Murder & Mayhem in Southeast Kansas

Murder & Mayhem in Southeast Kansas

by Larry E. Wood


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From railroad towns like Ladore to cow towns like Newton and Wichita, southeast Kansas pulsed with rowdy activity during the late nineteenth century. The unruly atmosphere drew outlaws, including the Dalton Gang, and even crazed serial killers the likes of the Bender clan. Violent incidents, from gunfights to lynchings, punctuated the region's Wild West era, and the allure of the frontier also attracted the everyday people whose passions sometimes spawned bloodshed as well. Award-winning author Larry E. Wood explores thirteen of these remarkable episodes in the criminal history of southeast Kansas.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781467141406
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date: 03/25/2019
Series: Murder & Mayhem
Pages: 112
Sales rank: 1,216,698
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

About the Author

Larry Wood is a retired schoolteacher and a freelance writer specializing in the history of the Ozarks and surrounding areas. He is the author of two historical novels and sixteen nonfiction books, including seven published by The History Press. Wood's books, stories and articles have won numerous awards from organizations like the Ozark Writers' League, the Ozark Creative Writers and the Missouri Writers' Guild. Wood maintains a blog on regional history at

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 7

1 Deadly Day in Ladore: A Quintuple Lynching 9

2 The Hide Park Gunfight: One of the "Bloodiest Affrays" Ever 14

3 The Story of the Bloody Benders: One of the Great Unsolved Mysteries of the Old West 20

4 The "Rowdy Joe" Lowe and "Red" Beard Showdown: Two Saloonkeepers Shoot It Out 28

5 The Black Maskers of Cowley Counts": The Killing of Sheriff Shenneman and Lynching of Charles Cobb 33

6 Gunfight at Hunnewell: The Shootin'est Town in Kansas 41

7 Femme Fatale Minnie Wallace Walkup: The Most Famous Murder Trial in Lyon County History 45

8 A Most Terrific Battle: The Dalton Gang's Fiasco at Coffeyville 51

9 As Bad as the Benders? The Notorious Staffleback Clan 59

10 The Killing of Clara Castle and the Murder Trial of Jessie Morrison: One of the Most Famous Criminal Cases Ever 67

11 I'll Not Let .Any Man Abuse My Sister: A Case of Justifiable Homicide 76

12 Murder or Suicide? The Mysterious Death of Miss May Sapp 81

13 The Murder of Ella Scott: The Most Sensational Case Linn County Ever Had 90

Notes 97

Bibliography 109

About the Author 111

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