Baby Face Nelson


Lester Joseph Gillis (December 6, 1908 November 27, 1934), aka George Nelson but better known as Baby Face Nelson, due to his youthful appearance, was a diminutive (5' 4" tall) bank robber in the 1930s.

Nelson began his criminal career stealing cars. Nelson came to greater prominence in 1934, when he joined the Dillinger gang. In contrast to the dashing John Dillinger, Nelson is the antithesis of popular, Robin Hood-like gangsters of the Depression era. Having a psychopathic bent, Nelson did not hesitate to kill lawmen and innocent bystanders. After John Dillinger's death in July 1934, Nelson became Public Enemy Number One.

A running gun battle between FBI agents and Nelson took place on November 27, 1934 outside of Chicago, in the town of Barrington resulting in the deaths of Agent Herman Hollis and Inspector Samuel P. Cowley. Nelson, though shot 17 times, was still able to steal Hollis's car and race away with his wife. Nelson succumbed to his wounds that evening and was unceremoniously dumped near a cemetery.