Calling herself 'Professor Kate Bender' she gained some personal notoriety for being a spiritualist and healer. The young attractive blonde's 'audience' was quite a bit more interested in her looks than in her spiritualism and healing. Kate bender was a member of one of the most infamous families of it's time. What makes Kate so very interesting isn't her words or works in spirituality and healing but in her victims and how she helped her family. The Bender family was led by John Bender and his wife, not to mention their son, and daughter Kate in the late 1800's. They ran a kind of Inn that would sell supplies, food, and a room to weary travelers. Located on a main road their home/inn was situated in such a way that you had to pass it if you were going to certain areas and cities. Once in the home Kate would entertain the traveler and keep them occupied. In the mean time the traveler's head would lean against a sheet that was put up to seperate the bender's living quarters from the dining area. Behind this curtain in THE little Room was concealed one of the murderous fiends having near him at hand a hammer. When the unfortunate victim would become amused in some child like conversation with little Kate the fiend behind the curtain would deal him a blow in the back of the head with the hammer that would drop him to the floor. rushing from their hiding place they would deal him another blow to the head. Then little Kate would drag A knife across the traveler's throat. The Benders the stripped, robbed and buried them in the apple orchard behind the house. Well one day Dr. William York of Fort Scott Kansas was passing through and was led to the Bender's place to stay for the night before moving on. He was never seen again. When the Doctor's family traced his tracks that the trail led to the Benders. Well, when the brother of the now late Doctor York came asking questions the Benders denied knowing anything, but emphatically wished to show "hospitality" to the upset brother; who refused. Well, the brother tells the Benders that he'll be back if he can't find his brother and off he went to see if he'd missed anything. The Benders were quite freaked out by this and by the time the brother returned to the Bender's home the door was swinging wide open and there were fresh wagon tracks leading away. The basement pit was found, with the walls coated with blood, and the orchard yielded many victims over and above the doctor. No trace of the Benders were ever found. One theory states that they had family in Germany and they went back there. While still another states that an angry mob lynched them and took matters into their own hands. This theory has some added validity by the death bed confessions of George Downer and a gentleman named Harker. On their death beds they confessed to being a part of an angry mob the hunted the benders down and lynched them all; leaving no one alive, although some accounts claim the daughter kate was saved for last but her innocent appearence and childhood didn't save her from them. The bender home today is partially still there with a historical marker put in place to mark the area. From what I understand only a few bricks are left of the home, the pit where bodies were thrown into, was of course filled in, and no orchard stands. One thing of note is that items from the Bender home were known to survive and are collected to this day.
Maintained by: Michael Clark Originally Created by: Katrina Record added: Oct 03, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 11877777