It is currently Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:45 am

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




 Page 1 of 2 [ 16 posts ]  Go to page
1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Public Enemies Question #14 ~ At the Biograph
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:50 pm 
JDZ Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Posts: 12425
Location: The Left Coast
Footnote Pg. 408:

In his 1936 book, American Agent, Purvis claimed he yelled, “Stick ‘em up, Johnny, we have you surrounded.” In numerous newspaper interviews and memos he authored on that night, this is the only time Purvis made such a claim. It is not substantiated by any other interviews or memos authored by any other agent present that night. It’s tempting to suggest Purvis concocted the claim to offset occasional sentiment that the FBI’s killing of Dillinger amounted to an assassination.

For decades, no one in the FBI would confirm which agent fired the bullets that killed Dillinger. Inside the Bureau, however, there was little doubt. “upon my inquiry,” Hoover wrote in a memo the next day, July 23, “Mr. Purvis stated there is no question but that Mr. Winstead fired the fatal shots….Mr. Purvis said that nobody knows it was Winstead who actually killed Dillinger.” In fact, Winstead, Purvis, and other agents made a pact among themselves never to disclose who fired the fatal bullets.

Not until 1970 did Winstead break his silence. In an interview with the FBI agents' alumni newsletter, The Grapevine, he said, "I knew right away it was Dillinger….Polly knew something was up. She grabbed Dillinger by the shirt. He whirled around and reached for his right front pocket. He started running sideways toward the alley. When a guy like Dillinger reaches for his pocket, you don't ask questions. Or read a warrant from the U.S. attorney. Clarence and I fired about the same time. The first shot hit him. He started spinning like a top. When the shooting started he was about six feet from the alley. After Dillinger whirled around he fell face down in the entrance to the alley. He never did get to the alley. I was the first to reach him. I leaned down. He mumbled some words that I couldn't understand. That was the end. Mel Purvis took a .380 automatic out of his hand. It was loaded and he had an extra clip of bullets in his pocket."


Comment.



_________________________________________________________
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 4:56 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:30 pm
Posts: 686
Location: Dead Man's Pass near Reno, NV
Well Oscar's or no, I had to come here to see the question of the day! When I read this whole account of Dillinger's killing, I felt that somehow it didn't seem fair. But by that time in Dillinger's life I guess I was rooting for him to escape again.

Why did he feel 'safe' enough to go to a movie? Was he tired of running and just wanted a 'normal' life? Maybe he thought he had it after his face reconstruction?

It felt like the hype of "we're going to get him this time" was overruling any attempt to take him alive. Reaching into his pocket ? Another asumption of the FBI ( like thinking that car load of men at Little Bohemia were the robbers! ). . .? It felt like everyone of those FBI guys, Pervis included, were caught up in that "thrill" of filling Dillinger's body with holes. And that didn't seem fair. They could have moved in on him as he was walking, so close that he could have surrendred. . .or ran, knowing what would happen.

I wonder what he said as he died. . . and where did those ladies get off to? Hmm. So many questions still in my head. :-?

Cajun Kitty



_________________________________________________________
" After we're gone, the only thing that matters is the love we left behind."
Offline
 Profile WWW  
 
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:19 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:30 am
Posts: 2503
Location: Colorado
I think the fact that Polly was the first to notice something wasn't right outside the theatre that night is significant. It means to me that Dillinger had let his customary guard down. Maybe it was the facelift, making him feel unrecognizable and invisible...maybe it was the aftereffects of the movie occupying his thoughts...maybe it was the company he was keeping... In any case he was unprepared and unawares at that crucial moment.

After all Dillinger had put the G-men through, it's unlikely they would've been in the mood to use restraint once they had him covered. It's easy to imagine just how trigger-happy they were. The evidence supports that fact. :-/

But to make a pact amongst themselves not to reveal whose gun fired the fatal shot seems like a long shot indeed. You'd think they'd have no problem identifying the hero of the piece. Unless.....it wasn't Dillinger and they needed to protect the shooter from being revealed as the guy who killed an innocent man!! No, no, I won't go there!

I'll just say Dillinger's final end was dramatic and mysterious and endlessly compelling!


Last edited by Parlez on Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.


_________________________________________________________
"Belay that! ...Do something else!" ~ Hector Barbossa
savvy avi by mamabear
Offline
 Profile  
 
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:33 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 9:28 pm
Posts: 3907
Location: Florida
This is just an opinion but I don't think Purvis said, "Stick em Up we have you surrounded." I think, like mentioned, it was added later, for whatever reason. First, he was having too much trouble with his assignment to light a cigar when he saw him. They said only a handful of agents saw him do that. In the story by agents present, they said no one said Halt or Stop or identified themselves. They said as soon as Dillinger reached for his pocket he was shot from behind, by Winstead who fired 3 times, Hurt twice and Hollis once. Agents were all close enough to reach Dillinger when he fell and remove his gun.

I agree with Burrough's statement.
Quote:
It’s tempting to suggest Purvis concocted the claim to offset occasional sentiment that the FBI’s killing of Dillinger amounted to an assassination.

Very tempting. I am appalled again at the sloppy work and over zealousness of the FBI. They obviously were planning on killing him and to do it in a crowed place full of innocent bystanders was again careless and not caring for the safety of the public. One woman was shot with a ricochet and they were lucky they didn't kill another bystander. Keep in mind this incident was well planned and this is where they intended to confront him knowing the theatre would be letting out. I don't think these fellas learned anything as they went along or more likely didn't care as long as they got their man. Necessary causalities of war?



_________________________________________________________
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers

Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.
Offline
 Profile WWW  
 
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 7:53 pm 
JDZ Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Posts: 12425
Location: The Left Coast
A compelling tale indeed, BB. And I seem to have all the same questions as youse guys, my main one being: why would they conspire to keep that secret safe. I think it points to what Burrough and Calamity said….that it might have looked like an assassination—which appears to me to be that it actually was.

Thanks for checking on the discussion on this day of pins and needles.

Off to check out the red carpet.....
:bounce:



_________________________________________________________
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:10 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:57 pm
Posts: 1381
Location: uk
Well, I'd be inclined to think it was an assassination, or at least cover up afterwards because they felt they had something to hide. The evidence that he even had a gun on him at all is debateable, given the fact that the one displayed afterwards wasn't even made at the time of his death. But perhaps the gun he did have was just taken as a mememto by someone and a substitute provided? The bit that sticks in my throat is the feeling he was led to his death like a lamb to the slaughter. Yet he was no innocent bystander. Far from it. But I find it hard to believe they couldn't have taken him alive. And then again, Purvis was present! And then there is this...
It has dawned on me that the details of this case are uncannily - and unhappily - similar to the recent case in the UK (2005), where an innocent man was shot at close range in the head, several times, in a London Underground station.The account of the events leading up to it are shocking. A catalogue of errors.
So, while I might find it hard to believe that cases like this occur, it seems that they do. Rather more often than I might have guessed. :-O



_________________________________________________________
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."
Offline
 Profile  
 
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 1:42 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:03 pm
Posts: 15310
Location: Darkest UK~ Down in Albion
suec wrote:
It has dawned on me that the details of this case are uncannily - and unhappily - similar to the recent case in the UK (2005), where an innocent man was shot at close range in the head, several times, in a London Underground station.The account of the events leading up to it are shocking. A catalogue of errors.


Like you say, suec, this happens more often than we think. The thirty year rule on certain categories of info hides a whole lot of things, and I'm sure that in the past things were hidden a lot more effectively. All you had to do then was lose the paperwork, there was no email trail for example.

Back to Dillinger: I'm sure that there is a desire in almost all people in the public eye to be able to go back to the anonimity that they once had. The desire for the simple life and all that. Right back to Marie Antoinette and her pretend farm! Maybe you could include a certain owner of an island in the Bahamas here too? You could put it down to wanting to have it both ways, but I think we all recognise the stress that celebrity can bring.

And keeping the name of the guy that fired the bullet secret? Not a bad idea it seems. If you're building an organisation like the FBI, don't you have to emphasise teamwork and group responsibilty rather than the indivual as stand-out hero?



_________________________________________________________
Work hard, learn well, and make peace with the fact that you'll never be as cool as Johnny Depp. GQ.

Solace in the flood
Offline
 Profile  
 
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 2:48 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:57 pm
Posts: 1381
Location: uk
Quote:
And keeping the name of the guy that fired the bullet secret? Not a bad idea it seems. If you're building an organisation like the FBI, don't you have to emphasise teamwork and group responsibilty rather than the indivual as stand-out hero?


On the one hand, I agree with you entirely. I think - and this is connected to the other question on wether the actions were justified - that to some extent, we employ people in society to do our dirty work for us, to step up and make quite difficult decisions on our behalf. I'm grateful that I don't have to make those kinds of decisions. In such cases, I think anonymity is necessary. The people doing our work for us have to be protected, and collective reponsibility is one way of achieving that. And I do think teamwork in important. I can buy into Hoover's policy of keeping these things secret. It's just, oh I don't know, something about the men making a pact about it afterwards. I don't think it should be down to them to do that. Although of course, it does match policy.



_________________________________________________________
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."
Offline
 Profile  
 
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 3:13 pm 
JDZ Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Posts: 12425
Location: The Left Coast
Endora wrote:
suec wrote:
It has dawned on me that the details of this case are uncannily - and unhappily - similar to the recent case in the UK (2005), where an innocent man was shot at close range in the head, several times, in a London Underground station.The account of the events leading up to it are shocking. A catalogue of errors.


Like you say, suec, this happens more often than we think. The thirty year rule on certain categories of info hides a whole lot of things, and I'm sure that in the past things were hidden a lot more effectively. All you had to do then was lose the paperwork, there was no email trail for example.

Back to Dillinger: I'm sure that there is a desire in almost all people in the public eye to be able to go back to the anonimity that they once had. The desire for the simple life and all that. Right back to Marie Antoinette and her pretend farm! Maybe you could include a certain owner of an island in the Bahamas here too? You could put it down to wanting to have it both ways, but I think we all recognise the stress that celebrity can bring.

And keeping the name of the guy that fired the bullet secret? Not a bad idea it seems. If you're building an organisation like the FBI, don't you have to emphasise teamwork and group responsibilty rather than the indivual as stand-out hero?

This is something I hadn’t considered. I agree that is a good policy. But my intuition tells me that is not why they did it. I feel like there was something more sinister behind it.

Endora, what is the 30 year rule?

We have all of these questions (like why Polly would be more attuned to the situation than Dillinger). What’s to say that isn’t, in itself, a fabrication? Can we really believe any story the FBI told back then or even later?
:-/



_________________________________________________________
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 3:33 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 4:50 pm
Posts: 2059
Location: Olney, Maryland
Endora wrote:
And keeping the name of the guy that fired the bullet secret? Not a bad idea it seems. If you're building an organisation like the FBI, don't you have to emphasise teamwork and group responsibilty rather than the indivual as stand-out hero?
That's why they had firing squads: one person with one gun could do it, but psychologically, it's better to have several people do it.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:32 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:03 pm
Posts: 15310
Location: Darkest UK~ Down in Albion
Liz, the thirty year rule relates to govt papers over here, those with a certain degree of confidentiality. They are not released into the public domain until 30 years have elapsed. They include minutes of cabinet and some comittee meetings whose contents could (in the govt's opinion) cause harm to the state. Each year around January the new lot from thirty years before are published, but there are still things witheld if the subject matter is still, in the government's eyes, problematic.



_________________________________________________________
Work hard, learn well, and make peace with the fact that you'll never be as cool as Johnny Depp. GQ.

Solace in the flood
Offline
 Profile  
 
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 4:52 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 8:15 pm
Posts: 20178
Location: near Omaha
fansmom wrote:
Endora wrote:
And keeping the name of the guy that fired the bullet secret? Not a bad idea it seems. If you're building an organisation like the FBI, don't you have to emphasise teamwork and group responsibilty rather than the indivual as stand-out hero?
That's why they had firing squads: one person with one gun could do it, but psychologically, it's better to have several people do it.


It reminded me of a firing squad as well. If I remember correctly, only one gun had the real bullet and nobody knew which one. Not telling who actually fired the fatal shot was similar.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 6:23 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 9:28 pm
Posts: 3907
Location: Florida
Endora wrote:
Liz, the thirty year rule relates to govt papers over here, those with a certain degree of confidentiality. They are not released into the public domain until 30 years have elapsed. They include minutes of cabinet and some comittee meetings whose contents could (in the govt's opinion) cause harm to the state. Each year around January the new lot from thirty years before are published, but there are still things witheld if the subject matter is still, in the government's eyes, problematic.

I think we have the same thing over here. Politicians lock up their papers when they leave office for years. I think its more like 50 years. Actually the FBI papers we are discussing are the perfect example. The events of the 30s were not released until the 1980s, which is one of the reasons Burrough decided to do the book.
Usually security reasons are given for the reason but sometimes I wonder if the protectection is from our enemies or the public.



_________________________________________________________
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers

Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.
Offline
 Profile WWW  
 
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:54 pm 
JDZ Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Posts: 12425
Location: The Left Coast
Thanks for the explanation, Endora. I don’t know what we have in that regard over here on this side of the pond, but I feel we must have something. I tried to find it under “30-year rule” or “50-year rule”, but haven’t readily found anything. Maybe someone out there knows?



_________________________________________________________
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.
Offline
 Profile  
 
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 11:00 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 5:11 pm
Posts: 296
Liz wrote:
Quote:
but I feel we must have something. I tried to find it under “30-year rule” or “50-year rule”, but haven’t readily found anything. Maybe someone out there knows?



The US's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), governs a lot of what can be wrestled from the Federal government's hands, document-wise, and how one can go about getting it. It also specifies what's exempt from declassification.

I know there's a 72 year restriction on US Census data, so the last one released is 1930. Only 4 more years til 1940 is available!



_________________________________________________________
"There is no King, who, with sufficient force, is not always ready to make himself absolute."
---Thomas Jefferson
Offline
 Profile  
 
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
 Page 1 of 2 [ 16 posts ]  Go to page
1, 2  Next

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  


phpBB skin developed by: John Olson
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group