The Bloody Benders


Original newspaper accounts of America’s most prolific murderers.

This episode, we’re looking at the legend of a Kansas family that killed at least 11 visitors to their roadhouse in the early 1870s. They aroused suspicion by choosing as a victim a well-known physician, whose family soon pulled out all stops in a search until they uncovered his body, along with 10 missing travelers, on the Bender property. The Bender Family was nowhere to be found, and never were. Sightings and even arrests were regular for many years, even into the next century, but the second act of this episode purports to tell the true story of what happened to the mass murdering hostelers.

Music by Chuck Wiggins.

The Murderpedia entery on the Bloody Benders has photos of the scene and drawings from newspapers.


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Quadruple Electrocution: Four Murders, Four Executions


A special edition of Yesterday’s News exploring the American criminal justice system at its most extreme, inflicting the death penalty.

Although this episode stands alone, it is something of a follow-up to “The Shocking Death of William Kemmler,” which I published about two months ago. If you remember, that execution went so badly that many thought it was a failed experiment. Indeed, it took the state of New York nearly a year to perform a second electric chair execution, but it did so with a bang, putting four men to death on the same day, July 7, 1891.

Will it work out any better this time? Listen and find out…

Music by Chuck Wiggins


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