Talk:Bloody Benders

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Plagiarism, differences[edit]

Either the two merged articles were written by the same Wikipedian (Jack Lumber, though why he wrote both mystifies me) or copied from the same book. The only differences were in location, Neosho County, Kansas versus Labette, and Denver instead of Detroit. Chris 02:10, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

House of a Thousand Corpses[edit]

After reading this article, one might sense that perhaps Rob Zombie's House of a Thousand Corpses might have been inspired by this family. Anyone care to find out if there is any truth in that? -asplode Yeah, I think its based on it Should we add itThe Clydelishes Clyde 03:03, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Serial Killers[edit]

These people killed for profit, targetting wealthy people. Serial killers kill due to psychotic compulsion. How do the Benders count as serial killers?

Due to the fact that it was so long ago and none of the members where ever caught and questioned. No one can say they only killed for profit. Eh, that's the only thing I can think of anyway. 214.13.149.10 (talk) 10:35, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree with the first comment. 75.34.152.194 (talk) 00:27, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Serial killers can be defined by 2 of the behaviors these people exhibited for us. First, the method of killing was always the same, and second they targeted as you said, rich people. nuff said! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Waynecrawford (talkcontribs) 00:28, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Not all are psychotic most are sociopathic/psychopaths. These people aren't delusional they have no empathy for other people. There have been two cases of serial killers that are psychotic not including Ed Gein as he isn't included in lists of serial killers (a serial killer must kill at least three people) Gein only killed two women all his other supposed victims were already dead. Gein was arrested for the killings he did, but they found him to be a necrophiliac and hospitalized him due to his acts with the dead women. The other one I need to read again mainly because I can't remember his name right now, although I do know he lived in the Soviet Union. Lnforstmann (talk) 04:55, 13 August 2014 (UTC)

Possible Victium[edit]

  • Possible bender Victium at [[1]]

Doubts about works inspired by Benders[edit]

I've removed the following sentence for now: "They also appear to have been given strong references to the movies House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects, which follows a beautiful blonde woman, her mother, brother, and their father." Aside from the fact that there's a family of killers, I can't find any evidence that these movies were inspired by the Benders; the same goes for American Gothic. -- Levana Taylor (talk) 18:11, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Another doubtful reference: "The homicidal Kate Bender is also the main character of the 1982 novel Katie by Michael McDowell (author)." The name of the character in that book is Katie Slape, and although her method (enticing people with psychic readings, killing with a hammer) sure sounds like it was inspired by this case, I'd like confirmation (from an author interview, for example) that it really was -- or is there reference to the Benders in the book? --Levana Taylor (talk) 05:04, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Slaughter (2009)[edit]

The movie Slaughter (2009) is said to be partly based on the Bloody Benders. --109.189.98.138 (talk) 20:48, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Reference for this? In an interview, the creator Stewart Hopewell said "It is inspired by a true story from 100 years ago. It's a modern-day interpretation of it. There are a few twists and turns in the movie, I'm a bit hesitant to mention what the true story is in fear of blowing it." -- a commenter there speculated that he was referring to the Benders, but I can't find any other confirmation (and the Benders were a good bit more than 100 years ago!) --Levana Taylor (talk) 19:58, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
That film is more likely to be based on Belle Gunness, although I have no source for it. (Emperor (talk) 21:43, 29 September 2012 (UTC))

Court documents[edit]

Does anybody have the original court documents of the Oswego trial in 1889/1890 or knows where to turn to to get them? I'd like to study them, possibly writing more about it here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rs220675 (talkcontribs) 21:55, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

I visited the Oswego Courthouse and did look at the trial records...or what is left of them. The court clerk brought them out and explained that most of the original papers were missing, stolen by "researchers" over the years. There are a lot of bills and expenses concerning the trial but none of the affidavits are there that provided evidence of births or marriages concerning the accused women. Very disappointing and of little value. Maggiedr (talk) 04:30, 19 March 2012 (UTC)maggiedr

Is there a reference for the name "Marks"? The only references I could find are birth records for a Sarah Eliza Marks born in the 1870s, interestingly her fathers name was John Benders (born 1850). Wayne (talk) 13:09, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
Found she was in the Detroit House of Corrections under the name of Elmira Marks but this could have been an alias without another source to confirm it as her real name at that time was Almira Shearer. Wayne (talk) 13:17, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Sarah Eliza's real birth certificate has never been found. She was born in Cattauragus County, New York, and is on the 1855 census living with Almira and Simon Mark. The Sarah Eliza Mark born in Michigan is the daughter of Simon Mark's older sons from marriage prior to Almira. Can get confusing that there were two Sarah Eliza Marks living in Michigan. The correct family name is Mark but often shows up as Marks, eventually some of the Mark descendants gave up and went with Marks. Sarah Eliza often claimed that Almira was not her real mother but that she was picked up as a child and kept, possibly a true story since Almira had a reputation as a "baby farmer". However, Sarah was such a liar that her word is worthless.

As for Almira's incarceration, I was under the impression she was confined under the name of Shearer. According to news articles at the time, she was referred to as "Mrs. Barlett", "Old Mother Marks", and eventually Almira Shearer. The news accounts leave little doubt that Almira killed her daughter-in-law, Emily Mark, but she managed a conviction of manslaughter. Since this all took place in 1872 into 1873, it proves she was a murderess but she wasn't Ma Bender. She simply could not have been in Kansas. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Maggiedr (talkcontribs) 15:18, 20 March 2012 (UTC)


I am curious to know how the various names: Sarah Eliza Mark, Almira Mark...etc were linked to this story to begin with. This section reads like Mother/Daughter Bender had previously gone by different names, which is certainly valid. I would just like to know how these conclusions were reached. JustinBrown80 (talk) 03:17, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

I am working on a wiki entry for Mrs. Frances McCann, the person responsible for bringing suspicion on Sarah Eliza Davis and her mother, Almira Mark. Mrs. McCann met Sarah Eliza (married to John Feenay at that time) and became suspicious of her. Mrs. McCann spent several years tracking Sarah and "investigating" her mother until she finally persuaded officials in Michigan (where the women lived) and Kansas to make identification. Leroy Dick was sent from Kansas to Michigan and positively identified them as the Bender women. Problem was, when they were taken to Kansas for trial, just as many people were sure they were NOT the Benders as thought they were. Enough evidence was produced to convince the state that a trial would be a waste of money and resources, since the women had enough documentation proving they could not be the Benders. Because these women were shady (Almira's alibi was that she was incarcerated in Detroit, serving time for killing her daughter-in-law), Leroy Dick and Frances McCann refused to believe that they could not be the Benders. Most people at the time dismissed the charges against the women as ridiculous but as time has passed, a lot of people (possibly Dick's descendants and friends) decided that the women must have been guilty. Dick was interviewed by the Parson (Kansas) Sun in the late 30s and that interview appears to be the basis for many assertions that Ma Bender's "real" name was Almira Meik or Almira Griffith. (The story that John Flickenger was really John Bender, Sr. was also perpetuated as part of those events.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Maggiedr (talkcontribs) 04:54, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

The Bad Seed[edit]

In William March's novel "The Bad Seed" and the movie based on it, Rhoda's grandmother is "Bessie Danker," most probably a reference to "Kate Bender." -- Grunion Grady (talk) 20:10, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

Reference for this? There are no other mentions of it on the web, even searching for the correct spelling of the character in question, "Bessie Denker". Plus, Bessie Denker killed her parents, siblings, and children, rather than strangers for profit. --Levana Taylor (talk) 04:46, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Lack of Reliable Sources Regarding the Benders[edit]

Many of the statements in this article are based on websites that contain unverified information. There are too many statements that could be argued to be listed right here. W. E. Connelly was a secretary of the Kansas Historical Society in the nineteen-twenties and is quoted as saying "There is no proof for any statement concerning the Benders after their disappearance."[1] Mr. Connelly made a study of the Benders with the intent to write a book. Some of his papers on the subject are preserved at the University of Oklahoma. I would like to help in cleaning up this article but I realize that will result in wholesale changes. For instance, all the statements that give the Benders' former names are unproven if not completely in error. The alternate names are also inaccurate. Since there were no witnesses to any actual murder, the statements about method and who planned or was responsible are strictly speculation. I would like to clarify that at the beginning of the article, so as to clarify to readers that much information is speculation. My qualifications for working on this article are based on the amount of research that I have done for a book that I am writing about Mrs. Frances McCann, the so-called clairvoyant who accused two Michigan women of being the Bender women. These women are still listed in the article as being the real Mrs. Bender and Kate, but they were actually proven not to be. While I don't consider myself to be the highest expert on the Benders and there crimes, I have done enough research to know that no documentation exists to back up any claims or stories that emerged after their disappearance. So I am in complete agreement with W.E. Connelly's statement. Maggiedr (talk) 17:53, 23 March 2012 (UTC)maggiedr

I added a clean-up tag, this article is totally unencyclopedic. It reads as a story, has no (good) references, etc. etc. Jalwikip (talk) 15:15, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
The problem we have is that most of the information comes from contemporary newspapers and historical societies so we have to assume they are reliable sources for what was believed at the time. The article notes the problem with identification. It could possibly be made clearer that much of what the newspapers wrote was speculation but then that is WP:OR as we run into the problem that they reported the stories as fact. The article does not specifically claim that the two women were the Benders, at worst it is ambiguous but it is what the newspapers reported. Wayne (talk) 16:02, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
At one time, the article listed the names of the Michigan women as the "real" names of the Benders. I deleted that, along with any other definitive statements in the article. As for the newspapers at the time of the 1889 hearing, most of them reported that the women were arrested as the "alleged" Benders, with marked differences of opinion as to whether or not the allegations would come to bear, which I think the article accurately reflects now. Maggiedr (talk)

Alot of the secondary sources listed in the article provide similar information, but there is no root sources for things like "Five families of spiritualists". It's repeated in a lot of different locations but what is the original source of it? I have attempted to locate anyand all original sources and almost all of the leads provided in this article ultimately end up coming from some sensational and potentially inaccurate newpaper account. Can anyone point out ANY original sources? JustinBrown80 (talk) 03:13, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

I agree that the sources are not reliable. I hope to correct this eventually with what few reliable sources I have seen, such as the Kansas State Historical Society's history, although even their version contains some improbabilities. Very little was known about the Benders and they had a long head start before anyone discovered they were missing or had committed any crimes. The stories about them were told after they were gone and known to be murderers, including tales about Kate Bender and mother dancing naked in the graveyard and so on. No one had paid any attention to them until they were gone and it seemed that investigators and posses pursued them but no one spent much time trying to figure out where they came from to begin with, although there are a few assertions in some news articles about their history. There was no law enforcement readily available, no forensic science practiced, and no one police procedures in place. Once the bodies were found, thousands of people came to the scene to gawk at the bodies (which were examined by doctors) and the house and belongings were gone within days, except for the items that Leroy Dick took (3 hammers, a clock and some other items). The Benders were never seen again, at least there was never any proven sighting. There are few sources because so few facts are known about them that can actually be proven. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Maggiedr (talkcontribs) 05:06, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Ok, as we learned from maggiedr the documents of the trial in 1889 are of no value. What is with the lawyer who defended the women and wrote the book? He may have had auccessors. Also it would be of interest of how accurate the pictures of the Benders are. Is there any story of where these pics are from? It's even said there was a tintype of Kate Bender once who gave it to Brockman...that is also a fellow one could look for successors (Brockman was also a murderer later). It's just odd that such a case didn't trigger more investigations by newspapers or historians.

How The West Was Won[edit]

In How The West Was Won, Jimmy Stewarts character is nearly killed by a family suggestive of this story. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:7:1B00:5C6:58B4:320F:A500:631C (talk) 08:52, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

Movie ready ?[edit]

Bloody Benders, Crews finishing film on murderous innkeepers Family accused of killing a dozen travelers in 1870s Posted: August 12, 2013! --StromBer (talk) 12:59, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

I'm not sure how many movies have recently been made about the Benders. Here are two links: #1, #2. 06:55, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Collections of the Kansas State Historical Society. Kansas State Printing Plant. 1928.