Tag: Murder

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 »

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 »
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The Spirit World on Trial

Our archives are here if you need to catch up…   Convicted of murdering his wife and the Ragged Stranger and being sentenced to death, Carl Wanderer had another lifeline as he went to trial for a third time. Unique to this trial would be that under the arcane 1845 law that allowed Wanderer’s appeal, no mention... Read more »

Carl Wanderer Appeals for His Life

Our archives are here if you need to catch up…   Judge Joseph David, after finding Carl Wanderer guilty of the murder of the Ragged Stranger, sentenced him to be hanged to death on the gallows on June 17, 1921. The courts of Cook County had recently sentenced several high profile cases to the death penalty and... Read more »

A Doctor, a Lawyer, and a Minister Walk Into a Bar

The trial for the murder of the Ragged Stranger had featured testimony from multiple alienists, as psychiatrists were known back then, and some of the testimony did not sit right with the presiding judge. Today, we’ll look at a quest to find the meaning of a then-common psychiatric term that is now considered somewhat offensive,... Read more »
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Is Eddie Ryan the Ragged Stranger?

Our archives are here if you need to catch up…   Had Barney Clamage not saved the Ragged Stranger from being buried as a John Doe, his story might have ended when the last shovel of dirt landed upon his grave. But of course the story didn’t end there. A young woman in her early 20’s called... Read more »

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 »
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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 »