Blood Runs Green
The Murder That Transfixed Gilded Age Chicago
Blood Runs Green tells the story of Cronin’s murder from the police investigation to the trial. It is a story of hotheaded journalists in pursuit of sensational crimes, of a bungling police force riddled with informers and spies, and of a secret revolutionary society determined to free Ireland but succeeding only in tearing itself apart. It is also the story of a booming immigrant population clamoring for power at a time of unprecedented change.
From backrooms to courtrooms, historian Gillian O’Brien deftly navigates the complexities of Irish Chicago, bringing to life a rich cast of characters and tracing the spectacular rise and fall of the secret Irish American society Clan na Gael. She draws on real-life accounts and sources from the United States, Ireland, and Britain to cast new light on Clan na Gael and reveal how Irish republicanism swept across the United States. Destined to be a true crime classic, Blood Runs Green is an enthralling tale of a murder that captivated the world and reverberated through society long after the coffin closed.
1 “City of Big Shoulders”: The Convergence of the Clan
2 The United Brotherhood
3 The Dynamite War
4 “Secret Hatreds”: A Tale of Two Trials
5 “Boys, I Give Up”
6 “The Darkest and Bloodiest Mysteries of Secret Crime”
7 “The Whisper of Silence”
8 “Truth in Essentials, Imagination in Non-Essentials”: The Press and Public Entertainment
9 “A Theater of Great Sensations”
10 “Remember Cronin”
Note on Sources
Organizations and Terms
"Chicago's reputation for dramatic crime and corruption predates Al Capone and Prohibition — by decades. In May, 1889, Dr. P.H. Cronin, an esteemed physician, was found in a sewer. He was naked, dead, and savagely beaten. The investigation and trial caused an international sensation, and one of the world's first media circuses, over a story that involved Irish revolutionaries and reactionaries, secret societies, and even a French spy. Or was he British? All at a time when Chicago had been burned down, and was reborn as the fast-growing city in America."