A quiz on Chicago's best corruption trials

April 24, 2012

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Ninety years ago, Len Small became Illinois’ first – but certainly not its last – governor to stand trial for corruption. WBEZ history blogger John Schmidt tells us about the historic case and quizzes listeners on famous Chicago trials. To play, call 312.923.9239. We'll post the answers after the show.

CORRUPTION TRIALS QUIZ

1. What crime were the Haymarket defendants convicted of? Was it…

(A) unlawful use of firearms

(B) attempted murder

(C) murder

(D) treason

2. Who was the judge in the Chicago Seven trial?

(A) Otto Kerner

(B) Julius Hoffman

(C) Abbie Hoffman

(D) Jerry Springer

3. What prison sentence did Al Capone receive for income tax evasion?

(A) 2 years

(B) 7 years

(C) 11 years

(D) 20 years

4. Which of these was a famous Clarence Darrow trial in Chicago?

(A) The Black Sox

(B) Scopes

(C) Roxie and Velma

(D) Leopold and Loeb

5. In 1907 Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis fined Standard Oil $29 million in an antitrust case.  How much is that in 2012 dollars?

(A) $60 million

(B) $145 million

(C) $290 million

(D) $670 million

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Answers: c b c d d

(C) murder. Policeman Mathias Degan was killed by a bomb thrown at an anarchist labor rally in Haymarket Square on the evening of May 4, 1886. In the immediate aftermath, six other cops and an unknown number of civilians were killed by gunfire. Eight anarchists were indicted for the murder of Officer Degan. All eight were found guilty. Four were hanged; one committed suicide; the other three were later pardoned by Governor Altgeld.

(B) Julius Hoffman. Abbie Hoffman was one of the defendants. Although he was not related to Julius Hoffman, he drove the judge crazy by calling him “Cousin Julie,” and offering to set him up with an LSD dealer.

(C) 11 years.At the time, this was the longest sentence ever given for income tax evasion.  Capone served his time at the Atlanta Federal Prison, then at the new Alcatraz Prison. When he was released near the end of 1939, he’d served about eight years.

(D) Leopold and Loeb. Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb were two college students from the wealthy Kenwood neighborhood. In 1924 they wanted to commit “the perfect crime,” so they killed a 14-year-old neighborhood boy. Upon their arrest, Leopold and Loeb hired Darrow for their defense. Darrow urged them both to plead guilty. Then he convinced the judge to withhold the death sentence. Loeb was later killed in prison, Leopold was paroled in 1958. Darrow famously defended John Scopes in the Scopes Monkey Trial, but that was fought in the Tennessee courts. 

(D) $670 million.  That figure is based on the Consumer Price Index.At the time, Landis’ fine was the largest ever given to an American corporation.Interestingly, Judge Landis became the first commissioner of Major League Baseball in 1920. He’s credited with restoring the game’s reputation in the aftermath of the Black Sox scandal. He served for 24 years.