1920’s Chicago Courtroom Drama Subject of New Book, Ugly Prey | WBEZ
Skip to main content

Morning Shift

1920’s Chicago Courtroom Drama Subject of New Book, Ugly Prey

In 1923 an Italian immigrant named Sabella Nitti, who spoke little English, was arrested for the murder of her husband. She would be found guilty by the all male jury and became the first woman in Chicago to be sentenced to death- she would hang for her crime. There were many questions surrounding the fairness of the trial and Nitti’s conviction especially because two other women- white and attractive were acquitted of killing the men in their lives.

Author Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi joins the Morning Shift to talk about how the issues of gender, ethnicity, class and the American judicial system all come together in her new book, Ugly Prey: An Innocent Woman and the Death Sentence that Scandalized Jazz Age Chicago.

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.

CLOSE X