Baby Face Nelson

American bank robber Baby Face Nelson

Lester Joseph Gillis, known under the pseudonym George Nelson, was a bank robber and murderer in the 1930s. Gillis was known as Baby Face Nelson, a name given to him due to his youthful appearance and small stature.
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  • 1934
    Age 25
    A short but furious gun battle between FBI agents and Nelson took place on November 27, 1934, outside Chicago in the town of Barrington, resulting in the deaths of Nelson and Federal Agents Herman "Ed" Hollis and Samuel P. Cowley.
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    On July 22, 1934, Dillinger was ambushed and killed by FBI agents outside the Biograph Theater in Lincoln Park, Chicago. The next day the FBI announced that "Pretty Boy" Floyd was now Public Enemy No. 1. On October 22, 1934, Floyd was killed in a shootout with agents including Melvin Purvis.
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    Years later, the FBI determined that on March 22, 1934, Nelson and Chase abducted and killed the chief witness against the pair, Roy Fritsch.
    On March 3, 1934, John Dillinger made his famous "wooden pistol" escape from the jail in Crown Point, Indiana.
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  • 1933
    Age 24
    According to Bryan Burrough's book Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933–34, this most likely happened when Wanatka was playing cards with Dillinger, Nelson, and Hamilton.
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    He committed a major bank robbery in Grand Haven, Michigan, August 18, 1933, his first in the area.
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  • 1932
    Age 23
    During February 1932, Nelson escaped during a prison transfer.
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  • 1931
    Age 22
    Throughout the winter of 1931, most of the Tape Bandits were rounded up, including Nelson.
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  • 1930
    Age 21
    Nelson and his crew were later linked to a botched roadhouse robbery in Summit, Illinois on November 23, 1930.
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    On April 21, 1930, Nelson robbed his first bank, making off with approximately $4,000.
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  • 1928
    Age 19
    Nelson became gang-affiliated during his mid-teens and immediately became the leader of the gang. In 1928, Nelson met and married Helen Wawzynak.
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  • 1916
    Age 7
    On July 4, 1916, at the age of twelve, Nelson was arrested after accidentally shooting a playmate in the jaw with a pistol he had found.
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  • 1908
    Born on December 6, 1908.
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