Dear Listeners and Readers:
My name is Erik Rivenes, and I’m the host of the Most Notorious! true crime history podcast, and author of the Detective Harm Queen historical mystery series, including The Big Mitt and Ill-Fame. Admittedly, I’ve loved true crime and history for as long as I can remember. I was laughed at in elementary school for wearing a different hat to class every day of the week. Included in my rotation was a bright red tricorne, a Sherlock Holmes deerstalker, a black derby, and of course, an Indiana Jones style fedora. Instead of posters of Prince or Metallica my walls were filled with 1880s Wanted posters. My favorite possession (still in my possession) was a battered copy of an orange-covered book called The Gun Fighters, with stunning portraits by artist Lea F. McCarty, that set my imagination on fire.
While in college at the University of Minnesota (plodding towards a degree in Early American history), I worked at Historic Fort Snelling, where I drilled for hours, dressed as an 1820s soldier. Hard to beat a job where you get paid to fire cannons and muskets every day! I spent my free time in a War of 1812 reenactment group, and among other adventures traveled to New Orleans to beat back the bloody British in the 1815 battle named after the city.
Fresh out of college, I started an outfit called Saint Paul Gangster Tours, a tour company that took curious guests on an 1920s and 30s Crooks Tour of Saint Paul. Dressed as Babyface Nelson in my pinstripe suit and fedora, and wielding a replica Thompson sub-machine gun, I escorted people to the sites where John Dillinger, the Barker Karpis Gang and Al Capone hung out, hid out, shot it out, and played the night away in the Saintly City. Among other interesting moments, I was pulled out of a bus of senior citizens by six police officers at the site of the infamous William Hamm Jr. kidnapping one sunny spring morning, because someone in a nearby home had seen a guy with a gun holding up a bunch of “old people”. Suffice to say, they had a grand old time laughing about that one. The police eventually shared a laugh with me too, but only after I’d been whisked to the side of one of their vehicles for a pat down.
Eventually I turned to teaching English and then writing. I’ve finished two novels, both steeped in history and murder, that take place in 1901 Minneapolis. Besides my podcast duties, I’m writing my first true crime non-fiction book, which is scheduled to be released in the Spring of 2017.
History and true crime, my life long passions, seemed to have joined and the Most Notorious! Podcast is the result. I hope you enjoy it!