Libby Hellmann spoke with journalist Emilie Lucchesi about her new book, Ugly Prey: An Innocent Woman and the Death Sentence That Scandalized Jazz Age Chicago.
A true crime tale about a poor immigrant woman with very little English – and a very dead husband – the criminal justice system that sentenced her to hang, and the media circus that made her face the most hated in the nation.
Ugly Prey: An Innocent Woman and the Death Sentence That Scandalized Jazz Age Chicago
By Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi
Air Date/Time September 7, 3pm (Central)
1st ed., 336 pages, cloth
Sabella Nitti was an Italian immigrant who spoke little English and struggled on her primitive family farm outside Chicago before her arrest in 1923 for the murder of her missing husband. Within two months, she was found guilty and became the first woman ever sentenced to hang in Chicago.
Journalist Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi leads readers through Sabella’s sensational case, showing how, with no evidence and no witnesses, she was the target of an obsessed deputy sheriff and the victim of a faulty legal system. She was also—to the men who convicted her and the reporters fixated on her—ugly. For that unforgiveable crime, the media painted her as...