Carl, Ruth's Ghost, and the Other Denizens of Murderer's Row

If you need to catch up on the story, please check out our archives…   With Carl Wanderer sentenced to die on the gallows for murdering the Ragged Stranger, he was not sent back to the penitentiary in Joliet but was instead kept in Chicago in the Criminal Courts building at 54 west Hubbard. Much... Read more »

Lillian Gish Presents a Distraction in the Coutroom

Carl Wanderer had been found guilty of the murder of his wife and unborn child and been given a prison sentence that could be shortened to 13 years with good behavior. That compromise verdict came on a Friday and was the talk of Chicago, and the country for that matter, until the following Tuesday which would... Read more »

Getting to Know More Strangers- Podcast Episode #5

The Mystery of the Ragged Stranger podcast Episode #4- Carl Wanderer Goes at Trial can be found here…   The first few weeks after the murder of Ruth Wanderer saw a flurry of identifications of the Ragged Stranger. While the identifications of John Maloney and Al Watson garnered the majority of the headlines from this time, there... Read more »
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Cubs Fans on a Sox Jury?

After the public had been up in arms over the compromise verdict resulting in a 25 year prison sentence for killing his wife, Carl Wanderer was again put on trial, this time for the murder of the Ragged Stranger. The lead attorneys in that first trial, prosecutor James ‘Ropes’ O’Brien and defense attorney Benedict Short,... Read more »

He Was a Kind Young Fellow

Our archives are here if you need to catch up…   Hundreds of people had gazed upon the lifeless body in the morgue and hung over a dozen different names on the unidentified man, all to no avail. All that was left was the disposal of John Doe into an anonymous, mass grave in Potter’s Field. Before... Read more »

Deja Vu All Over Again

Our archives are here if you need to catch up…   A Canadian soldier identified as the Ragged Stranger? Check. A hotel registry dutifully signed by the person identified as the Ragged Stranger every day up to the murder? Check. A hotel bill left open and unpaid after the murder? Check. A Ragged Stranger met on... Read more »

He Resembles Me Remarkably

Our archives can be found here if you need to catch up…   The Chicago Daily Tribune  reported in an Extra Edition on February 2, 1921 that the ‘poor boob’ known as the Ragged Stranger now had a name- “Although the identification is not yet official, three women who viewed the body of the ‘poor boob’... Read more »

Carl Wanderer at Trial- Podcast Episode #4

The Mystery of the Ragged Stranger podcast Episode #3- Who Was the Ragged Stranger can be found here if you missed it…   After initially being hailed a hero for avenging his wife’s slaying, Carl Wanderer’s diabolical plot had finally come to light in spectacular fashion after a 16 hour third-degree interrogation had led to him confessing to the... Read more »


Post 18 can be read here if you missed it…   Carl Wanderer had been convicted for the murder of his pregnant wife Ruth and had been given what the jury themselves termed a compromise guilty verdict. They debated up to 5:00 pm on a Friday before they settled on a 25 year sentence in the... Read more »

I Suppose We Wanted to Get Home

Blog post 17 can be read here if you missed it… With Carl Wanderer convicted for the murder of his pregnant wife Ruth, the twenty-five-year prison sentence he was given could be shortened to thirteen years and nine months if Wanderer gained credit for good behavior while in the penitentiary. The twenty-five-year-old wife killer would... Read more »