Copyright Reipas Art

Welcome to Gangland, the ongoing series of scratchboards inspired by the events and unique underworld personalities of St. Paul Minnesota's era of corruption. By artist and resident John J. Reipas.
These highly detailed works are richly layered in symbolism and historical references. Each piece tackles a specific subject or event from a time when the city was run by the O’connor system, and enforced by the tommy gun.

in accordance to the O’connor protection system, out of town gangsters could move freely without worry of arrest if the paid a small bribe, and agreed not to commit their dirty deeds in town.

This agreement between the police and the criminal underworld turned St. Paul into a giant magnet, attracting gangters, fixers, thugs and mob bosses.

Although the Gangland series is rooted in St. Paul's criminal past, i view these historical figures and events through a lens of drama, abstraction and imagination, which makes each of these finished works speak to an even wider and more tantalizing landscape.

Contact John J. Reipas at
For prices, or to view collection.
(By Appointment)

Play the whole
Gangland Slideshow

Nina's Brothel
Inside Nina Cliffords brothel 147 South Washington St. Paul Minnesota 1937
Dimesions: 28.5" x 24.5"

The Crane Lake Encounter
Harvey Bailey, Oklahoma's master bank robber stunned and dazed on the shore of Crane Lake Northern Minnesota 1930
Dimesions: 24" x 21"
The Cruel Prankster
Thomas Patrick Filben, the slot machine king rolls through downtown
St. Paul 1933
Dimesions: 23.5" x 20"
The Irish Godfather
Dapper Dan Hogan's Last ride Dec 4 1928 11:28am Saint Paul MN
Dimesions: 15.5" x 13.5"
The Widow's Boneyard
Eveylyn Billie Frechette, Dillinger Moll.
Dimesions: 28.5" x 22.5"
Tightening the Screws
John Dillinger finds a friend, 2252 Fairmout ave St. Paul Minnesota March 14 1934
Dimesions: 29.5" x 25.5"
Trigger Happy
Fred Baker unloads at the 3rd Northwestern Bank Dec 1932
Minneapolis MN
Dimesions: 19.75" x 16.75"
Alvin's Web
Alvin Karpis in Alcatras
Dimesions: 25.75" x 29.75"
Ma Barker