From the time of the arrests following the riot to the hangings, the men held responsible for the bombing found the celebrity that they had been so eagerly seeking, if hardly on the terms they desired. Public interest was most intense in the days following the bombing, at the beginning and end of the trial, and, of course, as the executions approached.

In almost all instances, the accused achieved notoriety rather than fame, though reporters frequently remarked on their bravery in the face of the awesome fate awaiting them, and on their devotion to their families. Even these stories, however, emphasized their fanaticism and wrong-headed dedication to a dangerous and selfish cause that only hurt the ones they supposedly loved.

Many descriptive stories claimed to reveal the lives of these men and their milieu. A popular visual convention was the arrangement seen here, of the "actors" and the "scenes" of anarchy. In this example, four of the men who stood trial (Albert Parsons, Samuel Fielden, August Spies, and Michael Schwab) are pictured, along with Spies's brother Chris. In the center is the Arbeiter-Zeitung building.

This engraving appeared on the cover of the illustrated periodical Graphic News eleven days after the bombing and two days before the grand jury began its proceedings. This is one indication of the extent to which the Haymarket trial was substantially "scripted" and "cast" in the public mind before it happened.