Public Enemies: The Story of John Dillinger and George Babyface Nelson

Powerful Essays
Public Enemies
Jacob M. Harper
ENG 101
July 4th, 2010
Alicia Giffin

There are many speculations to the actual cause of the Great Crash of 1929. Some link it to the false sense of opulence in the country, some think it might have had something to do with the numerous loans given to Europe who in turn subsequently defaulted on. Whatever the cause was is irrelevant. The fact is that on Tuesday October 29th 1929 the Dow Jones Stock Market plummeted over 40 points after a week of panic selling. Following the crash of 1929, the nation’s unemployment percentage rose to an all time high of 25% (Croft, 2010). With little to no work to be found, a failed banking system, and one of the worst recorded droughts in history. John Dillinger and George “Babyface” Nelson was just a couple of the people who were forced to turn to a life of crime just to survive.
According to (www.pbs.org) John Dillinger was born on June 22nd 1903 to John and Mollie Dillinger of Indianapolis. He had one sister named Audrey. His mother passed away when he was only three years old. His sister, who was fourteen years older, helped raise him until she married. Six years after his mother’s death, his father remarried. John’s father would switch between spoiling him and abusing him. On some days his father would lock him inside the house and on others let him walk around town until it was dark. Some days he would beat him, and others he would make sure he had enough money to buy some candy at the store (PBS, n.d.).
Just like any other nine-year-old boy, John got into trouble. However, what many of his neighbors did not realize was how much he did that never was caught. John was the leader of a local gang called “The Dirty Dozen, and was also an avid coal thief. John continued to stay in trouble throughout school, and finally ended up dropping out at the age of sixteen so that he could work in the local machine shop. When he was twenty he joined the Navy but went AWOL after five months. Not long



References: Biography.com. (2009). Baby Face Nelson Biography. Retrieved from http://www.biography.com/articles/Baby-Face-Nelson-9542636 Biography.com. (2009). John Dillinger Biography. Retrieved from http://www.biography.com/articles/John-Dillinger-9274804?part=7 Croft, J. (2010). The Great Depression. Retrieved from http://www.thegreatdepressioncauses.com/ Federal Bureau of Investigation. (n.d.). Famous Cases: John Dillinger. Retrieved from http://http://www.fbi.gov/libref/historic/famcases/dillinger/dillinger.htm Federal Bureau of Investigations. (n.d.). Famous Cases: Baby Face Nelson. Retrieved from http://http://www.fbi.gov/libref/historic/famcases/babyface/babyface.htm Geringer, J. (n.d.). Babyface Nelson. Retrieved from http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/gangsters_outlaws/outlaws/nelson/1.html PBS. (n.d.). People and Events: John Dillinger. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/dillinger/peopleevents/p_dillinger.html

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