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Who's Who
Names beginning with
A B C D E F G H IJ K L M N O PQ R S T UV W XYZ
This index includes people in Alchemy of Bones, others connected with the Luetgert case and names that came up during the author's research.
Names in bold appear in the book. All addresses and ages are from 1897, and all addresses are in Chicago unless noted otherwise.
2003 Robert Loerzel.

George Painter


Chicago Daily News, Jan. 26, 1894.

A Chicago man convicted and hanged in the murder of Alice Martin. When a bird flew into the jail near the end of Luetgert's first trial, some guards regarded it as an omen because the same thing had occurred during the Painter case.

Read more about the Painter case.

Eugene B. Palmer

 

A reporter for the Chicago Journal, he went to the Luetgert factory the morning of May 18, 1897, and took samples from the middle vat. He also took part in the scheme to listen in on the jury deliberations. 


Chicago Journal, Sept. 8, 1897.

Dr. George Parkman A professor at Harvard Medical College who was killed and dismembered in 1850. When Dr. John White Webster was convicted of the murder, it was an important precedent for the Luetgert case.
Edwin F. Payne A reporter for the Chicago Journal, he took part in the scheme to listen in on jury deliberations. 
Christina Pearce A witness who identified the rings Mrs. Luetgert had worn. 


Chicago Journal, Sept. 4, 1897.

Peter Peterson An inmate of the Dunning poorhouse, who was entrusted with the care of the morgue. Read more about the Dunning asylum and the case of the Dunning body-snatchers.
Frank Pfister A nephew of Christine Feld who lived in of Racine, Wisconsin, where he worked as a deputy sheriff. After Luetgert gave Feld a knife for safe-keeping, Feld gave it to Pfister. Variations of name: There is some confusion over the nephew's correct name. Some reports had it as "Frank Pfister" or "Frank Rister" while another interpreted the same name as "Christopher." 
George Pfister A twelve-year-old boy who saw a woman resembling Mrs. Luetgert in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on September 25, 1897. 
Albert Phalen


Chicago Daily News.

A defense attorney in the first Luetgert trial.

 

Norval H. Pierce A doctor who testified as an expert witness for the prosecution in the Luetgert case. 


Chicago Daily News, Sept. 16, 1897.

Matthew Worth Pinkerton  The author of the 1898 book Murder in All Ages, which includes a chapter on the Luetgert case. He was apparently not a member of the famous Pinkerton family or its detective agency, but he had his run-ins with them. He was employed by them for a time, but he was fired after claiming to be a son of Allan Pinkerton. He later ran his own detective agency under the name Pinkerton, which led to a lawsuit. 

In a letter dated February 19, 1918, to the Chicago Historical Society about Murder in all Ages, Allan Pinkerton's son, William A. Pinkerton, wrote: "The book ... was written by some Methodist preacher for Matthew Pinkerton and was a fraud, the name Pinkerton merely being used for the purpose of selling the same and it was generally supposed to have been written by either my brother or myself. ... Matthew W. Pinkerton by his disgraceful methods has caused us no end of worry, bother and trouble and a great deal of expense in the latter days of his activities to suppress and expose him thoroughly to the public. In view of all these circumstances, I believe that by all means the book should be removed from the files of the Historical Society of Chicago." (The Historical Society did not remove the book, though it did tuck a copy of this letter inside its cover.)

Matthew Pinkerton had also been in the news on May 1, 1897, the day of Louise  Luetgert's disappearance. The Daily News reported that Detective Matt W. Pinkerton's United States Detective agency was evicted from its offices at 204 Clark Street. Marshall Field, the owner of the building, said Pinkerton was four months behind in his rent. Eight men spent the morning carrying out office furniture and other items. Pinkerton told the News: "The whole thing is a conspiracy on the part of the members of a rival detective agency to get possession of my quarters and thus profit by the prestige of the location which has been mine for so many years."

Dr. Samuel C. Plummer A bone expert for the Luetgert defense. 
Wesley Plummer A guard at the Cook County Jail. Like many guards at the time, he was an African-American or, in the parlance of the time, "colored." 
James M. Porter A newspaper reporter from Monmouth, Illinois, where Mrs. Luetgert was supposedly seen. Variations of name: J.L. Porter.
Robert Potter A professor who worked as an expert for the Luetgert defense. Variations of name:  L.T. Potter. 
Melville Davisson Post An author of detective and courtroom fiction whose 1896 story "The Corpus Delicti" was cited for its parallels to the Luetgert case. Read "The Corpus Delicti."
Frank Fay Pratt An attorney and palm reader who claimed Luetgert had confessed to him in jail. Also represented another notorious killer of the time, Christopher Merry.

Read Pratt's interpretation of Merry's palms.

Address: 3229 Prairie Avenue.
G.W. Pratt An employment agent in Peoria who claimed to have seen Mrs. Luetgert. 
Bernard Preuss

 

A Chicago police officer involved in the Luetgert case.


Chicago Journal, Sept. 8, 1897.

Martin J. Qualey

 

A Chicago police detective involved in the Luetgert case. 


Chicago Journal, May 20, 1897.