HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - On this day in history - July 22nd, 1934 - John Dillinger is killed. Dillinger was one of the United States' most infamous gangsters and one of the earliest men the FBI labeled as "Public Enemy No. 1."
In his heyday, Dillinger stood accused of robbing 24 banks and 3 police stations. He evaded law enforcement in four different states for over a year, eventually receiving a critical wound and hiding out with his father to recover.
Director J. Edgar Hoover used at-large criminals like Dillinger to push the FBI into a position to make arrests and carry sidearms. Edgar and his "Division" including famous "G-Men" Agents Melvin Purvis and Sam Cowley tracked Dillinger back to Chicago, where they interrogated a prostitute known as "the Woman in Red." She told the FBI he was staying with her near the Biograph Theater, and informed them of his intention to see a movie there on the 22nd.
The "G-Men" were waiting for him when he walked out of the theater. Dillinger tried to escape, but they shot him four times, mortally wounding him and he quickly died. Some conspiracy theorists believe Dillinger was not really shot, but a look-alike instead.