LINCOLN PARK — Eighty-three years ago, gangster John Dillinger was shot and killed by FBI agents outside the Biograph Theater.
And Edgar Allemand was a man in demand.
A mechanic at a garage across from the Biograph, Allemand was one of the first people on the scene of the July 22, 1934 incident. His observations were reported in newspapers around the world and by Fox Movietone News. (see video below)
Allemand was working a late shift at Billy Bart's Garage, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave., and had stepped outside after his dinner break.
"[I] looked across the alley then and suddenly in quick succession heard two rapid shots. A woman screamed, lifting up her dress and saying she was shot. And a man right across from me dropped on the floor. Right then and there. I was horrified," he told Fox Movietone.
"It was a gruesome sight. He just dropped as cattle would in a slaughter house ..." Allemand said, describing "blood gushing through [Dillinger's] chest as well as the back."
"His shirt was bloody on both parts, back and front, with blood oozing on the streets. Dillinger had no chance ever. Just as his victims were gone before so he had found his own fate at last," said Allemand, who lived on Berenice Avenue in North Center.
Two women were hit by stray bullets, but they were not seriously injured, according to news accounts.
See the interview below:
The video is from the Moving Image Research Collection at the University of South Carolina. which seeks to preserve films made outside the feature film industry. It holds 11 million feet of fragile silent and sound films that document news and global events produced by Fox Movietone from the 1920s to 1940s.
The Fox library was given to the university by the Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp. in 1980, and the university works to restore them and make them available to the public.