Authors: Douglas Perry
Tags: #Biography, #History, #Non-Fiction
Table of Contents
Published by the Penguin Group
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First published in 2010 by Viking Penguin, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Copyright © Douglas Perry, 2010 All rights reserved
Insert pages 2 (top left), 3 (top left), 6 (top left), 8 (top): Author’s collection. • Page 2 (top right): Courtesy of Transylvania University • Pages 2 (bottom), 8 (bottom):
file photo. All rights reserved. Used with permission. • Page 4 (top left): Billy Rose Theatre Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations • Page 4 (top right): Courtesy of Ron Dixon • Page 4 (bottom): Courtesy of Wendy Teresi • Page 5 (bottom): Copyright 2009 The Fresno Bee. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved. • Page 6 (top right): Helen Cirese Papers, 1915-1974, University of Illinois at Chicago Library, Special Collections • Page 7 (top): Courtesy of Western Springs Historical Society, Western Springs, Illinois. • Page 7 (bottom): Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum
(Credits for other photographs appear adjacent to the respective images).
Map: U.S. Geological Survey
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING IN PUBLICATION DATA
Perry, Douglas, 1968-
The girls of Murder City : fame, lust, and the beautiful killers who inspired Chicago / Douglas Perry.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
eISBN : 978-1-101-19031-9
1. Women murderers—Illinois—Chicago—History—Case studies. 2. Murder—Illinois—Chicago—History—Case studies. I. Title.
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aspiring playwright—“blonde, comely and chic: a pleasant way to be.”
double divorcée—“Cook County’s most stylish murderess.”
Belva’s boyfriend—“a man who couldn’t say no.”
Belva’s millionaire ex-husband—“the most patient soul since Job.”
“the prettiest woman ever charged with murder in Chicago.”
Beulah’s boyfriend—“the other man.”
“Beulah’s meal-ticket husband.”
W. W. O’BRIEN and WILLIAM SCOTT STEWART,
Beulah’s attorneys—“best in the city, next to Erbstein.”
reporter on the
s little bob-haired reporter.”
sob sister on the
girl attorney—“headmistress of ‘Jail School.’ ”
the bohemian—“Little Poland’s love-foiled girl gunner.”
Judge, Jury, Bailiffs, Jail Matrons, Police, Reporters, Editors, Attorneys, Court Fans.
CHICAGO: SPRING AND SUMMER, 1924
Thursday, April 24, 1924
The most beautiful women in the city were murderers.
The radio said so. The newspapers, when they arrived, would surely say worse. Beulah Annan peered through the bars of cell 657 in the women’s quarters of the Cook County Jail. She liked being called beautiful for the entire city to hear. She’d greedily consumed every word said and written about her, cut out and saved the best pictures. She took pride in the coverage. But that was when she was the undisputed “prettiest murderess” in all of Cook County. Now everything had changed. She knew that today, for almost the first time since her arrest almost three weeks ago, there wouldn’t be a picture of her in any of the newspapers. There was a new girl gunner on the scene, a gorgeous Polish girl named Wanda Stopa.