Author of "Ugly Prey" and "This is Really War."
My name is Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, PhD. I began my career as a journalist. I received my first assignment from the Chicago Tribune shortly after my twenty-fourth birthday. In the following decade, I wrote more than 800 stories for the esteemed paper. My work has also run in the Los Angeles Times, Detroit Free Press, Miami Herald, and dozens of other major metropolitan daily newspapers.
More recently, I’ve written about the law and women who kill during postpartum psychosis for TheAtlantic.com, the shortage of forensic pathologists and what it means during the opioid epidemic for Discover Magazine, and social deviance in daily life for the New York Times.
My first book, “Ugly Prey: An Innocent Woman and the Death Sentence that Scandalized Jazz Age Chicago” (Chicago Review Press, 2017), investigated the 1923 conviction against Sabella Nitti, the first woman in Chicago sentenced to die for the murder of her missing husband. There was no evidence, motive, or positive identification on the decayed corpse fished from a suburban sewer. But prosecutors wanted an easy win and Sabella Nitti was a safe target. She did not speak English, she was a recent immigrant, and she was a member of an ethnic minority feared by Chicagoans in the early 1920s. The book was recommended by the New York Times and many other prestigious news outlets.
My second book, “This is Really War: The Incredible True Story of a Navy Nurse POW in the Occupied Philippines” (Chicago Review Press, 2019), investigated the ordeal of Dorothy Still and 11 other navy nurses during WWII. These women were imprisoned in a concentration camp for more than three years. They maintained rank and reported to the makeshift hospital each day to nurse ailing civilian inmates. All 12 nurses came home, all nursed until the end. The book releases May 7, 2019 and is available for pre-order with all major booksellers.
I also teach at the college level. For 2018-2019 academic year, I’m with the communication department at North Central College and the criminal justice department at Elmhurst College.
I offer continuing education courses to professional groups about stigma communication and wrongful convictions. I regularly speak to libraries, community organizations, and social clubs about the case against Sabella Nitti.
I hold a PhD in communication from the University of Illinois-Chicago. I am the third generation and fourth member of the Le Beau family to earn a doctorate from UIC.