Kelayres achieved national notoriety in 1934 when local politics led to the Kelayres massacre, election eve, November 5. Five were killed, at least a dozen injured. The breaking story was played up for its political angle on election day. Local Republican boss Joseph James Bruno and six members of his immediate family were arrested and tried for the murders. Six received convictions and prison sentences. Bruno again achieved national notoriety when he escaped from jail in December 1936. He was recaptured in August 1937.