We all know the basic story of "Chicago" and the "two merry murderesses" portrayed famously on Broadway and on-screen. However, somewhat lost in the pageantry of performances and productions is that elements of this actually happened. The characters of Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly are based on real people who each got away with murder. The twist though is that while both cases were going on around the same time, the two women didn't eventually team up and take their song-and-dance show on the road...it was actually a much different ending.
For Belva Gaertner (better known as Velma Kelly), she had a much less glitzy fate. She was acquitted and went on to have a few run-ins with the law, but ended up living a (semi) normal life before dying of natural causes in California in 1965 at age 80.
Although in the case of Beulah Sheriff-Annan (aka Roxie Hart), it was more of a grizzly end. It's true she was acquitted over murdering her lover thanks to the skills of her highly paid attorney, who was bankrolled by her stunningly loyal husband. She repaid that debt by publically divorcing him after her release. She'd re-marry two more times until her death from tuberculosis four years later...turns our karma really is a bitch.