Woman in Red, Ana Cumpănaș




East Chicago & Gary, Indiana (America)

Snitch Biography:

Anna Sage was a Romanian immigrant who came to America in 1909 and found work in a brothel in East Chicago and Gary, Indiana. She is a native of Comlosu Mare, a village of Banat (then part of Austria-Hungary, now in Timis County, Romania). She is best known for assisting the Federal Bureau of Investigation in tracking down American bank robber and gangster during the Great Depression, John Dillinger. Although she was successful in this venerable and established field (she opened several of her own houses of ill repute in Indiana and Illinois), the Department of Labor sought to deport her as an "alien of low moral character." But when famed bank robber John Dillinger, whom she met through mutual friend Polly Hamilton, asked her to a movie, Sage thought she'd found a way to stamp her Green Card. Dillinger was wanted in five states, and Sage hoped that if she turned him in, the good karma would translate into an invitation to stay in the U.S.

To stage the arrest, Sage called her ex-boyfriend, Martin Zarkovich, at the East Chicago Police Department, and was put in contact with FBI agent Melvin Purvis, who was working the Dillinger case for the FBI. Sage told Purvis about her upcoming date with Dillinger at the Biograph Theater on July 22, 1934. In order to be identified in the crowd, Sage agreed to wear a white blouse and orange skirt that night, even though history would later dub her the "Lady in Red", this is because it was believed the lights of the marquee made her outfit appear red, spawning the moniker. As she, Dillinger, and Polly Hamilton exited the theater, Purvis confronted the group. Dillinger tried to run, which worked pretty well until four FBI bullets put a hitch in his stride. He died at the scene.

Sage collected $5,000 for information, which was alot in the 30s, leading to Dillinger's capture/death but was soon sent back to Romania. According to most sources, agents at the FBI told Sage they couldn't prevent her deportation because of the organization's lack of influence over the Department of Labor, but recent research suggests a more devious motive. In Jay Robert Nash's book Dillinger: Dead or Alive, the author suggests the whole episode was a setup. Because the FBI's failure to capture the elusive "Most Wanted" man was a source of considerable consternation, Nash believes the scene outside the theater that night was the shooting of an innocent man staged by Sage, Zarkovich, and the FBI. The goal? Alleviate pressure on the FBI and help keep the "Lady in Red" in the country. Nash claims Sage's hasty deportation was part of the cover-up, and also points to discrepancies between the body of the dead man and Dillinger. John Dillinger was widely known for his blue eyes and missing upper tooth. The body from the scene, however, had brown eyes and a full set of teeth. Adding further credence to Nash's theory is the disappearance of local criminal John Lawrence the night of the shooting.

The moral of this story, "Is love worth getting killed over?"

Physical Description:

Ethnicity/Race: White (Austro-Hungarian/Romanian)
Height: 5'8''
Weight: 132 Lbs
Tattoos: None
Clothing Style: Great Depression Era, 1930's
Sexual Orientation: Straight

Social Media Links:

"There was no technology/social media during the 1930's"