Saturday, September 10, 2011

Chicago's "Reign of Terror" in 1913: Husband-Killers


FULL TEXT: CHICAGO, April 22.— Chicago the most dangerous city in America for husbands to live in?

Does the Chicago husband stand a chance of having his mortal coil slipped off by a jealous or revengeful wife almost any moment?

Preachers and the district attorney’s office answer: “YES.”

And they point to the holding of Mrs. Augusta Dietz for an investigation of her husband’s murder last Sunday night.

And they say that the Dietz case may lie just another “husband killing” case like the many that have filled the criminal courts during the past two years.

Some of the most notorious Chicago cases in the past two years in which husbands were killed and their widows arrested for murder, the crimes were alleged to have been committed by

MRS. RENE B. MORROW.
MRS. ELIZABETH BUCHANAN.
MRS. FLORENCE BERNSTEIN.
MRS. LENA MUSSO.
MRS. LULU BLACKWELL.
MRS. SADIE BLAHA.
MRS. GERTRUDE PATTERSON.

Mrs. Patterson followed her Chicago husband out to Colorado to kill him.

All of these husband slayers were acquitted excepting Mrs. Vermilya, who received a 25-year sentence, and Mrs. Blackwell, who got 35 years.

“It’s cheaper and easier for a Chicago woman to kill her husband than to get a divorce.”

A prominent minister made this statement some months ago during the course of a sermon on the failure of a jury to convict a husband murderess.

George Diets, the victim of the latest case, was a German ladles’ tailor and milliner, with a big downtown establishment.

Diets was found murdered In his bed. His head had been beaten in with a hammer.

Mrs. Dietz. discovered the body of her husband when she went to call him for breakfast, according to her story to the police. She summoned neighbors, doctors and the police. The latter were sent off looking for a mysterious man said to have been the mysterious Avenger. During the course of their investigation it was discovered that Mrs. Diets and Nurnberg had been so intimate as to be ostracised by their friends among the German colony; that Mrs. Nurnberg had employed a private detective to watch her husband, and on the detective’s advice had tapped a telephone line and had overheard frequent telephone conversations between her husband and Mrs. Dietz.

[“Is It Reign Of Terror – Husbands Fearing Death – Opinion Of Chicagoans,” syndicated, Tacoma Times (Wa.), Apr. 22, 1913, p. 7]

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For more on this topic, see Chivalry Justice Checklist & Links

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