Danny "Dapper Dan" Hogan was a charismatic Irish mob boss in Saint Paul, Minnesota during Prohibition. Due to his close relationships with the officers of the deeply corrupt St. Paul Police Department, Hogan was able to act as a go between. Known as the "Smiling Peacemaker" to local police officials, Police Chief John "The Big Fellow" O'Connor of Saint Paul allowed criminals and fugitives to operate in the city as long as they checked in with police, paid a small bribe and promised not to kill, kidnap, or rob within city limits. Around 1909, he permanently settled in Saint Paul, and turned to organizing major crimes from the sanctuary of the city. He became so closely connected to Saint Paul's political machine that the police not only feared him, but actively protected his associates. Hogan was described by the Justice Department as "one of the most resourceful and keenest criminals" in the nation. He acted as an "ambassador" for Chief O'Connor and the visiting mobsters. Hogan himself owned the Green Lantern saloon on Wabasha Street in Saint Paul, which was also an illegal gambling casino, and became a speakeasy during Prohibition. Hogan was involved in planning armed robberies in the towns surrounding the Twin Cities, and also in money laundering in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area.
On December 4, 1928, Hogan got behind the wheel of his Paige coupe and turned on the ignition. A bomb located beneath the floorboards detonated and blew off his right leg. He slipped into a coma at the hospital and died nine hours after the blast. He was given a funeral worthy of Prohibition-era Chicago and was buried in Calvary Cemetery. Hogan's death was especially notable because it was one of the first instances of death by a car bomb. The most likely culprits in his assassination were rival mob figures. Although the murder is still considered unsolved, recently declassified FBI files reveal that the most likely person responsible was Harry Sawyer, Hogan's underboss. According to the FBI files, Sawyer felt that Hogan had cheated him out of his cut from a nearby casino.
Michael Thomas Barry’s true crime book, Murder & Mayhem 52 Crimes that Shocked Early California 1849-1949, can be purchased from Amazon or Barnes & Noble through the following links:
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