Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois

“My Cousin the Murder Defendant” by Martin Fischer

  • 20 Jul 2014
  • 12:30 PM
  • Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Rd, Northbrook
Program: Sunday, July 20, 2014
Program starts 2:00 p.m
Library and Research starts 12:30 p.m.

Program: “My Cousin the Murder Defendant”

Editor, writer and genealogist Martin Fischer will deliver a presentation titled “My Cousin the Murder Defendant” at the Sunday, July 20, 2014, meeting of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Illinois. Using mostly 1938 and 1939 newspaper reports, he will describe his grand aunt’s tragic death and the prosecution of her daughte - Fischer’s first cousin once removed - for first-degree murder.

After explaining the family circumstances surrounding the crime and presenting a summary of the evidence, he will ask those at the meeting to decide how they would have voted on the verdict. He will then reveal the actual verdict, detail how he researched this “black sheep” incident and explain what became of the defendant afterward.

The meeting will take place at Temple Beth-El, 3610 Dundee Road, Northbrook. The synagogue will open at 12:30 p.m. to accommodate those who want to use or borrow genealogy library materials, get help with genealogy websites, or ask genealogical questions before the main program begins at 2 p.m.

Martin Fischer, the vice president for programming of JGSI, is a part-time copy editor at the Chicago Tribune, and an adjunct faculty member of the City Colleges of Chicago’s Center for Distance Learning and the University of Phoenix. He teaches social science and introductory college writing courses.  He is also a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors, the St. Louis Genealogical Society, the American Copy Editors Society, and the Editorial Freelancers Association.

Fischer has been doing genealogy since the 1970s and has created an extensive family history website at He has written articles for the APG Quarterly, Avotaynu: The International Review of Jewish Genealogy, the St. Louis Genealogical Society Quarterly,, and Chicago Tribune.

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