Little Slaughterhouse on the Prairie
At a remote little inn not far from the Kansas homestead of Laura Ingalls Wilder lived the Bender family. These pioneers welcomed unwary visitors with jackrabbit stew and a sledgehammer to the skull.
In time, their apple orchard gave up its secrets—a burial ground for their mutilated victims, each stripped of their possessions. The devilish enterprise on “Hell’s Half-Acre”...more
This is short in length, and because of this it’s also rather light in detail. It’s a jaunt down History rather than an in depth character analysis with a broad overview of events told in a sensational way. There’s lots o ...more
Narration is spot on!
What really happened? Did the Benders really kill line travellers at their ramshackle inn in the 1870's?
The murderous Bender family of the late 19th century are infamous for depraved killings on their homestead in Kansas. Ma and Pa Bender and siblings John Jr. and Katie ran a 'Grocry' and inn, really a one-room house divided into two rooms by a sheet hung down the middle. When a person traveling solo happened upon their ...more
The book is short but much of that may be due to the fact that the Benders, a family of serial killers who brutally murdered travelers in 1870s Kansas, were never caught. Most of their past is guesswork and where they disappeared to remains a mystery. No one even knows if they were truly related at all.
What is known is that Kate, John Jr., Ma and Pa Bender murdered at least 20 people. Some were kil ...more
The family preyed on travelers, robbing them and murdering them when they stopped for the night, or even just for lunch or purchases in some cases. The case ...more
The author relies heavily upon original newspaper sources, so there are a lot of quotes from people involved in the case. This may have required less writing, but it takes a deft understanding of true crime story structure to weave everything together into a compelling narrative. ...more
I had heard of the horrific crimes of the Bender Family before so this was a refresher for me. Add in the unknown conclusion of their whereabouts and the unconfirmed tales of justice being meted out, the Benders were pioneers in the gruesome world of serial killers.
Who knew Charles Ingalls was not all sweet and loving I'm shocked. I had previously read about the Bender family and had no idea they were around the same time and place as Little House on the Prairie. I believe that Colonel York exacted his justice, he just sounds like a person that would do that
In his latest Amazon Kindle Collection, The Bloodlands, Schechter explores 6(ish) murders of early American history. I say 6(ish) because although each story has a central murder, they all look at other comparable killings and overarching themes when applicable.
The Bloodlands Colle ...more
Harold Schechter is a true crime writer who specializes in serial killers. He attended the State University of New York in Buffalo, where he obtained a Ph.D. A resident of New York City, Schechter is professor of American literature and popular culture at Queens College of the City University of New York.
Among his nonfiction works are ...more