How Much is That Metaphysical Totem Pole in the Window?

I was recently talking to a Minneapolis artist who was, as many Minneapolis artists of a certain generation are wont to do, rhapsodizing about the glory days of the Warehouse District art scene in the 1980s. Before it was home to a hundred thumping dance clubs and one of the most heroically awful franchises in […]

…leaving community hurt, too

Here’s the headline from yesterday’s Strib: "Girl, 6, is grazed by bullet, leaving community hurt, too." It’s tempting just to let that stand as one more blob in the insipid lump of goo that is the Star Tribune. OK, I will, but with just one comment: Doesn’t every bullet that hits a six-year-old hurt our […]

Running Against Type

The idea of a footrace in North Minneapolis seems to inspire two reactions from residents of other neighborhoods: incredulity and concern. “Do you want to get mugged?” “Are you wearing a flak jacket?” And, of course, the simplest question: “Why?”   It is no secret that North Minneapolis has a reputation as one of the […]

Murder by Numbers

Viewed through the prism of memory, some years take on a character, a distinctive tone. In 2006, crime reclaimed its place on the front pages of newspapers across the United States, including the Star Tribune. And in this year of murder, Courtney Brown and Trevor Marsh were like twin poles on a violent globe. Brown […]

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Paying for Crime

The Minneapolis City Council proved itself to be more politically adept than the Minneapolis Library Board in early December when it warded off the pleas for permanent funding of the Minneapolis Library system. Instead of the hoped-for permanent budget increases that had been dangled before the Library Board, the Council instead gave them one year’s […]

No Way Home

The dorm house where Khan Moek works is on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. It is run by the Returnee Integration Support Program (RISP), a venture supported by the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation. The program offers a number of support services to help Cambodian felons who are deported from the […]

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Guns in the City

The sound of the well-made gun is precise. If you pull the slide back smoothly, the sound of the hammer locking back echoes with a sharp “clock” through the hollow grip. Slap a magazine into the grip, pull the slide back a little more and let it go. The sharp “smack” tells you a bullet […]

The Grounded Man

Editor’s Note: In May 2005, The Rake ran a story by former KSTP-TV reporter Dean Staley about Clancy Prevost, the man whose suspicions about his flight student Zacharias Moussaui led to the apprehension of the “twentieth hijacker” behind the 9/11 attacks. Before our story hit the street in print, but after it was posted on […]

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The Botched Hanging of William Williams

A couple of months after President Theodore Roosevelt had given the inaugural address for his second term of office, an itinerant named William Williams was convicted of first-degree murder. In one of Minnesota’s most infamous crimes, Williams had killed a teenage boy, Johnny Keller, and his mother. An English laborer, Williams had worked as a […]

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Dead Serious

The largest public execution in U.S. history took place in 1862, down in Mankato. Since the hanging of thirty-eight Dakota Indians, public sentiment against the death penalty had been building in Minnesota. Nineteenth-century politicians tried to pacify the public outrage not by banning the death penalty, but by carrying it out in relative secrecy. An […]