It’s been 77 years and we still don’t know answers, but his daughter, Marda Liggett Woodbury, has compiled the “evidence” in her book “Stopping the Presses: The Murder of Walter Liggett.”
Cut to the chase: Minneapolis (Murderapolis) was a hot bed of organized crime and corrupt, inept law enforcement in the Depression/Jazz Age. Liggett, a newspaper editor, was a crusader against local gangsters at a time when reporters who wrote the “truth” were on the mobsters’ “list.”
Also, Liggett called for the impeachment of Farmer-Labor Gov. Floyd B. Olson who Liggett saw as a betrayer of Farmer-Labor socialist goals. Liggett suspected ties between the “Olson Gang” and organized crime. There was no love lost between the governor and the newspaper editor.
Olson died of cancer a short time after Liggett was gunned down in 1938 in the alley behind his home at Lake and Harriet streets, now a trendy business district.
Liggett’s wife and children witnessed his murder and his wife testified that Minneapolis gangster Kid Cann (Isadore Blumenfield) fired the shots from a moving car that fateful night. Further confusing the story were accounts that other gangsters resembling Cann could have been the killer. Minneapolis and Chicago combined had no shortage of gangsters.
The Liggett family lived a tough life during trying times that were made dangerous by Walter’s crusading attempts to destroy the powers behind organized crime and the Farmer-Labor Party.