A Who’s Who of Prohibition Gangsters
The O’Connor system made St. Paul an attractive destination for mobsters to lay low, recover from injuries, or plan their next ‘project’ undisturbed by local authorities. The roster of mobsters who called St. Paul their home periodically during the O’Connor system years is a real Greatest Hits of the underworld:
- Bootlegger Leon Gleckman, the “Al Capone of St. Paul”
- Chicago kingpin Al Capone, gang kingpin of Chicago, who stayed at the Paul’s Commodore Hotel
- Bank robber and Kansas City Massacre gangster Frank “Jelly” Nash
- Jack Peifer, proprietor of the underworld hangout Hollyhocks casino
- Lester “Baby Face Nelson” Gillis, a bank robber and killer so wild even Dillinger refused to work with him.
- George “Machine Gun Kelly” Barnes – Bootlegger, bank robber, and kidnapper.
- John Dillinger – Infamous criminal, bank robbers, a celebrity gangster of the time,
- The Barker-Karpis gang, who made an indelible mark on St. Paul’s underworld history.