As Public Enemies opens nationwide in theatres Wednesday a Northwoods man recalls a story of his parents unintentionally helping one of John Dillinger's cohorts getaway from the law. A famous shootout occurred at the Little Bohemia Lodge in April of 1934 where George "Baby Face" Nelson shot a G-Man at point-blank range as Dillinger and his gang escaped.
A couple of days later, Nelson pulled up to the Gregorich family's home who welcomed the stranger in. Robert Gregorich, who was not yet born at the time, says his parents had "pleasant" conversations with Nelson who even helped with chores. The family recalled Nelson preferred to sit in a chair that had a view of the outside.
Robert's father offered Nelson a ride to Neillsville. With too many police on the road and expired license plates on the car the two detoured to Marshfield. After dropping off the stranger, Gregorich became suspicious and reported to police the license number of the car that Nelson had driven to their home.
Following Dillinger's death in July 1934, Nelson was dubbed "public enemy number one." Nelson was gunned down by the FBI later that year outside of Chicago.