Home > Chi Town Views, Uncategorized > The Biograph Theater & The Night John Dillinger Died In Chicago

The Biograph Theater & The Night John Dillinger Died In Chicago

From: ChiTownView  | May 14, 2011  | 8 views

John Dillinger is a legendary name in the underworld of crime. The original public enemy #1 was also known as jackrabbit and his name is also closely tied to Chicago. His career as America’s favorite bank robber was short, less than 2 years and netted his men around $300,000.

It began next door in Indiana with his escape from prison in 1933. He and his men went on a crime spree that ended in early 1934 with his capture and then subsequent second jail break from the Lake county Ind. Jail. This is the one where he carved a gun out of a piece of soap or washboard. From there he eventually ended up hiding out on Chicago’s north side. Some one say under the protection of the Chicago syndicate and by extension the Chicago police.

It was a blistering hot summer in the windy city in 1934. One that saw 24 people die from the heat. That blistering heat not doubt helped Anna Sage coxed Dillinger out of his of hiding on the night of July 23 for an evening at the air conditioned Biograph at Lincoln and Fullerton. They saw Manhattan Melodrama and got out around 10:30. As he and his two lady friends left the theater Dillinger’s sixth sense picked up something and as they began to walk south he began looking for escape routes. He turned up and tried to duck down an alley but the Feds and officers from Lake County Ind. weren’t there to try and arrest Dillinger and he was cut down in a hail of gunfire. The gun that was “recovered” from his body wasn’t made until the following year. I found one clip from 2008 and started watching it. Like mine it ends up in the alley where you see two puddles about the same size in the same place. So who knows?

I’ve posted here and  in our Chicago Crime History playlist a newsreel clip from that night and the response to his death was incredible. The streets and sidewalks were wall to wall people and many of them soaked up his blood with their handkerchiefs (that’s not shown in the clip). Many people say the spot is haunted and here’s one strange thing I noticed. In the video at the end we go up the alley and we see a couple of puddles. Obviously that in itself isn’t odd but I did a search to see if any one else has posted videos of the Biograph. I found one clip from 2008 and started watching it. Like mine it ends up in the alley where you see two puddles about the same size in the same place. So who knows?

Here’s a link to john Dillinger’s Scrapbook for more info on the original public enemy #1 http://jhdillinger.fortunecity.com/

This clip is part of a series produced by MindsiMedia and presented on ChiTownView ‘s YouTube station. We are getting some Chicago crime history in HBO’s series “Boardwalk Empire” and more will be on display when the film version of Eric Larsen’s “Devil In The White City”. Our series shows some of the famous places in Chicago crime history as they exist today. While telling some of that history with each clip.

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