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Chicago Crime, Criminals & Victims

by Richard C. Lindberg

Shattered Sense of Innocence: The Chicago Child Murders of 1955 Published in hardcover by Southern Illinois University Press in October 2006. In the 1950s, our perfect sense of order was forever changed by the heinous abduction-murders of three grammar school youths who had journeyed into the heart of downtown Chicago for the very first time in their young lives. Anton and John Schuessler and their friend Robert Peterson intended to see a Walt Disney movie, but they never made it back to the sheltered safety of the far Northwest Side, where their Depression-era parents tried to carve out a better life in an area of the city considered "crime free."

Co-authored with Gloria Jean Sykes, the book documents the largest Chicago police homicide investigation up to that time; the jurisdictional rivalries, bureaucratic bungling and politics-as-usual attitude that underscored the failures of law enforcement to catch the killer in 1955. Shattered Sense of Innocence takes the reader on a guided tour of the city as it appeared in the less than idyllic 1950s; the human side of the tragedy, and the final resolution of the crime four decades later. It is the story of the determined efforts of ATF Agent James Delorto and his personal quest to bring closure to the decades-old mystery, and the inner workings of Chicago's treacherous "horse mafia" forever linked to the Schuessler-Peterson case and several other high-profile unsolved murder cases in the Windy City the authors recount in the book.

Return to the Scene of the Crime: A Guide to Infamous Places in Chicago, Nashville, TN: Cumberland House, Published July 1999. 471 pages. Described by columnist Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times as "the definitive roadmap of Chicago's dark history." Inspired by Andrew Roth's Infamous Manhattan, the book was a local best seller on from January-April 2000. The unusual cover photo sparked all kinds of questions and debate among readers. Just who was that dead man in quiet repose on the sidewalk? The solution to the mystery and other puzzling crimes are revealed in Rich's 2001 sequel, Return Again to the Scene of the Crime: A Guide to Even More Infamous Places in Chicago.

Return Again to the Scene of the Crime: A Guide to Even More Infamous Places in Chicago, Nashville, TN: Cumberland House. Published August 2001. 451 pages. Chosen as a Chicago Tribune Editor's Choice for October 14, 2001. Author and journalist Rick Kogan, host of the "Sunday Papers" on WGN Radio called it "Absolutely fabulous...if you love Chicago history on any level, not just the history of crime, it's history of architecture and history of the city." The sequel to Rich's 1999 crime travel guide probes the dark, unexplored corners of the city notorious with emphasis on the many bizarre and off-beat criminal cases lost to history but resurrected in this one timely volume. Lavishly illustrated with maps, diagrams and photos.

To Serve & Collect: Chicago Politics and Police Corruption from the Lager Beer Riot To the Summerdale Scandal, 1855-1960. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishing. 1991. Republished in paperback by Southern Illinois University Press in 1998. 366 pages. Four years of solitary research went into the preparation of this book (begun as a graduate thesis at Northeastern Illinois University). Lindberg's engrossing history of the Chicago Police Department, its moments of shame and valor, and the litany of scandal spread across 100 years, was the first volume to be published on the subject since John Flinn & John Wilke's History of the Chicago Police (sold by subscription to fatten the coffers of the Policeman's Benevolent Association) appeared in 1887.

Chicago Ragtime: Another Look at Chicago, 1880-1920, South Bend, IN: Icarus Press, 1985. 282 pages. Republished in trade paperback as Chicago by Gaslight: A History of the Chicago Netherworld, 1880-1920, by Academy Chicago, 1996. This colorful and engrossing look back at the dark side of Chicago during the Gilded Age was praised by the late, great journalist and book author Herman Kogan for its "prodigious amount of research and its host of new and delicious details."

The hardcover edition of Chicago Ragtime is long out of print, but the author has a limited number of copies available for purchase. Price: $20.00 plus $3.00 shipping. Send check or money order to P.O. Box 31343, Chicago, IL 60631

CONTRIBUTING WRITER (Encyclopedias & Anthologies)
  1. American National Biography, American Council of Learned Societies and Oxford University Press, 1999.
  2. The Encyclopedia of Major League Team Histories, New York, NY: Carroll & Graf, 1993, Trade paper.
  3. The Encyclopedia of World Crime, Wilmette, IL: Crime Books Inc., 1990.
  4. The Ballplayers, New York, NY: William Morrow, 1990. Hard cover.
  5. A Kid's Guide to Chicago, G.T. Nelson, Inc., 1980. Trade paper.

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