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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.

Frank Waber A Chicago man who claimed to have discovered secret of converting metals to gold. Age: About 35.
Louis Wail Wail was on the witness list for the second Luetgert trial; he was cited for contempt; his role in the case is uncertain.  Address: 550 LaSalle.
Aaron F. Walcott A Cook County bailiff in the Luetgert trials. 
Edward Wallbaum A police officer, perhaps a Cook County bailiff, mentioned in coverage of the Luetgert case. 
Dr. John White Webster A professor at Harvard Medical College who convicted of murdering and dismembering fellow faculty member Dr. George Parkman in 1850. The trial was an important precedent for the Luetgert case.
Annie Weichbrodt A former servant of the Luetgert family Address: 1465 Hermitage Avenue. 
Charles Westerholm An assistant engineer at the Library Bureau Company building (the former Luetgert factory), he was the only person in the structure when it caught on fire in 1904. 
Westig The owner of saloon near the Luetgert factory, also known as Diversey Hall. First name unknown.
Variations of name: Wetsick.
Michael Whalen A police officer closely associated with Michael Schaack who was suspected of covering up information in the Cronin case. 
Walter White A soapmaker employed by Armour who testified in the Luetgert trials. 
John L. Whitman


Chicago Tribune, Nov. 28, 1897.

The Cook County jailer at the time of Luetgert's trials. Born: July 23, 1862, Sterling, Illinois.
Hired as a guard, December 1, 1890.
Appointed jailer, May 1, 1895.
John Henry Wigmore A Northwestern University law professor who wrote a legal analysis of the Luetgert case in 1898. 
Oscar Wilde The famed author of such works as The Picture of Dorian Gray, which includes a scene describing a murder victim's corpse being dissolved, similar to the method later used by Luetgert. 
Williams The former sheriff of Waupaca, Wisconsin, who was allegedly looking for Mrs. Luetgert in the Oshkosh area.  First name unknown.
J. Willinski A resident of St. Joseph, Michigan, who had supposedly had a detective staying at his home on September 28, 1897. Reports said the detective was shadowing a wealthy woman who supposedly had knowledge of the Luetgert case. 
Charles Withers A man charged with attempting to intimidate witnesses in the first Luetgert trial. On August 31, 1897, the Chicago Record reported:  

Charged with attempting to intimidate witnesses for the state in the Luetgert case, Charles Withers of 250 Orleans street was arrested by Detective Griebenow yesterday afternoon and locked up in the Sheffield avenue station. He was not booked. No one was permitted to see or converse with him, and the police are endeavoring to keep the fact of his incarceration a secret.

Withers was apprehended in front of the saloon of Otto Tosch, across the street from the sausage factory... Withers went into the saloon at 2 o'clock and entered into conversation with Mrs. Tosch. While he was talking he heard some newsboys crying, "All about the Luetgert case," and stopping his talk said: "It is a shame to permit those boys to 'holler' in that way about an honest citizen like Luetgert."

He then took a paper from his pocket, and holding it so that Mrs. Tosch and Mrs. Schaffer, a neighbor who lives above the saloon and who was present, could see it, said: "I have the names of four witnesses who have testified against Luetgert knowing that it was not the truth, and if any one will say anything against Mr. Luetgert that is not the truth he will be arrested and punished." He then put the paper in his pocket, and, shaking his finger at Mrs. Tosch, left the saloon.

When he reached the sidewalk he was arrested by Detective Griebenow, who had been sent to watch the vicinity of the sausage factory by Inspector Schaack, as the police have feared that attempts might be made to interview witnesses for the prosecution. When Withers was arrested he begged to be released, claiming that he was doing no harm. The detective took a paper from his prisoner which purported to be a subscription blank for the family of James Walsh, a former engineer of the Northwestern railroad, and whose boy, according to the caption, had just died, leaving the family in needy circumstances. The paper was signed by ten persons, each agreeing to contribute $1. The police believe this to be a mere "fake," to be used in the event of contact with detectives.

Asked about the paper, Withers refused to say anything, but demanded that he be released. He said first that he lived in Clybourn place, and afterward said that his home was in Market street. Afterward he insisted that he did not live at either place and refused to give his present address.

A patrol wagon was called and Withers sent to the police station. Griebenow immediately went to the courtroom and called Inspector Schaack. Then in company with Capt. Schuettler they entered the state's attorney office and held a long conference.

Withers is an American and a salesman for a clothing house. He is an intelligent-appearing man, about 40 years old, was dressed in a neat blue suit, is of light complexion and wears a mustache. Both Inspector Schaack and Capt. Schuettler insist that the man has nothing to do with the Luetgert case, and that he was merely arrested because he was an imposter soliciting subscriptions. The detective who arrested him is employed exclusively in the Luetgert case, and reported the arrest the moment it was possible.

Mrs. A.R. Wolcott A woman who lived near St. Joseph, Michigan, who said she had spoken with a woman resembling Mrs. Luetgert on October 11, 1897. 
John Worden The supervisor of the Dunning asylum poorhouse. His name was spelled Warden in some accounts. Read more about the Dunning asylum and the case of the Dunning body-snatchers.