“CONDEMNED BEFORE HIS TRIAL–AMERICA CALLS THIS JUSTICE”
London Sunday Pictorial, 1946
William Heirens, today, age 81, is serving his 64th year in prison.
Excerpt from the book, YOUR NEWSPAPER: Blueprint For A Better Press (The MacMillan Co. NY, 1947) pg. 49:
“The Tribune trying to live up to the slogan of being “the world’s greatest newspaper,” claimed four “great beats” during the case. [Heirens] In a three-column story the Tribune wrote:
“For the first time in newspaper history, the detailed story of how three murders were committed, naming the man who did them, was told before the murderer had confessed or was indicted…”
These are the Tribune’s own words!
In 1946, boldly declaring their bragging rights, the Chicago Tribune announced to the world that their paper had obtained a “historical first” by declaring to the public that teenager William Heirens was the “Lipstick Killer” of three Chicago women BEFORE he was charged with any crime or had “confessed.” They played it as – “The Scoop of the Century.”
In reality, the Chicago Trib’s role was that of mob leader in the public lynching of an innocent man. That newspaper provided the rope, put the noose around young Heiren’s neck, and tossed it over the transom.
“The Trib” served as prosecutor, judge and jury and with deliberate and cold premeditation forced young Bill Heiren’s to plead guilty, or die.
It was one of American Journalism’s worst hours and their crime is ONGOING.
Read the full condemnation written by both U.S. and U.K. journalists in 1946 and published in their book, YOUR NEWSPAPER: Blueprint For A Better Press (MacMillan NY 1947) just months after the Tribune’s public lynching by headlining false evidence and a fictional confession shouted out on Page One and run nation-wide before Bill Heirens was even charged with any crime. (All of the book’s contributing journalists were Harvard Nieman Fellows.)