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Kansas land where ‘the Bloody Benders’ slayed at least 11 people in the 1870s is up for auction 

Land where America’s first family of serial killers slayed at least 11 people and buried their bodies in the 1870s before going on the run when their crimes were exposed is up for auction.

The Kansas site where the Bender family, dubbed the ‘Bloody Benders’, lured travelers to their deaths will be sold off to the highest bidder by an Indiana-based auction company next month, The Wichita Eagle reported.

It spans 162 acres and is now cropland, the auction firm has said. 

But anyone looking to snap up the site should probably be aware of its murderous past.

Mass grave: This photograph from 1873 shows the graves found behind the Bender farm. The Kansas site where the Bender family, dubbed the ‘Bloody Benders’, lured travelers to their deaths will be sold off to the highest bidder by an Indiana-based auction company next month

The family of four – husband and wife John Sr. and Elvira, and their two adult children John Jr. and Kate – would lure in weary travelers to their property, the ‘Bender Inn’, with the promise of a hot meal and rest before slashing their throats or crushing their skulls with hammers. 

Victims’ bodies were then thrown in the cellar and buried at night in the garden. 

The crimes came to light when people became suspicious after people kept disappearing when they passed the Bloody Benders’ home. 

Before justice could catch up with them, the family fled and were never found.  

John Bender Sr.

Elvira Bender

The ‘Bloody Benders’ are known as America’s first family of serial killers. They slayed at least 11 people and buried their bodies in the 1870s before going on the run when their crimes were exposed. John Bender Sr. and his wife Elvira Bender above 

John Bender Jr.

Kate Bender

The family of four – husband and wife John Sr. and Elvira, and their two adult children John Jr. (left) and Kate (right) – would lure in weary travelers to their property ‘Bender Inn’ with the promise of a hot meal and rest before slashing their throats or crushing their skulls with hammers

The land was dug up in 1873 and 11 bodies were found. 

Some believe there could have been as many as 21 victims.  

The murderous rampage is thought to have started in 1871 when the body of a man with his skull crushed and throat slashed was found close to the Bender property. 

Two more male victims were found dead from the same injuries in February 1872. 

By late 1872, reports were circling that travelers were winding up missing or dead when they traveled through the area, and people began taking different routes to avoid passing through the area.  

The family’s killing spree started to unravel the following year when George Newton Longcor and his 18-month-old daughter Mary Ann set off for Iowa from Kansas and never made the journey.  

House of Horrors: The murderous rampage is thought to have started in 1871 when the body of a man with his skull crushed and throat slashed was found close to the Bender property

House of Horrors: The murderous rampage is thought to have started in 1871 when the body of a man with his skull crushed and throat slashed was found close to the Bender property

The crime scene above: The murderous rampage came to light when suspicions grew after people kept disappearing when they passed the Bloody Benders' home

The crime scene above: The murderous rampage came to light when suspicions grew after people kept disappearing when they passed the Bloody Benders’ home

The land was dug up in 1873 (above) and 11 bodies were found. Some believe there could have been as many as 21 victims

The land was dug up in 1873 (above) and 11 bodies were found. Some believe there could have been as many as 21 victims

Longcor’s neighbor William Henry York set off looking for them in 1873 and he too fell victim to the Benders.  

When York failed to return home, his family sent a search party of 75 men and discovered he had stayed at the Bender Inn. 

With the net closing in, the family disappeared.

The Bender property was searched and a trapdoor revealed an empty room below with clotted blood on the floor.  

11 bodies were then discovered in graves in the garden.

Kate Bender's knife (above): The legend goes that the Bender family would give the guest a seat of honor at the table which was positioned over the trap door leading to the cellar and had its back to a room divider. One of the men of the family would then hit the victim over the head with a hammer and one of the women would then slash their throat

A photograph of Kate Bender

The legend goes that the Bender family would give the guest a seat of honor at the table which was positioned over the trap door leading to the cellar and had its back to a room divider. One of the men of the family would then hit the victim over the head with a hammer and one of the women would then slash their throat

All had been hit on the head with a hammer and had their throats slit, except for Mary Ann who was believed to be strangled or buried alive.  

The legend goes that the Bender family would give the guest a seat of honor at the table which was positioned over the trap door leading to the cellar and had its back to a room divider. One of the men of the family would then hit the victim over the head with a hammer and one of the women would then slash their throat.   

The body would be dropped through the trap door before being buried in the garden.  

Despite several reported sightings of the Bender family over the years following their disappearance and rewards being offered in return for their whereabouts, what happened to the serial killers remains a mystery.   

All bodies recovered had been hit on the head with a hammer and had their throats slit, except for the body of a young girl who was believed to be strangled or buried alive. The Bender hammers are pictured above

All bodies recovered had been hit on the head with a hammer and had their throats slit, except for the body of a young girl who was believed to be strangled or buried alive. The Bender hammers are pictured above

Despite several reported sightings of the Bender family over the years following their disappearance and rewards being offered in return for their whereabouts (a reward poster above), what happened to the serial killers remains a mystery

Despite several reported sightings of the Bender family over the years following their disappearance and rewards being offered in return for their whereabouts (a reward poster above), what happened to the serial killers remains a mystery

Their tale has gone on to inspire a number of television shows and movies over the years.

TV series Supernatural featured a family of serial killers named the Benders and a movie named Bender chronicled the story of the infamous family in 2017. 

A set of three hammers belonging to the Bender family and a knife belonging to Kate are part of an exhibit at the Cherryvale Museum, about eight miles from the site of the murders. 

While some might find the idea of buying up land where the murderers killed and buried their victims creepy, auction manager Brent Wellings said it is a ‘neat opportunity for somebody who’s interested in that type of history.’

‘It would be a really interesting place to have some type of a historical landmark. … It’s a story that’s a big part of the history of Kansas that people know about,’ he said.

Wellings added: ‘Properties like this are not offered to the public very often. It might be an opportunity that only comes up once every 100 years.’

The murder site is among 1,061 acres of mostly cropland on the auction block in southeast Kansas, located on the northwest corner of the highway’s intersection with Chase Road.     

The auction is scheduled for February 11 and is open to the public. 

The 162-acre tract where the family killed at least 11 is among 1,061 acres of mostly cropland on the auction block in southeast Kansas (pictured), located on the northwest corner of the highway's intersection with Chase Road

The 162-acre tract where the family killed at least 11 is among 1,061 acres of mostly cropland on the auction block in southeast Kansas (pictured), located on the northwest corner of the highway’s intersection with Chase Road

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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