The Girls of Murder City: Fame, Lust, and the Beautiful Killers Who Inspired Chicago

By Douglas Perry

With an exciting, fast paced narrative, award-winning journalist Douglas Perry vividly captures the sensationalized circus surroundings that gave upward thrust to the concept that of the fame felony- and gave Chicago its most renowned tale. the women of homicide urban recounts scandalous, sex-fueled homicide circumstances and the way an intrepid "girl reporter" named Maurine Watkins grew to become the attractive, media-savvy suspects-"Stylish Belva" and "Beautiful Beulah"-into the debate of town. Fueled via wealthy interval element and a forged of characters who appeared destined for the level, the ladies of homicide urban is a crackling story that at the same time provides the freewheeling spirit of the Jazz Age and its sober repercussions.

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She packed her “wardrobe” and stated goodbye to the inmates. She waved off the newshounds who her in this ultimate trek to the prison. “I’m going to remarry Mr. Gaertner and disregard all this on a moment honeymoon to Europe,” she acknowledged, as she glided out of the development and into the early morning air. William Gaertner didn’t but understand that he used to be approximately to marry back. Up earlier his bedtime, he had long past domestic earlier than the decision got here in. inspite of the Leopold-Loeb drama gripping the town, Belva Gaertner earned top placement at the city’s entrance pages on Friday. The day-by-day magazine trumpeted: “Belva ‘Checks Out’ of reformatory. ” The day-by-day information said stolidly, “Jury Takes 8 Ballots; ‘I’m So Happy,’ She pronounces After Verdict. ” The night submit provided the blandest headline—“Mrs. Gaertner Given Freedom on homicide Charge”—and the blandest document. Ione Quinby, her paintings continuously overshadowed by means of Maurine’s sharp insurance of the Beulah and Belva trials, had performed the unthinkable: She gave over the prized verdict tale to a junior colleague. within the Tribune, unsurprisingly, Maurine didn't conceal her disgust at seeing a moment murderess stroll unfastened. For the 1st time, a bitter, humorless word ruled her prose. Belva Gaertner, one other of these ladies who messed issues up through including a gun to her fondness for gin and males, was once acquitted final evening at 12:10 o’clock of the homicide of Walter legislations. “So inebriated she didn’t take note” no matter if she shot the guy came upon useless in her sedan at Forrestville road and fiftieth road March 12— yet after six and one-half hours and 8 ballots the jury acknowledged she didn’t. Maurine was once indignant, similar to after Beulah’s acquittal. She couldn’t think it had occurred back. yet she attempted to not wallow in her fury. the next day to come, Saturday, June 7, she wrote a follow-up that confirmed she had controlled to take a breath and locate her humorousness back. With Belva’s acquittal on Thursday evening, and with Leopold and Loeb indicted for homicide quite a few hours afterward Friday, she well-known that the women’s quarters of the cook dinner County detention center might now not be the point of interest of the city’s consciousness. An period had handed. “Only 4 ladies, the fewest in years, are actually ready trial for murder—for they’re getting out even speedier than they’re getting into! ” Maurine wrote. “And the 2 who walked to freedom within the final weeks, ‘pretty’ Beulah Annan and ‘stylish’ Belva Gaertner, robbed the women’s quarters in their claims to contrast and plunged murderess’ row into oblivion. ” Maurine jokingly lamented that the gorgeous and engaging lady gunners, which town as soon as provided in likely inexhaustible numbers, have been all long past from the detention center. of the rest homicide suspects have been black ladies, and the opposite two—Helen Cirese’s consumers, Sabella Nitti and Lela Foster—were middle-aged and dowdy. make-up and new outfits absolutely wouldn’t be sufficient for any of those 4 to achieve acquittal, Maurine wrote, for they “will lack the recommendation of Belva, recognized even in another circles as a professional in gown. ” 18 A Grand and lovely convey 5 days after Belva walked out of the cook dinner County penitentiary for the final time, Maurine back to Nathan Leopold and Dick Loeb.

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