The June 29 edition of the The Washington Post included a feature story on murder cases where no body is found and referenced Robert Loerzel’s Alchemy of Bones: Chicago’s Luetgert Murder Case of 1897 without actually naming the book.
“After family members reported Luetgert’s wife missing, the police searched his sausage factory and found human bone fragments in the smokestack and her wedding ring in a potash vat. Luetgert was ultimately convicted, even though, as Robert Loerzel noted in a book on the case, the bones in Luetgert’s smokestack were never conclusively proven to be his wife’s. The Luetgert case was a harbinger of the use of circumstantial evidence in bodiless homicide cases, but such prosecutions remained rare throughout the early 1900s. Forensic science was in its infancy, and it was almost impossible to determine whether a disappeared woman had simply left town or whether some harm had befallen her.”