Of all the crazy crime stories in New York, it remains one of the craziest.
On Aug. 22, 1972, John Wojtowicz, a 27-year-old Vietnam vet, along with a friend, an 18-year-old ex-con named Salvatore Naturale, tried to rob a Chase Manhattan bank in Brooklyn when their getaway driver fled and the cops showed up.
The robbery, which later inspired Sidney Lumet’s 1975 film “Dog Day Afternoon,” had been Wojtowicz’s idea. He wanted the money to help the man he called his wife pay for a $3,000 sex change operation. The botched holdup resulted in a 14-hour hostage standoff with police and was an instant news sensation, thanks in part to the mix of crime and sexuality as well as Wojtowicz’s larger-than-life personality.
The robbery ended violently, with Naturale shot dead during a getaway attempt and Wojtowicz sent to prison. Four years later, Al Pacino was nominated for an Academy Award for “Dog Day Afternoon,” a role that was based on Wojtowicz.
After a viewing of “Dog Day Afternoon” severalRead More »from Documentary tells the real story of the man who inspired 'Dog Day Afternoon'