The Minneapolis Police Department’s homicide file never identified a firm suspect in the murder of Arthur Kasherman. But detectives interviewed a number of men who amounted to the rogue’s gallery of Minneapolis in 1945.
Ray Sullivan: As the man who inflicted the black eye on Kasherman’s date the night before, he had the most immediate motive to want to do harm to the guy that would be seen with his doll. He spent most of Monday, Jan. 22, 1945, in jail, thanks to his pounding of Pearl. He had a most elaborate alibi: after another lady friend sprung him from the pokey, Sullivan visited four bars and topped it off by splitting a bottle of booze with his friend Art Williams, a tattoo artist.
Joey Swartz: A onetime schoolmate of Kasherman, Swartz was a former prize fighter then occupied with running the Flame, a Nicollet Avenue restaurant and gangster lair. At the time Kasherman was gunned down, Swartz said, he was across town giving a $10 bill to a friend’s kid for a birthday present. Police Inspector J.L. Mullen wrote: “He has promised us that if he can be of any assistance to us in any way in solving this murder, that we can rest assured he will do whatever he can.”
Tommy Banks: Along with Kid Cann, Banks controlled the city’s illicit gambling, liquor operations and houses of prostitution. Banks’s alibi says a lot about the city of Minneapolis in 1945: he was drinking with a city alderman at Brady’s Bar at the time someone filled Kasherman full of lead. From Inspector J.L. Mullen’s notes: “He is unable to give us very much on the Kasherman deal only to say that he had many enemies and he did not think that anybody that had any sense would pay very much attention to him.”
Reuben Shetsky: (a.k.a. Wayne Saunders) Co-owner of the Casablanca Café, Shetsky was questioned by police in Kasherman’s death because “he was supposed to have been in the labor racket in Chicago.” Shetsky said he was “on duty” in his bar when Kasherman will killed. A few months later that year, a pair of belligerent labor organizers walked into the Casablanca Bar. Shetsky shot one of them dead.
Isadore Blumenfeld: (a.k.a. Kid Cann) Minneapolis’s most notorious gangster, and a routine target of Kasherman’s screeds. The cops never even questioned him. In 1936, Kid Cann was tried and acquitted in the murder of another crusading journalist, Walter Liggett, so maybe the detectives figured he’d beat the rap once again. Imprisoned in the early 1960s for bribery and perjury, Kid Cann went on to a lucrative career in Miami with legendary gangster Meyer Lansky.
Jack Apple: Gangster historian Paul Maccabee described Apple as “a New York-born contract killer” who did the dirty work for Kid Cann. Whether he had an alibi for the night of Jan. 22, 1945, the police records don’t say. Inspector Mullen had this to say about Apple: “He did not seem to be much concerned about Kasherman and said that he might have ‘got it’ from any source.”