Public Enemies - Preface

Public Enemies (Illustration) American History Biographies Social Studies Famous People Film Trials Crimes and Criminals

Mug-shot image of John Dillinger from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Image online, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.


I stole
from the bankers
stole from the people.

Harry (“Pete”) Pierpont 
Member, Dillinger Gang

Robbing banks and getting away in fast cars, John Dillinger was busy during a thirteen-month crime spree (in 1933-34).  How did this gangster, also accused of murdering a police officer and designated "Public Enemy Number One," become an American folk hero?  Because Dillinger was also a gum-chewing, easy-quipping, lopsided-grinning, charismatic guy - and journalists loved to write about him.

If it hadn’t been for Harry Pierpont, John Dillinger may never have become a “Public Enemy.” 

If it hadn’t been for Indiana’s Pendleton Reformatory, the two pals might have never met.

If it hadn’t been for a prison in Michigan City, Dillinger may not have learned Pierpont’s bank-robbing skills.

And ... if it hadn’t been for Dillinger’s bank-robbing skills, he might have failed to become the Depression-era’s “most wanted man” (whom Americans secretly, or openly, admired). 

But ... this is not a story about might-have-beens.  It’s a story about what was - and what became of a group of gangsters who helped give birth to the FBI.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jul 01, 2009

Updated Last Revision: Nov 04, 2016

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"Public Enemies" AwesomeStories.com. Jul 01, 2009. Jan 19, 2020.
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