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Robert Loerzel

Born: Anchorage, Alaska
Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Loerzel lived in Onarga in his childhood. He received a bachelor’s degree in news-editorial journalism from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, and he has lived in the Chicago area since graduating in 1988.

Biography: Robert Loerzel is an author, freelance journalist and photographer. Before becoming a freelancer in 2006, Loerzel worked as reporter, news editor, and arts editor for Pioneer Press, a chain of weekly newspapers in Chicago’s suburbs. Loerzel has won more than 30 awards from press associations for his work. Loerzel served as the president of the Society of Midland Authors from 2009 to 2013. He won the group’s distinguished service award in 2015.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

Alchemy of Bones: Chicago's Luetgert Murder Case of 1897
ISBN: 0252074661 OCLC: 51178393

On May 1, 1897, Louise Luetgert disappeared. Although no body was found, Chicago police arrested her husband, Adolph, the owner of a large sausage factory, and charged him with murder. The eyes of the world were still on Chicago following the success of the World's Columbian Exposition, and the Luetgert case, with its missing victim, once-prosperous suspect, and all manner of gruesome theories regarding the disposal of the corpse, turned into one of the first media-fueled celebrity trials in American history. Newspapers fought one another for scoops, people across the country claimed to have seen the missing woman alive, and each new clue led to fresh rounds of speculation about the crime. Meanwhile, sausage sales plummeted nationwide as rumors circulated that Luetgert had destroyed his wife's body in one of his factory's meat grinders. Weaving in strange-but-true subplots involving hypnotists, palmreaders, English con artists, bullied witnesses, and insane-asylum bodysnatchers, Alchemy of Bones is more than just a true crime narrative; it is a grand, sprawling portrait of 1890s Chicago--and a nation--getting an early taste of the dark, chaotic twentieth century.

Walking Chicago: 35 Tours of the Windy City's Dynamic Neighborhoods and Famous Lakeshore
ISBN: 0899976972 OCLC:

Wilderness Press 2020

Get to Know the Illinois City’s Most Vibrant and Historic Neighborhoods Grab your walking shoes, and become an urban adventurer. Chicagophile Robert Loerzel leads you on 35 unique walking tours in this comprehensive guidebook. Go beyond the obvious with self-guided tours through one of the nation’s most walkable cities, which is equal parts glamour and grit. Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods represent a melting pot―from Little Italy to Greektown, Pilsen to Ukrainian Village. With this guide in hand, you’ll soak up history, political gossip, and architectural trivia. Find ethnic culture in Andersonville or high culture at the Art Institute. Listen to the blues on the South Side, or catch a ballgame on the North Side. Marvel at the Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in Oak Park or at nature’s masterpiece along Lake Michigan. There are tips on the best cafes, bars, and night spots. With humorous anecdotes, surprising stories, and fun facts to share with others, this guidebook has it all. Book Features 35 self-guided tours through the Windy City More than 20 miles of stunning shoreline along Lake Michigan Fun facts and unknown stories to share with others Whether you’re looking for a walk on the beach or a slice of deep dish pizza, Walking Chicago will get you there. So find a route that appeals to you and walk Chicago!