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Adolph Louis Luetgert
The central figure of
Alchemy of Bones, Luetgert was one of Chicago's leading sausage
manufacturers in the 1880s and 1890s. In 1897, he was charged with murder
following the disappearance of his wife, Louise. Police charged him with
killing her and dissolving her body in a vat inside his sausage factory.
Born: December 27, 1845, in Gütersloh, Westphalia (now Germany). Read about Gütersloh, Luetgert's hometown.
Name at birth: Adolph Ludwig Lütgert.
Parents: Christian Heinrich Lütgert and Margreta Sophia Severin.
Siblings: Twin brother Heinrich Friedrich "Fritz" Luetgert, died around 1894 or 1895; Heinrich Arnold, commonly known as Arnold.
Married: 1870, to Caroline Roepke, who died November 17, 1877.
Married: January 18, 1878, to Louise Bicknese, in Chicago; Pastor Joseph Hartmann performed the ceremony.
Children: Max, Arnold, Louise, Louis, Elsie, Elmer.
Addresses in 1897: Moved to home at 1501 Hermitage Avenue (also known as Henderson Avenue) and opened a new sausage factory immediately north of the home at 601-629 Diversey. After incorporating in 1896, the business was known as the A.L. Luetgert Sausage & Packing Co.
Death: July 1899.
Read Adolph Luetgert's account of his life story.
Read an article Adolph Luetgert wrote for the St. Louis Republic.
See the picture and description of the factory that Luetgert owned earlier at 69 and 71 North Avenue from the book A Business Tour of Chicago.
Read more about the history of the Luetgert factory.
View the Luetgert-Bicknese family tree.
Photo: A picture of Adolph Luetgert taken around 1893 and published in J. Sanderson Christison's book Crime and Criminals, 2nd edition (1899).