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He had a difficult childhood. He joined the navy in 1923, then soon he was dishonorably discharged and he returned home. In September 1924 he was caught in the foiled holdup of a Mooresville grocer, and he served much of the next decade in Indiana State Prison. While incarcerated, he learned the craft of bank robbery from fellow inmates. He was released a year earlier for good behaviour on Parole on May 10, 1933. On June 21, 1933 he robbed his first bank taking ten thousand dollars in Ohio that marked his onset of his vocation in robbery.
A special FBI squad was appointed to track down Dillinger. He eventually made his way to Chicago, where he reportedly had plastic surgery to alter his appearance. His end came through a trap set up by the FBI; he attempted to escape but was shot to death in the alley on July 22, 1934. Some researchers suggested that it was not Dillinger; rather some other man was killed and Dillinger actually disappeared. However, fingerprints from the body matched those taken from Dillinger in previous arrests.
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