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My latest for CityLab features some brutal and compelling photos from the archives of the Chicago Tribune.

Chicago’s Gangster Past, Minus the Romance

(Includes photos of John Dillinger’s corpse and “girl bandits”)

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Today would’ve been my mom’s 57 birthday.

In terms of cystic fibrosis, she had lived a long time when she passed away two years ago. That doesn’t make it any more easy to comprehend.

If I’ve ever uttered the “it’s not fair” refrain of the mourning, it’s not because I think it’s not fair to me. It’s because if anyone deserved to live, it was her and that’s what’s not fair.

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Someday soon, I hope to write more about her. I have a lot of ideas, a whole big project I want to do. But we’ll see… it’ll probably take me a while.