The Fascinating Full Story Of 2002’s Chicago

Based on a True Story

Even hardcore fans of the 2002 Chicago movie are completely unaware that if we trace the film right back to its origins, it is technically based on a true story. Way back in 1924, two unrelated court cases involved two women, named Beulah Annan and Belva Gaertner, who were both suspected and eventually acquitted of murder. Annan was 23 when she was accused of killing a man named Harry Kalstedt.

Black and white photograph of Belva Gaertner and Beulah Annan

Source: Flickr

She served as the inspiration for the character of Roxie Hart, while her husband, Albert, was the basis for Amos Hart. Gaertner, meanwhile, was a cabaret singer accused of shooting and killing a man named Walter Law. She was the inspiration for the Velma Kelly character. The character of Billy Flynn, meanwhile, was based on two lawyers involved with the cases: William Scott Stewart and W. W. O’Brien.