Kirsti's Reviews > The Girls of Murder City: Fame, Lust, and the Beautiful Killers who Inspired Chicago

The Girls of Murder City by Douglas Perry
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"Sure, I whipped my millionaire husband, but it was he who gave me the whip." --socialite murder suspect Belva Gaertner

"My God! What did they do?" --Katherine "Tiger Girl" Malm, on hearing of her murder conviction

"This is one time when my face was my fortune." --Chicago Tribune reporter Margery Currey, learning that the new no-women-in-the-newsroom ruling did not apply to her because she was so unattractive that her presence wasn't distracting

"No woman can love a man enough to kill him. There are always plenty more." --Gaertner again

"Oh, don't accuse me of such a thing. Murder is bad enough." --Murder suspect "Beautiful Beulah" Annan, scolding a reporter for misstating her age as 29 rather than 23

"Nice face--nice clothes--shoot man--go home." --Murder suspect Sabella Nitti, explaining that her limited English, immigrant status, and shabby clothes meant that jurors judged her more harshly than they did young, pretty women. (Illinois juries were all-male until 1939.)

"A pretty woman's never been convicted in Cook County." --Female inmate at Cook County Jail

"The verdict is in your hands, and you must decide whether you will permit a woman to commit a crime and let her go because she is good-looking. You must decide whether you want to let another pretty woman go out and say 'I got away with it!" --Assistant State's Attorney William McLaughlin addressing a jury

"There's no justice in Illinois!" --widow of a murdered man

"Things being what they are, I don't see why the state doesn't charge admission to trials and lighten the taxes." --Crime reporter Maurine Watkins

Interesting but uneven. This is really a biography of Maurine Watkins, a timid graduate student who became a crime reporter, covered the Leopold and Loeb story among many others, and wrote the hit play Chicago. But I guess the author couldn't sell the book as a biography, so it's packaged as a history of 1920s Chicago murderesses . . . which makes the Leopold and Loeb stuff out of place.

I didn't realize that WGN planned to broadcast the Leopold and Loeb trial on the radio, but public opinion forced them to back down. People felt that the trial would be so disgusting and upsetting that it shouldn't be broadcast, and it wasn't.

I really hope that none of the Kardashians reads this book. It would be a shame if they stopped divorcing and started shooting.
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