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Jan. 20, 2022

Episode 67 - Gangsters' Paradise - St. Paul, Minnesota and a visit to Calvary Cemetery

Episode 67 - Gangsters' Paradise - St. Paul, Minnesota and a visit to Calvary Cemetery

Alvin “Creepy” Karpis once said, “Of all the midwest cities the one I knew best was St. Paul and it was a crook’s haven." In this episode Jennie and Dianne visit the mausoleum of Police Chief John J. O'Connor in Calvary Cemetery in St. Paul, Minnesota. They delve into O'Connor's plan to fight "organized crime with organized intelligence", and how this led to creating a sort of gangsters' paradise during the age of prohibition through the mid-1930s. Join us for this ordinary, extraordinary story of power, lawlessness, glamour and downfall with a visit to one of St Paul's oldest cemeteries.


Resources used to research this episode include:

"Calvary Cemetery." https://catholic-cemeteries.org/. catholic-cemeteries.org/calvary/. Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

"An Early History of Saint Paul ." https://www.visitsaintpaul.com/. www.visitsaintpaul.com/blog/an-early-history-of-saint-paul/. Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

Ratsabout, Saengmany. https://www.mnopedia.org/. 18 Dec. 2018. www.mnopedia.org/immigrants-and-refugees-minnesota-connecting-past-and-present. Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

"John J. O’Connor St. Paul’s Chief of Police ." http://www.spphs.com/. 1 Jan. 1919. www.spphs.com/history/1919/oconnor.php. Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

Steenberg, Edward J. "John Joseph O'Connor and the "Layover Agreement" (One Person's Observations) ." http://www.spphs.com/. www.spphs.com/history/oconnor/index.php. Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

Reicher, Matt. "When St. Paul — officially — served as a safe haven for criminals ." https://www.minnpost.com/. 29 July 2014. www.minnpost.com/mnopedia/2014/07/when-st-paul-officially-served-safe-haven-criminals/. Accessed 17 Jan. 2022.

Society, Minnesota Historical. "St. Paul: Gangster Haven." https://youtu.be/, 6 Dec. 2010, youtu.be/oVgrhFOiVS4.

Underworld Compilation, The Criminal . "Gangster History of St. Paul, Minnesota." https://youtu.be/, 30 Mar. 2020, youtu.be/MGjwIyzlG5U.

History, Travel Thru. "Wabasha Street Caves - St. Paul, Minnesota - Travel Thru History." https://youtu.be/, 24 June 2014, youtu.be/SM0bbzo_zxM.

, C-SPAN. "C-SPAN Cities Tour - St. Paul: Gangster Era in St. Paul." https://youtu.be/, 19 Sep. 2014, youtu.be/v3WrckIXpY4.