July 22, 1934
A man sat on a high stool at the bar of a tavern looking out the window onto Lincoln Avenue. He was good looking, in his early thirties, wearing a pin-striped suit, canvas shoes, his straw hat was on the bar.
“Bartender, give me another beer,” he mumbled.
The bartender brought his beer and said, pointing at the movie theater across the street.
“Lots of people going to see the movie tonight, must be a good picture.”
The man took a sip of his beer. An aura, a current of cold air, seemed to surround him.
“Yes, it’s a good film. I saw it last night. Clark Gable played a good part as a gangster.”
The bartender went back to washing glasses.
The clock on the wall said 8:30 pm, people were lining up for tickets at the Biograph Theater’s box office, among them was a young man wearing a straw hat, with two women, one on each arm.
At approximately 10:30 pm, the doors opened and the crowd filed out of the theater. The man in the tavern was still looking out of the window. He saw a man,
wearing a straw hat, and two women emerge from the theater. All of a sudden the man started running, and other men were running after him.
Several shots were fired and the man with the straw hat fell to the ground, his body oozing blood. The two women who were with him, melted into the crowd.
By this time there was a huge crowd on the street, someone shouted, “Dillinger is shot!”
The man in the tavern smiled. Two women came in the side door and joined him. There was chaos on the street outside.
The man put on his straw hat, and with the two women, one on each arm, left by the side door in a smoky haze.
The next day, the papers screamed the headlines:
“FBI Shoots Dillinger Dead”.
Down at the bottom of the page was a paragraph about a bank that was robbed late that night.
On a lamppost near the Biograph Theater was a poster flapping in the wind:
PUBLIC ENEMY NUMBER 1
JOHN DILLINGER, BANK ROBBER
$15,000 REWARD, DEAD OR ALIVE
Good post Dave. Sounded like a Twilight Zone episode. I still like those Rod Serling stories.
If the FBI shot him, who was the guy in the bar? Maybe it’s too early in the morning. I’m confused.
The guy in the bar was the doppelgänger. The story is supposed to bring to mind questions, did the FBI shoot the real Dillinger or was the real Dillinger watching from the bar? Or was the guy in the bar the ghost of Dillinger?
My friend Helen Block said:
I’m old enough to remember when Dillinger was shot. Maybe a new reader could think they got the wrong guy, but I’m pretty sure it was him! Obviously, you did some research on this one. Fun to read.
Good story, I liked it. Was it the ghost of Dillinger in the bar? You know cousin I don’t believe in ghosts, but I am afraid of them!
My friend Larry Primak said:
According to my family lore, my great uncle, Ignatz Schiffer, a captain during WW1 and a younger brother of my maternal grandmother, Rose, was in on the assassination of John Dillinger. Supposedly he was part of the FBI team assigned to bringing the allusive criminal to justice.