During the Great Depression (1929-1939) there were a series of famous gangsters such as John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Bonnie and Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd, Machine Gun Kelly, John Ashley, and Al Capone, committing crimes throughout the United States. This period became known in law enforcement as the Public Enemies Era based on the FBI keeping “Public Enemies” lists of wanted criminals. Below is a list of the criminals and their crimes. Despite their extensive list of criminal behavior and violence, many were and remain beloved by Americans.
Your task is to select a few of the “public enemies” and write a 500-1000-word essay that addresses why they were so beloved. In your essay, you need to discuss the context (Great Depression) and if that had an impact on their public persona. Also, include a discussion of the changes made in the criminal justice system because of their exploits. Be sure to use the lecture on the Depression, including the chapter and PowerPoint of that same period to help you craft your narrative.