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Book Discussion Group

Mystery Writers of America Meeting

Guest Speaker: Werner I. Juretzko, a Cold War spy for the United States against the KGB/Stasi. He has wriiten two books on this subject Years Without Hope and Der Ort Des Rotten Terrors (The Red Terror Compound). The latter is in German. You can find out more about the speaker ar .

  Werner I. Juretzko was born into a well-respected merchant
family in 1932. He grew up in a bilingual environment of the German and Polish
languages, the youngest of seven children. His family lived in one of Europe’s
pre-war political hotbeds—the long-disputed area of Upper Silesia where the
first shots of World War II were fired. At the end of World War II, Werner was
a combat-hardened 14-year-old fighting for his survival. He was forced by the
Third Reich into the last-ditch defense lines. He became a Prisoner of War and
was held captive for several months in the Soviet-Czech POW camp located in
Tabor, Czechoslovakia. Atrocities committed by Soviet soldiers on members of
his family created a resolve in Werner to revenge his family’s honor. In 1948,
while serving his apprenticeship in West Germany as a tool & die maker,
Werner was approached by the Organization Gehlen, which was the forerunner of
the modern Amt fuer Verfassungsschutz (known in English as the Office for the
Protection of the Constitution). Werner was asked to infiltrate the Communist
Party in the State of Hessia. His exemplary service led to his recruitment by
the G-2 Intelligence Service of the United States Army. During the heights of
the Cold War, as a G-2 undercover political operative for the US Army
intelligence, Werner conducted authorized undercover espionage missions behind
the Iron Curtain. Werner was apprehended in action in 1955 by the Stasi
(Ministry of State Security). He was tried by Communist authorities and
subsequently sentenced to a 13-year prison term. He was released after 6 years
of incarceration in Communist prisons, most of that time spent in solitary
confinement. After being released in 1961, he decided to settle in the USA.
Werner graduated from the Industrial Engineering College of Chicago in 1972.
After a 25-year career with Signode Steel Company, he retired in 1989 at the
position of Senior Manufacturing Engineer. During the 1970’s Werner served as a
Director on the Executive Board of the German American National Congress
(GANC—the largest organization of Americans of German descent). From 1972 to
1974, he served as President of the Chicago chapter of the GANC and as Editor
of the organization’s monthly publication, Der Deutsch Amerikaner. Werner has
authored numerous historical and politically oriented articles that have been
published in many English, German and Polish publications. He is a member of
AFIO, the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.


Years Without Hope Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780983434887
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Crossroad Press - March 19th, 2012

Die Nacht Begann Am Morgen Cover Image
ISBN: 9783837039436
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bod - August 12th, 2009

Sisters in Crime (Local Chapter) Meeting.


Guest Speaker: Coroner Marlene A. Lantz 


Come for a chat with the former McHenry County Coroner, Marlene A. Lantz.

Lantz served for 32 years in the office - eight as Chief Deputy and 24 as Coroner.

During that time she teamed with local law enforcement, Sheriff's department, and Illinois State Police to investigate many types of deaths, including several homicides.

Her training came through seminars, college classes, and on the job experience. She is also a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer in the State of Illinois; and for eight years, served as a "Deiner" (morgue assistant) at hospitals in Elgin, IL.

She was a member of the "Arsenic Task Force," which investigated four cases of arsenic poisoning in one family. The investigation resulted in a family member being found guilty of three murders and an attempted murder.

Grab your coffee, and settle in!

Sisters in Crime (Local Chapter) Meeting.

Medical, ER, and Paramedic Procedures: Getting it Right!

with Mary Welk

Does your WIP include a scene set in the ER or involving paramedics? Are you wondering if you've got your drug and/or other medical facts right? This presentation will include information on everything from allergic reactions and heart attacks to trauma injuries, drug overdoses, and electrical shocks. Have a question you'd like answered during the presentation? Send it to Mary Welk at and she'll address it at the March 22nd meeting.

BIO Mary Welk’s background includes almost 20 years working as an ER nurse. She’s been an instructor to nurses, paramedics, and doctors in the field of advance cardiac life support (ACLS) and pediatric advanced life support (PALS) her retirement from the ER in 2009. She’s done ride-alongs with paramedics, served as an observer/recorder for three regional disaster drills, and attended the Illinois Terrorism Conference

Check out Mary’s blog -- Cicero's Children -- where one of the things she does is answer medical questions for writers, like what would happen if your hero pulled the plug on a ventilator in an ICU, or what do paramedics do when they get to a crime scene. You can check out the blog for past medical posts.

Light refreshments served. Guests welcome.


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