How to Murder Your Wealthy Lovers and Get Away With It

How to Murder Your Wealthy Lovers and Get Away With It

Money & Mayhem in the Gilded Age
Jane Simon Ammeson
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 09/01/2018
Format: Paperback 22 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-1-68435-024-7
Bookmark and Share

Other formats available:


What’s a gal to do when her loaded lover is getting to be a nuisance? Why, just murder him and take all his money, of course. If you want to be fabulously single with tons of cash, just follow the lead of the beautiful and conniving Minnie Wallace Walkup Ketcham, who left a trail of broken hearts, empty wallets, and corpses.

Minnie was just 16 when she stood trial in 1885 for the wrongful death of her first husband, a successful businessman and politician almost 40 years her senior. Despite overwhelming witness testimony that the Creole beauty from New Orleans had purchased the arsenic that killed him, Minnie’s own testimony brought the entire courtroom to tears. She was acquitted. Minnie returned to New Orleans with James Walkup’s fortune, life insurance, Civil War pension, and all the expensive clothes she had shipped home before he even died.

Minnie still didn’t have enough cash for her liking, so she successfully targeted, seduced, and murdered two more wealthy older men while evading justice in the courtroom (and escaping her lawyer’s fees, too). How to Murder Your Three Lovers and Get Away with It is an extraordinary and off-the-wall true story of intrigue, scandal, and murder.

Author Bio

Jane Simon Ammeson is the author of 13 books including Hauntings of the Underground Railroad: Ghosts of the Midwest, Murders that Made Headlines: Crimes of Indiana, and A Jazz Age Murder in Northwest Indiana. She writes about travel, food, murders, and history for many publications, including weekly columns in the Herald Palladium and the Times of Northwest Indiana.

A James Beard Foundation judge as well as a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and Midwest Travel Journalists Association, Jane’s home base is on the shores of Lake Michigan in Southwest Michigan. Follow Jane on Facebook, Twitter (@HPAmmeson and @travelfoodIN), and on her blogs, Will Travel for Food with Jane Ammeson and


How to Murder Your Wealthy Lovers and Get Away With It is in the historical true crime genre, but it is full of improbable turns and twists (to say nothing of trysts) that no author would dare include in a work of fiction. Minnie Wallace Walkup Ketcham's criminal career as an unsung triple murderess and black widow—some of it in her own words—is told in rich detail and with pleasingly dark wit.”
 — Keven McQueen, author of Horror in the Heartland and Creepy California

“Jane Simon Ammeson has unearthed the fascinating true story of 19th century femme fatale and psychopath, Minnie Wallace. Part brilliantly researched history, part pure entertainment, this chilling tale of Minnie's reign of terror from the brothels of New Orleans, to the echelons of Chicago's high society, is proof that truth is stranger than fiction. ”
 — Susan O'Bryan, Advisory Board, Aspen Words

“A compelling and entertaining reminder that history is always with us. And sometimes all around us. A great guide to one of America's most thrilling true stories.”
 — Mike Flannery, political editor, FOX 32 News Chicago

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents


1. True Love Never Runs Smooth: The Death of a New Groom

2. There is a House in New Orleans

3. Don’t Cry for Me, Emporia

4. Pardon My Dust: Nonstop to Nowhere

5. The Company She Keeps

6. Moving On Up: In Which Josephine Captures and Loses a Prince

7. Blood Money Squandered: The Necessity of Catching Mr. Ketcham

8. The Importance of Keeping Mr. Ketcham – and His Money

9. Of Plum Jam, Champagne, Wills, Unpaid Bills, and the Final Death That We Know Of

Epilogue: The Final Love?