With the Chicago Tribune Articles That Inspired ItBook - 1997
Jake Callahan, exhalting in his great fortune at finding the story of "the most beautiful murderess," precisely characterizes Watkins's satirical take on murder and its aftermatha view she formed while covering two similar and equally sensational murder trials for the Chicago Tribune.
Watkins opens this comic drama with a brutal dramatization of the same situation the women in her articles faced: a vengeful Roxie has slain her lover for mistreating her. And then the fun begins. A boring, run-of-the-mill murderess until her frank confession creates an opportunity for profit, Roxie begins a transformation to rival that of Pygmalion's statue. She becomes, as Thomas H. Pauly points out in his introduction, a "tabloid Cinderella."