West Calhoun honors historic murder victim

On Sunday Sept. 15, 108 years after a sensational murder, the West Calhoun Neighborhood Council will name a soccer field after the victim on the crime site.

On a wintry night in 1894, Kitty Ging, a 29-year-old Minneapolis socialite, was murdered while driving a carriage alone through the northwest side of Lake Calhoun. A gunshot fired by the janitor of her apartment building, Swedish immigrant Claus Blixt, ended Ging’s life and unleashed a story of scandal.

Ging had agreed to enter a counterfeiting operation with Blixt and Harry Hayward, a charming gambler who was said to have an eye for Ging. However, the proposed counterfeiting was merely a guise to get Ging alone with Blixt, who had been contracted by Hayward to kill her.

To Hayward, Ging’s death seemed like an easy bandage for his gambling wounds. Police became suspicious once they learned that Hayward received $10,000 in insurance on Ging’s life. He was later hung, and Blixt spent the rest of his life in prison.

The West Calhoun group plans to christen "Kitty Ging Green" on Sept. 15, 2-6 p.m., with displays and an oral history of the murder, free buggy rides and refreshments from local businesses.