The Bloody Benders Family Merciful killers
The Bender Family, also known as the Bloody Benders, was a family of serial killers who lived and operated in Labette County, Kansas, from May 1871 to December 1872. The family consisted of John Bender and his wife, Elvira, their son, John Jr., and daughter, Kate. While Bender mythology holds that John Jr. and Kate were siblings, contemporary newspapers reported that several of the Benders' neighbors had stated that they claimed to be married, possibly a common-law marriage. While there is no definitive number, estimates report that the Benders killed at least a dozen travelers before their crimes were discovered. The fate of the family remains unknown, with theories ranging from a lynching of the family to a successful escape. Much folklore and legend surround the Benders, making it difficult to separate fact from fiction.