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Chicago 1907, a Corrupt System, an Accused Killer, and the Crusade to Save Him


288 Pages, 6.4 x 9.1

Formats: Cloth, EPUB

Cloth, $26.95 (US $26.95) (CA $36.00)

Publication Date: September 2014

ISBN 9780991193813

Rights: WOR

Titletown Publishing, LLC (Sep 2014)


eBook Editions Available

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A gripping tale of murder, sorcery, and criminal justice in turn-of-the-century Chicago, Poisoned is the fascinating true story of a mysterious Bohemian fortune teller charged with murdering a half-dozen people by slowly poisoning them with arsenic. Poisoned details the horrific murders, and the incredible events that followed Herman Billik's conviction: last second reprieves; legal battles carried all the way to the Supreme Court; frenzied mass demonstrations; corpses secretly exhumed in the middle of the night; and the revelation that key witnesses lied under oath. The case affected political campaigns, involved a Chicago Mayor, and featured an eventual showdown in the race for Governor of Illinois between two of the story's central figures. Indeed, if it were not true, no one would ever believe it.

Author Biography

Steve Shukis holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from the University of Illinois, Chicago. He worked for the city of Chicago for 15 years, supervising and training city inspectors, and conducting legal research as a liaison with the city council. He is a sixth generation Chicagoan, and lifelong student of Chicago history, politics, and crime. He has been an amateur genealogical researcher for 25 years. Steve lives in Chicago with his wife Keisha and daughter Savanna.