Bertha Warshovsky: Queen of the Arsonists

On November 7th, I’ll be conducting a Mysterious Chicago walking tour of the “Darker side” of Taylor Street for Atlas Obscura. Here’s one of the stories I’ll be covering!  Bertha in the Herald Examiner As a grandmother in her sixties, Bertha Warshovsky assumed that no one would ever suspect her if a building burned down. We can Read More…

1893: Another Body Turned to Stone

The bodies of the two nuns on Taylor Street we spoke of in our recent entry aren’t the only bodies in Chicago reported to have turned to stone. Another was found on the beach in 1893. “Of all the horrible bodies that lie in the morgue,” wrote the Chicago Times, “this thing is the most repulsive. Read More…

The Resurrection of Nicholas Viana

Il Diavolo The guards at the old prison on Dearborn and Illinois weren’t afraid of much, but one prisoner really freaked them out: Sam “Il Diavolo” Cardinella, the head of a high insular, secretive gang that operated out of his pool room on 22nd Place. Their whole story was in a previous post: The Strange Read More…