Barker-Karpis Gang

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What could go wrong? This device invented by retired policeman Elmer Carlstrom seemed Dick Tracy-like Carlstrom claimed the device was ?effective enough to rout a gang of payroll bandits and small enough to be concealed in a shirt sleeve.?

Kate ?Ma? Barker and Her Horrible?Children

Eighty years ago, Edward Bremer, Jr., heir to the Schmidt Brewery fortune, was kidnapped by the Barker-Karpis gang.

After Bremer dropped his daughter off at the Summit School in St. Paul, he was ambushed and thrown in a car. He was held for 10 days, until his family paid a $200,000 ransom. Part of this ransom money was used to bribe police who were on the take. When Prohibition was repealed and liquor was legal, they switched from bootlegging to kidnapping. The same corrupt cops that had looked the other way during the bootlegging era were also involved with kidnappings and other more nefarious deeds.

Bremer helped federal investigators find his captors. He memorized every detail about his surroundings.

When the FBI investigated the case, he was able to identify the specific wallpaper in the home where he was kept. That enabled the FBI to break the case and arrest the Barker-Karpis gang.”

The gang was led by two brothers, Doc and Freddy Barker, who are?described as “psychopaths,” and Alvin “Creepy” Karpis, who was one of the most infamous gangsters of the period.

After weeks of planning at the behest of underworld kingpin Harry Sawyer, for the second time the Barker-Karpis Gang decides to forgo the energy and danger required to rob banks, and instead pursues a big buck payday by kidnapping the thirty-four-year-old president of the Commercial State Bank of St. Paul, Minnesota (and son of the millionaire owner of the Jacob Schmidt Brewing Company, a personal friend of President Roosevelt) … Edward G. Bremer.

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