"Baby Face" Nelson

Baby Face NelsonBorn Lester M. Gillis in 1908 in Chicago, "Baby Face" Nelson started running with local hoodlums at a young age, and was an accomplished car thief by 14.

Nelson spent many months of his teenage years in a boys home. By 22, he robbed a bank and was sent to the Illinois State Penitentiary. He would later escape and flee to Nevada, then California. There he met John Chase, a liquor smuggler.

In 1933, after living on the run for some time, Nelson meets up in Chicago with the Dillinger Gang, having befriended gang member Homer Van Meter months earlier.

While they were all vacationing at Little Bohemia in Wisconsin, FBI agents learned of their whereabouts and attempted to capture the gang. Nelson fled to a nearby home with 2 hostages. He managed to escape, allegedly shooting 2 agents and a constable in the process, killing Agent W. Carter Baum.

Nelson continued to live outside the law and on the run, moving between Chicago and California. On November 27, 1934, Nelson was spotted in a stolen car and chased down by agents. Nelson was critically wounded in a shoot out, he would die later that evening. During the chase, Agent Herman Edward Hollis was also shot and killed.


Visit the John Dillinger Museum to find out more about
the 20's & 30's criminals and heroes.


dillinger mugshot

Baby Face Nelson
Baby Face

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FBI Director
J. Edgar Hoover

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FBI Agent
Melvin Purvis

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East Chicago Detective
Patrick O'Malley