this day in crime history: november 27, 1934

On this date in 1934, Lester Gillis, better known as George “Baby Face” Nelson (and don’t even think about calling him “Baby Face” to his baby face) died after being shot by FBI agents near Barrington, IL. Nelson was shot multiple times in a gun battle that also resulted in the deaths of FBI Inspector Samuel Cowley and Special Agent Herman Hollis. Nelson’s body was later found in a ditch, wrapped in a blanket.

Further reading:

FBI History – “Baby Face” Nelson

Crime Library – Baby Face Nelson: Childlike Mug, Psychopathic Soul

Wikipedia – Baby Face Nelson

FBI Hall of Honor – Samuel P. Cowley

FBI Hall of Honor – Herman E. Hollis

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5 thoughts on “this day in crime history: november 27, 1934

  1. John D.:
    Wonder(since he didn’t die when shot by the FBI) if they ever found out WHO stuck him in that ditch and wrapped him up?
    Musta been a “concerned” citizen?

    Good story.

    Have a great weekend and roll safe out there.

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    • If I remember correctly Nelson`s wife and another man were there together at the gunfight but stayed with their car. The wife and fellow crook wrapped Nelson up after Nelson died.

      The story of the gunfight is interesting. I think Nelson kept advancing after being shot several times. One of the FBI men was shot when a round from Nelson passed through a tree or telephone pole the Agent was using as cover.

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      • They guy with him was a Nelson gang member named John Paul Chase. Nelson’s wife was with them in the car, but took cover during the gunfight. Chase and Mrs Nelson (real name: Helen Gillis) took his body from the scene. She later explained that she wrapped him in a blanket because he always hated being cold.

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  2. Supposedly an off duty cop named Bill Gallagher heard the gunshots and rushed to the scene, where he fired a couple of bullets with a borrowed rifle. Hoover apparently wanted the Barrington fight to be remembered as an all G-man affair and wrote Gallagher’s role out of the officifial history.

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