Episode 334:

2,000 Pounds of Soap

Murderer Adolph Luetgert, Chicago’s “Sausage King”


The Mysterious Disappearance of Laureen Rahn


Episode 334: 2,000 Pounds of Soap

This week, Karen tells the story of murderer Adolph Luetgert, Chicago’s “Sausage King” and Georgia covers the mysterious disappearance of Laureen Rahn.

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Murderer Adolph Luetgert, Chicago’s “Sausage King”

Murderer Adolph Luetgert, Chicago’s “Sausage King” Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Rohit Tandon on Unsplash

Other Images:

Louisa Luetgert (via Murder By Gaslight)

Adolph Luetgert (via Strange Remains)


“Adolph Louis Luetgert (December 27, 1845 – July 7, 1899) was a German-American businessman in Chicago, Illinois, convicted of murdering his second wife Louisa Bicknese in 1897 and dissolving her body in a sausage vat filled with lye at his A.L. Luetgert Sausage & Packing Company. He is Buried at Forest Home Cemetery in Forest Park, Illinois.

Luetgert, born in Gütersloh, Westphalia (now Germany), moved to Chicago in the 1870s. He married Louisa Bicknese on January 18, 1878, some months after his first wife died. They had four children together. Luetgert had founded his own business, the successful A.L. Luetgert Sausage & Packing Company, and was considered the "sausage king" of Chicago.

Prosecuted by State's Attorney Charles S. Deneen, later a two-term governor of Illinois, Luetgert was convicted and sentenced to life in prison on February 9, 1898. He died in prison a year and a half later.

After the trial was publicized, rumors spread that Luetgert had ground up his wife's remains as sausage and sold this "sausage" to unknowing consumers. Sales of sausage in Chicago dropped off for a while. The tale was later proved false, as her body was shown to have been dissolved and the remains mostly burned, but the legend persists to this day. Another common legend related to the murder is that the ghost of Louisa Luetgert haunts the old factory grounds and the couple's former home in Chicago…”

— Source: Adolph Louis Luetgert Wikipedia

The Mysterious Disappearance of Laureen Rahn

The Mysterious Disappearance of Laureen Rahn Notes:

Header Image Soure: Photo by Lloyd Kearney on Unsplash

Other Images:

Laureen Rahn (via Wikipedia)

Denise Daneault (via Oakhill Research)

Terry Rasmussen mugshot (via WMUR)


“Laureen Ann Rahn (April 3, 1966–disappeared April 26 or 27, 1980) is an American teenager who vanished under mysterious circumstances from her home in Manchester, New Hampshire] On the night of her disappearance, Rahn was accompanied by a male and female friend at the apartment she shared with her mother, Judith, who was out on a date with her boyfriend.

At some point during the evening, Rahn's male friend left the apartment after hearing voices in the hallway, assuming Rahn's mother was returning home. Her female friend remained at the apartment. Upon Judith's arrival home after midnight, she found that all of the lightbulbs in the apartment building's hallways had been unscrewed, leaving the halls completely dark. In the apartment, Judith saw a figure sleeping in her daughter's bed and assumed it to be her; however, she then discovered it was in fact Rahn's female friend who had slept in the bed. Her friend claimed to have seen Rahn going to sleep on the couch.

In the months after Rahn's disappearance, Judith was billed for numerous phone calls from an unidentified caller, which were placed from motels in Santa Ana and Santa Monica, California. Karole Jensen, an investigator from the association Wings for Children uncovered that one of these motels had been suspected of hosting the production of child pornography, but it was never confirmed that Rahn had been at either motel. Rahn's mother continued to receive anonymous calls in the ensuing years before eventually changing her phone number…”


— Source: Laureen Ann Rahn Wikipedia