|Occupation||Inn/general store owners|
|Pathology||Serial killer family|
|Location||Labette County, Kansas, USA|
|Status|| Deceased, never caught|
Vigilante execution (suspected)
The Bloody Benders were a family of serial killers who owned an inn and small general store in Labette County of southeastern Kansas from 1871 to 1873. The family consisted of John Bender, his wife Mrs. Bender (later referred to as Kate, Sr., since no one knew her given name), son John, Jr., and daughter Kate. While Bender mythology holds that John and Kate were brother and sister, contemporary newspapers reported that several of the Benders' neighbors have stated that they claimed to be married, possibly a common law marriage. They were America's first serial killer family.
The Benders abandoned their home after Colonel Ed York came looking for his brother, Dr. William York, a victim of the Benders. The Benders were never caught, while some speculate they were killed by a mob of vigilantes.
They are believed to have killed about a dozen travelers before their crimes were discovered and the family fled, with their fate uncertain. Much folklore and legend surrounds the Benders, making it difficult to separate fact from fiction.