Belva Gaertner
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: 1884
Date of Death: 1965
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Occupation: Cabaret singer
Spouse: Overbeck (first name unknown, div. 1917)
William Gaertner, married and divorced several times, until his death 1948)
Turtledove Appearances:
Joe Steele
POD: 1878;
Relevant POD: July, 1932
Novel or Story?: Novel only
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference
Belva Gaertner (born Belva Eleanora Boosinger, September 14, 1884 - May 14, 1965), was an American cabaret singer who was famously acquitted for murdering her lover in Chicago in 1924. She inspired the fictional character Velma Kelly/Velma Wall in the play Chicago. The character also appears in the musical based on the play.

Belva Gaertner in Joe SteeleEdit

Future U.S. Attorney General Andy Wyszynski first rose to prominence as part of the team that prosecuted Belva Gaertner in 1924. While the case should have been open and shut, Gaertner was nonetheless acquitted, prompting Wyszynski to proclaim that "Juries are full of jerks."[1]


  1. Joe Steele, pg. 99.

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