May 14, 2008
He Had it Comin'
Here's a little treat for fans of the stage/film musical, Chicago:
“I Loved Joe, But I Had to Shoot Him”: Homicide By Women in Turn-of-the-Century Chicago by Jeffrey S. Adler
No, Roxie Hart was not a real person. The photo above is Beulah Annan, the real "Roxie."
From The Chicago Tribune, April 4, 1924.
WOMAN PLAYS JAZZ AIR AS VICTIM DIES
For more than two hours yesterday afternoon, Mrs. Beulah Annan, a comely young wife, played a foxtrot record named “Hula Lou” then telephoned her husband and reported that she had killed a man who “tried to make love to her.”
Nor was Velma Kelly. The character was based on Belva Gaertner.
From The Chicago Tribune, March 14, 1924.
NO SWEETHEART WORTH KILLING
No sweetheart in the world is worth killing – especially when you've had a flock of them – and the world knows it. That is one of the musings of Mrs. Belva Gaertner in her county jail cell . . . “Why it's silly to say I murdered Walter,” she said during a lengthy discourse on love, gin, guns, sweeties, wives and husbands. “I liked him and he loved me – but no woman can love a man enough to kill him. They aren't worth it, because there are always plenty more . . . I wish I could remember just what happened. We got drunk and he got killed with my gun in my car. But gin and guns – either one is bad enough, but together they get you in a dickens of a mess.”
So, here's the story of the True Murders That Inspired the Movie.
Chicago: The Story Behind the Movie
Book: Chicago: With the Chicago Tribune Articles that Inspired It by Maurine Watkins (Author), Thomas H. Pauly (Editor)--Good luck finding this one!
Photo credit: DN-0076797, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society