BENTON, Illinois - Today marks the 90th anniversary of the Hanging of Charlie Birger in Franklin County. Birger was the last man publicly hanged in the state of Illinois.
Birger was a notorious bootlegger and gang leader, who profited from gambling operations and alcohol sales. During his time in southern Illinois, he feuded with the Ku Klux Klan and the rival Shelton gang, bringing violence to the streets of Williamson and Franklin counties.
To mark the anniversary, the jail in Benton where he was held, which is now a museum, is offering some special events.
Friday, April 20, 2018 you can take a guided ghost hunt through the museum for $25.
Saturday, April 21, 2018 the museum will be offering candlelight history tours, retracing the events of Birger's last night in the jail. Those tickets are $10 dollars.