Horrifying Details About The Bloody Benders, A Serial Killing Spiritualist Family

In 1870, homesteaders John and Elvira Bender (originally from Holland or Germany) and their adult children Kate and John Jr. arrived by wagon in Labette County, Kansas, and built a cabin that served as their personal living quarters, as well as a store that sold goods to travelers who were passing through the area and an inn that provided lodging to people who were heading out west.

The Benders were spiritualists who believed they could communicate with the dead and Kate Bender claimed to be a skilled psychic and healer, which, along with their store and inn, attracted a number of visitors to their home on the Osage Trail. Unfortunately, few travelers realized the danger posed by the seemingly harmless family of four, and many of the people who set foot inside the cabin were never seen alive again.

Historians believe John, Elvira, Kate, and John Jr. brutally murdered at least 12 victims, earning this family the terrifying nickname of the Bloody Benders.