"After world war 1 a new war was beginning, on the streets of America".It was everywhere in America including St.Paul.From 1924 to 1938 during the great depression. An estimated 1,300 gangs were spread across St.Paul. People like Basil "the owl" Banghart,Clyde Barrow, Bonnie Parker (Bonnie and Clyde) Joe Bergl, etc. walked the streets of St. Paul at one time or another. Even Ma Barker. She would always be there to get her "little boys" out of jail. Alvine karpis pulled off more major offends than anyone during the public enemy era. Any policemen will tell you it's good to have a friend in bad places.
How and Why did this event occur?
Jess Doyle was involved in at least half of all bank raids in the Barker - Karpis gang and Bernard Phillips (Phil Courtney) was in the gang during most successful bank heists. Earl Christman was the only Barker-Karpis gang member to die from wounds that he got during a robbery. Fred Goetz (Shotgun Ziegler) split his time between the Barker - karpis gang and the Chicago organized crime world. He was also belived to be one of the people working with Al Copone as one of the mobsters in the St. Valentine's day massacre. Charles Fitzjarald was involved in the gangs first kidnapping ,then, 2 months later, he was wounded in the gangs last big robbery.
What are the major parts of the event?
Gangsters knew they were safe in St. Paul. Criminal hangouts were all over. Grocery, drug stores, and car dealerships were on every block. The dealerships offer gangsters a choice of quick getaway cars like Hudsons, Studebakers, and Buicks. The Ma Barker gang's 2 worst crimes were the kidnappings of William Hamm Jr. and Edward Bremer, both were the sons of wealthy, well know people,who would pay the ransom money.The gang got their 100000 ransom money and pointed the blame at Roger Toubly,a bootlegger, along with 7 others. For years officials kept stories of gangster to themselves, but the "stain on St. Paul's reputation was long lasting".
What was the end result of the event?
Freddie barker was one of the worst murderers of all the people in the 1930s, he murdered 7 men in his career as a gangster,when he was a teenager he joined his brothers in small shop robberies and car robberies. Freddie barker ended up in Kansas State Penitentiary in 1936. Alvine Karpis got away with more important offenses than anyone in the 1930s. He spent the late 1920s in Kansas State Reformery until his escape in 1924, he did little things like robbed stores and gas stations until his recapture in 1930. Alvine was sent to state prison where he met freddie barker, they paroled in the spring of 1931. Once they were freed they teemed up to form the Barker- Karpis gang.
How is this event remembered today?
Most people believe the main character in The Godfather is based on the gangster Gambino. You can get tour of famous gangster hangouts including the Wabasha street caves in South St. Paul. "Tours take you back over 80 years to the days when St. Paul was considered the citadel of American crime. Costumed characters as your guides accompany guests on their 2 hour journey. Many people are horrified with this time period."
How did this event end?
"The sheer audacity of the crime, less then a year after Hamm's abduction, brought a wave of federal law enforcement down upon the city. In 1934 director J.edgar Hover and some feds worked in their pursuit of the Ma Barker gang." They forced them to split up and go to different parts of the country.Alvin Karpis was arrested May 1,1936 in New orleans,Hoover called Karpis public enemy #1.When St. Paul citizens, newspaper administrators, and police force finally accepted responsibility for handling the crime it ended, within 2 years St. Paul crime rate dropped to 30% BELOW national average for a city of it's size. Kate "Ma Barker is the great enigma of American crime."
What was the time period like in which this event occurred?
The 1930s was also the great Depression.Many people were broke but they didn't dress like it. Inspiration for menswear can from British officer coats. People were poor but sports were a good, cheep way to forget their troubles. In 1932 the olympics came to America. They won 10 gold metals 4 silver and 2 bronze. The most popular sports were baseball, boxing, horse racing, and surfing clubs.
Who were some of the important people in this event?
"Baby Face" Nelson, Alvine "Creepy" Karpis, John Dillinger, The Ma Barker Gang, Vern Miller, Fred Goetz, and "Machine Gun" Kelly were a few of many robbers, hold-up men, kidnappers, murderers, and thugs that that mingled with good citizens . Some were naturally mean, some were forced by a hard life. All of them ran from the law in the 1930s. William Hamm Jr. was abducted in June, 1933as he walked home for lunch. The Barker Gang simply took him by the arm and steered him toward the waiting car.
What did the people think about this event?
"People were horrified with this period in time". Many people died including Alvin Karpis, Pretty Boy Floyd, Officer Miles A. Cunningham, etc. The public enemy era end started July 8, 1936 in Enid, Oklahoma. 7 Police officers followed fleeing gunmen into an ally. The gunmen was killed in a shootout while Devols sidekick, Reeder, was arrested a few blocks way before he could leave town.
Where and when did this event occur?
"St. Paul was crooks heaven". Anybody who was anyone lived in St. Paul at one time or another. "If you were looking for a guy that you haven't seen for 2 months you thought of 2 places - St. Paul, or prison. The Green Dragon, Green Lanter Commodore Hotel became popular "watering holes". Crime was very popular in America. But all fads must end"