Tag Archives: crime

On April 19, 1928, Illinois held its last public hanging as bootlegger Charlie Birger went up the rope in Benton on a spring morning. (We’ve published a book that tells his story.) For years, he had fought it out with his violent rivals … Continue reading

Chicago alderman Willie Cochran received news of his impending federal indictment on corruption charges while attending a City Council meeting. You can’t say he skips out on work. You can say that the government is taking an interest in making … Continue reading

Lizzie Andrew Borden stood trial in New Bedford, Massachusetts, for the ax murders of her father and stepmother. This first of many American trials of the century began on June 5, 1893. Lurid details included allegations of poison and rotten mutton, an … Continue reading

Every week seems to bring more stories of the waste, misuse, cruelty, and injustice of America’s increasingly for-profit prison system. For years, the University of Illinois Press has taken a sustained interest in prisons, focusing not just on history but … Continue reading

Drink bothered the Founding Fathers. Not on a personal level, of course. John Adams drank a tankard of hard cider with his breakfast and George Washington went on many a bender. No, they saw boozing as a threat to the good functioning of … Continue reading

The UIP publishes lots of books on Abraham Lincoln. You might think: can’t you be more contemporary? John Wilkes Booth assassinated the poor man 150-some odd years ago. But the Railsplitter remains newsworthy. Dateline: Kankakee, Illinois, where a thief or thieves have stolen … Continue reading