Anarchist Kills Them All: A Family Massacre

YESTERDAY’S NEWS

A reading from America’s historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism.

Today I bring you the sad tale of a family massacre.

This will be the first time I’ve reported on a murder/suicide, because you rarely get to hear about the drama that led up to the tragedy, because there’s no one left to tell the story. There are still a lot of unanswered–and over-answered–questions in this one, but I like how the reporter included the details of the family history and their daily lives into the narrative, although I do think they’ve put too much emphasis on the role of the man’s politics in his decision to commit this horrible act.

The descriptions of the photographs and posters on the wall refer to Chicago’s Haymarket Riot of May 1886, a protest by radical labor organizers that went wild. Seven police and one civilian were killed by a bomb thrown that day, and seven men were given death sentences as a result, with four eventually hanged. That’s a good story in itself, and I’m adding it to the list of future episodes.

Music by Chuck Wiggins

Clips:

Chicago_Daily_Tribune_Fri__Feb_7__1896_ Chicago_Daily_Tribune_Sat__Feb_8__1896_ Chicago_Daily_Tribune_Thu__Feb_6__1896_ Chicago_Daily_Tribune_Thu__Feb_6__1896_head