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Murder Monday Update from Bender: The Graphic Novel - The Historical Marker Commemorating the Bender Killing Spree
This historical marker sits at a rest area at... the intersection of US400 and US169 in Southeast Kansas. There's ample parking for you to read the latest Bender: The Graphic Novel chapter while enjoying the peaceful Kansas plains.
The marker reads:
Near here are the Bender Mounds, named for the infamous Bender family -- John, his wife, son, and daughter Kate -- who settled here in 1871. Kate soon gained notoriety as a self-proclaimed healer and spiritualist. Secretly, the four made a living through murder and robbery.
Located on a main road, the Benders sold meals and supplies to travelers. Their murders were carried out by use of a canvas curtain that divided the house into two rooms. When a traveler was seated at the table, his head was outlined against the curtain. The victim was then dispatched from behind with a hammer, and the body was dropped into a basement pit, later to be buried in an orchard.
As more and more travelers disappeared, suspicion began to center on the Benders. They disappeared in the spring of 1873, shortly before inquisitive neighbors discovered the victims' bodies. The Benders are believed to have killed about a dozen people, including one child.
Although stories abound, the ultimate fate of the murderous Bender family is uncertain. Some say that they escaped, others that they were executed by a vengeful posse. Their story is unresolved, and remains one of the great unsolved mysteries of the old west.
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In the aftermath of the Civil War, the great westward expansion of America was fraught with dangers both overt and hidden. Along the Osage Trail outside the tin...y village of Cherryvale, Kansas, the Bender Inn seemed a haven for weary travelers, and one could not help but be enchanted by Kate Bender, the mysterious and beautiful proprietor. However, visitors had a way of disappearing, and time has dubbed it “The Devil’s Inn.” In part one of a three-part serial, witness the construction of the inn and the formation of a partnership that would lead to unspeakable horrors in this true story of murder on the plains.
Bestselling comic writer Michael L. Frizell teams up with noted artist and illustrator DA Frizell to capture the twisted underbelly of the West in BENDER: VOLUM...E ONE, opening salvo in a three-part serial event chronicling the true story of America's first family of serial killers, the Bloody Benders. Get your copy Thursday, April 13, and #rockthebook with Skye Press and Oghma Creative Media!