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Author Topic: 22 April 1934: BABY FACE AND LITTLE BOHEMIA  (Read 234 times)
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« on: April 22, 2019, 09:03:38 am »

By 1934, John Dillinger had fallen n hard times. Homer Van Meter and most of the original crew of 'scientific' bank robbers that Dillinger rose to fame with were either dead or in custody. As a result Dillinger was forced to ally with outlaws he normally would have avoided, such as Lester Gillis, better known as "Baby Face Nelson"

Nelson had, prior to taking up bank robbery, been a low level mobster [reputedly working for Al Capone]. When he made the switch, he was known for his lack of planning, and his trigger happy approach to the job. In other words, he was the antithesis of John Dillinger. And Nelson showed an appreciable lack of respect for Dillinger, contending that the crew they used was his gang, that he was the boss, and relying on firepower rather than brains. In fact, the only man tht Dillinger allegedly killed [a police officer], was the result of Nelson's screwing up a bank robbery by opening fire with a Thompson, in a bank.

On the lam, Dillinger, Nelson, et al,   holed up at a resort in the Wisconsin woods known as Little Bohemia. But the FBI got a tip they were there, and at J. Edgar Hoover's direction, Melvin Purvis hastily assembled a group of agents and flew to Wisconsin.

The FBI raid was a farce that became a tragedy. As they approached the lodge, three men were seen getting into a car, and driving toward the agents, i.e, leaving the lodge. When they failed to stop the car, the agents opened fire, killing at least two of the men, who turned out to be locals who had stopped for a beer.

The gunfire did, however, alert the bank robbers, who answered the FBI with a sheet of submachine gun fire..

At some point, the criminals disengaged, with Dillinger, and most of his accomplices fleeing out the back, and away.

Nelson, however, chose to go out the front, and in making his escape he killed one of the FBI agents. All the criminals made clean getaways. But it signaled the end of the Dillinger-Nelson alliance.

Dillinger died soon after in Chicago, finally making Nelson "Public Enemy #1", a title Nelson thought he deserved more than Dillinger. Nelson's end came on a dusty road, when he and an accomplice [his wife was also present]got in a shootout with two more FBI agents. Nelson killed them both, but suffered mortal wounds. His body was found by the side of the road, wrapped in a blanket.

Baby Face Nelson holds the dubious distinction of having killed more FBI agents than anyone else in history. A sad requiem for a sad, but psychotic man.

You can get more with a smile, a handshake and a gun than you can with a smile and a handshake - Al Capone
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