|John Herbert Dillinger (June 22, 1903 – July 22, 1934) was a bank robber in the Midwestern United States during the early 1930s. He was a dangerous criminal, who was responsible for the murder of several police officers, robbed at least two dozen banks and four police stations, and escaped from jail twice, but some people idolized him as a modern-day Robin Hood. He was nicknamed "the Jackrabbit" for his graceful movements during heists, such as leaping over counters and his many narrow getaways from police. The exploits of Dillinger and his gang, along with those of other criminals of the Great Depression such as Bonnie and Clyde and Ma Barker, dominated the attention of the American press and its readers during what is sometimes referred to as the public enemy era (1931–1935), a period which led to the development of the modern, more sophisticated Federal Bureau of Investigation.|
After spending nearly a year running from police, and hiding out in Florida, Arizona, Michigan, and Wisconsin, Dillinger was wounded in one escape from police and returned to his father's home to heal. He soon returned to Chicago in July 1934, the site of several of his highest profile crimes. He was discovered there by police, who were informed of his whereabouts by a prostitute. On July 22, they closed in on a theater where he was watching a movie, and moved to arrest him as he left the building. He pulled a weapon and attempted to flee, but was shot three times, with a bullet through his face killing him. His crimes were sensationalized across the nation, and his numerous escapes and robberies fed many urban legends in the United States.