Happy Publication Day to He Had It Coming!


He Had It Coming is now available for purchase online or at your favorite local bookstore! This chilling true crime tale reveals the story behind the real prisoners who inspired the characters of the hit musical Chicago.

Many people don’t know that the heroines of Chicago, good-time gals Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, were inspired by real women who lived in Chicago in the 1920s. In fact, Maurine Watkins, who wrote the play Chicago (the basis for the musical adaptation), covered the Cook County courthouse—and the women who inspired her characters—for the Chicago Tribune. He Had It Coming brings those real women—Belva Gaertner, Beulah Annan, Sabella Nitti, Kitty Malm, and Maurine Watkins—to the forefront, peeling back the curtain to reveal the inspiration behind “all that jazz.”

90 years before the #MeToo movement, Belva, Beulah, Sabella, Kitty, and the other women on “Murderess Row” were tried by juries made up only of men, counted on their husbands for financial and legal support, and depended on their looks to save them from death row. The stories of these women resonate in a time when we are still considering the inequities women face in the justice system, the workplace, the family, and the media.

The book includes original reporting, new analysis from the Chicago Tribune, and recently discovered photographs that have never been printed – until now.

We can’t wait for you to read it!

Purchase He Had It Coming from IndieBound, Amazon, or directly from Agate.

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