The Girls of Murder City

The Girls of Murder City Cover

The Girls of Murder City

Fame, Lust, and the Beautiful Killers Who Inspired Chicago

By Douglas Perry; Peter Berkrot (Narrated by)

Tantor Media Inc, Compact Disc, 9781400117697

Publication Date: August 5, 2010

Description
Chicago, 1924. There was nothing surprising about men turning up dead in the Second City. Life was cheaper than a quart of illicit gin in the gangland capital of the world. But two murders that spring were special-worthy of celebration. So believed Maurine Watkins, a wanna-be playwright and a "girl reporter" for the Chicago Tribune, the city's "hanging paper." Newspaperwomen were supposed to write about clubs, cooking, and clothes, but the intrepid Miss Watkins, a minister's daughter from a small town, zeroed in on murderers instead. Looking for subjects to turn into a play, she would make "Stylish Belva" Gaertner and "Beautiful Beulah" Annan-both of whom had brazenly shot down their lovers-the talk of the town. Love-struck men sent flowers to the jail, and newly emancipated women sent impassioned letters to the newspapers. Soon more than a dozen women preened and strutted on "Murderesses' Row" as they awaited trial, desperate for the same attention that was being lavished on Maurine Watkins's favorites. In the tradition of Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City and Karen Abbott's Sin in the Second City, Douglas Perry vividly captures Jazz Age Chicago and the sensationalized circus atmosphere that gave rise to the concept of the celebrity criminal. Fueled by rich period detail and enlivened by a cast of characters who seemed destined for the stage, The Girls of Murder City is crackling social history that simultaneously presents the freewheeling spirit of the age and its sober repercussions.


About the Author
Douglas Perry is coauthor, with Jeff Guinn, of "The Sixteenth Minute: Life in the Aftermath of Fame."

A veteran of stage and screen, Peter Berkrot held feature roles in "Caddyshack" and Showtime's "Brotherhood," and his audiobooks include "The Woods" by Harlan Coben and "Country Driving" by Peter Hessler. "Library Journal" described Peter's narration of "When the Whistle Blows" by Fran Cannon Slayton as "a brilliant job of personalizing each of the men in Jimmy's life."


Praise For The Girls of Murder City

"[Perry's] savvy, flamboyant social history illuminates a dawning age of celebrity culture." ---Publishers Weekly

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