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Haunted Places book review: Chicago History The Stranger Side

Take a look at the Stranger Side of Chicago History
Courtesy of Schiffer Books

Chicago History The Stranger Side


Author Raymond Johnson has employed his expertise in criminal investigating to bring readers to a whole new level of history and mystery in his new book, “Chicago History—The Stranger Side” Schiffer Publishing (2013). It is one of those “if only ghosts could talk” books one loves to read.

Johnson takes some of Chicago’s best unsolved mysteries from the dead files, reopens the case, and does some investigative research on his own. Some of the clues he discovers will make one nod their head in agreement. There just might be something to re hashing some of our early history. With all the new research and scientific methods available, the public may find new answers to dead end crimes and tragedies.

Come along on an investigation of the 1893 Columbian Expo Cold Storage Fire tragedy. The photographs and recap of the horrible fire described put the reader there on the scene—reliving the terror that must have filled everyone at the Expo. Are there seven bodies located at the Memorial in Oak Woods Cemetery?

The chapter on the R.M.S. Titanic and its links to Chicago citizens was heartwarming. Nearly everyone has read accounts of the sinking of grand ship, or at least seen a movie depicting the frigid night—but Raymond Johnson has gone a step further to relate some of the untold stories by brave survivors who resided in the Chicago area. What secrets do they have to share?

“Chicago History—The Stranger Side” takes the readers to the mid 1950’s when a possible serial killer roamed the streets stealing the lives of several young teenage girls. Once again, Johnson, who has a great interest in these old crimes, has put the strange puzzle pieces together and determined that perhaps these unsolved murders share the same bizarre coincidences.

It is a book you will not lay down until you finished reading all nine cases of uncanny Chicago History. Some of the tales are a bit on the ‘stranger side’—but isn’t most of Chicago thought to be that way?

Schiffer Publishing

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