Preacher’s Baby Girl / Gangster’s Wife


A reading of historical newspapers from the golden age of yellow journalism.

The Trial and Travails of Norma Brighton Millen

On Sunday, I will be presenting the final chapter of the Dillinger saga, which I recorded from the main stage of the Biograph Theater, where the scoundrel John Dillinger watched his last gangster picture.

Today’s episode takes place around the same time that the Dillinger story began reaching its climax in the first half of 1934.

It’s the story of a young girl, the daughter of a prominent minister and graduate of a fine finishing school, who fell into the wrong crowd and married a man who would be executed for the crime of the gang he was trying to build.

The papers never said, but I can’t help but think the Millen-Faber Gang fancied themselves to be the Dillingers of the East Coast.

The story grabbed my attention because of the way Norma Brighton Millen presented herself after her capture.

Is she the innocent dupe as she proclaimed? Or was she using her pretty face and sophisticated air to disguise her inner bad girl and get off easy? I’d like to hear your thoughts, so leave me some comments on my Facebook page after you listen.

Sources and Clips:

The_Evening_Independent_Thu__Apr_19__1934_ (1)






The_Brooklyn_Daily_Eagle_Mon__Feb_26__1934_ (1)





Fitchburg_Sentinel_Mon__Jun_25__1934_ Fitchburg_Sentinel_Tue__Jun_26__1934_

The_North_Adams_Transcript_Thu__Jun_28__1934_ The_Racine_Journal_Times_Wed__Aug_21__1935_ The_Palm_Beach_Post_Wed__Jun_27__1934_

The_Evening_Times_Tue__Mar_6__1934_ The_Evening_Times_Tue__Mar_6__1934_ (1) The_Evening_Times_Sat__Mar_3__1934_ The_Brooklyn_Daily_Eagle_Mon__Feb_26__1934_ The_Daily_Capital_News_Tue__May_1__1934_ The_Daily_Mail_Tue__Aug_18__1936_ St__Louis_Post_Dispatch_Sat__Mar_3__1934_ Pottstown_Mercury_Wed__Feb_28__1934_ Pottstown_Mercury_Sat__Mar_3__1934_ New_Castle_News_Tue__May_1__1934_ (1) New_Castle_News_Tue__May_1__1934_ Corsicana_Semi_Weekly_Light_Fri__Feb_16__1934_


Talking True Crime with Bob Halloran, author of ‘White Devil’

Talking True Crime

Because today’s news is tomorrow’s history

Bob Halloran_photo by Gretje FergusonRichard O Jones interviews Bob Halloran, author of “White Devil,” a new book from BenBella Books about John Willis, known as the only white man to serve as the head of the Chinese Mafia.

Bob Halloran is a news and sports anchor at WCVB-TV, the ABC affiliate in Boston. He was awarded a New England Emmy Award for sportscasting, as well as two honors from the Associated Press. This is his sixth book, his second on true crime.

WhiteDevil_FrontCoverTold to Halloran from Willis’s prison cell, White Devil is a shocking portrait of a man who was allowed access into a secret world, and who is now paying the price for his hardened life.

If you listen to this podcast past the closing credits, I will tell you how you can enter to win a free copy of my latest book, “The First Celebrity Serial Killer: Confessions of the Strangler Alfred Knapp.”

More info:

Feds bust alleged Asian mob in Boston, Quincy, The Patriot Ledger, July 13, 2011

Chinatown’s ‘White Devil John’ Sentenced to 20 Years, NPR, August 16, 2012

The White Devil Kingpin, Rolling Stone, February 18, 2015