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A musical vaudeville involving two murderesses and the lawyer who gets them off.
The original play was based on Maurine Dallas Watkins' experiences reporting on murder trials in Chicago in the 1920s. In particular, it was based on two trials.
One was that of Beulah Annan (who was the basis for Roxie). She was accused of murdering Harry Kalstedt, her lover. She claimed that he tried to rape her and she shot him in self defense. The police concluded that he tried to leave her and she shot him out of jealousy. Her husband pooled as much money as he could to get her the best lawyers in Chicago. Beulah went to trial in 1924 but was acquitted. Immediately after the trial, she divorced her husband claiming that he was "too slow".
Another trial that figured into Watkins' play was that of Belva Gaertner (the basis for Velma). She shot and killed her lover, Walter Law. He was found in the front seat of Belva's car. She was later found at her apartment with blood-soaked clothes on the floor. She said that she was drunk and couldn't remember what happened. She went to trial. Her defense was that Law had killed himself. Belva was acquitted.See more
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