Genevieve Davis


Genevieve Davis is an author, award winning filmmaker and professional artist.

Davis's book of her adventures hunting down her family's roots in organized crime, is called Secret Life, Secret Death. It details the true story of a young mother's life in the Chicago Mob in the Roaring 20's. The book is based on her ten year genealogy research project in Chicago and Wisconsin. She has visited over 75 museums, universities and libraries to present educational screenings of her film with Q & A talkbacks, as well as doing Author Talks with her books, Secret Life, Secret Death and Fanni’s Viennese Kitchen.

Davis also produced, directed, wrote, designed and edited the no-budget film SECRET LIFE, SECRET DEATH, without a crew.

Her film is noted for being

“A haunting story” --Rick Kogan, Chicago Tribune

"Technically innovative and dazzling." --Marty Rubin, Gene Siskel Film Center

This is her first feature film, which she created with a community of 85 volunteer actors and the owners of antique cars, trains, vintage costumes and props, to create this period film set in the decades from 1910 to 1948.

Her critically acclaimed, award-winning feature film, SECRET LIFE, SECRET DEATH, won Best Art Film and Best Costume at film festivals. The film has played in theaters in the U.S. and also at film festivals in Rome and London.

Davis's expressionistic visual style differs from other filmmakers, because she is also a professional artist. Her paintings have been commissioned by ballet, opera and theater companies, designers, museums & film producers. Davis is also an educator who has lectured on Art and Art History as well as her own works.

Smashwords Interview

When did you first start writing?
I have been a diarist for my entire adult life. I also wrote essays in college. Both are good practice for being a writer. I was accustomed to words flowing from my brain into paper or the computer. I came to book writing late in life. Age is no excuse not to write! In fact, it's a big plus!

I was encouraged by many people to write a book of my grandmother's life, even though I was a professional artist. Principally I was encouraged by Bill Meindl, Publisher of the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay's Voyageur Magazine, about the history of northeastern Wisconsin. I met Bill at a historical reenactment in Clintonville WI. He said if I would write an article, he would publish it. So I took a trip to the Hollywood Hotel in northern Wisconsin and wrote an article which he did publish in the magazine. Many other people encouraged me to write the book as I went along and then I started to make a movie. So many people came on board to help me tell the story. You can see the trailer and clips at
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Sharing amazing stories!
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Genevieve Davis online

Where to buy in print


Trailer for Secret Life, Secret Death
Trailer for Secret Life, Secret Death, the movie. The filmmaker takes you on a personal odyssey as she hunts down the secret life of her Grandmother in Chicago's Roaring 20's. c2012 Genevieve Davis All Rights Reserved

Gangster Funeral from Secret Life, Secret Death
Big Jim Colosimo's Funeral, which my Dad attended in 1920 when Dad was 5 years old. Johnny Torrio had Big Jim executed, then paid for his lavish funeral. C2012 Genevieve Davis, All Rights Reserved.


Secret Life, Secret Death - Going down in flames in Al Capone's Chicago and Northern Wisconsin
Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 82,040. Language: English. Published: September 5, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » True Crime » Organized crime, Nonfiction » Biography » Woman biographies
A young mother makes some hard choices that land her and her son in the Mob in the Roaring 20's, in the thrall of rum runners and crooks. The book includes a young Al Capone, John Dillinger and Northern Wisconsin crooks. A fascinating hunt for the author's grandmother's secret life and death in human trafficking, bootlegging and alcoholism, and the devastating effect on her family.

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