Crooks, Killers, and
"Baby Face" Nelson
This crook stole cars and robbed gas
stations, later robbing banks. A bank guard said he was a "young man
with a baby face." Nelson hated the name, but it stuck with him.
Nelson was a killer that really enjoyed the job of
"Ma" and her four sons, Herman, Lloyd,
Arthur "Dock" and Fred, robbed banks, kidnapped businessmen, and
killed policemen in the 1920's to the 1930"s. "Ma" was the brains of
the operations. In 1927, Herman was caught robbing a bank. He killed
a policemen, but was blinded by a bullet during the shoot out. With
the police getting closer, Herman killed himself with a pistol shot
to the head.
In early 1935, D.B.A. special agents in
Florida surrounded the place where "Ma" and her son, Fred, were
hiding out. There was a four hour battle between the agents and the
two criminals. After 1500 rounds of ammo, the shooting from inside
the hideout stopped. Mother and son were finally dead. "Ma" was found
dead holding on to her machine gun.
broke out of prison twice. He robbed and beat an Indiana grocer, for
that he spent 11 years in jail. He was finally released in 1933. He
than became to rob more banks, steal guns, and helped many dangerous
men escape from three police stations. They left ten men dead and
seven men wounded. In late April of 1934, Melvin Purveys, the D.B.A.
agent in charge of the Chicago, Illinois, office received a tip.
Dillinger was hiding in a lodge in Wisconsin.
Hoover wasted no time in getting newsmen to
his office. Dillinger was going to be caught, was his announcement.
The D.B.A. agents that descended on the lodge didn't ask local law
enforcement official for their help. Instead they make their way
through the unfamiliar Wisconsin woods, waking the watchdogs that
patrolled the area. The agents surrounded the lodge and waited for
Dillinger to come out. But, the smart Dillinger had escaped through
the back window. Hoover made capturing him, dead or alive, his number
one priority. On June 22, 1934, Dillinger's 31st birthday, the D.B.A.
proclaimed Dillinger "Public Enemy Number 1".
In Chicago, Agent Purveys had secretly met
with one of Dillinger's friends. She told him that she and someone
else were going to the Biography Theater with Dillinger. At 10:30
p.m. Dillinger and his two companions, one wearing a red dress exited
the theater. Dillinger, with his senses sharpened with years on the
run, knew something was wrong.
But, it was too late. Dillinger tried to
draw his gun, but was gunned down by the bureau agents before he got
a shot off.