Dillinger Question #10 ~ A Scapegoat?

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Dillinger Question #10 ~ A Scapegoat?

Unread postby Liz » Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:03 am

Was Dillinger a scapegoat?
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Re: Dillinger Question #10 ~ A Scapegoat?

Unread postby nebraska » Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:44 am

In many ways I think he was. J. Edgar needed to make a name for himself and his bureau and Dillinger happened to cross state lines at the right time to make a case for increased federal intervention. The fact that Dillinger was already a popular figure made it more simple to generate publicity for the bureau using Dillinger as an example. Dillinger was probably less dangerous than many of the other outlaws of the time (Baby Face Nelson, for instance). He became Public Enemy No 1 more to satisfy Hoover's need for publicity than as a result of his criminal activity.

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Re: Dillinger Question #10 ~ A Scapegoat?

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:53 am

I'll be brief today! :grin: Yes and no. I do think Hoover exploited him to expand the powers of the FBI and beef up his own image. But... "I'm John Dillinger. I rob banks." The guy was not innocent.

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Re: Dillinger Question #10 ~ A Scapegoat?

Unread postby Betty Sue » Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:50 pm

I agree that he was a scapegoat only to a certain extent. Hoover tried to use him to symbolize all crime, then eradicate him. And he was blamed for countless crimes that were committed all over the country while he might be off enjoying a ballgame. But, also, he was consistently pretty busy knocking off banks! :tommygun:
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Re: Dillinger Question #10 ~ A Scapegoat?

Unread postby gemini » Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:13 pm

I think he was a scapegoat in the sense that to make a name for the FBI, it was easier to go after one man that was in the spotlight, than it was to tackle the Mafia crime syndicates. It is like the Chicago syndicate said in the film they made more money in a day then Dillinger did in his biggest robbery. They certainly killed more people and stole a lot more money with drugs and prostitution but had connections and would not be easy to get.
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Re: Dillinger Question #10 ~ A Scapegoat?

Unread postby ladylinn » Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:40 pm

I don't know if I would call Dillinger a scapegoat. Hoover did need someone to blame or take the blame for the turmoil of the time - but I think Hoover used Dillinger as a stepping stone to promote himself and his idea of the FBI. Hoover could have gone after the mobsters or other more vicious criminals (Baby Face Nelson, etc.). Dillinger seemed an easier mark and therefore Hoover could claim victory over crime and boost himself up into prominence.

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Re: Dillinger Question #10 ~ A Scapegoat?

Unread postby inspired » Wed Jul 15, 2009 5:42 pm

Hope it's okay to add my two cents here. When I think of the term 'scapegoat' I think of an innocent on whom blame is wrongly placed. While Dillinger may not have been guilty of all the crimes attributed to him, he certainly participated in a sufficient number of crimes for which the law wanted him held accountable. That, coupled with his arrogance and uncanny ability to outwit the FBI made Hoover even more determined to capture him - dead or alive. So, perhaps a bit of guilt by association, but as for being a scapegoat, I would vote no.
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Re: Dillinger Question #10 ~ A Scapegoat?

Unread postby trygirl » Wed Jul 15, 2009 7:34 pm

Dillinger wasn't a scapegoat but he may fall into the sacrificial lamb category. As ladylinn pointed out, he was Hoover's stepping stone. The FBI took Dillinger and turned him into the number one threat in the country. If you want to make a name for yourself, one must go after the best or at least those perceived as such. The public only learned that G-men were responsible for more deaths than Dillinger years down the road. But he was no fall guy.
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Re: Dillinger Question #10 ~ A Scapegoat?

Unread postby deppaura » Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:20 am

OR was he a decoy?? I also thought Puppet??
Last edited by deppaura on Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Dillinger Question #10 ~ A Scapegoat?

Unread postby Liz » Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:26 am

But of course, inspired. You are welcome to comment here anytime. :cool:

Scapegoat:

a person, group, or inanimate object upon which the blame for the crimes or misfortunes of others is projected. And “wrongfully” is usually a term used in the definition. So in that sense, you and others are correct that technically he was not a scapegoat as he did commit crimes.

I think trygirl came up with a better word….."sacrificial lamb"….which I think is interesting in light of the original scapegoat that I found online, which was Biblical--a real goat which metaphorically carried sins into the desert. Isn’t that what Jesus did, the lamb of God who carried all the sins of the world?

But, yeah, sacrificial lamb is more how I was looking at him....an example to the masses--a power trip for Hoover. BUT I also wonder about Zarcovich and his interest in all of this.
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Re: Dillinger Question #10 ~ A Scapegoat?

Unread postby gemini » Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:07 am

Liz wrote:But, yeah, sacrificial lamb is more how I was looking at him....an example to the masses--a power trip for Hoover. BUT I also wonder about Zarcovich and his interest in all of this.[/liz]


It was Zarkovich that tried to get Dillinger killed before he turned him in by sending those cops out when Dillinger and Van Meter were living in their pick up truck with the bed in the back. I think he saw Dillinger as someone with a lot of cash on him and he was a crooked cop workiing for the mob. When the mob pulled their protection of Dillinger, Zarkovich either was given permission by the mob or just knew he could get access to Dillingers apartment through Ana Sage being his girl. He saw a chance for stealing Dillingers bank money plus spliting the FBI reward with Ana. He was also supposed to be the cop that went through his pockets after he was shot and they only found $ 7.71. The only real question is was the mob directly involved in giving Dillinger up or was it just Zarkovich ? That would make him a sacrificial lamb for the mob.
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Re: Dillinger Question #10 ~ A Scapegoat?

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:25 am

gemini wrote:
Liz wrote:But, yeah, sacrificial lamb is more how I was looking at him....an example to the masses--a power trip for Hoover. BUT I also wonder about Zarcovich and his interest in all of this.[/liz]


It was Zarkovich that tried to get Dillinger killed before he turned him in by sending those cops out when Dillinger and Van Meter were living in their pick up truck with the bed in the back. I think he saw Dillinger as someone with a lot of cash on him and he was a crooked cop workiing for the mob. When the mob pulled their protection of Dillinger, Zarkovich either was given permission by the mob or just knew he could get access to Dillingers apartment through Ana Sage being his girl. He saw a chance for stealing Dillingers bank money plus spliting the FBI reward with Ana. He was also supposed to be the cop that went through his pockets after he was shot and they only found $ 7.71.
I agree with you there, gemini. I also wondered how much money might have been hidden away in the apartment! He and Ana might have cleaned up a nice sum of cash as well as the guns.

gemini wrote:The only real question is was the mob directly involved in giving Dillinger up or was it just Zarkovich ? That would make him a sacrificial lamb for the mob.
As for the mob, I have a hard time believing they were involved in his death. Sure, they may have told him they didn't want him hanging around their places and dropped protection. But even the scene in the movie where Nitti talks to Zarkovich on the phone didn't ring true to me. I think if the mob wanted him dead they would have just killed him straight away, and wouldn't have bothered with Sage and Zarkovich. They tend to deal with their problems very quickly and decisively. :-O

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Re: Dillinger Question #10 ~ A Scapegoat?

Unread postby Liz » Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:15 pm

RamblinRebel wrote:
gemini wrote:
Liz wrote:But, yeah, sacrificial lamb is more how I was looking at him....an example to the masses--a power trip for Hoover. BUT I also wonder about Zarcovich and his interest in all of this.[/liz]


It was Zarkovich that tried to get Dillinger killed before he turned him in by sending those cops out when Dillinger and Van Meter were living in their pick up truck with the bed in the back. I think he saw Dillinger as someone with a lot of cash on him and he was a crooked cop workiing for the mob. When the mob pulled their protection of Dillinger, Zarkovich either was given permission by the mob or just knew he could get access to Dillingers apartment through Ana Sage being his girl. He saw a chance for stealing Dillingers bank money plus spliting the FBI reward with Ana. He was also supposed to be the cop that went through his pockets after he was shot and they only found $ 7.71.
I agree with you there, gemini. I also wondered how much money might have been hidden away in the apartment! He and Ana might have cleaned up a nice sum of cash as well as the guns.

These thoughts had never even occurred to me. :dunce: Interesting ideas, RR & gemini! :thumbsup:


RamblinRebel wrote:
gemini wrote:The only real question is was the mob directly involved in giving Dillinger up or was it just Zarkovich ? That would make him a sacrificial lamb for the mob.
As for the mob, I have a hard time believing they were involved in his death. Sure, they may have told him they didn't want him hanging around their places and dropped protection. But even the scene in the movie where Nitti talks to Zarkovich on the phone didn't ring true to me. I think if the mob wanted him dead they would have just killed him straight away, and wouldn't have bothered with Sage and Zarkovich. They tend to deal with their problems very quickly and decisively. :-O

Good point!
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Re: Dillinger Question #10 ~ A Scapegoat?

Unread postby nebraska » Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:18 pm

I will stand by my answer that Dillinger was a scapegoat. Yes, he was guilty of some crimes, but he was made to be an exaggerated example of all criminals for even larger crimes for the advancement of Hoover and his FBI. So while he wasn't completely innocent, his crimes didn't deserve the hoopla they received.

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Re: Dillinger Question #10 ~ A Scapegoat?

Unread postby Liz » Thu Jul 16, 2009 12:38 pm

nebraska wrote:I will stand by my answer that Dillinger was a scapegoat. Yes, he was guilty of some crimes, but he was made to be an exaggerated example of all criminals for even larger crimes for the advancement of Hoover and his FBI. So while he wasn't completely innocent, his crimes didn't deserve the hoopla they received.

Yes, that is exactly how I view it.
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.


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