After the Civil War the Osage Indians were moved from their home in Labette County to Oklahoma, in order to make the Kansas Territory available to European settlers. Eyewitness testimony was given that Mrs. Monroe was Ma Bender. Wilder says, “while Pa watered the horses and brought us all a drink from the well near the door of the house. The stone slab floor was broken up with sledgehammers but no bodies were found, and it was determined that the smell was from blood that had soaked into the soil. The inn was a simple one room house divided into living quarters and the kitchen and store area. Deputy Sheriff Dick, along with Mrs. McCann, escorted the pair to Oswego, Kansas, where seven members of a 13-member panel confirmed the identification and committed them for trial. She maintained carnal relations with her brother, and boldly proclaimed her right to do so, in the following words found in her lecture manuscript: "Shall we confine ourselves to a single love, and deny our natures their proper sway?...Even though it be a brother's passion for his own sister, I say it should not be smothered. Some say that they escaped, others that they were executed by a vengeful posse. Kate was believed[by whom?] [1] The family consisted of John Bender and his wife, Elvira, their son, John Jr., and daughter, Kate. Their attorney also produced a marriage certificate indicating that Mrs. Davis had been married in Michigan in 1872, the time when several of the murders were committed. Originally scheduled for February 1890, the trial was held over to May. The owner of the Drum Creek claim was suspected, but no action was taken. 1) May 1871: Mr. Jones. In 1923 it was donated to the Kansas Museum of History by York's wife but is not on display; still bearing reddish-brown stains on the blade, it can be seen upon request. The affidavits and other papers are missing from the file in LaBette County, so further examination is impossible. Yet another claimed to have killed the Benders during a gunfight and buried their bodies on the prairie. ", according to the Kansas Historical Society (KHS), Miniature murders: Unsolved crimes recreated in dollhouses. In 1937 she gave a speech at a book fair, which was later transcribed and printed in the September 1978 Saturday Evening Post and in the 1988 book A Little House Sampler. The texts read "Johannah Bender. After the third hanging, they released him and he staggered home "as one who was drunken or deranged". There was a trap door that led to a stone cellar below. [1], One detective later claimed that he had traced the pair to the border, where he had found that John Jr. had died of apoplexy. Locals began scouring the area after reports of people who had gone missing in their community began to surface. On October 31, 1889, it was reported that a Mrs. Almira Monroe (a.k.a. John Bender, Sr. was from either Germany or the Netherlands and is thought by some[by whom?] The Bender Family—Some New Light on Their Mysterious Disappearance. [1][2][3] Despite York's strong suspicions regarding the Benders since his visit several weeks earlier, no one had watched them, and it was not noticed for several days that they had fled. In this episode, we head to Kansas and explore the Wichita Troll, the Sallie House, and the Bloody Benders. Marker Name: The Bloody Benders Marker Type: Rest Area Marker text: Near here are the Bender Mounds, named for the infamous Bender family--John, his wife, son, and daughter Kate--who settled here in 1871. to have been born John Flickinger. When attempts were made to relocate the museum it became a point of controversy, some locals objecting to the town being known for the Bender murders. [1][2] A knife with a four-inch tapered blade was reportedly found hidden in a mantel clock in the Bender house by Colonel York. Property Belonging to the 'Bloody Benders', America's First Family of Serial Killers, Up for Sale this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. Her face was a fit picture of the midnight hag that wove the spell murderous ambition about the soul of Macbeth." The former property of the "Bloody Benders" is up for sale. They were released after being found not guilty, but were then immediately re-arrested for the Bender murders. The 'Bloody Benders' are known as America's first family of serial killers. These hammers were given to the Bender Museum in 1967 by the son of LeRoy Dick, the Osage Township trustee who headed the search of the Bender property. See more ideas about bloody benders, bender, bloody. 7. The Benders used the smaller room at the rear for living quarters, while the front room was converted into a "general store" where a few dry goods were sold. The story of the Benders' escape spread, and the search continued on and off for the next 50 years. The men with York were convinced the Benders and a neighboring family, the Roaches, were guilty and wanted to hang them all, but York insisted that evidence must be found. The family consisted of John Bender, his wife Elvira Bender, son John, Jr., and daughter Kate. Washington, D.C.: Photoduplication Service, Library of Congress,1913. 20) May 1873: Dr William York. The front section also contained the kitchen and dining table, where travelers could stop for a meal or even spend the night. 16-19) December 1872: During the search, the bodies of four unidentified males were found in Drum Creek and the surrounds. The women's identities were later confirmed by two Osage township witnesses from a tintype photograph. Try this feature for free with a MyRouteYou Plus trial subscription. Mrs. Monroe resisted, declaring that she would not be taken alive, but was subdued by local deputies. According to contemporary newspapers, Elvira was born Almira Hill Mark (often misreported as "Meik") in the Adirondack Mountains; she married Simon Mark, with whom she claimed to have had 12 children. The family that slays together, stays together. It is the first and only comprehensive story of the Bloody Benders; a terrible chapter in the annuals of crime on this lonely prairie Inn in the southeast Kansas. A Catholic priest claimed to have seen one of the Bender men concealing a large hammer, at which point he became uncomfortable and quickly departed. The Bloody Benders were an alleged family of serial killers who owned a small general store and inn in Osage township, Labette County, Kansas from 1871 to 1873. "The old man was a repulsive, hideous brute, without a redeeming trait, dirty, profane and ill-tempered." The parts did not belong to any of the other victims found and are believed to belong to at least three additional victims. While there is no definitive number, estimates report that the Benders killed at least a dozen travelers before their crimes were discovered and the family fled, with their fate uncertain. Dr. York reached Fort Scott, and on March 9 began the return journey to Independence but never arrived home. Well, you're in luck. [7] Brockman would be arrested again 23 years later for the rape and murder of his own 18-year-old daughter.[8]. All four had crushed skulls and throats cut. According to the Pittsburgh Dispatch, the daughter of one of the Benders' victims, Mrs. Frances E. McCann, had reported the pair to authorities in early October after tracking them down. ?," "big slaughter day, Jan eighth", and "hell departed. It is unknown if the Bender family committed any other murders there. However, once the property was searched, the townspeople discovered a far grislier truth: The family had gruesomely murdered at least 11 people and buried their bodies throughout the land. Mrs. Davis claimed that Mrs. Monroe was Ma Bender, but that she herself was not Kate, but her sister Sara; she later signed an affidavit to that effect, while Monroe continued to deny the identification and in turn accused Sarah Eliza of being the real Kate Bender. The victim's throat was cut by one of the women to ensure death. 11) December 1872: Red Smith. Their murders were carried out by use of a canvas curtain that divided the house into two rooms. The group is believed to be one of the first serial killer families in America. 5) December 1872: W.F. In mid-October, Deputy Sheriff LeRoy Dick, the Osage Township trustee who had headed the search of the Bender property, arrived in Michigan and arrested the couple on October 30, following their release on the larceny charges. Page 1. In February 1872, the bodies of two men were found who had the same injuries as Jones. Often, two women traveling together were accused of being Kate Bender and her mother.[10]. [2], Two men who had traveled to the inn to experience Kate Bender's psychic powers stayed on for dinner but had refused to sit at the table next to the cloth, instead preferring to eat their meal at the main shop counter. She alleged that her father, "Pa Ingalls", joined in a vigilante hunt for the killers, and when he spoke of later searches for them she recalled, "At such times Pa always said in a strange tone of finality, 'They will never be found.' They were never found and later I formed my own conclusions why. The serial killer’s former rooming house has since been destroyed, leaving only a scatter of bricks. On the high prairie by the nearby Mounds which bear the name, the Bender family ~ John, his wife , son, and daughter Kate ~ in 1871 built a small house. Newspapers: The Kansas Murders - New York TImes, May 13, 1873 Says They're Not the Benders - New York Times, January 11, 1890 Website: The Bloody Benders … Born July 30, 1848," "John Gebhardt came to America on July 1 18? "[7], Word of the murders spread quickly, and more than three thousand people, including reporters from as far away as New York City and Chicago, visited the site. [3] Also in 1884, an elderly man matching Pa Bender's description was arrested in Montana for a murder committed near Salmon, Idaho, where the victim had been killed by a hammer blow to the head. The media speculated that some of the victims had attempted to fight back after being hit with the hammer. [1][2][3], The area was already widely known for "horse thieves and villains", and vigilance committees often "arrested" some for the disappearances, only for them to be later released by the authorities. Senator Samuel C. Pomeroy's bribery of state legislators in his bid for re-election. Many innocent men under suspicion were also run out of the county by these committees.[5]. One of the families was John Bender Sr. and John Bender Jr., who registered 160 acres (65 ha) of land located adjacent to the Great Osage Trail, which was then the only open road for traveling further west. Elvira allegedly could not understand English, while the younger Benders denied the claim. In 1884, it was reported that John Flickinger had committed suicide in Lake Michigan. Contemporary newspapers reported his name as either "George W. Longcor" or "George Loncher", while Mary Ann is similarly reported as being either eight years old or 18 months old. Elvira Bender, who also allegedly spoke very little English, was 55 years of age and was so unfriendly that her neighbors took to calling her a "she-devil". A message requesting positive identification was sent to Cherryvale, but the suspect severed his foot to escape his leg irons and bled to death. "[19][20] Some have cast doubt on the story, saying that Laura would have been only 4 when her family moved away from the area, and that the Benders were exposed in 1873, two years after the Ingalls left. Last Meal: Based on the True Story of the Bloody Benders. Colonel York agreed that this was possible and remained for dinner. [1][3] On April 3, Colonel York returned to the inn with armed men after being informed that a woman had fled from the inn after being threatened with knives by Elvira Bender. The Benders in Kansas. It was speculated that she had been strangled or buried alive. Body found in Drum Creek with a crushed skull and throat cut. The Bloody Benders Historic Marker. [8] A Roman Catholic prayer book was found in the house with notes inside written in German, which were later translated. She mentioned stopping at the inn, as well as recounting the rumors of the murders spreading through their community. Another of Mrs. Monroe's daughters, Mary Gardei, later provided an affidavit claiming that her mother (then Almira Shearer), under the name of Almira Marks, was actually serving two years in the Detroit House of Corrections in 1872 for the manslaughter of her daughter-in-law, Emily Mark. This is the story of the Bloody Benders, America’s first family of serial killers. Photo credit: The Lineup. [18], The Ingalls family, made famous in the books and television series Little House on the Prairie, lived near Independence, and Laura Ingalls Wilder mentioned the Bender family in her writing and speeches. Buried in the apple orchard. Once in the cellar, the body would be stripped and later buried somewhere on the property, often in the orchard. William Pickering said that when he had refused to sit near the wagon cloth because of the stains on it, he was threatened with a knife by Kate Bender, whereupon he fled the premises. [18] The hammers were displayed at the Bender Museum in Cherryvale, Kansas from 1967 to 1978, when the site was acquired for a fire station. [5][18] The Bloody Benders were a German Immigrant family who lived in Southeast Kansas from 1869–1872. From there, they traveled to an outlaw colony thought to be in the border region between Texas and New Mexico. Relocating to Independence from, 7) December 1872: Johnny Boyle. [9], More than a dozen bullet holes were found in the roof and sides of the cabin. [5][6], Around the same time, neighboring communities began to make accusations that the Osage community was responsible for the disappearances, and a meeting was arranged by the Osage township in the Harmony Grove schoolhouse. One of the searchers identified the body of his brother, with the back of his skull smashed in and his throat slit. Now that land is going up for auction. After a cabin, a barn with a corral, and a well were built, in the fall of 1871, Elvira Bender and daughter Kate arrived, and the cabin was divided into two rooms by a canvas wagon-cover. On March 28, 1873, Colonel York arrived at the Benders' inn with a Mr. Johnson, explaining to them that his brother had gone missing and asking if they had seen him. Stein and Day. Elvira was suspected[by whom?] 6 The Bloody Benders’ House. They were not pursued, as lawmen following outlaws into this region often never returned. She professed to be a medium of spiritualism, and delivered lectures on that subject. No documentation or definitive proof of their relationships to one another, or where they were born, has ever been found. In 1992, Fern Morrow Wood, a Cherryvale teacher, wrote The Benders, Keepers of the Devil's Inn. $2,000 (2021: $42,683) missing. Mrs. McCann's story came from dreams that she had about her father's murder, which she discussed with Sarah Eliza. When the party arrived at the inn they found the cabin empty of food, clothing, and personal possessions. "[4], In May 1871, the body of a man named Jones, who had his skull crushed and his throat cut, was discovered in Drum Creek. CS1 maint: ref=harv ; Gibson, Dirk C. (19 November 2009). The Bloody Benders were a family of serial killers who owned an inn and small general store in Labette County of southeastern Kansas from 1871 to 1873. Judge Calvin dismissed Mary Gardei's affidavit as she was a "chip off the old block"; he found that other affidavits supporting Gardei's were sufficient proof that the women could never be convicted, however, and he discharged them both. Its floor was covered in pools of blood. "To my knowledge, there have been no efforts to excavate the property during the time my clients have owned the farm," Brent Wellings, auction manager for Schrader Real Estate and Auction Co., told CNN. • 1) May 1871: Mr. Jones. [5], Three days after the township meeting, Billy Tole was driving cattle past the Bender property when he noticed that the inn was abandoned and the farm animals were unfed. Digging resumed the following morning; another eight bodies were found in seven of the nine suspected graves, while one was found in the well, along with a number of body parts. Elvira and Kate Bender also planted a 2-acre (0.81 ha) vegetable garden and apple orchard north of the cabin.[1][2][3]. Another group claimed they had caught the Benders and lynched them before throwing their bodies into the Verdigris River. The Bloody Benders were a family of serial killers who owned an inn and small general store in Labette County of southeastern Kansas from 1871 to 1873. Law enforcement officials in Maine have notifiedresidents that there have been reports of people receiving text messages indicating the recipient has been in contact with a person who has tested positive for coronavirus. John was prone to laughing aimlessly, which led many to consider him a "half-wit". In Fargo (Season 4, Episode 9), outside the entrance to The Barton Arms, a Kansas Historical Marker plaque for “The Mellon Mounds” recounts the story of the Mellon family, who lured unsuspecting travelers into their home, killed them with a hammer, and buried them out back. [18], A historical marker describing the Benders’ crimes is located in the rest area at the junction of U.S. Route 400 and U.S. Route 169 north of Cherryvale. ISBN 978-1-5368-9341-0. At this point, the customers began to feel uneasy and decided to leave, a move that almost certainly saved their lives. The "Bloody Benders" were made up of John Bender Sr., his wife and two children. There’s a storm gate in Wichita, Kansas that has no plaque or indication, only a troll sculpture that waits for the unaware – it is the Wichita Troll. It was confirmed that in Thayer the family had bought tickets on the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad for Humboldt. The family consisted of John Bender, his wife Mrs. Bender (later referred to as Kate, Sr., since no one knew her given name), son John, Jr., and daughter Kate. The "Bloody Benders" were a German family of four that settled a claim in southeastern Kansas in Labette County in 1871. According to the 1870 census, George and his wife, Mary Jane, were neighbors of. But in the spring of 1873, on the frontier prairie where the field is now, the Benders lived in a little wood-sided house that doubled as a general store near the Osage Trail. 2-3) February 1872: Two unidentified men found on the prairie in February 1872 with crushed skulls and throats cut. The probing continued until midnight, with another nine suspected grave sites marked before the men were satisfied they had found them all and retired for the night. Located on a main road, the Benders sold meals and supplies to travelers. [citation needed], Coordinates: .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}37°20′56″N 95°29′10″W / 37.349°N 95.486°W / 37.349; -95.486, According to one of the myths that has grown around the murders, after dinner, Colonel York was sitting in the front room when he noticed a gold, List of serial killers in the United States, "The Bloody Benders – Serial Killers of Kansas", "The Bloody Benders, Kansas, ca. In the front half of the house, the family ran an inn and store, while the back half was the family living area. 10) December 1872: John Greary. ... One location that became a killing spot for him was Emigration Canyon, Utah. "Kate proclaimed herself responsible to no one save herself." "Young Bender, seen when excited, recalled the grave-robbing hyena at once to mind." After opening the trap, the empty room beneath, 6 feet (1.8 m) deep and 7 feet (2.1 m) square at the top by 3 feet (0.9 m) square at the bottom, was found to have clotted blood on the floor. [2], Testimony from people who had stayed at the Benders' inn and had managed to escape before they could be killed appeared to support the presumed execution method of the Benders. When he did speak it, it was so guttural that it was usually unintelligible. On this episode, TJ and I research Americas first serial killer family from the 1870's. Vol. It is conjectured[by whom?] The Bloody Benders were a family of serial killers who lived and operated in Labette County, Kansas, from May 1871 to December 1872. In the 19th century, Kansas was a bloody place, especially before the Civil War as “Free-Soilers ” and slavery advocates “duked” it out for control of the new territory. 16 Feb 1888. "Their story is unresolved and remains one of the great unsolved mysteries of the old West. The Sally House was built in Atchison,… It was in the nearby orchard field that the victims were found buried. With the exception of McKenzie and York,[17] who were buried in Independence; the Longcors, who were buried in Montgomery County; and McCrotty, who was buried in Parsons, Kansas, none of the other bodies were claimed, and they were reburied at the base of a small hill 1 mile (1.6 km) southeast of the Benders' orchard, one of several at the location now known as "The Benders Mounds". [5], Detectives following wagon tracks discovered the Benders' wagon, abandoned with a starving team of horses with one of the mares lame, just outside the city limits of Thayer, 12 mi (19 km) north of the inn. The Bloody Benders were a family of serial killers who lived and operated in Labette County, Kansas, from May 1871 to December 1872. Buried in the apple orchard. RouteYou » Places of interest » Bloody Benders » Overview of all cycle routes Positive Pest | Race cycle route | 2437 mi | EN. It covers the on-going investigation into the Bloody Benders. The "Bloody Benders" Kansas Historical Marker. February 1872: two unidentified men found on the Leavenworth, Lawrence & Galveston Railroad for Humboldt throat... One room house divided into two by a curtain and Kate were not and... Released him and he staggered bloody benders house location `` as one who was drunken or deranged '' the.. 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