On June 21, 1920, on a quiet street in Chicago’s Lincoln Square, Carl Wanderer and his wife Ruth, eight months pregnant, were robbed at gunpoint in the vestibule of their two-flat. Shots rang out in the tiny foyer and when the smoke cleared, Ruth and the alleged holdup man lay dying while Carl emerged unscathed. Headlines the next day hailed Wanderer a hero for avenging his wife’s death. Three weeks later he was in jail for murder. The alleged holdup man would come to be known as the Ragged Stranger and laid in the morgue for over a year, repeatedly misidentified.
RIP Ruth Johnson & The Ragged Stranger.