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Retired Detective Remembers “Dog Day Afternoon” 40 years ago

Aaron Edwards
New York Times 

The woman’s body stiffened with each passing second as she sat anxiously in the back row of a 14-person limousine. Suddenly, a man sitting near her was fatally shot — killed by an F.B.I. agent, the culmination of nearly 14 hours of one of the more gripping criminal episodes in recent New York City history.

She wore a navy blue dress suit with a modest skirt, white button-down blouse, heels and stockings. Considering that she had spent more than half a day as a hostage inside a Brooklyn bank, she was remarkably well put-together and deceivingly composed. She had not cried, but she was terrified.

After what felt to the woman like an hour inside the limo, which had parked near a runway at Kennedy International Airport, the agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation turned from the driver’s seat and shot the man — one of the robbers who had taken hostages inside the bank — in the chest. The side doors were flung open by police officers.

“Out! Everyone out!” they yelled. “Get out!”

It was Aug. 22, 1972. The events — an attempted bank robbery, hostages seized, a news media circus and the F.B.I. shooting at the airport — were the inspiration for the 1975 crime drama “Dog Day Afternoon.”

To read the full story click here.


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