The roaring twenties was a new era, WWI was over and that was cause to celebrate.As music radio and motion pictures became very popular in the early 20's, people stop taking life so seriously, "you only live once" became the anthem of the time.Everything was changing, many women started drinking smoking and wearing make up. They started rebelling against their parents and victorian standards were thrown out the window. These women were called flappers, for their short provocative skirts and actions.
Belle Brown Overbeck Gaertner A.K.A. Belva Gaertner, once known as the "Queen of Chicago's cabarets,"was a 38 year old cabaret singer, she had been divorced twice. She was wealthy and stylish, despise work and grew easily bored with her milionare husband. A Hyde Park socialite who felt halfes dressed without gaudy jewelry. Belva was a party lover and a heavy drinker.
She was dating a man who was 10 years younger, Walter Law.
march 11, 1924 Walter turned up missing ,he was found in an automobile registered to Belva gaertner.He had a gunshot wound to his head, a pistol and empty bottle of gin on the floor.
All evidence clearly pointed to the performer herself as the shooter. She was found with Law's blood on her body, and the gun used in the shooting in her possession. said she had been drinking and had no memory of what happened Gaertner may have fared better. Police questioned Belva her response was, "I don't know, I was drunk." Later she was also quoted as saying, "It's silly to say I murdered Walter. I liked him and he loved me--but no woman can love a man enough to kill him. They aren't worth it, because there are always plenty more."
W.W. O'Brien was Gaertner's lawyer, he had reshaped the facts to come up with an iron-clad defense. Belva had drunk so much gin that she didnt have a clue what had happened that night. Her case with to trial one month after Beulah's. June 6, 1924, Belva was set free by an all male jury. After being declared not guilty, she laughed and hugged her attorneys, and thanked the jury. After her release she said she planned on remarrying husband number two and traveling to Europe. What became of her is unknown.
dubbed the "most stylish" woman on Murderess Row by reporter Watkins—
Belva Gaertner and Beulah Annan were social opposites. Annan was employed at Tennant's Laundry, she made national headlines in the 1920s over her controversial murder trial, for which she eventually was plead not guilty. In a very short period of years, Beulah went through several men and several misadventures. She married her first husband in Owensboro, KY, then divorced him and moved to Chicago and married auto mechanic Albert Annan. She soon began having an ongong affair with a laundromat worker named Harry Kalstedt, and in April 1924, she shot him to death. After shooting Harry, Beulah phoned her husband to say that she had shot a man, in self-defense, who had attempted to rob her. Beulah told multiple versions of her story -...