Lot 9 of 209:

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Lot closed - unsold
$5,000 - $8,000

Remarkable archive of documents related to Lester M. Gillis aka “Baby Face” Nelson.


Various places



Collection of approximately 1500 pages of typed documents (mostly carbon), several on imprinted FBI forms, court exhibits, newspaper articles, depositions, petitions, trial briefs, statements, confessions, summaries, verdicts, letters, etc. Most of the documents concern the U.S. government’s case against fifteen men and three women (including Nelson’s wife, Helen Gillis) for concealing the fugitive “Baby Face” Nelson in California and Nevada. A portion of the material concerns the confession of Frank B. Cochran, a service station owner from Reno, Nevada, involving his knowledge of Nelson around the time of the disappearance of Reno banker Roy J. Frisch. Cochran’s statement helped the government establish a connection to Nelson and the missing banker. A truly extraordinary archive, covering in minute detail the life of one of America’s most notorious criminals, filled with real-life gangster action, extensive content on other gangsters, including John Dillinger, the Frisch murder and Nelson’s pursuit by the F.B.I. Lester Gillis was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1908. He started out as a petty criminal, roaming the streets with a gang of juvenile hoodlums. However, in 1929 he began working for Al Capone. He assumed the name Baby Face Nelson and developed a reputation for a willingness to carry out vicious killings. Nelson teamed up with John Paul Chase in 1932. Chase would later report in an interview that Nelson had killed a man during an altercation while they were in Reno. In 1934 Nelson joined the John Dillinger gang and took part in several bank robberies before being killed in a shoot-out with FBI agents on November 27th, 1934 in Barrington, Illinois.

Lot Amendments

Overall very good condition, some wear, light soiling, folds, etc.

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