Like something straight out of a movie starring Al Pacino and Marlon Brando, St. Paul, Minnesota has a fascinating gangster history. The Wabasha Street Caves are located on Wabasha Street in downtown St. Paul across from the Mississippi River. You may be surprised to learn that St. Paul’s gangster history is unmatched compared to most American cities. Historically, “public enemy era” criminals like John Dillinger and the Barker gang frequented the caves. These were some of the “most ruthless, dangerous and resourceful criminal brains” of the 1920’s and 30’s according to J. Edgar Hoover, and all of them were wanted by the FBI for their crimes.
How did the gangsters stay under the radar?
St. Paul’s corrupt police chief protected the gangsters and allowed them to graduate from robbery to kidnapping for ransom. The caves, too, provided somewhat of a safe haven for criminal activity. There was a shootout in the caves and several murders, although no bodies were ever recovered. You can still see where the bullets ricocheted off the walls of the caves. Your visit to Minnesota would not be complete without checking out the remarkable gangster history in St. Paul.
For a fun, two-hour weekend activity during your short-term or extended stay in the Twin Cities, the Gangster Tour is an exciting opportunity. Each tour is led by a notorious gangster or his dolled up moll. You’ll have the opportunity to visit infamous, furnished gangster hideouts and the nightclubs where many gangsters socialized. Reservations are required and there are tours every Saturday at noon and in June through September, every Sunday at noon as well. The tour costs $24 per person.