Episode 79: The Accused Poisoner: Bernice Zalimas

In 1924, Bernice Zalimas was accused of poisoning her husband in Chicago, Illinois. But did she really, or was she the victim of vicious rumors?




Blonde Widow Thinks Zalimas Poisoned Self. Chicago Tribune, 12/03/1924

Widow Questioned. Photo, Bernice Zalimas. Chicago Tribune, 12/03/1924

Zalimas’ Widow Held to Grand Jury as Slayer. Chicago Tribune, 12/10/1924

Swears Widow in Murder Trial Bought Arsenic. Chicago Tribune, 05/07/1925

Woman Denies Poison Killing at Murder Trial. Chicago Tribune, 05/08/1925

Fate of Zalimas Widow in Hands of Jury Tonight. Chicago Tribune, 05/09/1925

Pretty Face, but Mrs. Zalimas Is Found Guilty. Chicago Tribune, 5/10/1925.

Mrs. Zalimas Hopes Yet to Dodge Prison. Chicago Tribune, 05/11/1925

Mrs. Zalimas Will Seek New Trial, Lawyers Say. Chicago Tribune, 05/12/1925

Husband’s Slayer Applies For New Trial. Photo, Bernice Zalimas. Chicago Tribune, 05/12/1925

Mrs. Zalimas Given 14 Year Term for Murder. Chicago Tribune, 06/12/1925

Faints When Given Fourteen Year Term. Picture, Bernice Zalimas. Chicago Tribune, 06/12/1925

Woman Guilty of Mate’s Death Seeks Insurance. Chicago Tribune, 08/30/1925

Mrs. Zalimas Wins Delay in Start of Prison Term. Chicago Tribune, 09/16/1925

Mrs. Zalimas is Happy at News of New Trial. Chicago Tribune, 12/18/1925

Bernice Zalimas Facing Retrial as Husband Killer. Chicago Tribune, 1/16/1926

State to Try Mrs. Zalimas Again for Murder. Chicago Tribune, 1/16/1926

Mrs. Zalimas Stays in Jail to Await New Trial. Chicago Tribune, 1/19/1925

Mrs. Zalimas Out on Bail; To Rest Awaiting Retrial. Chicago Tribune, 1/21/1926

Mrs. Zalimas Again on Trial as Poison Wife. Chicago Tribune, 4/20/1926

On Trial Again. Picture, Bernice Zalimas. Chicago Tribune, 4/20/1926

Bernice Zalimas Sobs and Rages at Poison Query. Chicago Tribune, 4/23/1926

Mrs. Zalimas is Acquitted of Slaying Mate. Chicago Tribune, 4/24/1926

Attorney Eats Poison in Court; Wins Case. The Buffalo Times, 4/26/1926

Bernice Zalimas Holds Spotlight at Durkin Trial. 06/05/1926

Why the Lawyer Ate Poison to Save His Lovely Client. Times Record News, 6/16/1926

Mrs. Zalimas, Once Feed of Slaying, Weds. Chicago Tribune, 11/24/1926

Herrick, Genevive Forbes. Ladies in Crime – Benice Zalimas – Two Trials and Out. Chicago Tribune, 4/24/1927

“Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916–1947.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Index entries derived from digital copies of original records.

Year: 1920; Census Place: Chicago Ward 29, Cook (Chicago), Illinois; Roll: T625_345; Page: 34A; Enumeration District: 1760

Ancestry.com. Illinois, U.S., Federal Naturalization Records, 1856-1991 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.

Find a Grave. Find a Grave. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi.

Cook County Clerk. Cook County Clerk Genealogy Records. Cook County Clerk’s Office, Chicago, IL: Cook County Clerk, 2008.

Databases of Illinois Veterans. Illinois State Archive. http://cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/archives/databases/home.html: accessed 5 August 2014.

The People v. Zalimas. 1925. www.casetext.com

Dr. Gale, Neil. The History of the Union Stockyards and Transit Company, Chicago (1865-1971.) Digital Research Library of  Illinois History Journal, 8/02/2018.

Lithuanians in Chicago. Chicago Stories. www.wttw.com.

Passic, Frank. How Chicago Became Lithuania’s Second Capital. www.vilnews.com

Discover Czechia. Beginner’s Guide to the Czech Language. www.czechuniversities.com

Winger, Jill. Tallow Soap Recipe. www.theprairiehomestead.com

Wool Soap Swift and Company. www.buttonmuseum.org

What is Naprapathy? www.sportsinjurycenters.com

Nunez, Kirsten. Does Mustard Plaster Work for Coughs and Colds? www.healthline.com, 9/30/2020

Kang, Lydia and Pedersen, Nate. The ‘Murderous’ Medical Practice of the 18th Century. www.sciencefriday.com, 3/1/2018

Leave a Reply