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PUBLIC ENEMIES Character Posters

by Joey Paur

Hey Gang! We got three new movie posters for the upcoming Michael Mann directed film 'Public Enemies' starring none other than Christian Bale, Johnny Depp, and Marion Cotillard. Here is a little history on the life of John Dillinger. If you have no idea who this guy was it has spoilers.

When John Dillinger was gunned down by federal agents in 1934 he was "public enemy number one," so-named by the Justice Department for his string of violent bank robberies in the midwestern United States. In May of 1933 Dillinger was paroled from the Indiana State Prison, where he had served more than 8 years on an assault and robbery charge. By September he was in jail again, awaiting trial on bank robbery charges. On 12 October 1933 Dillinger's pals, recently escaped from Indiana's state prison, broke him out of jail. Over the next several months, Dillinger and his gang robbed several banks in Indiana before heading to Florida and then Arizona. He was arrested in Arizona and extradited to Indiana, where he once again escaped jail on 3 March 1934. Dillinger then crossed the Indiana-Illinois state line and headed for Chicago, sparking the interest of federal investigators (in the division that later became the F.B.I.). Over the next four months Dillinger's escapades -- daring robberies and narrow escapes from the law -- were popular newsreel features and he became something of a folk hero. After a tip from informant Ana Cumpanas (a.k.a. Anna Sage), federal agents ambushed Dillinger on 22 July 1934 outside the Biograph Theater in Chicago, where he had just seen the Clark Gable movie Manhattan Melodrama. In the ensuing gunfight, Dillinger was killed.

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Little Known Facts about Dillinger include:

To this day, there are doubts whether Dillinger actually died on July 22, 1934. Some researchers believe that the dead man was in truth the petty criminal from Wisconsin named Jimmy Lawrence, whose name Dillinger was using as a pseudonym, who resembled Dillinger.


  • Some people who knew Dillinger said they did not recognize the body.

  • Dillinger's father had suddenly exclaimed when first seeing his son's corpse, "That's not my son!"

  • Dillinger had received some rather crude plastic surgery some time before his death.The corpse had brown eyes. Dillinger's were grey, according to police files.

  • The body showed signs of some childhood illness which Dillinger never had.

  • The body showed a rheumatic heart condition, yet according to the later testimony of Dr. Patrick Weeks-Dillinger's physician at Indiana State Prison-Dillinger could not have suffered from this disease as he was an avid baseball player while in prison and had served in the Navy.

  • The small Colt semi-automatic pistol that Dillinger had allegedly drawn on the approaching FBI agents outside the Biograph (and was for years shown in a display case at FBI Headquarters along with Dillinger's death mask) was not his; it had, in fact, been manufactured five months after Dillinger's death, which supports the claim that the FBI agents, without warning, shot and killed an unarmed Dillinger.

  • In 1963 The Indianapolis Star newspaper received a letter from a person who claimed to be "John Dillinger" with a return address in Hollywood, California. The letter contained a photo of a man who looked like a more aged Dillinger. When this was ignored, another letter was sent to Emil Wanatka Jr., the proprietor of the Little Bohemia Lodge.

  • However, the body was positively identified as John Dillinger by his sister Audrey, through a scar on his leg received in childhood.

  • The FBI has at least two sets of post-mortem fingerprints of the dead man. Though scarred by corrosive acid, the prints shared the same characteristics as those of John Dillinger.


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