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Showing posts from June, 2016

The Bloody Benders: A Murderously Greedy Family

The Bender family was a group of killers that settled in Labette County, Kansas in the late 1800's. Witnesses say that they were from Germany or Holland, but that is uncertain. There were four of them altogether. John, “Pa” or William Bender was the father; Ma Bender (real name unknown), was the mother, John Jr. or John Bender the adult son and Kate Bender the adult daughter. At least, it assumed that this was the family dynamic and those were their names, but even that is unknown. Some sources claim that the only two who were actually related were Ma and Kate and that the last name Bender was taken from Ma’s first husband. Whether “Pa” Bender was really her husband and who John Jr. was is a matter of speculation.

“Pa” and John Bender placed a claim in Labette County in the early 1870's and subsequently built a house there, which was one story and consisted of a single large room. The women soon followed and the house was crudely split into two portions by hanging a piece of …