Category: Chicago History

Local Medal of Honor Recipients on Armistice Day

Johannes Seigfried Anderson born 7/20/1887 in Bjorky, Finland. His Medal of Honor Citation reads- The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to First Sergeant Johannes Seigfried Anderson (ASN: 1389034), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in action while serving with Company B, 132d Infantry, 33d Infantry Division at Consenvoye, France, on 8 October 1918. While his company was being held up by intense artillery and machine gun fire, First Sergeant Anderson, without aid, voluntarily left the company and worked his way to the rear of the nest that was offering the most stubborn resistance. His advance was made through an open area and under constant hostile fire, but the mission was successfully accomplished, and he not only silenced the gun and captured it, but also brought back with him 23 prisoners.
One hundred years ago today, the war to end all wars, came to its end. The accompanying gallery barely scratches the surface of the stories of ten men that called Chicago home at one time or another and were awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest and most prestigious decoration the military presents for extraordinary acts of honor and... Read more »

A Chicago Medal of Honor Recipient Buried in France

Had the dark skies and sprinkles outside Paris today not prevented our president from attending the ceremonies honoring the dead from the Great War at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in Belleau, he may have come across the one and only Congressional Medal of Honor recipient buried there; Chicagoan Lt. Weedon Osborne. This dental surgeon, a... Read more »

A Conclusion to the Ragged Stranger Mystery- Podcast #8

The day before his pending execution on September 30th, Carl’s last hope to stay among the living was a second stay of execution or to at least get his sentenced to commuted to life imprisonment. Governor Len Small, still under indictment for embezzlement, held Carl’s fate. Impassively entering the death cell, Wanderer grabbed a seat... Read more »
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A Recap to the Mystery of the Ragged Stranger and Carl Wanderer

In our first blog post and podcast episode, I mentioned how I first learned of the Carl Wanderer and the Ragged Stranger mystery through a book on ghosts. The personal tie to this story of living in the house where the murder happened has been interesting to say the least. First, reading about the story in... Read more »

Old Pal, Why Don't You Answer Me?- The Hanging of Carl Wanderer

The day before his pending execution on September 30th, Carl’s last hope to stay among the living was a second stay of execution or to at least get his sentenced to commuted to life imprisonment. Governor Len Small, still under indictment for embezzlement, held Carl’s fate. “I am of the opinion this is a case... Read more »

Carl Wanderer's Lover- Julia or James?

You can’t look too deep into the Ragged Stranger and Carl Wanderer story without coming across a reference to an alleged homosexual lover of Carl’s named James. Wanderer’s Wikipedia page describes the situation- Ben Hecht later claimed that shortly after the killing, he interviewed Wanderer and was struck by Wanderer’s happy and seemingly impassive manner just... Read more »
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Ben Hecht Plays Where's Waldo's Head?

In an early article during his days as a reporter for the Chicago Journal, where Ben Hecht wrote from 1910-1914, Hecht introduced the city of Chicago to Dr. Wilhelm Stekel, an early psychoanalysis student of Dr. Sigmund Freud. As you will read below, Hecht and Dr. Stekel, spent a fair amount of time together with Hecht... Read more »

Ben Hecht Writes- "He Suffered from Periodic Throwbacks to Cannibalism"

Our next few posts are going to focus on a narrative that suggests that Ben Hecht solved, or led to the solving of the Ragged Stranger mystery. Hecht’s Wikipedia page states, “While at the Chicago Daily News, Hecht famously broke the 1921 “Ragged Stranger Murder Case” story, about the murder of Carl Wanderer‘s wife, which led to the... Read more »

The Governor is Doing What? - Mystery of the Ragged Stranger Podcast Episode #7-

The Mystery of the Ragged Stranger podcast Episode #6- Carl Wanderer Goes to Trial for the Murder of the Ragged Stranger can be found here…    Carl Wanderer had been given a 25 year prison sentence for murdering his wife. In a second trial, he was sentenced to die upon the gallows for the murder of... Read more »
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A Sheriff in Jail, an Impressive Family Tree, and More Tales from the Periphery of the Ragged Stranger Story

Our archives are here if you need to catch up… As we near the end of the Ragged Stranger story, there are a few characters that have been touched on in the story that merit having their tales told a little further. Today we’ll look at a few of them; Chicago Herald-Examiner reporter Charlie MacArthur, coroner Peter... Read more »