this day in crime history: june 15, 1933

On this date in 1933, William Hamm Jr., heir to the Hamm’s Brewery, was kidnapped by the Barker-Karpis gang in St. Paul, MN. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of $100,000, which they received. After the ransom was paid, Hamm was released near Wyoming, MN.

The Barker-Karpis gang’s crime spree would continue as the government arrested and unsuccessfully prosecuted Chicago bootlegger Roger Touhy and members of his gang (thanks to informants working for Touhy’s rival, Al Capone). The true culprits were eventually located and prosecuted, thanks in large part to the emerging forensic science of latent fingerprint examination.

Further reading:

FBI – Latent Prints in the 1933 Hamm Kidnapping

Placeography – Hamm Brewery, Saint Paul, Minnesota

Wikipedia – Alvin Karpis

2 thoughts on “this day in crime history: june 15, 1933

  1. John D.:
    This amazes me because of the “honorable” behavior of the kidnappers (if you can call it that)…they actually turned the victim LOOSE (and unharmed).
    These days, the victim would be found dead (if found at all) whole the ransom would still be paid (and tracked with technology).
    Still, it doesn’t make the crime any less “harmless”…
    But then again, criminals adhered to certain “codes” that nowadays we wish they still had.

    Good story (and links).

    Stay safe out there.


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