The Biograph Theater on N. Lincoln in Chicago, Illinois. In 1934 bank robber and murderer John Dillinger was shot to death in the alley next to the Biograph. Dillinger had been set up by a prostitute, Anna Sage, who tried to bargain her way out of deportation. The head of the Chicago FBI, Melvin Purvis, made no promises to her other than a vague, “we will see what we can do”. Sage telephoned Purvis to tip off the FBI that Dillinger and her would be at the movies. Sage was to wear a yellow dress to help make identification easier. (The yellow dress under the colored lights of the theater marquee gave off a reddish/pink cast, hence “the lady in red”.) Purvis and several G-Men were waiting outside the theater. The movie that night was “Manhatten Melodrama, starring Clark Gable, ironically a gangster flick. Dillinger was seemingly relaxed when he first exited the front of the theater, but he saw something, or his always sharp instinct warned him, and he decided to bolt down, in a Southern direction,down the street. At the alley he ran east. Just as he made entrance to the alley shots rang out and John Dillinger dropped dead. Word on the street spread quickly and soon a throng of people pressed by the FBI to view the bloody tableau. Folks even dipped their handkerchiefs into the pooling blood in order to have a souvenir. The era of bloody Midwest bank robbers was coming to an end. Sage ended up getting deported anyway. Purvis enjoyed a few years of fame but died at age 56, from a “self inflected” gunshot wound. It is not clear if it was suicide or a gun cleaning accident.
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