Being good neighbors while planning a notorious kidnapping
Idlewild was a resort community just north of St. Paul where the wealthy would vacation with their families, spending their days at leisure, yachting, swimming, playing tennis. F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda were Idlewild visitors. Jack Peifer, who set up the Barker-Karpis crew with cabins as they planned their kidnapping. The Idlewild community embraced Ma, Fed, Doc, and Alvin as a quiet family of entertainers who bought raffle tickets from their kids and held ice cream socials for the neighborhood. Ma would pay kids quite well to mow the lawn. One day the gang was target shooting, and a neighbor came by to scold them, “You cut this out! There are kids around here!” and they stopped, even looking a little ashamed. All the while, the gang were plotting what would be one of St. Paul’s most notorious crimes.