The Real Story: Chicago, a Cecil B. Demille silent film, came to the big screen in 1926. The movie Chicago was remade in 2002. The two movies were inspired by the case of Belva Gaertner and Beaulah Annan who were both found guilty of killing their boyfriends.
|They called Beulah the pretty one|
She was born in Owensboro, Kentucky on November 1899. In fact, that is where she met a married a guy name Perry Stephens. They later moved to Chicago. Now, Chicago is where she met the guy named Harry Kalstedt...and they started having an affair behind Perry's back.In 1924, tensions rose to a point where Beulah ended up shooting and killing her boyfriend Harry. She claimed that it happened while they were arguing. The two had also been drinking according to her. All of a sudden Harry Kalstedt tried to shoot her, but she was able to get to the gun first. In the end, she confessed to the murder of her boyfriend, and then she later changed it to self defense. During the trial, the prosecution tried to show that Beulah had really killed him because he told her that he was leaving her, and that it was not self defense. However, the jury found her innocent of murder, and she was acquitted in 1924. Her husband paid for her defense, and he basically stood by her all through the court proceedings, and as soon as she was acquitted she left him high and dry. She married twice more, but she died only 4 years later in 1928 from TB. If you are researching the case you can find her listed by the last name of Stephens. She is buried in her hometown of Kentucky.
The murder happened in her bedroom. Her lover Harry was shot in the back. After she shot Harry, she took a sip from her glass, listened to the tune Hula Lou for the next several hours.
Now, Belva was not cute, but she was known as the one with style. She was born Belva Brown, and she was known as a Cabaret singer. Her stage name was Belle Brown. And she was married three times. Her boyfriend was a man named Walter Law. She shot and killed him in 1924 too. They found him on the front seat of her vehicle. Here is how the police described the scene:
She told police that she could not remember the events of the night. The arrested her, and she was indicted for murder. Shockingly, she was also acquitted in 1924. She lived her life in California until 1965. She lived until she was 80 years old. The cause of death is listed as natural causes.