Tag: The Chicago Daily Tribune

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 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 »

The Chicago Political Machine Meets Carl Wanderer

Our archives are here if you need to catch up…   Carl Wanderer had first been sentenced to 25 years in the penitentiary for the murder of his pregnant wife Ruth. He was then convicted of murder for killing the Ragged Stranger and sentenced to die by hanging but escaped his first date with the noose, June... Read more »
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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 »

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 »