Walter Liggett

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Person.png Walter Liggett  Rdf-icon.png
(editor, investigative journalist)
Walter Liggett.jpg
BornWalter William Liggett
1886-02-14
Minnesota
Died1935-12-09 (Age 49)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Cause of death
shooting
NationalityAmerican
Victim ofassassination

Walter Liggett was "a pioneering muckraker, a journalist who lived—and died—pursuing the biggest story of his generation: the collision of money, power, crime, democracy, and freedom in the United States during the Great Depression."[1] He “railed against vice and big banks.”[2]

Activities

During the 1930s, Liggett “specialized in exposés of Minneapolis and Saint Paul organized crime and their connections to corrupt politicians.” Like Representative Lindbergh, Liggett was an enthusiastic supporter of the Farmer-Labor Party (but which, owing to Lindbergh’s death, was taken over by the corrupt Floyd Olson). “Liggett campaigned with U.S. Senator Charles August Lindbergh against United States involvement in the First World War and was also active in efforts to free Sacco and Vanzetti.” “In 1929-1930, he vaulted to national prominence with a series of articles . . . which described the corruption wrought by [Rockefeller’s] Prohibition on American cities.” “He made accusations of corruption against Minnesota Governor Floyd B. Olson and said that Olson deserved to be impeached and prosecuted.”

Legal Cases

Liggett filed libel suit against Herbert Corey, a man tasked to clear Hoover from allegations of corruption made by Liggett and others. But the case never “reached court—Liggett was murdered in a gang-land killing in Minneapolis in 1935.”

Intimidation

After refusing bribes from Mafia boss Isadore Blumenfield (aka “Kid Cann”), Liggett was severely beaten by Blumenfield and his associates — but the police and courts were not interested in arresting or pressing charges against Blumenfield.

Soon after, Liggett was arrested and prosecuted on phony kidnapping and sodomy charges, but was acquitted after evidence of perjury by the alleged victims came to light. “The case featured obviously coached witnesses, contradictory testimony, and implausible circumstances.”[3]

A Blumenfield associate[Who?] threatened his life.

“Herbert Hoover misused the executive powers of his office and employed the Office of Naval Intelligence and other federal agencies to harass a group of authors, including distinguished muckraker Walter Liggett, who were preparing anti-Hoover biographies.”

Death

Liggett's death was officially determined to be a random drive-by shooting outside his apartment.

His wife and three other witnesses testified that Liggett was shot by Blumenfield. “Despite this and considerable other evidence, Blumenfield was acquitted. No one else was ever charged and Blumenfield remained a major organized crime figure until dying of heart disease in 1981.”

Liggett’s wife believed that the governor was behind the killing and knew ahead of time that the murderer will be acquitted.

“A couple of months before he was gunned down in the south Minneapolis alley behind his apartment, Liggett had predicted his own death.”

In 1935 Governor Floyd Olson’s machine probably shotgunned to death the “unshakable one-man newspaper crusade Howard Guilford, a man the Olson regime had previously indicted 19 times on phony charges, only to see him acquitted each time.”


14 February 1886|9 December 1935|


References