Arts

Little Grassy Literary Festival Goes Virtual

Apr 6, 2021
Little Grassy Literary Festival

This year’s Little Grassy Literary Festival includes a record number of writers.

The festival has moved to a virtual format due to COVID, which co-director Emilee Kinney said has allowed for additional days and more authors than prior years. Kinney said the events, which include readings and question and answer sessions, allow for connection between readers and writers.

InFocus
WSIU Staff

WSIU’s team of reporters talk to leaders in healthcare, education, policy, and the arts about how the virus affected their operations over the past year.

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Discovery+

The mysterious death of a SIU-Carbondale student is the subject of an upcoming documentary on Discovery+.

The two-hour program focuses on the February 2014 death of 19-year-old Pravin Varughese, whose body was found in a wooded area on the east side of Carbondale five days after he was reported missing.

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SIU Press

Author Gary DeNeal reveals his inspiration for writing A Knight of Another Sort—in particular, the way in which his family’s personal connection to the Birger gang sparked a lifelong fascination with southern Illinois’ history.

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SIU Press

Author Gary DeNeal reveals his inspiration for writing A Knight of Another Sort—in particular, the way in which his family’s personal connection to the Birger gang sparked a lifelong fascination with southern Illinois’ history.

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SIU Press

The stories of Charlie Birger, the Sheltons, their men, and their adversaries don’t end after the trials, the sentences, or even the hangings. Several men outlast their years in prison. Some fall to enemy bullets. Some vanish into obscurity or old age. But a few—like Charlie Birger—leave us with a legacy that has survived a hundred years and may well survive a hundred more. 

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SIU Press

The murder trial of Ethel Price concludes, Arlie O. Boswell and other prominent officials stand trial for violating the Volstead Act, and members of the Birger gang set the record straight who was responsible for the destruction of Shady Rest.

Illinois Stories - Ten Acre Treehouses
WMEC TV PBS Macomb

Perhaps the most unique lodging opportunity in the state exists among the trees near Nauvoo

Illinois Stories - Ten Acre Treehouses
WMEC TV PBS Macomb

Perhaps the most unique lodging opportunity in the state exists among the trees near Nauvoo

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SIU Press

On April 19th, 1928, Charlie Birger is executed for his crimes, marking the last public hanging in Illinois. After his death, the trial of the accused murderers of Ethel Price begins.

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SIU Press

Until the day of his hanging is upon him, Charlie Birger spends the last months of his life behind bars.

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SIU Press

On October 21st, 1927—a year after the murder of Ward “Casey” Jones—Birger gangman Rado Millich mounts the gallows, reads aloud his final words, and is hanged.

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SIU Press

The testimony of Jesse Cremer, a witness to the murder of Joe Adams, results in the conviction of Harry Thomasson. In August 1927, Sheriff Coleman arrests Fred “Butch” Thomasson and Joe Booher for the murder of Lyle “Shag” Worsham. Meanwhile, Arlie Boswell is again fired upon by, he believes, members of the Birger gang.

Local Ties Help Shape "The Prom"

Dec 31, 2020
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www.chadbeguelin.com

WSIU's Leah Lerner talks with writer and lyricist Chad Beguelin - a Centralia native who co-authored "The Prom" on Netflix.

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SIU Press

At trial, Art Newman’s schemes are expected to ensure convictions for Charlie Birger and Ray Hyland, leading the men’s attorneys to mount a weak defense. While Newman and Hyland receive life imprisonment, Birger’s hanging is scheduled for October 14th.

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SIU Press

Charlie Birger’s trial unfolds, captivating the entire town, from reporters to small children. Witnesses to the gangsters’ crimes tell story after story of their harrowing ordeals.

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SIU Press

After a brief trial full of conflicting testimony, two Birger gang members, Eural Gowan and Rado Millich, are convicted of killing Ward “Casey” Jones.

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SIU Press

Birger and his gang members confess to numerous crimes and murders, including the gruesome killing of an innocent witness, Ethel Price. As the truth comes out, shaking Southern Illinois to its core, Birger attentively watches the trials’ outcomes, aware of his own precarious fate.

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SIU Press

The Thomasson brothers confess to the murder of Joe Adams and recount the details of the crime, revealing the roles of Charlie Birger and Art Newman.

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SIU Press

All three Shelton brothers are sentenced to 25 years in prison for the mail robbery in Collinsville; meanwhile, the body of patrolman Lory Price is found. Charlie Birger is arrested at his home, and Arlie Boswell is attacked and threatened by an anonymous letter.

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SIU Press

Shady Rest is destroyed in an explosion and four bodies are found at the scene. Soon after, state highway patrolman Lory Price, who remarked that he had seen Charlie Birger, Art Newman, and Connie Ritter driving toward the scene that night, goes missing along with his pregnant wife Ethel. Charlie Birger testifies against the Sheltons in the trial for the Collinsville mail robbery.

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SIU Press

With the murder of Joe Adams and the theft of a local reverend’s brand new red Chevrolet, the Birger gang’s criminal disruptions have pushed the law to its limit, and authorities devise a plot to arrest Charlie for good.

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SIU Press

A bank robbery, attacks on Shady Rest, home bombings, and even the murder of a mayor: the squabbles between Birger’s gang and his enemies grow increasingly violent as Birger’s notoriety spreads.

InFocus 102: Civic Engagement

Oct 30, 2020
InFocus
WSIU

Join us for an exploration into civic engagement. In this episode, we highlight the role of women voters 100 years after the women’s suffrage movement; answer voting-related FAQs and review the history of tax amendments in the Illinois. We’ll also report on local COVID-19 protections to see how local officials plan to keep voters safe during the election season. Hosted by Rosslind Rice.

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SIU Press

When Birger and his gang have scores to settle, dressing in drag might be their best option to take care of their dirty business. Meanwhile, Birger resorts to threats of violence to keep the doings of his gang under wraps.

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SIU Press

The war between the Birger and Shelton gangs rages on, with Charlie Birger desperate to get his hands on the Sheltons’ prized tank. In October, the bodies of two gangsters are discovered, with no culprits in sight.

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SIU Press

Summer and fall of 1926 sees several attacks and murders in quick succession between the Birger and Shelton gangs. The Sheltons’ attack on their former friend Art Newman and his wife Bessie causes Newman to reconsider his allegiances.

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SIU Press

Relations between Birger and the Sheltons break down, owing to a variety of circumstances, including Birger’s refusal to pay the Sheltons their cut of the proceeds from local slot machines. Tensions in Williamson County are nearing a breaking point.

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SIU Press

New Illinois Supreme Court rulings force Attorney Arlie Boswell to dismiss dozens of liquor cases. In 1926, a Herrin election sparks another battle between the Klan and bootleggers, which spells the ending of the Klan’s influence in Southern Illinois.

InFocus 101: Covid-19

Sep 27, 2020

When the novel coronavirus arrived in Illinois, it forced dramatic changes to the way we all live and work. In this episode of InFocus, we explore how those changes affected policy, education, healthcare, and the arts. We learn more about organizations that are stepping up to fill the gaps for people who need help.

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