As word of the grisly murders spread, more and more travelers came forward to tell their own stories of narrow escape, including one gentleman by the name of William Pickering. 620-336-3576. They lived it, died it and who am I to run from it? The Benders were, no doubt, surprised to find that the man wasn’t dead. Rader pleaded guilty to his crimes, which he recalled in detail in court. I could feel how they felt, the terrible pain and agony.". Allegedly, while “working” at the Bender Inn, she also earned her keep as a prostitute, adding an additional amount to the traveler’s bill for the privilege of laying with her. The family soon built a small one-room framed cabin, a barn, corral, and dug a well. The Mellons are believed to have killed over a dozen people, including a child. A decade after the gruesome killings, nothing was left of the cabin and outbuildings on the property, the only thing remaining — an empty hole that had once been the cellar. The murder charge says that the defendants killed Melissa … The action takes place in Kansas City in the 1950s when an uneasy peace existed between men such as Dearborn and the long-established Italian mob family run for decades by Nick Civella. Along with her desire for fame, she also craved wealth and position. You can unsubscribe at any time. One of the most baffling (and famous) Kansas murders is that of Sandy Bird, an Emporia pastor's wife whose body was found floating in the Cottonwood River in 1983. Even Kate, with her clairvoyant abilities, attempted to “search” for the missing doctor to throw any suspicion off herself. 2014. After the Benders‘ escape, one detective, who had closely followed all the leads, said that he had traced Gebhardt to the outlaw country along the Texas/New Mexico border where he had found that the criminal had died of apoplexy. The Benders then stripped him of his clothes and went to bury him, when the man suddenly awoke. (Last Privacy Policy Update July 2020), Byways & Historic Trails – Great Drives in America, Soldiers and Officers in American History, Snow Bound, Alone, and Surrounded by Wild Varmints. Though he allegedly committed suicide in 1884 in Lake Michigan, others believed that Ma and Kate murdered him because he had fled Cherryvale with all the cash and valuables they had taken from their victims. Bit by bit, the story of the Benders was pieced together. One vigilante group claimed to have shot down the men and Ma Bender, and burned Kate alive, as the witch they believed her to be. With the full realization that there truly was a major problem in their township, the group decided to search every farmstead between Big Hill Creek and Drum Creek. Keeping mostly to themselves, the Benders appeared to simply be struggling homesteaders who worked hard to earn their living like the other area pioneers. Yet another group claimed to have killed the Benders during a gunfight and buried their bodies on the prairie. The museum remained a popular tourist destination until it closed in 1978 when a fire station was built upon the site. His son chose a narrow piece of land just north of his father’s; however, he never lived on his claim, nor made any improvements. A trap door, nailed shut, was discovered in the floor of the cabin. Though her beauty and social skills gained her popularity with the locals, her actions began to cause them to say that she was “satanic.” It was to be this diminutive Bender family member that would take most of the blame for what was soon to be found out about this infamous family. I listened to a story last night from my grandfather, Emerson Smalley, about the Benders and their supposed end. Required fields are marked *. The family consisted of William Kelly (55); his wife Kate; his son Bill, also called 'Billy' (20) and daughter, Kit (18). In 2016, the Mellon Sr. sent his 15-year-old daughter with high functioning autism to a church camp. John Bender, Jr. was actually a man named John Gebhardt. Shortly thereafter, the family disappeared. From the … Charlotte Mellon passed away in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. has gone unanswered for 38 years. Southeast Kansas, in particular, was known as a rough area. On May 17th, Governor Thomas Osborn added to that amount by offering a $2,000 reward for the apprehension of all four. Our. — A Kansas City woman charged with murder carried out the deadly shooting because she believed the victim killed her brother, according to … We use cookies. Though most of us know of Dodge City’s wicked ways, the deadly gunfight of the Daltons in Coffeyville, and the many outlaws and gunfighters who spent time in the Sunflower State, few aware of a family of mass murderers, living a supposed quiet life near the small town of Cherryvale. Lars was shot and killed in Kansas City, Missouri, on Jan. 13. As the boy listened, the men continued to talk, relating the tale of how the judge had lost his ear. Karl Negley MELLON married on 10 Dec 1962 in New York, USA to Anne STOKES, but he abandoned his family about 1969. Main navigation The university Faculties. When the men arrived at the property, they found the cabin empty of food, clothing, and personal possessions. It was a story about the infamous Benders and about one man who got away. His mum had been beaten. They were never caugnt. Kate was a self-proclaimed healer and psychic, gave lectures on spiritualism, and conducted séances. At some point, she married and went by the name of Sara Eliza Davis. James R. Mellon was born on January 14, 1846. There is an $11,000 reward attached to information about Adamski's murder. Although stories abound, the ultimate fate of the murderous Mellon family … The mounted police came to my Great-Grandparents and took Kate back to Kansas for questioning but let her go.Kate was blind in one eye but it couldn’t be detected by looking at her and so was the woman that came to our area. See more ideas about historical marker, kansas, historical. The two were known to have had a relationship and further tales abounded that when Kate became pregnant, they would simply bash in the baby’s head once it was born. Jan 17, 2018 - Explore Kansas Historical Society's board "Kansas Historical Markers", followed by 2535 people on Pinterest. Although stories abound, the ultimate fate of the murderous Bender family is uncertain. Cherryvale Museum Funeral Home Services for Charlotte are being provided by Connell Funeral Home, Inc.. The sensational tales and rumors of the Benders continued well into the 20th century, but, as to what actually happened to them remains one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the Old West. Fred married Iantha Campbell on month day 1949, at age 34 at marriage place , Texas. Alabama However, none of these tales were ever confirmed, nor bodies found, so most thought that the Benders had managed to escape. Read the latest crime and police news from Kansas City, Overland Park, Lee's Summit and other counties in Missouri and Kansas. Your email address will not be published. A Background Of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Rise Up by Hank Willis Thomas, 2014, at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, via NBC News . Several days later the Benders’ team and wagon were found a short distance away, the horses nearly starved. They’re posting about trying to … A Kansas City family feels the search for their son's killer should be just an intense as the search for a missing baby. The Mellon bank account went from $2.5-$4.2 million. In the mid 1970s he was stalked and shot by a young man. Caril Ann Fugate has always maintained that she was a captive and not a willing participant in any of the murders. Charlie Starkweather and his teenage girlfriend Caril Fugate are arguably the state's most well-known killers. The same animals sold for 10 to 20 times that amount in Kansas City. Karl Negley MELLON married on 10 Dec 1962 in New York, USA to Anne STOKES, but he abandoned his family about 1969. The breastbone had been driven in. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is a private organization in New York City that focuses on the philanthropy of Arts and Humanities in the United States. Search the website Search. Mrs. Bender, a heavyset woman, was so unfriendly and had such sinister eyes, that her neighbors began to call her a “she-devil.” To add to her fierce look, Ma Bender also claimed to be a “medium” who could speak with the “dead” and boiled herbs and roots that she declared could be used to cast charms or wicked spells. Kansas had no death penalty at the time of the murders. He previously admitted having plans to kill an 11th victim, whom he said he planned to hang upside down in her home before he was caught. In the spring of 1894, the victims’ bodies were discovered, sending the town into hysteria. What am I most looking forward to: Quality time with my friends, HUGS and for the beauty salons to … Bender Mounds, Kansas by Kathy Weiser-Alexander. From these depths allegedly came the souls of those murdered on the site, wandering about the property and making moaning sounds that could be heard by passersby. Melon is a delicious fruit packed with nutrition. Kansas had no death penalty at the time of the murders. The attempted-murder charge accuses the four of shooting Roger Bluml in the head. Though the tales of what happened to the Benders can only be speculated as to their accuracy, the fact that ten bodies were found on the property is not disputed. Though he reached Fort Scott unscathed and started to return to Independence about March 8th, he never reached home. His habit of laughing aimlessly was what led to him being described as a “half-wit,” though many, afterward, believed this was simply a ruse to disguise his clever nature. She also claimed to possess psychic powers, including the ability to communicate with the dead. I have heard my grandfather tell of this story since I was a boy and Grandpa swears that this is the real story of what happened to the Benders. Sickeningly, he gave himself the 'BTK' nickname, which became his infamous signature as he evaded police for more than three decades. Four members of the Otero family - Joseph, 38, Julie, 33, and their children Josephine, 11, and Joseph, nine - were butchered by 'BTK' serial killer, Dennis Rader. Matthew Mellon, an early backer of new digi-fund … If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. 21-year-old Tityana Coppage is facing a second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the death of 36-year-old Keith Lars according to KSHB. My grandfather, who is approaching 80 years old, is always full of great stories but, he assured me that his father, who passed this on to him, knew of what really happened. 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. I have heard the Bender story many times when I was a child and I was raised 35 miles east of Springfield Mo. Nothing like this sickening series of crimes had ever been recorded in the whole history of the country.”. In addition to the museum, southeast Kansas may be the only place where a mass murder is celebrated by a state historical marker. His family was from the Cherryvale, Kansas area and the story involves a group of men that found the Benders and were in a gunfight with them, one of whom was a judge that lost part of his ear in the gun battle. Graves of the many who the Benders killed. If the plaque outside marking it as the former home of “the infamous Mellon family, who lured unsuspecting travelers into their home, tied them and then dispatched them with a hammer” … James Mellon was the son of the founder of Mellon Bank and patriarch of wealthy and influential Mellon family; He built the house in Palatka, Putnam County, Florida in 1883 to … Members of the Otero family listen to testimony during the sentencing hearing of BTK killer Dennis Rader in Wichita - Charlie is the bald, bearded man, When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. The Mellon family spent their winters in this home for over forty years. The diggers were astounded to find what would become known as one of America’s first mass murder burial grounds as body after body was uncovered. In fact, they weren’t even a true “family” — the only ones related were Ma and Kate Bender. In honor of the Kansas state-wide Centennial Celebration, an exact replica of the Bender cabin was built that housed antiques and household items. Word of the gruesome murders spread fast and thousands of people flocked to the site, including news reporters from as far away as New York and Chicago. Andrew was put in charge of the "family legacy" from 1890-1919. Ma Bender and Kate would then rifle the body for money pushing him through the trap door into the hole below the cabin, where Kate would slit his throat. Rader, 73, is serving ten consecutive life sentences and will die in prison. The digging continued the next day and nine other bodies and numerous dismembered body parts were found, including a woman and a little girl. As the U.S. Capitol was overtaken by a deadly mob with men wearing symbols of white nationalism, the first two Native American women to serve in … When most of the attendees volunteered to have their premises searched, the Benders remained silent. Charlie and his younger siblings, Carmen and Danny, survived because they were at school. I like the family atmosphere What I’m getting up to during Lockdown: Very little - staying home, watching tv, reading and enjoying my family's company. Inside the wooden cabin, the area was partitioned with a large canvas, creating living quarters in the back and a small inn and store in the front. But all was not what it seemed in this windswept corner of southeastern Kansas. Standing over six feet tall, John was a giant of a man who, because of his piercing black eyes set deeply under huge bushy brows, earned him the nickname of “old beetle-browed John.”  His ruddy face, mostly covered by a heavy beard, sullen expression and long hair often led to him being described as a “wild and wooly looking man.”. One of these families was the Benders, comprised of John Bender, Sr.; his wife, Almira; son, John, Jr.; and daughter, Kate. Once Kansas declared itself with the Union and the Civil War began to rage, the bloody battles continued. Both John and his raw-boned wife spoke with such guttural accents that few people could understand them. KANSAS CITY, Mo. The right knee had been wrenched from its socket and the leg doubled up under the body. From an early age, Thomas Mellon entrusted his sons with business ventures. The Only Dance There Is: Talks Given at the Menninger Foundation, Topeka, Kansas, 1970, and at Spring Grove Hospital, Spring Grove, Maryland, 1972 (Doubleday Anchor … This unnamed man was evidently one of the many who made the mistake of stopping at the Bender Inn. He traveled extensively in the 1880s, caring for the family business interests in Kansas, Colorado, Idaho, and Oregon. See the latest arrests, mugshots and info on local jails and prisons. Colonel A.M. York, leading a contingency of some 50 men began to question every traveler along the trail and to stop at the area homesteads. The old Bender property was haunted, began to fly the rumors of the locals. Indexes for all of these censuses available online on our research room computers at ancestry.com. Telling the story of his near-death, Jesse quickly retold it to a nearby doctor and judge, who formed a vigilante group to go after the Benders. As the legend of the haunting continued, people began to say that Kate Bender, herself, had returned to the property, doomed to roam the very land where she had committed so many atrocities. During the night, the body would then be buried in the garden behind the house. Karl was also married to a CHAMBERLAIN and a BUTLER. It says this home used to be run by the infamous Mellon Family, who lured travelers in before killing them with a hammer. Meanwhile, Ma and Pa Bender continued on the train north to Kansas City where it was believed they transferred to a train headed to St. Louis. The horrific crimes of Rader have garnered fresh attention after Rader's daughter, Kerri Rawson, recently published a memoir, A Serial Killer's Daughter: My Story of Faith, Love, and Overcoming. From elopements to the all-out wedding extravaganza, Mellon Acres caters to your needs with a compassionate staff. Distributing circulars that proclaimed her “skills,” including supernatural powers and the ability to cure illnesses and infirmities, she soon found the lecture circuit profitable. The Mellon bank account went from $2.5-$4.2 million. The concept Mellon family represents the subject, aboutness, idea or notion of resources found in University of Missouri-Kansas City Libraries. In retaliation, the vigilantes killed all of the members of the Bender family, buried them where they died, and took the wagon to town, where they left it. 215 East 4th Street — A Kansas City woman charged with murder carried out the deadly shooting because she believed the victim killed her brother, according to … When his father (my great grandfather), Frank Smalley was a boy, he was hiding in the hayloft of the family barn when he overheard a group of men below talking and laughing. Then Kate would begin to charm the men with her social skills, flirting, or revealing her psychic “gifts.” As the men gave their full attention to the alluring Kate, Pa and John Bender, hiding behind the canvas, would strike the unsuspecting traveler in the skull with a hammer. Season four’s oddest episode, ‘East/West’ is as wild a departure as this series has ever attempted. His downfall came when he sent a computer disk to a TV station in February 2005 - with an analysis of metadata linking him to the item. However, as more time passed, the disappearances became more frequent and by the spring of 1873, the region had become strife with rumors and travelers began to avoid the trail. From an early age, Thomas Mellon entrusted his sons with business ventures. The corpse was that of Dr. William H. York, his skull bludgeoned and his throat cut from ear to ear. There is an $11,000 reward attached to information about Adamski's murder. Ma Bender was born Almira Meik in the Adirondacks and married as a teenager to a man named George Griffith. Faculty of Theology. The death was originally ruled a car accident, but was later revisited after the body of Pastor Bird's lover's husband was found shot to death along a Geary County highway. The Bender cabin was ripped apart by gruesome souvenir hunters, right down to the bloody bricks that lined the cellar. The discussion began regarding the ten people who were reported missing, including a well-known Independence physician named Dr. William H. York. His father, Judge Thomas Mellon, was the founder of Mellon Bank and patriarch to the Mellon family of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is a private organization in New York City that focuses on the philanthropy of Arts and Humanities in the United States. Like others, as he sat at the table, he was hit over the head. The term “melon” diversed in many different plants belong to the family Cucurbitaceae. 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