Cora Orthwein’s Trial: “I loved him and I killed him. It was all I could do.”


There was much shouting and commotion at Green Mill Gardens on the night of February 28, 1921. An intoxicated man angrily threw his drink into a woman’s face. And she reacted by throwing her own beverage at him.

“They were sitting in the southeast corner of the dining room when my attention was attracted to them,” Tom Chamales, the owner of Green Mill Gardens, testified. “That was shortly after Ziegler had entered, about 11:30 o’clock.”

The man throwing the beverage was 38-year-old Herbert Peter Ziegler,1 a district manager for the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.2 The woman whose face got splashed was Cora Orthwein.

“I thought they were husband and wife,” Chamales said, explaining that the couple had been frequent visitors at Green Mill Gardens for two years. “She always seemed so solicitous toward him,” he said.

Herb was in fact married. But Cora was not his wife.

On this particular night, “Ziegler was noisy—and drunker than I ever saw him,” Chamales recalled, testifying that Ziegler also threw some salt cellars at Cora. When Chamales reached their table, Cora was standing up and Ziegler was seated.

“She asked for her purse, saying that her key was in it and she wanted to go home,” Chamales testified. “Ziegler swore at her and said: ‘Get out.’ He grabbed a glass, and when we stopped him from throwing it, he hurled a bottle at her. …

“I asked Zeigler for her purse, and he said he did not have it. Then I found the purse, which he was holding between his knees.” Chamales handed the purse to Cora, and she soon departed from Green Mill Gardens.3

But that was far from the end of the story. Several hours later—around 5 a.m. on March 14—Chicago police officers responded to reports of gunshots and screams at Cora Orthwein’s apartment at 518 West Surf Street, about three miles south of the Green Mill.

The cops found Cora sobbing over Ziegler’s dead body, with a revolver lying nearby. “I shot him,” she told them. “I loved him and I killed him. It was all I could do.”5

Chicago Daily Tribune, March 1, 1921.

It became one of 1921’s most sensational news stories in Chicago—and also in St. Louis, where Cora had already been the subject of many juicy headlines, both of the times she’d gotten divorced. Now that Cora Orthwein was facing murder charges, the newspapers treated her as a symbol of sin in the age of jazz and prohibition. Was she victim or vamp?

St. Louis Star and Times, March 1, 1921.
St. Louis Globe-Democrat, March 2, 1921.

The tale of her trial would echo a few years later, when several other Chicago women were prosecuted for killing men in 1924. A Chicago Daily Tribune reporter who covered those 1924 trials, Maurine Watkins, wrote a darkly satirical play titled Chicago, which was adapted into a great but overlooked 1927 silent film, as well as the later hit Broadway musical and Oscar-winning 2002 movie Chicago.

Cora Orthwein’s case reads like an untold first chapter of Chicago. In 1921, the case put a spotlight on Green Mill Gardens as a place where people seemingly succeeded in getting drunk in spite of the laws against alcohol—and as a prime spot for the sort of sinful behavior that alarmed (or enticed) so many people.

Cora Orthwein lied about at least one thing when the police found her sitting with Herb Ziegler’s corpse: her age. It wasn’t unusual, of course, for people to lie about their age.

“She told me she was 38,” police lieutenant James E. Doherty testified.6

Later, when Orthwein testified during her murder trial, she said she’d left her parents’ home in Ohio 13 years earlier—suggesting that was when she’d gotten married. “O! If I could only blot out the last 13 years of my life and start anew,” Orthwein said on the witness stand. “I was happy then, living in the humble little home of my parents in Columbus, Ohio, where I was born. If I had to do it over, I would not trade that simple little home for the most wonderful golden palace in the world.”7

In reality, Orthwein got married for the first time in 1892—nearly 29 years earlier, not 13.8 The 1892 marriage document listed her age as 16. If that age was correct, then she was actually 45 when she was arrested in 1921.

According to the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, she may have been even a few years older than that. “Although about 49 years old and a devoted follower of night life, gayety and pleasure, Mrs. O’Connor-Orthwein astonished all who knew her here by the manner in which she retained her youth and beauty,” the newspaper commented. “… How she managed to follow her life in pleasure, night after night and retained her youth and beauty was the cause of wonderment and speculation to all who knew her.”9

On the other hand, the New York Daily News was a bit less impressed by her looks: “Mrs. Cora Isabelle Orthwein was neither as young or as beautiful as she once had been. Age was sneaking up on her. But she was still a good-looking woman.”7

Chicago Daily Tribune, March 3, 1921.

Cora got flustered during cross-examination on the witness stand when a prosecutor asked about her age. “When were you born?”

“In 1882,” she said.

“You’re sure it wasn’t 1872?”

“Yes,” she said, indignantly.10

Jack O’Connor. SABR.

Her maiden name was Cora Hunt. Her first husband was John Joseph “Jack” O’Connor, who had a long career in major league baseball, stretching from 1887 to 1910. At various times, he played as a catcher, an outfielder, and a first baseman. When Jack married Cora in 1892, he was in the first of his seven seasons with the Cleveland Spiders.11

“There was a whirlwind courtship,” the St. Louis Globe-Democrat recalled. Jack, who’d grown up in St. Louis, took his young bride to his hometown, “where her piquant Carmenesque beauty excited the admiration of everyone who saw her,” the newspaper reported. “The young Mrs. O’Connor was the perfect picture of Bizet’s Carmen. She was of petite stature, had black hair, black eyes, possessed a creamy, satin skin, red lips and charmingly rounded figure. She was extraordinarily vivacious and was always the center of admiration in the social gayeties in which she played a leading figure.”9

Liebler & Maass Lith., c. 1896. Library of Congress.

That wasn’t the only article that compared Cora to the seductive and fiery gypsy in composer Georges Bizet’s popular 1875 opera Carmen—an alluring character far more vibrant and dangerous than typical operatic heroines.12

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch called Cora “a beautiful woman of the Carmen type known to thousands of baseball enthusiasts” and “one of the most stunning girls in town.”13

In another article, the Post-Dispatch noted: “Mrs. O’Connor’s beauty created comment wherever she traveled. Her complexion is fair and her heavy hair is black.”14

Between 1899 and 1903, Jack O’Connor played for several baseball teams, moving from St. Louis to Pittsburgh to New York.15

“It was while jumping around from big city to big city that I acquired a taste for nightlife,” Cora later testified. “I craved comfort and everything money could buy. How foolish was I!”7

Jack returned to St. Louis in 1904, where he would finish his baseball career playing for the Browns in the American League.16 St. Louis fans enjoyed watching his wife, giving her a nickname: “the Belle of the Grandstand.”17 And she basked in the attention she received when she sat in the stands.7 According to the Post-Dispatch, the “enthusiasm” that Cora showed whenever her husband made a brilliant play “was considered by fans as well worth seeing as the play itself.”17

“Mrs. O’Connor soon became noted in St. Louis for her love of night life and acquired a large circle of acquaintances amongst the young bloods of the city,” the Globe-Democrat wrote. “She was a frequent attendant at the baseball games, races and other places of public amusement. She was always beautifully gowned and wore large and expensive diamonds. Her gayeties were soon the talk of the town. Her husband was absent a great deal, traveling with his baseball club, but his absence seemed to make little difference to his wife, save to afford her more liberty in the gayety of whatever town she happened to find herself in.”9

O’Connor introduced his wife to Ralph Orthwein, the president of the St. Louis Browns.13 Orthwein, who came from a wealthy family, had a reputation as a “bon vivant and a “man-about-town,”18 reportedly spending half a million dollars on “pleasure parties of his own creation.”13

Ralph Orthwein. St. Louis Star and Times, January 19, 1910.

Ralph, who was married, started spending much of his time escorting Cora to “gay parties” at roadhouses around St. Louis and in downtown restaurants, where she was always “the life of the evening.”17

The Globe-Democrat reported: “It soon became known around town that the president of the St. Louis Browns was on very friendly terms with the pretty wife of his leading catcher.”9 According to the St. Louis Star and Times, “Orthwein became infatuated and spent so much money entertaining her that his folks limited his income.”19

When Jack O’Connor found Cora drinking with Ralph Orthwein at one of their favorite spots, Delmonico Garden, “he wanted to kill both of them, but his companions restrained him,” the Post-Dispatch reported. He sued for divorce in 1905, alleging that “Mrs. O’Connor drank to excess, visited wine rooms, road houses and questionable resorts, engaged in frivolous conduct with strange men, smoked cigarettes and associated with a married member of a wealthy and prominent St. Louis family and a livery man and squandered her husband’s savings.”13

Jack got the divorce he asked for.20 Meanwhile, Ralph Orthwein’s wife divorced him.21 And then Cora married Ralph in 1907. “Yes, we are married, and are very happy,” Cora told a reporter.17

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 6, 1907.

She later recalled: “I thought I was the happiest woman in the world when I married Ralph. He was so good, and he gave me everything. He built me a beautiful home on one of St. Louis’s prettiest boulevards. We had servants. We traveled everywhere. Life was one long, sweet dream.”7

But after seven years, Cora sued Ralph for divorce in 1914, accusing him of having a “violent temper,” using bad language, associating with other women, and drinking to excess.19 She later testified that she “received alimony amounting to $350,000.”2 (Adjusted for inflation, that would be roughly $10.5 million in today’s money.)

Herb Ziegler. Chicago Daily Tribune, March 2, 1921.

Cora moved to New York, but she fell in love when she met Herb Ziegler on a visit to Chicago in the summer of 1916. “He said, ‘Stay here, I want to marry you,’” Cora testified. After she’d went back to New York, “He asked me to return to Chicago, and would call long distance from Chicago almost every day. He said he couldn’t live without me. He said he loved me, and I loved him. … He said he never knew another girl he loved so well.”22

Cora soon moved to Chicago. At first, Herb didn’t tell her that he was married, according to Cora.23 By the end of the year, she learned that Herb had a wife and a teenage daughter. Ziegler told Cora he was trying to get a divorce and would marry her as soon as he could.24

The apartment building on Surf Street. Chicago Daily Tribune, March 2, 1921.

She lived for a while at 4314 South Grand Boulevard (now Martin Luther King Jr. Drive) on the South Side,25 before moving in the fall of 1920 to her “luxurious apartment” on Surf Street in the North Side’s Lake View East area. 9 Her rent there was $175 a month (about $3,000 in today’s dollars).26

Prosecutors said she had a mink coat worth $4,000, but Cora said it was valued at only $1,400 (about $23,600, adjusted for inflation). Even at that lower value, it was a potent symbol of her wealth.10

When she moved, Ziegler’s chauffeur, Eddie Nelson, hauled “carloads of booze” from her old apartment to the new place on Surf Street—four suitcases packed with bottles of gin, Scotch, whiskey, and bourbon.4 Cora said Zeigler had obtained this collection of alcohol before prohibition took effect.27

Nelson drove the couple on their nightlife outings. He said they went out five nights a week, hitting up Green Mill Gardens as well as the other popular cabarets and restaurants around the city—Marigold Gardens, Colosimo’s, Al Tearney’s Auto Inn, the Red Star Inn, Ike Bloom’s Midnight Frolic4—as well as the Lincoln Tavern27 and Dells roadhouses on Dempster Street in Morton Grove, a suburb north of Chicago.28

By the time Cora was arrested in 1921, she had scars that served as evidence of her volatile relationship with Herb. When reporter John Snowbrook interviewed Cora at her apartment on the morning of Ziegler’s death, he noticed a long white scar across her temple.

“I asked Mrs. Orthwein if Ziegler ever struck her, and she denied it,” Snowbrook testified. “‘He often threatened me,’ she told me, ‘but never actually hit me.’”

Pointing out the mark on her forehead, Snowbrook asked, “How did you get that scar then?”

“Ziegler gave it to me, but it was an automobile accident,” she said. “The flying glass cut me. But Herbert used to say that it was his mark on me.”6

Cora later said that Ziegler did in fact hit her. She testified about two violent incidents during automobile outings with Ziegler. In the fall of 1920, Ziegler spent a few hours drinking at the Dells roadhouse until Cora wearily asked him to take her home. (His chauffeur was apparently not along on this trip.)

“I told him I was so tired that I could not sit up any longer and wanted him to take me home,” Cora testified. “We got into the car and he got very much peeved. He began swearing and said, ‘You are always chewing the rag.’ … He continued scolding me, telling me to shut up and threatening to turn the car into the ditch and throw me out. He continued to zigzag the car along the road, saying he would spill me.”

He did, in fact, drive the car into a ditch. “The wheel was broken and the car partly overturned and threw us out on the ground,” Cora testified. “I lost consciousness and woke up at the St. Francis Hospital.”27

She received four stitches on her chin. “I was very, very much in love with him,” Cora testified. “He said he was drunk and that he was sorry and wouldn’t drink any more. He said he never remembered anything when he was drunk.”23

She said she’d pleaded with him to stop drinking. “He wouldn’t stop, though,” she said. “I begged him to, but he would not.”10

On another occasion, Ziegler tore Cora’s clothes and beat her up as they were coming home from the Morton Grove roadhouses, according to Cora’s testimony. Finally, he’d pushed her out of the car. She had a scar on her lip from the blows he’d given her.29

Rosamund Dove. DN-0073248, Chicago Daily News collection, Chicago History Museum.

That may have been the episode witnessed by Rosamund Dove, who was taking a ride with some friends on Milwaukee Avenue near Niles. “All of a sudden we saw a woman come running down the road,” Dove testified. “Her hat was off. She seemed hysterical. Her clothes were badly torn. She wore a mink dolman. There was a piece out of that, too. As she came up, she cried out: ‘He tried to kill me! He tried to kill me!’

“We tried to calm her. She said her name was ‘Mrs. Hunt’ and that the man who tried to kill her was ‘Mr. Hunt.’ I know now that she was Mrs. Orthwein and that the man was Ziegler. We wanted to get her into our car and take her home. But just then a big car came up—a Pierce-Arrow, I think it was—and Ziegler jumped out. He was swearing terribly and he threatened to beat her up. I interfered and he threatened to beat me. He was drunk.”

A young man who was riding with Dove jumped out of their car, trying to protect her. But Eddie Nelson, Ziegler’s chauffeur, held back the man’s arms, allowing Ziegler to beat him up, according to Dove.

“Meanwhile, I was trying to quiet Mrs. Orthwein. She kept mumbling something about losing a $6,000 pin. Finally, we got things quieted down. Mrs. Orthwein consented to ride with Ziegler if she could sit with the chauffeur. It was arranged that way and she got in the car. They drove away so fast we couldn’t follow them, but I got the license number. I called up the vehicle bureau and found it was Ziegler’s license.”22

As Cora told the story, she got out of the car somewhere outside the city limits. A taxi finally came along and took her to her sister’s home in Chicago. Her face was badly bruised that night, and she still had scars months later.27 “He hit me hard,” Cora testified. “I thought once when he hit me that he had knocked my teeth loose.” She said she fought back when she could.10

“I saw Ziegler the next Sunday,” Cora testified. “He was very apologetic. Said he didn’t remember what had happened. He wanted to know why Eddie Nelson didn’t hit him in the nose. ‘I don’t remember a thing,’ he said, ‘it must have been that bum liquor I got at the Lincoln Tavern.’ Eddie later said he owed $39 for drinks.”27 (That’s roughly $600, adjusted for inflation.)

By 1921, Ziegler’s wife, Alice,30 was preparing to sue him for divorce. Ziegler moved out of his family home at 1029 East 53rd Street in Hyde Park. Living at the Congress Hotel in downtown Chicago,2 he was a frequent visitor at Cora’s apartment on Surf Street.31 She said he never stayed overnight, but there were times when he was there as late as 4 a.m. “Sometimes we stayed up all night when he made trips or came in early in the morning.”10

According to the Chicago Daily News, “There were gay parties in the Surf street apartment. The love affair survived in the hectic atmosphere for liquor and late hours.” For Cora and Herb, late nights and early mornings were “hours drenched with wine and passion,” the newspaper wrote.5 The Chicago Evening American called it “the mad affair of illicit love made hideous by a nightmare of booze.”4

Prosecutors suggested that Ziegler’s pajamas and other men’s clothing had been found in Cora’s apartment, but her laundress, Lillian Moore, testified: “Men’s clothes in Mrs. Orthwein’s apartment? Never—no men’s shoes, no hat, no coat, no nothing.”31

At times, Ziegler asked Cora for money. On one occasion, “he told me he was broke and needed $1,000,” Cora testified. “… I pawned a diamond ring for $500. … I learned later that he purchased two cases of whisky with $300 of it. I scolded him for it.”10

Nelson, the chauffeur, recalled something Cora had said when he was driving her down Michigan Avenue one time. “If he doesn’t get a divorce pretty soon and come and live with me, I’ll kill him,” she said. “… I have forbidden Herbie to go back to his wife, and if he ever does, I’ll kill him. … I’m sick of Ziegler’s delay in not getting a divorce from his first wife.” But Nelson said he didn’t take these remarks too seriously. “It seemed … as though she were half-kidding,” he said. “… Nothing else was said which led me to believe that she was thinking of murder.”32

A maid at Cora’s apartment, Frances Koucher, said she’d heard him tell Ziegler that she would kill him “if you throw me over now.” Cora made this threat about three weeks before the killing, the maid testified.24 But Cora denied ever threatening Ziegler.

Although Cora insisted that she was trying to get Ziegler to stop drinking, her place was well stocked with booze. About a week before his death, Ziegler had counted 40 bottles of gin in the apartment, according to Cora’s testimony. “Mr. Ziegler said he guessed he would sell it as he could get $20 a bottle for it,” she said. “He asked me what I thought about it, and I said I would sell it, that he needed the money.”23

On Monday, February 28, 1921, Alice Ziegler gave her husband an ultimatum.

“I told him … that he would either have to break off his relationship with Mrs. Orthwein or be divorced from me,” she recalled. “He promised that he would end the affair at once.”

Elaine Zeigler. Chicago Daily Tribune, March 2, 1921.

“My father had tried to break away from this woman again and again,” said their teenage daughter, Elaine. “Mother was ready to file suit for divorce. Daddy asked her not to, and she said she wouldn’t if he would quit Mrs. Orthwein.”5

Ziegler met up with Cora that evening outside the Congress Hotel. Around 6:30 p.m. they got together with Deo R. Parsons, a wealthy 35-year-old33 La Salle Street broker, and headed north to Cora’s apartment on Surf Street.

“We had several drinks and Mrs. Orthwein asked us to stay to dinner,” Parsons testified. “Mr. Ziegler said he couldn’t. ‘I’ve got to go downtown and meet some of the boys,’ he said. ‘You take Mrs. Orthwein out to dinner. I’ll meet you at the Green Mill Gardens later.’”26

Cora later told police: “He said that he had to attend a board of directors’ meeting and that Deo would take me instead. He said that he would meet us in the Green Mill Gardens later.”2

Parsons recalled: “We went out there and had something to eat. Then we went for a ride in Herbert Weiss’s new car. He had just bought it and asked me to try it out and tell him what I thought about it. We were gone about an hour.”26

After their automobile ride, Parsons and Cora went to Green Mill Gardens. They danced—and waited for Ziegler to show up. “We … had a lot of drinks as we waited,” she recalled.34 Cora offered some gin to a woman sitting at a nearby table, Mrs. William Reibstein, who refused the offer—and watched as Cora poured gin for herself and Parsons.35

Viola Dockery. Chicago Daily Tribune, March 2, 1921.

Meanwhile, Cora’s friend Viola Dockery—a 26-year-old widow born in Missouri36—spotted Ziegler dancing at a different cabaret in the same neighborhood, Rainbo Gardens, at Lawrence Avenue and Clark Street. Dockery wasn’t exactly surprised to see him there.

“I knew he had been running around with other women beside Mrs. Orthwein and told her so on several occasions, but she never believed me,” Dockery testified. “I saw them on the dance floor at the Rainbo. Zeigler was very drunk and making love to a tall blonde girl with whom he was dancing.”5

At first, the newspapers called Ziegler’s mystery woman “The Kissing Blonde.” But her identity was soon revealed: She was 29-year-old37 Charlotte Lewinsky (née Brenner), an artist’s model38 who was married to the president of the Archer Iron and Metal Company—and suing him for divorce.39 During one courtroom confrontation, she tried to throw an inkwell at her husband’s lawyer when he suggested that she’d lost some jewels at Rainbo Gardens.7

Chicago Daily Tribune, May 29, 1921.

Charlotte had become acquainted with Cora Orthwein and Herb Ziegler around early February at Green Mill Gardens, where they were introduced by “Handsome Jack” Barry, who was known as a gambler.40 In mid-February, Charlotte went to the apartment on Surf Street for dinner, together with her sister, Beatrice Brenner. They dined with Cora, Ziegler, and Barry.28 “The dinner—we had a leg of lamb—was over about 8,” Barry testified. “I think we went out for a ride later.”

Charlotte Lewinsky and her attorney, Alfred Tompkins. Chicago Daily Tribune, June 18, 1921.

Lewinsky denied an accusation by prosecutors that she went into a bedroom with her sister and the men who were present for that dinner gathering. The prosecutors were clearly trying to tarnish her reputation as she testified, while insinuating that Cora Orthwein had hosted orgies. “The women didn’t go into the bedroom that I remember,” Barry testified. “I did not hear any argument between Ziegler and Mrs. Orthwein.”41

On the evening of February 28, Lewinsky got a call from her sister, who passed along the word that Herb Ziegler would pick her up at Wilson Avenue and Sheridan Road for an evening outing.42 Ziegler’s chauffeur drove him to that corner and picked up the young woman around 8:30 p.m.4 “I got into his car and we drove to the Rainbo Gardens,” Lewinsky testified. “We had dinner and we sat and listened to the music.” Ziegler was drinking from a large bottle he kept in his pocket.42

“Mr. Ziegler was very drunk,” she said. “During the course of the dinner, we attempted to dance. Mr. Ziegler was so drunk he could scarcely stand up. … It took him nearly three minutes to get up and try to dance. … He was hardly able to stand up at all. I even had to assist him in eating. … During the dance, we danced cheek to cheek. … After about two minutes we went back to the table.”35

Chicago Evening American, June 17, 1921.

After witnessing Ziegler dancing—or attempting to dance—with the blonde at Rainbo, Viola Dockery went over to Green Mill Gardens, where she saw Cora Orthwein.5 “She stopped at my table when she was dancing with Mr. Parsons,” Dockery said. “… She told me she was waiting for Mr. Ziegler, who she had introduced to me some weeks before. She said Ziegler was downtown at a business meeting. I asked her to come over to my table and join us, but she didn’t say anything then.”

Later, Dockery ran into Cora in the Green Mill ladies’ room. “We got to talking about Mr. Ziegler, and she told me she loved him,” Dockery testified. “Without thinking, I mentioned I had seen him that evening at the Rainbo Gardens. She looked surprised and asked me who was with him.

“I told her he was with a girl, a blonde I didn’t know. ‘Did he seem to know the girl?’ she asked me. I told her, ‘Yes, he kissed her while they were dancing past me and he was hugging her very close. He was having an awfully good time.’ Mrs. Orthwein said: ‘My God! He did that?’

“I told her again what had happened. Then she told again how much she thought of him and said her heart was broken. I never dreamed that she would take it so much to heart. It was just idly said on my part. I didn’t know that trouble would come of it—I’m not a snitch.”26

Meanwhile, over at Rainbo, Lewinsky asked for a cab to go home. That was when Ziegler told her that he was going to Green Mill Gardens to meet Cora. “We went over to the Green Mill, where I waited in the car while he went in,” Lewinsky testified. She waited outside in Ziegler’s car for about 10 minutes,42 and then Ziegler told his chauffeur to drive her to her home.4

Herb Ziegler. New York Daily News, September 21, 1924.

Chamales recalled Ziegler entering Green Mill Gardens. “Ziegler came in pretty drunk,” he testified. “I met him at the door, and he asked for his party.”31

“He was drunk and almost fell across our table,” Cora remembered. “He immediately began to abuse me. He called me all kinds of names.”34

George J. Jacobs, a waiter, thought that Ziegler was “dazed.” He noticed Ziegler keeping time to the music by pounding salt and pepper shakers on his table.43 At one point, Ziegler “was over by the cigar stand feeling pretty good and shaking the shimmy, and Chamales stopped him,” Jacobs recalled.31

Jed H. Flanagan, a broker who knew Ziegler, was at the Green Mill that night. He could tell Ziegler was drunk from his loud talking and boisterous conduct. As the night went on, Flanagan noticed some commotion between Herb and Cora.

“They had a hot argument. … They were pretty combative,” he testified. “Their actions showed there was trouble. Mrs. Orthwein got up and left the table several times, but always went back again. Both were drinking then.”26

At some point, Ziegler went over to the dressing room door of 22-year-old44 Emma Lewis, a.k.a. “Little Sunshine,”45 whom the Green Mill later advertised as “Chicago’s Favorite Entertainer.”46

Emma Lewis. DN-0073316, Chicago Daily News collection, Chicago History Museum.

Her charisma was obvious from a news story in 1919, when a man named John L. Marks talked about seeing her at the Arsonia Café, 1652 West Madison Street. “Oh, but she’s a dream,” Marks said. “There are two or three rich men in town who were wild about her. One of them used to give her $20 every time she came to his table to sing. She sang to me and I handed her a two spot. I asked her to dance. We stepped around for a couple of dances and I was dead gone. In a week I asked her to marry me. I didn’t tell her I already had a wife.” (After Marks married Lewis, he was charged with bigamy.)47

Now, it was Herb Ziegler who was flirting with Emma Lewis. “He was pretty well intoxicated,” Lewis testified. “He was chatting with one of the orchestra men when Mrs. Orthwein came along and said: ‘Oh, this is where you are. Do you think it is nice to leave me sitting at the table?’”31

Cora recalled: “I saw Herb in a dressing room with Emma Lewis, a dancer. ‘Herb,’ I said, ‘you’ve been lying to me. Now give me back my pin. I’m through with you.’ When he slowly handed me my pin—a single, big pearl, given to me by Mr. Orthwein—we got into an argument. Mr. Ziegler finally picked up a wine glass and threw its contents in my face. I picked up my own glass and gave him a dose of his own medicine. Then he got real mad and threw a bottle at me.” 2

Flanagan recalled: “I finally went up and spoke to her, asked what the trouble was, and why she didn’t leave if Ziegler wasn’t acting right. ‘He’s got my key,’ she said. ‘He won’t give it to me.’ The waiters came around then and wanted to throw them both out, but I told them I’d fix it. I went over to her table, and one of the captains of the waiters got her pocketbook. The key was inside.” (This may have actually been Chamales, who testified that he handed Cora Orthwein’s purse to her.)

“I quieted Mrs. Orthwein down—she was very angry and so was he—and took her out to a cab,” Flanagan said. Although he hadn’t seen Ziegler throw any alcohol at Cora, “I could smell the fumes on her as we sat in the cab,” he testified. When the cab reached Cora’s apartment, Flanagan walked her up the steps to her door, and then he went home to his own hotel.26

Parsons, who’d been dancing, returned to the table and learned that Cora was gone. Ziegler was sitting all alone. His clothing looked wet. “What’s the trouble?” Parsons asked. Saying nothing, Ziegler got up, went over to get his coat from the check girl, and walked out of the Green Mill’s front entrance. By the time Parsons followed him outside, he was gone. The doorman told Parsons he’d seen Ziegler getting into a cab and telling the driver to take him to the Congress Hotel.28

A telephone operator called the Sheffield Avenue police station around 5 a.m.,4  telling the desk sergeant that there was “some sort of trouble” at 518 West Surf Street. “Something upset the telephone,” she said, “and I heard the receiver fall off. Then there was a shot. I’m sure somebody’s killed.”

When police officers arrived at the apartment, they could see the front door had been broken open. So had the door to Cora Orthwein’s bedroom. Inside, they found Herbert Ziegler’s dead body.5 Cora was wearing a torn nightgown, and her hair was disordered.

“I’ve killed Herb,” she cried. “I’ve killed the man I love.” 9

Cora Orthwein’s bedroom. DN-0073056, Chicago Daily News collection, Chicago History Museum.

According to one report, she was madly kissing Ziegler’s lifeless face and urging him to speak to her.26 The newspapers would call her hysterical.34 A revolver with two discharged cartridges lay on the floor nearby, amid blood-stained rugs.9

“Damn his soul. He won’t do it again,” Cora said, according to patrol officer John Burns. “Damn him! I shot him. He has been trifling with me. He has been cheating.”48 But lieutenant James E. Doherty contradicted Burns, testifying: “She never told us that she was glad he was dead. She told us she loved him.”49

Officer John Burns, standing in front of the Sheffield Avenue police station. DN-0073241, Chicago Daily News collection, Chicago History Museum.

Cora allegedly used a profanity to describe Ziegler—a series of three words that were redacted with dashes in the Chicago Evening American—and said, “I am glad I killed him.” Asked about this, Doherty said: “No. She used profanity, but not as strong as that.”4

The policemen restrained Cora several times, fearing that she would try to take her own life.9 “She said: ‘I want to kill myself,’ and she made a grab for the gun,” Burns recalled.24

“I have nothing to live for now,” Cora pleaded. “Let me die and end my misery.”34

Two bottles of liquor were visible in the bedroom: an almost empty bottle of gin, and a mostly full one containing whiskey. “A whole case of this colorless deviltry was hidden in a nearby closet,” the Tribune reported.26 The Daily News described the same stash as “a dozen unopened bottles of Gordon gin.”5 Mrs. Orthwein also had 12 bottles of Champagne.26

A book sat on a small table in the bedroom, opened to Robert W. Service’s poem “The Harpy.” The following lines were heavily underlined:

From love’s close kiss to hell’s abyss is one sheer flight, I trow.
And wedding ring and bridal veils are will-o’-wisps of woe,
And ’tis not wise to love too well—and this all women know. 9

A Tribune reporter also found love poems at the apartment that seemed to be written by Ziegler himself, including one that began: “Somebody cheers when whenever I go—Only a dear little woman…” It was dedicated “To the sweetest little girl in all the world” and signed “Herb, Feb. 12, 1919.” The reporter also found messages to Mrs. Orthwein written by various other men— “messages in endearing terms, messages that spoke of ‘wonderful times’ in the past.”26

John Snowbrook, the reporter who arrived shortly after the police, interviewed Cora at the scene. “She told me that she picked up her revolver from her dressing case,” he testified. “Ziegler was pounding at the door. ‘If you come in here, I will kill you,’ she said she shouted at him. ‘He came in the doorway,’ she said, ‘and the first thing I knew I had shot him.’

“‘Did you know you pulled the trigger?’ I asked her.

“‘No,’ she said, ‘but the revolver was in my hand and the first thing I knew I shot him.’

“‘You loved this man?’ I asked her.

“‘Yes,’ she said.

“When I asked her why she killed him she answered: ‘Because I thought he was going to kill me.’”6

Cora Orthwein. Chicago Daily Tribune, March 2, 1921.

After Cora Orthwein got dressed—putting on an expensive suit—the officers took her to the police station, where she gave a statement admitting that she’d shot Ziegler.34 “Mrs. Orthwein is a woman of medium height and striking appearance,” the Daily News reported. “A big hat and furs half concealed her face as told her story to the police. Several times, she broke down but, for the most part, went forward with her narrative in methodically lifeless tones.”5

Cora told the police that Ziegler had telephoned her after she got home from Green Mill Gardens. “I told him I was through with him,” she recalled. “He said he was coming up the apartment. I told him to stay away, but he came anyway. I had the chain on the door. He had a key. When he found that the door was chained, he broke it down. I was in my night clothing and fled into the bedroom. I was terribly afraid of him. I shouted to him, ‘Don’t come in here, Herbert. If you do, I’ll shoot.’ I had a pistol that he gave me several months ago as a present. He said, ‘You’re not game.’ …2

“He said he was going to kill me. I tried with all my strength to hold the door, but he forced it in. As he came staggering in, he began striking at me. I picked up the pistol from the dresser. He rushed at me. …34

“I don’t know how many times I pulled the trigger. All I know is I felt the pistol jumping in my hand and saw him fall. He told me to do it. He told me when he gave me the pistol, several weeks ago: ‘Cora, if any man ever tries to come into your rooms, shoot him when he walks through the door. Don’t be afraid—shoot to kill.’

“I shot him—and I love him. I fell across his body and begged him to speak to me, but he was dead.”9

Cora Orthwein walking out of a building. DN-0073120, Chicago Daily News collection, Chicago History Museum.

Later that day, as witnesses began testifying at a Cook County coroner’s inquest, Cora Orthwein occasionally interrupted the proceedings by sobbing or offering commentary. “The beast in the man that makes him want the love of more than one woman was the cause of Ziegler’s death,” she remarked. “God knows I didn’t want to kill him. Why do they want to go on with this farce of an inquiry? There is nothing they can gain.”

At another point, she said: “I gave him all I had—his wife had done the same before me, even before I knew him. Still, he wasn’t satisfied. He trifled with her and he deceived me. When he turned to another woman, I was through. I told him so, and that made him a maniac. He was not satisfied to let me go, but wanted me and the other woman, too.”

She also expressed sympathy for Ziegler’s teenage daughter, exclaiming: “Poor Elaine! This makes her suffer so.”

An attorney for Ziegler’s widow called Cora Orthwein “a woman whose soul cried out for murder when she saw the man she loved was slipping from her.”

The Tribune offered this summary: “Booze and a woman’s kisses, the swift night life of old, persisted in despite the law’s edicts, open brawling in north side ‘gardens,’ gin rickeys splashed in the faces of angry quarrelers—all these things led to the slaying yesterday of Herbert P. Ziegler.”

Deo R. Parsons offered this simple explanation for the tragedy: “Both were drunk. There is no question about that. It was booze that did the killing.”26

Cora Orthwein soon made a similar statement: “It was booze. If it hadn’t been for the booze, things wouldn’t have turned out this way.”

As she now explained, she’d continued drinking after she’d returned to her apartment that night. “I went home from the Green Mill Gardens and drank all the gin I could,” she said. “It heated my blood, crazed me. And when he tried to get to me, I killed him. God knows I didn’t intend to hit him—and when I realized what I had done, it sobered me instantly.”50

The coroner’s jury doubted Cora Orthwein’s claims of self-defense. “We find that the deceased was in the act of putting on or taking off his overcoat at the time of receiving the fatal wound and that the life of Mrs. Orthwein was not in imminent danger,” the jurors wrote in their verdict.9 Cora Orthwein was soon charged with murder, and released from jail after posting $25,000 bond.50

Left: Attorneys Benedict J. Short and George Gunther at a table with Cora Orthwein. Right: Short and Orthwein in the courtroom. DN-0073234 and DN-0073233, Chicago Daily News collection, Chicago History Museum.

She went on trial in June 1921, attracting large crowds at the courthouse in downtown Chicago. The St. Louis Globe-Democrat called the audience a “thrill-hungry throng.”24 During the trial, Cora wore smartly tailored outfits, shading her eyes behind a veil.7

Cora Orthwein, wearing a veiled hat, stands at a bench in the courtroom. DN-0073022, Chicago Daily News collection, Chicago History Museum.

When she took the witness stand in her own defense, “the crowded, sweltering courtroom hung on every word that dropped from her lips,” the Chicago Evening American reported. “Over every detail of her love they gloated. It was a field day for the ‘murder fan.’”27

Cora Orthwein poses for photos. DN-0073235, DN-0073196, Chicago Daily News collection, Chicago History Museum.

She was asked how much she’d drunk on the night of the killing. “Two drinks at the gardens and one after I came home,” she testified.

“I went home and tried to sleep,” she said. “But I couldn’t sleep. The details of my life with Ziegler ran through my mind like a whirlwind. I jumped up and placed the pistol on the night table. I poured out a drink of gin from the bottle in the closet and drank it. Still, I couldn’t sleep.”10

Chicago Evening American, June 24, 1921.

She told the story about Ziegler coming to her apartment: “Suddenly I heard the clanking of the chains on the door. A voice outside shouted to me, ‘Let me in, let me in, let me in.’ I knew it was Ziegler. ‘No, I won’t,’ I said. ‘Let me in,’ he shouted, ‘or when I get in, I’ll kill you! I’ll show you, I’ll break the door down.’ He cursed me. ‘For God’s sake, go way,’ I pleaded. …

“He … crashed against the door. I saw the door giving way and ran back to my bedroom door. I opened the door and he struck me, knocking me back into my room. ‘I will kill you,’ he said, with an oath. I told him not to hit me again. When I got to my feet, he rushed at me again. I saw the revolver on the stand near me. He looked like he was crazy. … His eyes were wild. He lunged toward me. … I picked up the gun and fired. He rushed at me and said, ‘I’ll kill you!’ I fired again, I guess.”10

Lloyd Heth. New York Daily News, September 21, 1924.

When assistant state’s attorney Lloyd Heth cross-examined Orthwein, he showed her the revolver. “Is this the gun with which you killed him?”

Flinching as Heth thrust the gun into her face, she replied, “Yes—that’s it.”

“Take it,” Heth snapped. “Show the jurors how you killed him.”

Orthwein took the gun and slowly stood up, trembling. Limply holding the revolver, she turned toward the jurors and started to say something. But before she could get out a word, she sank back into her chair. “I can’t. I don’t remember.”10

At one point during her testimony, Orthwein walked in front of the jury box, showing the jurors a scar on her left cheek, which she said was evidence of a beating she’d received from Ziegler.27

At another point, Heth asked: “You say you had been trying for a year to get Mr. Ziegler to stop drinking?”

“For more than a year,” she said. “He was drinking too much.”

“When he came out to your apartment at dinner time, the night he was killed, intoxicated, and you wanted him to stay there and have bean soup instead of going out to dinner, did you tell him not to drink anymore?”

“I did. He promised me not to drink any more that night.”

“Then why did you take gin with you out to the Green Mill Gardens when you knew Ziegler was coming there at 10 o’clock?”

“The gin was for Deo Parsons. There were only three ounces. I didn’t expect there would be any left by 10 o’clock.”

“But Mr. Ziegler was drunk earlier in the evening?”

“Yes, but not ugly. He was only ugly when someone crossed him.”51

Heth skeptically questioned Orthwein about why she’d stayed in her relationship with an alcoholic scoundrel who’d supposedly beaten her. “Why, why if he beat you and drank himself into a frenzy time and time again, why did you continue to go out with him?”

The Tribune reported that Orthwein flashed a “pitying glance” at him. Her expression seemed to suggest that she knew this man would never understand what she’d gone through. Whispering, she answered: “I went with him, because I always did everything he wanted me to do.”


“Everything. I always did just what he wanted me to because I loved him.”10

Summing up her testimony, the American wrote: “It was the story of a woman, blinded by love, clinging to her love. Her love was represented by a cursing, drunken man. He was also blinded—blinded in senses and sensibilities by drink.” 27

During closing arguments, defense attorney George Guenther declared: “This woman fired in defense of her life.” As he spoke, Orthwein wept, with her head bowed.52

Another attorney for the defense, Benjamin Short, told the jurors: “You men know from experience that in 95 cases out of 100 it is the man who does the teasing and chasing. … If she wanted to kill him, why did she lock herself in her room? … She was there like a rat in a trap. Why was Ziegler coming back to her apartment at 4 o’clock in the morning? What excuse had Ziegler for coming up there and breaking down her door?”52

Heth, the prosecutor, told jurors that Ziegler had died “at the end of a harlot’s pistol.” He mocked Orthwein’s claims about trying to make Ziegler a better man. “Cora Orthwein did nothing to make Herbert Zeigler brace up change, stop his drinking, and become a respectable man,” Heth said. “She patted his hair at 6 o’clock and sent him away intending to meet him at 10 o’clock at the Green Mill Gardens, and she took gin with her. Time after time she assisted him to get drunk. … The life she has led has hardened her.”

As for Orthwein’s claims of self-defense, Heth said: “He was the aggressor, but Cora Orthwein had no right to pass judgment on his life. … Cora Orthwein was a wrongdoer as well as Ziegler. They lived together in adultery. When he grew tired of her, she took the law in her own hands. He kissed the blonde, and—and she shot him in a jealous rage.”

Heth shouted, “Send this woman to the penitentiary!” But he also suggested that she deserved the death penalty: “She still lives and has her freedom. That is not fair. Both should be equally punished. Both played the same game. Both should pay the same penalty.”53

On June 24, it took less than an hour for the jury to reach a verdict.

When the words “Not guilty” were read aloud, Cora Orthwein fell back in her seat, looking as if she might faint. Spectators in the courtroom clapped and cheered, pushing forward. As half a dozen bailiffs tried to restore order, men shook Cora’s hand and women frantically kissed her.54 “Public opinion freed me,” Cora told a reporter.

“It’s the same old story,” Heth remarked, sounding bitter about the verdict. “You can’t convict a woman of murder in Cook County if she is young and good-looking. That’s all there is to be said.”55 The Associated Press reported that Orthwein was the 28th woman acquitted of murder in the previous 10 years in Cook County, while only three women had been convicted of the crime.56

“What else could we do, with the evidence placed before us?” said the jury foreman, A.B. Debort. Ziegler’s father, Peter, remarked: “I hold no grudge. I am only sorry that during the trial the good points of Herb’s life were not brought out. He was a true friend.”

Orthwein went to her sister’s home. “I want to sleep,” she said wearily. “It has been so long since I have had a real rest. I am going to stay in bed for ten days and do nothing but sleep and sleep and sleep.”

She was planning to leave Chicago and make her home in New York.57 Wherever she went, she disappeared from the public eye. In my research, I haven’t turned up any information about how she spent the remainder of her life. For the next few years, her case was occasionally mentioned in newspaper articles, like a syndicated 1923 story headlined “Can Beauty Be Sent to Electric Chair?”58

Durham Morning Herald, August 19, 1923.

But her story soon faded from memory. It surfaced again when Michael Lesy recounted it in his 2007 book, Murder City: The Bloody History of Chicago in the Twenties.

Meanwhile, Maurine Watkins’s play Chicago immortalized similar tales of Chicago women on trial for murder in the 1920s. With its black humor—only slightly exaggerated from the actual events—the original play is well worth reading. If you can find a copy, I recommend the 1997 Southern Illinois University Press edition, Chicago: With the Chicago Tribune Articles That Inspired It. Kori Rumore and Marianne Mather chronicled the cases and presented some terrific archival photos and documents in their book He Had It Coming: Four Murderous Women and the Reporter Who Immortalized Their Stories. Douglas Perry also wrote about those stories in his 2010 book The Girls of Murder City: Fame, Lust, and the Beautiful Killers Who Inspired Chicago (which I wrote about for Chicago magazine). And yet another book is coming out in June 2024: They Both Reached for the Gun: Beulah Annan, Maurine Watkins, and the Trial That Became Chicago by Charles H. Cosgrove.

Back in 1921, when Herbert Ziegler’s slaying was first reported, the story had prompted an outcry about the free flow of booze in Chicago. As the Tribune pointed out, witnesses in the case talked about people drinking alcohol in “in cafés that heretofore have pleaded angel-like observance of the prohibition statutes.” Arthur Burrage Farwell, president of the Chicago Law and Order League, issued a public letter to mayor Bill Thompson and police superintendent Charles Fitzmorris, blaming the “illegal selling of intoxicating liquor” as the cause of Ziegler’s death and another recent slaying.

Chicago Daily Tribune, March 3, 1921.

The Ziegler case prompted federal prohibition authorities to send a letter to all Chicago cafés and cabarets, warning them that they would be held responsible for any liquor brought into their places by patrons, the New York Times reported. And U.S. attorney Charles F. Clyne suggested that he would soon seek permanent injunctions closing “at least two well-known resorts.” In all likelihood, he was talking about the two nightclubs that played a role in this story, Green Mill Gardens and Rainbo Gardens.59

Federal authorities did in fact prosecute the Green Mill and Rainbo for alleged violations of prohibition law over the coming year, although it isn’t clear whether those cases were directly prompted by the Orthwein-Ziegler case.

Meanwhile, Chicago officials began pushing for Green Mill Gardens to close each night at 1 a.m., as required under the city’s cabaret ordinance. On June 28, 1921—just four days after the verdict in Cora Orthwein’s murder trial—the city sued Green Mill Gardens Inc. for allowing early-morning music and dancing. It was a case that would go all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court.

The pictures at the top of this chapter show Cora Orthwein posing for photos. DN-0073239, DN-0073237B, and DN-0073236, Chicago Daily News collection, Chicago History Museum.



1 Illinois, U.S., Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947,

2 “Former St. Louis Woman Kills Man in Her Apartment,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 1, 1921 1, 2.

3 “Barry and Chamales Bare Ziegler Parties,” Chicago Daily News, June 20, 1921, 1, 3; “Orthwein Relative Testifies Ziegler Posed as Single Man,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 21, 1921, 5.

4 “Bares Ziegler’s Tryst With Blonde,” Chicago Evening American, June 16, 1921, 1, 2.

5 “‘Herb’ Ziegler Slain in Divorcee’s Flat,” Chicago Daily News, March 1, 1921, 1, 3.

6 “State Closes Case in Murder Trial of Mrs. Orthwein,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 19, 1921, 1.

7 “What Has Happened to Justice?” (New York) Daily News, September 1, 1924, 26–27.

8 Ohio, U.S., County Marriage Records, 1774-1993,; “Base-Ball Gossip,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, July 11, 1892, 7.

9 “Mrs. Orthwein Held for Murder of Man Who Tired of Her,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Mar 2, 1921, 1, 9.

10 “Killed to Save My Life, Cries Mrs. Orthwein,” Chicago Daily Tribune, June 23, 1921.

11 “Jack O’Connor (Catcher),” Wikipedia, accessed October 18, 2023,; “Jack O’Connor,” Baseball Reference, accessed October 19, 2023,’conja01.shtml.

12 “Carmen,” Wikipedia, accessed October 19, 2023,

13 “Ballplayer’s Wife Wrecked Society Home,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 30, 1905, 2.

14 “Jack O’Connor Sues His Wife,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, August 25, 1905, 3.

15 “Jack O’Connor (Catcher),” Wikipedia, accessed October 18, 2023,; “Jack O’Connor,” Baseball Reference, accessed October 19, 2023,’conja01.shtml.

16 “Jack O’Connor (Catcher),” Wikipedia, accessed October 18, 2023,; “Jack O’Connor,” Baseball Reference, accessed October 19, 2023,’conja01.shtml.

17 “‘We’re Happy,’ Says Bride of Ralph Orthwein,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 6, 1907, 3.

18 “Orthwein in Policy Suit,” St. Louis Star and Times, January 19, 1910, 12.

19 “Mrs. Ralph Orthwein Files Divorce Suit,” St. Louis Star and Times, November 7, 1914, 1.

20 “Catcher O’Connor Gets a Divorce,” St. Louis Republic, October 31, 1905, 3.

21 “Mrs. Orthwein Has Letters of Mrs. O’Connor,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 24, 1906, 1.

22 “Mrs. Orthwein Tells Story on Stand,” Chicago Evening American, June 21, 1921, 1, 2.

23 Associated Press, “Mrs. Orthwein Telling Why She Killed Ziegler,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 22, 1921, 1, 2.

24 “Says Mrs. Orthwein Threatened to Kill Ziegler if He Left Her,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 16, 1921 1, 8.

25 1920 U.S. Census, Illinois, Cook (Chicago), Chicago Ward 3, enumeration district 0175, sheet 2A,

26 “U.S. to Probe Rum Angle in Orthwein Case,” Chicago Daily Tribune, March 2, 1921.

27 “Ziegler Cruel at End, Jury Is Told,” Chicago Evening American, June 23, 1921, 1, 2.

28 “Ziegler’s Death Kiss Told,” Chicago Evening American, June 17, 1921, 1, 2.

29 Associated Press, “Mrs. Orthwein Telling Why She Killed Ziegler,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 22, 1921, 1, 2; “Ziegler Cruel at End, Jury Is Told,” Chicago Evening American, June 23, 1921, 1, 2.

30 Illinois, U.S., Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947,

31 “Orthwein Relative Testifies Ziegler Posed as Single Man,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 21, 1921, 5.

32 “Mrs. Orthwein Held for Manslaughter in Death of Lover,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, March 9, 1921, 2; Associated Press, “‘Kissing Blonde’ Is Orthwein Witness,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 17, 1921. 2; “Bares Ziegler’s Tryst With Blonde,” Chicago Evening American, June 16, 1921, 1, 2.

33 U.S., World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,

34 “Chicagoan Killed by Mrs. Orthwein, St. Louis Divorcee,” St. Louis Star and Times, March 1, 1921, 1, 2.

35 “‘Kissing Blonde’ Paints Ziegler’s Dance of Death,” Chicago Daily Tribune, June 18, 1921.

36 1920 U.S. Census, Illinois, Cook (Chicago), Chicago Ward 23, enumeration district 2296, sheet 1B,

37 Cook County, Illinois, U.S., Marriages Index, 1871-1920,

38 “Girl of 6 Names Orthwein Case ‘Kissing Blonde,’” Chicago Daily Tribune, May 27, 1921, 5.

39 “Wife Sues Iron President,” Chicago Daily Tribune, March 30, 1920, 10.

40 “Mrs. Orthwein to Bare Soul as Witness,” Chicago Evening American, June 18, 1921, 1, 2.

41 “Janitor Testifies Ziegler Forced Way to Mrs. Orthwein’s Flat,” Chicago Evening American, June 20, 1921, 3.

42 “‘Kissing Blond’ Tells of Meeting Ziegler,” Chicago Daily News, June 17, 1921, 1, 3.

43 “Mrs. Orthwein Held for Manslaughter in Death of Lover,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, March 9, 1921, 2.

44 Cook County, Illinois, U.S., Marriages Index, 1871-1920,

45 “Wife Shatters Honeymoon With Bigamy Charge,” Chicago Daily Tribune, September 5, 1919, 19.

46 Advertisement, Chicago Daily News, January 13, 1923, 11.

47 “John Says He’s Easy Marks,” Chicago Daily News, September 5, 1919, 3.

48 “Mrs. Orthwein Sobs Again at Trial for Killing Ziegler,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 15, 1921, 1; “Says Mrs. Orthwein Threatened to Kill Ziegler if He Left Her,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 16, 1921 1, 8.

49 Associated Press, “‘Kissing Blonde’ Is Orthwein Witness,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 17, 1921. 2.

50 “Trail of Rum in Ziegler Murder Traced by U.S.,” Chicago Daily Tribune, March 3, 1921.

51 “Term in Prison to Be Asked for Mrs. Orthwein,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 23, 1921, 1, 2.

52 “Mrs. Cora Orthwein Acquitted of Ziegler Murder,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 25, 1921, 1, 10.

53 “State Denounces Mrs. Orthwein in Final Argument,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 24, 1921, 1; “Mrs. Cora Orthwein Acquitted of Ziegler Murder,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 25, 1921, 1, 10.

54 “Mrs. Orthwein Goes Free,” Chicago Daily Tribune, June 25, 1921, 1–2; “Mrs. Cora Orthwein Acquitted of Ziegler Murder,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 25, 1921, 1, 10; “What Has Happened to Justice?” (New York) Daily News, September 1, 1924, 26–27.

55 United Press, “‘Public Opinion Freed Me,’ Says Mrs. Orthwein,” St. Louis Star and Times, June 25, 1921, 1.

56 Associated Press, “Mrs. Orthwein Is 28th Woman Acquitted of Murder in Cook Co.,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, June 25, 1921, 1.

57 “‘I Just Want to Sleep and Sleep,’ Says Mrs. Orthwein, Freed,” Chicago Evening American, June 25, 1921, 2.

58 Public Ledger (syndicated), “Can Beauty be Sent to Electric Chair?” Durham (NC) Morning Herald, August 19, 1923, 24.

59 “U.S. to Probe Rum Angle in Orthwein Case,” Chicago Daily Tribune, March 2, 1921; “Trail of Rum in Ziegler Murder Traced by U.S.,” Chicago Daily Tribune, March 3, 1921; “Mrs. Orthwein Arraigned,” New York Times, March 3, 1921.