CooperToons HomePage Caricatures Alphabetical Index Random Selection Previous Next

Melvin and Edgar and John

John Dillinger - Melvin Purvis - J Edgar Hoover

"I guess my only bad habit is robbing banks. I smoke very little and don't drink much." - John Dillinger.

But it was the robbing of banks that made John Herbert Dillinger one of the most admired men in America. Yes, we said admired. After all, this was the years 1933 to 1934 which were the worst of the Great Depression. Banks were closing down and taking with them the life savings of many a family. Those that stayed open were foreclosing on people's houses and farms. The banks were seen as crooks themselves and the saying was you couldn't steal from a thief.

The trouble, though, is robbing banks with automatics and submachine guns can be hazardous to someone's health. And after some policemen who were just doing their jobs were killed during some of Johnny's hold-ups, sympathy for Johnnie and his gang began to fall. But when the Bureau of Investigation (it wasn't then dubbed "Federal") tried to arrest Johnnie and his gang and instead ended up accidentally killing an innocent bystander, people didn't think much of the Feds either. Humorist Will Rogers said that Dillinger better not wander into a crowd of innocent by-standers or he might get shot. Congressmen called for the resignation of the head of both the Department of Investigation (as it was briefly renamed), John Edgar Hoover, and the Special Agent in Chicago, Melvin Purvis. So soon Melvin and Edgar were ...

Well, p'raps, we should save what is a rather longish and convoluted tale for later. How much later? Well, not much, that is if you just just click here.