In 1870, much of the American "Wild West” remained unsettled. Seeking a better life, pioneers traveled west in horse-drawn wagons, but they faced many hardships.
Some were ambushed and killed by robbers or Indians. Towns were few and far between. The treeless windswept Kansas prairie was particularly harsh: extreme summer heat, frigid winters, disease and grasshopper plagues.
Imagine their relief when they came to the Bender Inn. Seated outside was Kate Bender, 23, a slender fair-haired beauty. Flashing her winsome smile, she urged them to stay overnight.
The travelers, most of them male, believed it would be safe to eat a hot meal and stay the night. Instead of a safe haven, many fell victim to America's first serial killers. In all, the Bloody Benders may have killed 21 people. Read more here