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As it Happened -

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(generated from captions) NARRATOR: On October 23, 1933, the Central National Bank four men walked into in Greencastle, Indiana and walked out with $75,000. meticulously executed, Precisely planned, at his craft - John Dillinger. it was the work of a master MAN: In all his bank robberies,

the coolest guy they ever saw. almost everyone said he was They called him 'Jack Rabbit' were six, seven feet high, because some of those cages and he just would vault over them. really funny. WOMAN: He was handsome, he would joke with them. He would tip his hat at people, very charming guy. He was a very social, of the Great Depression, Working in the midst were a fact of life, when debt and foreclosures the public's resentment toward banks. Dillinger exploited a rebellious impulse MAN: He is representing Depression have good reason to feel, that many people in the Great with the status quo. that is, the dissatisfaction during the early Depression Crime had become a symbol

with America. that something had gone wrong was brief, Though his career as a desperado the highest authority of the state. he would challenge the federal government The stakes are whether can, in fact, police the nation. to a national crime wave The government's answer that would become the FBI. was the agency Its director, J. Edgar Hoover, on hunting down Dillinger. would stake his reputation farm town of Mooresville In the 1920s, the central Indiana was a tight-knit community. was a well-respected farmer there. John Dillinger Sr had died when he was just three, He hoped John Jr, whose mother would follow in his footsteps. of the same cloth of his father John was not cut out in the way of being a farmer.

John would choose. That was not a life John was caught stealing a car. At the age of 20, The next day, he joined the navy before going AWOL. but lasted only five months and within weeks got married. He returned to Mooresville when he was 20 years old MAN: Dillinger was married and his bride was 16.

and basically she supported him. She was a waitress He did odd jobs. He was a machinist. But he didn't work. He was very mechanically inclined. on the local baseball team, Instead, John played with Ed Singleton, where he became friends 10 years older and an ex-convict. particular game, they got together JEFF SCALF: After one brew. and got intoxicated to some degree o who convinced John And it was Ed Singleton to go in and rob Frank Morgan.

who ran the local grocery store, Frank Morgan, of John Dillinger's father. was a good friend to town with the week's earnings. On Saturday evenings, he'd walk in back of a church Singleton had a car in the alley with a big bolt in it. and Dillinger had a handkerchief JEFF SCALF: They wrestled. to beat John up pretty bad. Frank Morgan actually started he pulled out a gun in the meantime. TOM SMUSYN: Now, Dillinger, Not one word was spoken. Didn't say a word. Dillinger got scared. got scared And Singleton, waiting in the car, and took off on Dillinger. and back to a pool hall. Dillinger ran down this alley people in the pool hall, And asked some Frank Morgan? Is he OK?" "Hey, have you heard about no-one had heard about it Well, of course moments ago. because it just happened put two and two together The next day, the sheriff to the Dillinger farm and brought Frank Morgan to identify his assailant.

doesn't believe that it's John. JEFF SCALF: Frank Morgan He wouldn't do that." In fact says, "I know John. did you?" "Johnny, you didn't do that to me, and starts crying and admits, Well, at this point John breaks down and I'm very sorry." "Yes, Mr Morgan, I did that the court would be lenient. John Sr was told and take your punishment." He advised his son, "Plead guilty But the judge threw the book at him. Dillinger got 10-20 years. and had hired a lawyer, Singleton, who knew the system would serve only two years. John grew up quickly. At the local reformatory, asked for a divorce. After five years, his young wife took it bitter. TOM SMUSYN: Dillinger away from everybody. And he wanted to get as close as he was He didn't want to even be to go to Michigan City, and he wanted as far as he could. of the Indiana State penitentiary, Michigan City was the home

a facility for hardened criminals.

Dillinger's request for a transfer that changed the course of his life. was a decision to Michigan City JEFF SCALF: I think he went and to be a criminal. with all intent to gain an education the big-time operators TOM SMUSYN: He got in with how to rob a bank. and they taught him 'Handsome' Harry Pierpont, His mentor would become who had already served eight years. an experienced bank robber

Russell Clark His tutors would include and 'Fat Charley', Charles Makley. After nine years in prison, of his parole. Dillinger received word

Just before he was freed, his cell mates gave him some valuable information.

of banks that Harry has given John JEFF SCALF: There are already a list that they know are ripe. of some banks These guys believed in him. And they trust John a great deal. taken these banks John could have just and let those guys rot in prison. an understanding there. But there was already to spring his friends. Dillinger promised he would come back just before his 30th birthday, In May 1933, he embarked on his new career. While John Dillinger was in jail, the raucous, fun-filled '20s, others were enjoying the Midwest - Chicago. at least in the heart of MAN: Chicago was great. Prohibition in Chicago... I know that there wasn't a speak-easy in every block. ..because you could find tried to stem the flow of liquor, As the authorities Prohibition gave rise to organised crime. Rival gangs fought for territory, with the bloodiest battles being led by a young pimp named Al Capone. Under Capone, violence reached its p Photographer Tony Berardi followed police when they were called to a liquor warehouse. The first thought in my mind, as a photographer should, is to find the best spot to take his first photograph. So I climbed up on top of a truck. Berardi looked down on seven bodies riddled with machine-gun bullets. I shot a couple of shots from that position. Then I got off and shot completely around the place. Suddenly, people no longer saw bootlegging as a victimless crime. WOMAN: The St Valentine's Day Massacre becomes this focal point around which something needs to be done. It becomes clear that federal policing around Prohibition is not working. The public and the media and the authorities were cast in a position where a stand has to be taken. Enough is enough. But the public and the media shared an ambivalent view of crime. Hollywood glorified Capone's career in a movie called 'Scarface'. A new genre was born - the gangster film. The Depression brought poverty to millions of Americans who felt abandoned by their government. When the gangster genre burst onto the screen, it played on the growing belief that success was no longer won through honest, hard work. The gangster genre emerges, not coincidentally, with the first full year of the Great Depression, 1930. And a lot of people see the gangster figures being sort of a twisted version of the American success ethic. Cagney, especially in his archetypal performance

as Tom Powers in 'The Public Enemy', represents a kind of virile, upwardly mobile masculinity. He's ambitious, resourceful, he's a witty conversationalist, he's a stylish dresser. Going south? Yes. But I'm not accustomed to riding with, uh, strangers. We're not gonna be strangers. CLAIRE POTTER: Most Americans in the Depression have a very conflicted relationship to the state. On the one hand, crime is what everybody's worried about. But anger with the government leads people to enjoy seeing someone take his fate into his own hands, attack capitalism, get the money he wants and disappear successfully. In June 1933, two years after the first gangster film, Dillinger began making armed withdrawals throughout the Midwest. Newspapers called his hold-up in Daleville one of the most daring in years. By September, after four successful hold-ups, Dillinger was poised to spring Pierpont, Makley and Clark from prison. If his plan worked, no bank would be safe. You'll own the beach. You'll mingle with molluscs. You'll breathe clean air. You'll stop. You'll be inspired. You'll strain your neck. You'll block your ears. You'll stay here a bit too long. You'll dream. And when it's time to go home...'ll hide. In Washington, the government reacted to the crime wave by strengthening its federal police force. J. Edgar Hoover was modernising the agency with a new kind of law enforcement. Hoover tried to identify the Bureau of Investigation with science. He founded an FBI laboratory, which would allow clothing samples, tyre treads, hairs to be identified and used as forensic evidence. But if there is one thing he tried to identify his bureau with, it was fingerprints. But for all its technology, the bureau's police power was severely constrained. independently of local officers or carry their weapons in federal enforcement unless they are accompanied by local officers. Tracking desperadoes like Dillinger was still the province of local authorities and lawmen like Matt Leach. Leach had just been named

head of the newly formed Indiana State Police. WOMAN: Leach is a very serious police officer. He's way ahead of his time. He's studied police psychology and he's made his way up through the ranks in the Gary Police Department and now he has this opportunity for a big job. So here he is, thinking that this is wonderful deal, and all of a sudden his first... ..right off the bat, he gets John Dillinger. But Dillinger was not overly impressed by Leach's police skills. MARILYN OLSEN: Leach had a lot of informants. They're always sending them off somewhere. And he gets there, like, two minutes after Dillinger's left. At one point they get there and there's still a cigarette burning in the ashtray. And so Leach just looks incompetent over and over again. Dillinger calls him up and says things like, "Hey, Leach, you stuttering bastard, this is old John. "I bet you would like to know where I am." He says stuff like that to him. He sends him postcards saying, "Wish you were here." In September, Matt Leach finally got a break. He learned Dillinger was visiting a girlfriend in Dayton, Ohio. When the cops broke in, Dillinger quietly surrendered. From his jail cell, Dillinger sent a letter to his father. "I've been a big disappointment to you, "but I guess I did too much time," he wrote. "Of course, Dad, "if I'd gotten off more leniently when I made my first mistake, "this would never have happened." Even as he wrote, his plan to break out his friends from Michigan City was beginning to unfold. 170 miles away, at the Michigan City prison, inmates working at the prison shirt factory spotted an incoming carton marked with a red X.

Several months before, Dillinger had arranged with Harry Pierpont to smuggle weapons into the prison. On Tuesday afternoon, September 26, Pierpont, Clark, Makley and seven other convicts quietly walked with their hostage, the assistant warden, out of the prison to freedom. Matt Leach was quoted in the papers as saying, "You couldn't have picked 10 worse men." Now they would return the favour to Dillinger, still sitting behind bars in Ohio. At 6:30, on the evening of October 12, three men approached Sheriff Jesse Sarber.

They claimed to be officials who'd come to take Dillinger back to Indiana. "Here," said Pierpont, "are our credentials." Together again, the jail mates would come to be known as the 'Dillinger Gang'. Their first task was to arm themselves. Dateline - Auburn, Indiana. Two gunmen flaunted defiance in the face of the law when they raided the police station. The gang made off with a machine gun, rifles, pistols and bulletproof vests. Five days later, they did it again... what the 'Peru Daily Tribune' called an "unbelievable challenge to law and order". Then they went to work. Banks were so distrusted that the public quietly cheered when they were cleaned out.

But the authorities were in a panic. TOM SMUSYN: The National Guard was called out. They put up road guards all over the place. And people were afraid to go out. Dillinger revelled in the attention and toyed with his pursuers. At one point, Dillinger is walking down a street in Indianapolis. He sees Leach, and so he walks behind him for a couple of blocks. And Pierpont wanted to shoot him... but this is ill-advised move. So, at any rate, they don't shoot him.

But then Dillinger immediately calls Leach and says,

"Hope you enjoyed your walk on Capitol Avenue," whatever. And Leach is, like, "Oh, no, not again! Not again!" For all the joking, the Dillinger Gang was dead serious about its business. They took pride in their meticulous planning and efficiency. JEFF SCALF: Harry Pierpont was probably the brains of the organisation because of his training and his background. But John was the kind of person that was the glue, that he could actually bring these people together because they trusted him, they liked him, he had the charisma, he was very good at reading people. Unlike Bonnie and Clyde, who grabbed headlines with their reckless violence, Dillinger saw himself as a robber, not a killer. And it's true that he did say that Bonnie and Clyde are small-timers that give our profession a bad name. The profession consisted of roaming the Midwest from bank to bank, hideout to hideout. Along with Bonnie and Clyde, 'Pretty Boy' Floyd and other colourful desperadoes of the day, Dillinger captured the public's imagination.

NEWSREADER: The father of the notorious John Dillinger gives his story. In a letter I got from John, from Lima, Ohio, he said, "Dad, don't believe half that's in the newspapers "for it isn't so." He said, "I haven't hurt anybody." There were very few people during the Great Depression who didn't feel that they were being buffeted about by history. And that really is central to the Dillinger myth. He and other bandits would tell people, "I got arrested. I made a mistake. "And the state treated me so harshly that it changed me." And yet, there was glamour too. And just like in the Cagney movies, a steady stream of women.

In November, he met a 26-year-old waitress, Evelyn 'Billie' Frechette, in a Chicago nightclub.

CLAIRE POTTER: As she told the story later to a 'True Romance' reporter, she looked across the room and she saw these eyes. And of course it was John Dillinger. And he came across the crowded room and asked her to dance. And within minutes, she said, she'd fallen in love with him.

He told Billie his name was Jack Harris. We can imagine a whirlwind courtship of several days. She finally said, "What is it exactly you do for a living?" And he said, "Well, I rob banks." In January 1934, Dillinger's careful planning would go awry. At the First National in East Chicago, Indiana, a brave vice-president sounded the alarm. As Dillinger fled with his hostage, officer William O'Malley was waiting outside. TOM SMUSYN: Dillinger walks out of the bank with the vice-president. O'Malley yells, "Move! I got a good shot at him." O'Malley shot and hit Dillinger. But he had a bulletproof vest on. He got hit eight times right across the body. He died instantly. In East Chicago, Indiana, a line had been crossed. To law enforcement, he was no longer John Dillinger, bank robber. Now he was John Dillinger, murderer. (DISTANT CHEERING) Come on! Well done, Term Deposit! Order for Savings Account Number 489500.

VOICEOVER: Is this how your bank sees you? Come on, 489500. With Suncorp Bank, you're more than a number. That's why we have real people on the phone and switching specialists in every branch. Isn't it time you switched? Now wanted in three states, John, Billie and the gang headed south to Mexico. But they got no farther than Tucson, Arizona. When a fire broke out at the Congress Hotel, their first thought was to rescue the guns. TOM SMUSYN: They sent two firemen up to get their suitcases. The firemen got them,

and they gave them a $12 tip, which was a gigantic tip in 1934. The next day, the firemen were reading a magazine, and they had lot of criminals in it. And they looked, "Hey, this is one of the guys "that broke out of Michigan City. "And we got his luggage." So they called the sheriff. CLAIRE POTTER: They get him in jail... ..he gives another name entirely, and normally he would be released.

But the sheriff in Tucson takes his fingerprints and sends them to Washington. For J. Edgar Hoover, it was a chance to share in the credit.

RICHARD POWERS: Because Hoover had invested so much of the Bureau's prestige in fingerprint identification, he would make sure that his publicist pointed out that fingerprinting had been involved. And then he would exaggerate it, perhaps, and say fingerprinting was the way that Dillinger was actually identified. Washington comes back with a match,

"This is John Dillinger. You've got him." The popular press ate it up... ..and states fought over who would get to prosecute Dillinger. That honour went to his home state of Indiana. In Chicago, Tony Berardi's paper contacted Indiana prosecutor Robert Estill to see when Dillinger would be extradited. TONY BERARDI: Estill was telling us the state would not come up with the money to extradite Dillinger. Our editor said, "How much is it gonna cost?" And he said, "It's gonna cost about $5,000 "and I'll put $2,500." And our editor says, "Well, we'll put in the $2,500." So we sent a reporter and a photographer along. Billie was set free, the rest of the gang sent to Ohio and Dillinger taken to Crown Point, Indiana. Dillinger is flown, not taken by car or train, but he's flown from Arizona back to Indiana. In the airport he's greeted like a rock star. There are huge throngs of, I guess you'd say well-wishers or fans there to greet Dillinger, who arrives like this motion picture star.

It's one of the hugest news stories of the 1930s. But when they arrived at the Crown Point jail, the sheriff, Lillian Holley, refused to let in the cameras. Estill came out and said, "I'm sorry, boys, we're not going to have any pictures taken." I said, "You mean to tell me "that we're not gonna get pictures of this?"

I said, "That's crazy." So that's when Estill said, "Give me five minutes." Then he told us to come in and photograph. Dillinger put his arm on Estill's shoulder. And here's Estill, smiling with his arm around Dillinger, like they're buddies. And Estill's going to try him for murder, in court. And that picture was the downfall of Estill. Aware of Dillinger's knack for escaping, Crown Point beefed up security. JEFF SCALF: Crown Point is guarded by the National Guard. They've actually hired individual police officers from other communities with machine guns. So it's like an armed camp. The arraignment hearings went on for five days and a trial was set for the following month. Dillinger bided his time and turned on his charm. He becomes very friendly with the trustees. He becomes friendly with the guards. He becomes friendly with the sheriff. TONY BERARDI: We know that he was a killer, but if you were with him for five minutes, he'd hug you. I photographed at least the guy five times during the hearings. And I got to know the guy real well. I thought I was his pal. JEFF SCALF: John has kind of lowered their fears and made them to feel, "Alright, wel guy. "Things are going well." All the while, he's planning for his big adventure, his big escape. According to legend, Dillinger whittled a fake gun from a wooden washboard. On Saturday, March 3, a guard walked past a figure lurking in the shadows and felt something thrust into his ribs. TOM SMUSYN: Dillinger put the gun to his stomach and says, "You're gonna do what I tell you... or you're gonna get killed." Dillinger made him call people back to the cell block, one at a time. He captured 18 guys and walked out of that jail. CLAIRE POTTER: One of the things I love about the wooden gun story is it shows how funny Dillinger was. When he was leaving the jail, he took it and ran it back and forth across the bars of other people's cells and said, "Look. I got out of this jail with a puny wooden gun." I always felt that was kind of a phony thing. I thought that he paid off somebody. To some, the Crown Point photographs reveal a conspiracy. When he places his arm on Estill's shoulder and configures his hand like this, he's signalling to the underworld, "I will pay for a gun. "I will pay whatever it takes to get me out of here." What got him out of jail were cash payments made by his lawyer, Louis Piquett, some of which were smuggled in under Billie Frechette's clothes,

a turnkey in the cell. that were given to other jailers and what happened next. Newsreels re-enacted down to the town garage, Dillinger went around the corner, where he took a car. And what police car does he take? police car. He takes Lillian Holley's Crown Point in the sheriff's car. So Dillinger escapes from to see him go. TOM SMUSYN: People were happy from then on. They followed his exploits looking for Dillinger. It was a daily thing in the paper, And it was like a serial. The story went national.

known as 'Clown Point' Crown Point became and Dillinger the likeable hero... ..even to his many hostages.

How did he act? Was he jolly?

Yes. He sang part of the way. What did he sing? "Get along little dog, get along." Is that so? (LAUGHTER) TOM DOHERTY: Audiences in the 1930s quite favourably. reacted to Dillinger

They applauded him. They laughed at his... some of his more outrageous antics. They treated him like a screen hero, not a screen villain. NEWSREADER: This desperate public enemy as an underworld hero. now rises to fame That expression in his eyes. Arrogant. was just amazed. RICHARD POWERS: The public was raised himself up then What he'd really done from being an ordinary criminal who is a part of myth and legend. to someone the Illinois state line But when Dillinger crossed in a stolen car, he committed a federal crime. the authority to go after him. Now J. Edgar Hoover had to his protege, Melvin Purvis. Hoover wrote a personal note Hoover urged his man in Chicago. "Keep a stiff lip,"

and the world is yours." "Get Dillinger for me of the young law school graduates Purvis was typical

under Hoover. who formed the ranks of the bureau for the Indiana State Police. He had little use MARILYN OLSEN: Once the FBI really becomes involved in this case, they shut the state police off. They treat them like they're guys that just fell off the pumpkin truck. This is devastating to Leach. They cut him off. They don't talk to him.

with him. They just shut him out. They don't share information With the bureau after him, was even more dangerous. Dillinger's life on the run

But his gang was decimated. He was reunited with Billie. to life in prison. Russell Clark was sentenced who had murdered Dillinger's jailer, Harry Pierpont and Charles Makley, were sent to the electric chair. associates, including Lester Gillis, Dillinger was forced to make new killer 'Baby Face' Nelson. already famous as the bad-tempered

In the early spring of '34, in South Dakota and Iowa. the new gang hit banks man-hunt did the unthinkable. And then the object of a nationwide Under the noses of federal agents, to meet his family. Dillinger brought Billie home for a family reunion. John returns to the farmhouse

this is a last gathering Essentially, leave the country. before John is supposedly going to t He presents Billie. they're going to be married soon. He's talking that He had brought the fabled wooden gun

as a souvenir of his exploits. and gave it to the family So they have this chicken dinner. they have all the fixings. They have pies, they're talking. They're having a good time, is watching in the woods. And it's also clear that the FBI Dillinger out of there. TOM SMUSYN: They had to get was they had four cars... They decided the way to do it The first car, hide his face like he was Dillinger. one of his nephews tried to And the feds follow that first car.

three other cars and went away. Dillinger came out with They follow the wrong car. In a detailed memo to Hoover, for not closing in on Dillinger. the agents gave their reasons the real reason was fear. But between the lines, JEFF SCALF: These are young men, fresh out of law school. many of them "We are only two people. And perhaps they felt that, to endanger our lives "Why do we want this individual "in trying to capture on numerous occasions?" "who has been able to escape he went ballistic. MAN: When Hoover heard about this, The flak from that explosion on my father's office as well. certainly landed a very bad mistake. But it was... agents. I'd love to check it out. I don't know what happened to those long after that. I don't think they stayed on headed for Chicago. Dillinger and Billie in the city, After he had dropped her off swooped down on Billie. federal agents Pat Cherrington, Dillinger and a friend, could only watch from his car. Dillinger was enraged.

was come back and break her out. And what he wanted to do to keep on going. Pat Cherrington urges him

never get her. You'll be killed." She said, "It's suicide. You'll Pat Cherrington said, he just cried. As he was driving away, He cried like a baby. And I think what we believe really loved Billie Frechette. is that John Dillinger He really loved her.

for harbouring a criminal. She was sentenced to two years John would never see her again. northern woods of Wisconsin, On April 22, in the remote led 16 federal agents special agent Melvin Purvis called Little Bohemia. to a position outside an inn middle of the night, In Washington, J. Edgar Hoover, alerted reporters 2:00 in the morning, that they had the gang captured a big story in the morning. and that there would be

was risky. But a night-time operation

so there was no way they could know They had no map of the area, behind the building. there was a lake And then the dogs started barking. and climbed into a car, When three men came out of the inn the agents opened fire. two were wounded. TOM SMUSYN: One was killed, they got the Dillinger Gang. And they thought But they had three innocent people. By daylight, it was clear to the FBI, as well as reporters, exactly what had happened. NEWSREADER: This is the death car for Dillinger's car. which was mistaken It was riddled by the federal agents when it did not halt on command, killing one occupant and wounding two. Morris, shown here dying. owner of the car, who is recovering, And John Hoffman, glad he escaped with his life. or his gang. There was no trace of Dillinger TOM SMUSYN: When the gang heard the shots, Dillinger, they were all upstairs. They hopped off the roof and went down the incline to the lake and followed the lake around to the northern end. Dillinger and two of the gang walked until they reached the Mitchells' farmhouse. They said, "All's we want is a car to make our getaway "because the federal officers are after us."

They treated both of us very nice. And he said to me, "Don't be afraid, mother. "You won't get cold "because I'll put this blanket around you." Purvis learned that 'Baby Face' Nelson escaped by killing a federal agent and wounding two more. It was a humiliating defeat. TONY BERARDI: I looked at Purvis, I said, "What the hell made you come here at night?" And he says..."Well," he says, "we wanted to capture the guy."

ALSTON PURVIS: My father assumed total responsibility for everything that went wrong.

And he offered his resignation. It was not accepted. CLAIRE POTTER: In the media, there is a kind of disbelief that descends into mockery. It ends up on Roosevelt's desk. And Roosevelt is inflamed. And he actually goes on the radio that week,

for his weekly fireside chat and talks about this and says, "The federal government, you know, "cannot be mocked in this way." TOM SMUSYN: The attorney-general was heard threatening to fire Hoover and just ripping into him in his office. I think he was hanging by a thread, as far as his job was concerned.

The day after Little Bohemia,

President Roosevelt pressed Congress to enact six sweeping crime bills. Designed to beef up federal police powers, they were rushed through in less than four weeks. Hoover now had every weapon at his disposal... ..and no excuses to fall back on. In Chicago, pressure was mounting on Melvin Purvis to produce results. ALSTON PURVIS: It was a blistering summer in Chicago that summer. There were a lot of leads. Almost every day, there was some lead. They were all false leads. And they had to be checked out. And nothing seemed to be happening. JEFF SCALF: There are those who say John Dillinger has died. John Dillinger has left the country. They are even searching for John in London because of a tie with organised crime. They actually searched some cruise ships. He's reported in Germany. He's reported in Japan.

In fact, Dillinger was right there in Chicago, seeing a plastic surgeon. Dillinger had a dimple on his chin and they wanted to smooth that out. Plus, he had kind of a little bit of a ski nose. They wanted to straighten that out. And he had a birthmark between his eyes. As long as he lived, he never again posed for a picture. The bureau's hunt was taking its toll. One wonders why Dillinger didn't simply leave the country. And we can only speculate about that. But one of the things we can speculate is by the time he's holed up in Chicago, his resources are dwindling rapidly. And he needs a lot of money, because not only did you have to pay off the police not to arrest you, everything Dillinger bought, he bought at a premium. He bought food at a premium. He bought shelter at a premium. Needing cash, the Dillinger gang walked into the Merchants National Bank in South Bend, Indiana. TOM SMUSYN: When Dillinger went into the bank, he told the people, "This is a stick-up." Nobody paid any attention to him. He took the Tommy gun and just sprayed the ceiling, and plaster started flying, plus the noise and smoke from the gun. Everybody dove. The shots alerted police nearby. Unlike the carefully crafted heists of his early days, this one was spiralling out of control.

It was like they knew the end was going to come. And why not right now? The hell with everybody. And as Dillinger and the two other bank robbers came out... ..there was all kinds of shooting on that street. In the ensuing gunbattle, a policeman was killed and four bystanders wounded. The gang got away, but it would be Dillinger's last bank job. June was a month for celebrations. Dillinger had knocked off 15 banks and netted $300,000. On the day he turned 31 years old, Dillinger was named America's public enemy number one. Celebrating with him was a new flame, a prostitute named Polly Hamilton. John and Polly were staying with her madam, Anna Sage. But Dillinger was paying dearly for the pleasure. CLAIRE POTTER: Everybody was profiting off of Dillinger. He was surrounded by parasites. He would give Polly Hamilton a $100 bill to go out and buy $5 worth of food, and part of the deal was that she kept the change. Sage, a Romanian, was facing deportation. RICHARD POWERS: Anna Sage had legal problems due to her conviction as a madam running a brothel. Anna Sage thought that she saw a way out of her own problem by approaching the authorities and trading Dillinger

for consideration with her in her deportation hearings. On July 19, Sage met with Melvin Purvis in a bureau car to discuss what she knew. ALSTON PURVIS: When my father first met with Anna Sage, he said he'd do everything he could to help her stay in the country but he couldn't guarantee it because it wasn't part of his jurisdiction. What Purvis could guarantee was money. While Hoover had staked the bureau's reputation on scientific policing, Purvis was hunting Dillinger the old-fashioned way,

by paying off informants. Three days later, desperate to escape a boiling apartment, John, Polly and Anna decided to take in a movie. TOM SMUSYN: Anna Sage said that she had to get out of the house to get some grease or lard or something. So she went down to the delicatessen about 5:30 and called Purvis that they were going to the show that night. They headed for the airconditioned Biograph theatre on Chicago's North Side. CLAIRE POTTER: The Bureau of Investigation is not at all sure that they know what Dillinger looks like. They know he's probably dyed his hair and made all kinds of efforts to change his appearance, so they can't necessarily pick him out. So Anna Sage promises she'll be wearing the red dress. Anna said she was going to wear an orange dress with a white blouse. And the story goes, it looked red underneath the theatre lights. They go to a motion picture called 'Manhattan Melodrama', which, symbolically enough, is a gangster film. They surround the movie theatre - local police, bureau agents... Purvis tells them, "When I see Dilli a match."

If I can't live the way I want, then at least let me die when I want. Come on, warden, let's go. TOM DOHERTY: You imagine what it must have been like to sit in a motion picture theatre for John Dillinger go off to his death sentence and watch Clark Gable any help from the guards where he brushes aside off into his death. and marches stoically MAN: (IN FILM) There he goes. Quiet! They're giving it to him. according to Anna Sage, I think his last words, was, "Wasn't that a good movie?" this moment of tension, CLAIRE POTTER: If you can imagine

when he will appear, they don't know they'll have a clear shot. if, in fact, when he appears, at them? They don't know. Will he be armed? Will he shoot back three feet from Dillinger. ALSTON PURVIS: My father was about He looked him in the eye. and didn't seem to recognise him. Dillinger looked him in the eye behind Dillinger. RICHARD POWERS: Purvis moves up We've got you surrounded." They said, "Stick 'em up, Johnny. towards an alley. He started zigzagging he's still running, RICHARD POWERS: While two shots mortally wound him. he's dead. And by the time he hits the ground, he just fell over dead. TOM SMUSYN: According to witnesses, that was it. Straight on his face. Took maybe a step after he got shot,

on the scene One of the first newspapermen named Hank Scheafer. was a cub photographer was standing around. The crowd over there and so forth. A lot of them were wiping handkerchi

his handkerchief in the blood, One fella rubbed to his wife, and he says, held it up and showed it this used to be Dillinger." "Look, honey, love this some day." He says, "Our kids are gonna the souvenir collectors My father saw and then he looked to them, and he looked at Dillinger, and vomited. and he walked into the alley the most disgusting sight And he said it was probably he's ever seen in his life. headlines, probably for a week. TONY BERARDI: There was big

with his feet, at the morgue. And we used that picture, made of him. Well, that was the last picture a mere 14 months His career had lasted was indelible. but his impression on the nation in Maywood, NEWSREADER: At his sister's home Dillinger lies in state for a last look and morbid mobs gather a career of crime. at the man who made Dillinger is no match for death. For all his daring, RICHARD POWERS: For Hoover, of FBI greatness. Dillinger is now a symbol that the bureau had ever faced This was the most mortal threat that the bureau had ever achieved. and it's now the greatest success publicity apparatus of the bureau We can see Hoover and the taking control of the story. of a movie like 'G Men' in 1935, So we see the emergence starring, guess who, James Cagney... was sitting? Where the man with the shotgun That's right. ..formerly public enemy number one. Liggott, a New York gangster. See if you have prints on Denny Please. A hunch. They may check up with this one. who were now the heroes. It was the forces of law and order A New York gangster. Yes. Let me have him. You're marvellous. You hear about a gardenia and out of 4 million fingerprints you pick the right one, just like that. What a detective! So nice to have you realise it. Hoover needed Dillinger was just the springboard and himself into a legend. to turn the bureau who transfixed the nation But it was Dillinger to tell the bad guys from the good. at a time when it was not always easy Captions copyright SBS 2011 Red Bee Media Australia Supertext Captions by

This program is captioned live.

Three way split - a trio of

fighters for women's rights wins

the Nobel Peace Prize.

We would all wish that this boy is

released and returned to Australia as soon as possible.

Attempts to help the 14-year-old

Australian, locked up in Bali on a

drugs charge.

Assault on Sirte - Libyan fighters

finally launch their major attack

to seize Gaddafi's home town.

And the horror of North Korea

revealed - the youngest victims of the food crisis.

Good evening, Ricardo Goncalves

with SBS World News Australia.

Women are the winners of the Nobel

peace prize, announced tonight.

Three battlers for female rights

have shared the award. Two are from

Liberia. Its President, Ellen

Johnson-Sirleaf, and Leymah Gbowee,

who's battled to mend the country's

religious divisions. The third, a

champion of the Arab spring, Yemen's Tawakkul Karman.

From a list of more than 240 names,

the committee was able to narrow it

down to three, but they could

narrow the field no further. All three contenders were short-listed

for their work on women's rights.

Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-

Sirleaf, who was a hot favourite in

the lead-up to the announcement.