sage, who had come to America from Romania as Ana Cumpanas, was a successful operator of houses of prostitution. Deportation proceedings had been started against her, but when Dillinger admitted his identity to her, she must have thought she had been given a ticket to remain in this country.
Dillinger and the two women--Sage in an orange skirt that looked red in the light of the marquee--left the Biograph about 10:30 p.m. 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.