Saturday, February 8, 2014

Vampire of Chicago

I know you were thinking this will be a story about Vampires lurking about the shadows of the dark and back streets of Chicago.  So, sorry but this story  about a man labeled a Vamp in 1914-19 Chicago newsprint.

What is a Vamp or Vampire in circa 1914 Chicago.  A vamp is an attractive, dangerously flirtatious woman. A vamp in an old movie might wear tight clothes and bright red lipstick. The noun vamp is somewhat old fashioned, implying a woman who uses her charisma and beauty to charm men into doing what she wants them to do. You can also use it as a verb, meaning to tease or flirt, especially in a showy and manipulative way. The word came into use in the early 1900's, from vampire. Some experts connect the first use of vamp with the role of "The Vampire" in the 1915 movie "A Fool There Was."

Our main character is Gilbert Leroy Tutt, son of John and Luella Murphy Tutt.  Gilbert (Bert) grew up in Chicago Illinois and this is where most of this short story takes place.  According to found documents, Bert was born in either Illinois, Kansas or Missouri about 1886.  However, his brother Leslie claims Kansas City MO as his place of birth, so it is reasonable that Bert too was born in the same city.  By the 1900 census, Bert, his mother and brother are living in 24th Ward of Chicago, which bumps up against Lake Michigan west shore line.  Luella is recorded as married, but John was not enumerated with the family. Round about 1907, Bert marries a Nellie Murphy.  This is the first marriage that I have been able to find and it would fit with Bert's age of being 21.  From this marriage Virginia Tutt was born.  Virginia was married to my father in the late 1940's and thus is the initial interest in this family.  To read more about Virginia click here.

Now, to the few articles that have been found, which will explain events much better than I can.  The images can be enlarged for better reading.

In Chicago Daily Tribune July 10 1914 a filing for divorce.

In the Cincinnati Post July 1914 was found a small little announcement of Divorce.  One has to wonder why Cincinnati?

In Chicago Daily Tribune July 1919 was found a lengthy description of Bert's marriages and now trouble with the law.

Click image to enlargen

The enmesh as it was described in the article was Nellie Murphy in 1907 and she divorce Bert in 1914.  However, the article claims the divorce happened in 1912.  Then, in 1913 Bert is marrying again to Grace Allen, which lasted until 1917, which abandonment was claim for reason.  Who abandoned who?  Then July 4th, 1919, the time of this publication, a Ms Julie Peterson is now claiming to be Bert's wife of six days.   I have been informed that at least five marriages Bert would pass through, but I know of only four.

In the Pittsburgh Press July 1919 another article surfaces "Male Vampire of Chicago"

Click image to enlargen

The above article includes more children born to Bert.  The 4528 Sheridan road address can be confirmed on the WW I Registration card for Bert.  This card was dated 1918.

Of the woman that came and left Bert's life they are;  Nellie Murphy (1907-1914), Grace Allen (1913-1917, Julia Peterson (1919-unk), Wada Bowers (1929-1937-38).

I will end the post for now, but will provide updates as new information becomes available.

Please feel free to comment any new information or corrections.  You can also reach me through Facebook, Google and my email address; billrey at hotmail dot com.

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1 comment:

  1. Although not technically a relative, by blood OR marriage, your link via your father's first wive makes sense you would want to investigate such an unusual character. Such men (and women) were not that unusual, but most families that have one, usually leave them with the other skeletons, in the closet. I am glad you took this one out, dusted him off, and shared him with us!