John Dillinger Case Summary

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John Dillinger is an interesting case to analyse in terms of concepts of crimes as he served his first prison sentence in 1924 when the economy was strong, until 1933 when he was released. Obviously the state of the U.S. was different, but the prison culture of the 1920s left Dillinger resentful since he served such a long sentence for only stealing $50 from a grocery store. John Dillinger was the “bandit king” 24 according to Roger A. Bruns and “the true heir to Jesse’s mantle of bank-robbing king.”25 He was born in 1903 and served his first prison sentence from 1924-1933 for stealing $50 from a local grocery store. The long prison sentence for a seemingly small crime shocked Dillinger and left him feeling bitter and resentful against society,…show more content…
This is perhaps best shown by thecinema audience’s reaction to his picture on the screen in Washington in early 1934: “When the outlaw’s picture first appeared on the screen, the audience roared its approval…”28 This reaction suggests how disillusioned the public really were from the government and the current system. This is supported by Brun’s statement that “[t]o much of the public he seemed a threat24 Bruns, R. The Bandit Kings: from Jesse James to Pretty Boy Floyd (Crown Publishers Inc, New York, 1995) p176 25 Bruns, R. The Bandit Kings: from Jesse James to Pretty Boy Floyd (Crown Publishers Inc, New York, 1995) p16826 “FBI: Famous Cases and Criminals – John Dillinger”, Federal Bureau of Investigation, accessed 10/11/15, https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/history/famous-cases/john-dillinger27 White, R. “Outlaw Gangs of the Middle Border: American Social Bandits” Western Historical Quarterly, Volume 12: Issue number 4 (October 1981) p387 28 Bruns, R. The Bandit Kings: from Jesse James to Pretty Boy Floyd (Crown Publishers Inc, New York, 1995) p176 only to the hated banks he robbed…”29 This is juxtaposed by the authorities opinion of him. The FBI referred to his years of
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