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The Murder of Oscar Chitwood in Hot Springs, Arkansas: An Interview with co-author Christopher Thrasher Pt 2

The Murder of Oscar Chitwood in Hot Springs, Arkansas: An Interview with co-author Christopher Thrasher Pt 2

On December 26, 1910, Oscar Chitwood lay lifeless on the courthouse lawn in Hot Springs, his wrists shackled together and his body torn by bullets. The deputies on the scene claimed that masked men had lynched their prisoner and that the lawmen were innocent bystanders to the carnage. Newspapers everywhere proclaimed this killing another example of vigilantism run rampant. Within days, however, the official story fell apart, and these deputies were charged with cold blooded murder. Authors Guy Lancaster and Christopher Thrasher tell the little-known story of accused outlaw Oscar Chitwood, the authorities he dared defy and the mysterious resort town of Hot Springs, a place where the Wild West met the epitome of civilization and where the boundaries between lawman and outlaw were never all that clear.

Christopher Thrasher earned his doctorate in American history from Texas Tech University. In 2015, Thrasher published his first book, Fight Sports and American Masculinity: Salvation in Violence from 1607 to the Present. He published his second book, Suffering in the Army of Tennessee: A Social History of the Confederate Army of the Heartland from the Battles for Atlanta to the Retreat from Nashville, in 2021. Guy Lancaster holds a PhD in heritage studies from Arkansas State University and currently serves as the editor of the online Encyclopedia of Arkansas, a project of the Central Arkansas Library System. He has authored, coauthored or edited several books on the history of violence in Arkansas, including American Atrocity: The Types of Violence in Lynching (2021).

Purchase the book HERE

Transcript

[00:00:00.990] - Ben

Christopher, welcome back to crime capsule.

[00:00:05.590] - Christopher

Pleasure to be with you again.

[00:00:06.870] - Ben

Where we left off, oscar chitwood was lying face down in the snow, having just been murdered by what we believe is a sheriff's deputy who is assigned to transport him safely from one jail to the next. And yet immediately the narrative goes out that he has been lynched. And you and guide lancaster write that oscar chitwood murder was premised from the very beginning on a lie. Where did this lie come from?

[00:00:53.360] - Christopher

The lie comes from the tragic acceptance by many people of lynching as an acceptable way of dealing with problems in 19th and early 20th century arkansas and other places as well. There had been lynchings in arkansas. There were lynchings after this that really were lynchings. And what happened was what lancaster and I argue, and what I think the evidence supports, is that these two deputies saw this as a cover. They saw this as a way of they want to murder ostrich. It would for various reasons we can get into. And they say, well, we're going to have to explain the dead body somehow. We're going to have to explain who killed him if we don't want to accept responsibility. And so they say, well, we'll say it was a lynching, which was certainly something that did happen and could have happened. I think lancaster has written that chitwood was not lynched, but he was the kind of man who was lynched in many cases.

[00:01:56.430] - Ben

That's interesting.

[00:01:59.140] - Christopher

Yeah, like I said, glencast was really the expert when it comes to vigilante violence and all that, and I think he's absolutely correct about that. He's the kind of guy that got lynched in many cases, the kind of white man that would get lynched in many cases. And so I think that the deputies thought they could use this as a cover story and that it would be accepted, and it was not accepted by.

[00:02:24.660] - Ben

Many members of the so it's about 02:00 a.m.. The night after christmas day, and tell us who was there in that little courtyard by the police station and more importantly, who wasn't there?

[00:02:39.860] - Christopher

Yes. So the person that wasn't there was sid holmet, who had been president the shootout. He had been the deputy. After his brother passed away, he became the sheriff. He was away visiting family. So he was nowhere near garland county, arkansas, at the time. So the most obvious person with a motive to kill chitwood was not present. He was not in the county. He was not at the state at the time. The two men who were present, there were two sheriff's deputies, ben murray and john rutherford. Interestingly, they had also been involved in a rescue chip wood to begin with, and they had even attempted to claim their reward for capturing chitwood. And that was denied, which gives rise to potentially motives for why they may have wanted to murder chitwood. But they were present. They were also prisoners in the Garland County Courthouse jail and they had been holding preliminary hearings and things in Garland County. But Chitwood's attorney had just gotten approval to hold the trial, the murder trial, not in Garland County, but to hold it near Bob Lee. Sailing county is eventually where they decided they were going to do it.

[00:03:58.560] - Christopher

So they were going to move Chipwood from Garland County. They were going to put him on a railroad car and send him off to his next destination. And as they're transporting him, that's where he dies, on the courthouse.

[00:04:14.500] - Ben

Now, can you describe I know it's a little tricky without a photograph in front of us, but can you describe kind of what the scene or what the layout of the area looks like? Because the optics of this, what can be seen and what can't be seen are actually very important to the proceedings that follow his death.

[00:04:35.290] - Christopher

Yeah. And once again, as is so often the case with these kind of stories, we have kind of conflicting testimony and conflicting sources. But essentially we have the Garland County Courthouse, which is a very traditional kind of looking courthouse in many ways. It's still there, by the way. It's not used as the courthouse. It's used as various offices and such. So if a listener ever wants to go and actually see the scene, you can actually go and walk the ground in the building. It's very similar to how we looked at the time. And so you have the jail and of course the sheriff's offices and all that in the building. And then as you walk outside entrance, going out towards the street, there had been an enclosure built because they had a legal execution just a short time before this. There was a young African American man named Harry Pote who had been executed legally, although some unquestionably, as you might imagine. So there's some kind of obscuring kind of facility still there that had been built to kind of allow them to conduct that execution. And that's where Chip was killed. But there are windows from the courthouse that would phase out on that.

[00:05:51.630] - Christopher

And there's some testimony from prisoners that claim that they were able to look out windows of the courthouse and see what happened. And there also are neighborhoods that kind of surround the area. It's kind of in the middle of town, as you might expect, in one of these small southern towns. So there are people that live just across the street from where all this is happening.

[00:06:14.910] - Ben

Yeah, there's a sort of interesting tension between the visual evidence of what can and can't be seen that night and the oral evidence, the sonic evidence of what is heard. And so you get sort of the prisoners claiming they heard, begging for his life, which is really something. And then you also have this sort of question of the sonic evidence of gunshots. And then what really took me was this sort of sense of if they're claiming there was a lynch mob, you and Guy Lancaster come in and you'll look at this very carefully and you say, well, where is the evidence for the lynch mob? Because it would not have been possible for a mob to disappear silently or, you know, there's just no where is there the tracks? Where is the noise they would have made, et cetera. None of that is recorded.

[00:07:11.810] - Christopher

Yeah, well, we even have witnesses, people living in town who said, okay, well, where did the lynch mob go? Because lynch mobs are going to make a lot of noise, particularly they're riding on horseback, on stone roads, on stone streets, and they're saying, there's no way a lynch ball passed by my house. I would have noticed.

[00:07:29.050] - Ben

Right.

[00:07:29.910] - Christopher

It would have happened. And they're adamant, yes, it's impossible. It couldn't have happened.

[00:07:35.260] - Ben

So the only account that is circulated at first is Rutherford's and Murray's account. Okay. How did this news of the lynching that wasn't a lynching spread so fast?

[00:07:55.160] - Christopher

Well, it goes back to this idea that we're living kind of in this period of a transportation and a communication revolution. So Hot Springs, because it's a tourist town, even though it's very isolated in some ways, it does have telegraph lines that go in and out of the city. It has excellent communication networks with newspapers all around the country. So they send this story out. People are very interested in what's happening in hot Springs because it's the tourist town, which is a very important city that a lot of people have been to, a lot of people are familiar with it. And so, yeah, it transmits pretty much immediately all around the country. It shows up in newspapers. I think we have a newspaper from Wyoming that shows up, like, a day later that's reporting on this.

[00:08:45.240] - Ben

I was not surprised, of course, to see the news reaching that newspaper you have in Natches. Right. Matches is not very far away at all. And then sort of you do get regional wires, which are very active during this time, but I was really surprised to see that it had traveled across the country. And yet you make this point, Christopher, that, as is so often the case, they report the initial headline, which is murderer of sheriff's deputy lynched in Hot Springs, Arkansas, sort of some variation on that particular headline. And then 90% of the newspapers that covered that initial story never pick it up again, even after the doubt begins to sort of circulate or shadows are cast on the actual version of events that Rutherford put forward. And so you sort of have this lie travel throughout the country. I hesitate to use the word fake news, but what we had was false news. Maybe we can thread that needle there. We had this incorrect account go out to the entire country, right. And then the aftermath, the corrected version of the news never follows. What do we do with that?

[00:10:14.060] - Christopher

It's tough. And it's tough to be too hard, I think, on some of these newspapers around the country, because they are getting a report from a government official, from government officials that are saying this thing has happened. And they're saying, okay, we've been told this has happened. And at first, I think it's a very straightforward story and a story in some ghoulish way that is discomforting, the idea that we've had a bad person and the people of the community have taken the law into their own hands. And, yes, maybe we didn't dot the eye and cross the t, but Oscar Chipwood was an outlaw. He was a murderer, and he's dead, and good riddance to bad garbage. I think it's kind of the attitude when it turns out that it's not clear that's what happened and we get these really messy, conflicting accounts. There's nothing in any of that to feel good about. There's no sense of justice in any of it. And it gets really tough to kind of wrap your head around and to thread the needle, to borrow the phrase you just used. And so I think that's part of why the subsequent story doesn't go out as well is because it's not comforting.

[00:11:27.880] - Christopher

It's not simple. It doesn't make anybody feel good, and it's not clear at that point what's really going on. And so it's easier just to move on.

[00:11:36.660] - Ben

Yeah, it doesn't fit what, of course, we have come to know and love as the Texas defense near the Ernest Tubs. He had it coming, right? That's what we want to hear. But sometimes we don't have that pleasure of hearing it because it's not the case. Let's go back to the first few hours after he dies and after he's murdered. Excuse me. Chitwood and let's take a look at the next couple of days because you do have these conflicting accounts, right. And what really surprised me, Christopher, and I mean that I was surprised when I read how quickly Rutherford's account came under scrutiny with the sort of the weird details observed as being amiss from his account. There are these things that didn't add up right. And it struck me because so often in stories, particularly from the Jim Crow South, you have law enforcement protecting themselves from acts of injustice, particularly against minority communities and black communities, as we know in this case, you say that the injustice happened. It transcended racial lines, but typically what you see are the cops protecting the cops. It's so common in this era, still common today, but particularly common in Jim Crow.

[00:13:02.910] - Ben

And Rutherford is the exception to the rule. Why is that?

[00:13:11.290] - Christopher

Because Hot Springs is a complicated place, is the short answer to that. And Hot Springs certainly has this well deserved, at least in the 19th and early 20th century, a well deserved reputation as being placed. It's very corrupt. But it's also a place where you have reformers and it's also a place where you have people that very much want the letter of the law to be followed. And so you have this constant wave in hot springs of corruption and violating the law and being in league with the criminals and with the gangsters, but then you also have this constant pushback of the reformers that want to make sure that the law is followed. And so I think that's what's going on there. Hopped his election to sheriff had even been contested. People had suggested that he did not rightfully earn that place. And the sheriffs in Garland County, there's a whole string of them. And we get into a little bit of luck about the corruption and about the pushback on some of that. So, yeah, I think that's what it is. I think you have a faction of kind of reformers that want things done right, and then you have a faction that's a little more fast and loose and maybe a little more corrupt and is a little more eager to take law into their own hands.

[00:14:34.270] - Christopher

And that's kind of the conflict that kind of plays out. And I think that's why Rutherford and Murray got themselves in trouble, at least for a little bit.

[00:14:43.200] - Ben

So it's three days later. This is lightning speed if you think about it. In the grand scheme of things. Three days later, the coroner orders Rutherford arrested, rutherford, Murray, and they go to an inquest. I had one quick question for you before we start talking about the trial. Why was it the coroner who had the authority to have them arrested and not another public official or presiding judge who we will get to Harry Evans. But why in this case did the coroner have the authority to have them arrested?

[00:15:18.710] - Christopher

I don't have a perfect answer. That's a good question. And I think all of the things you get into I don't know that he had the authority. I know that he did it. And I think sometimes what happens in these situations where law and order are kind of breaking down and there's kind of conflict within governmental apparatuses is you have people stepping up and saying, this has to happen and maybe they don't exactly have the authority, but they kind of claim the authority and people go along. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure that he did have the authority. I'm not sure that that would have held up under close scrutiny by lawyers. He just did it and went and.

[00:16:06.660] - Ben

Different states and different counties have different rules regarding the difference between coroners and medical examiners, et cetera. And I understand that there are sometimes some blurry lines there. That detail just sort of stood out to me a little bit.

[00:16:22.310] - Christopher

Anyway, they go and I think there's a question there too. I'm sorry, I was going to say too. I think it's a question too there about physical evidence because we have conflicting eyewitness testimony. And so that's where we kind of get into that forensic medicine. And that may have been part of the claim, was that in his capacity as someone that understands forensics, that he could add some kind of scientific certainty to these conflicting, which is to say.

[00:16:47.640] - Ben

The neck was not snapped. There was no bruising around the collarbone. There are no signs of a lynching that have taken place here. And, in fact, these suspicious looking entry wounds and exit wounds of a small caliber bullet which may match, you know, that which a sheriff's deputy happens to carry with him maybe require a little investigation. I don't know.

[00:17:11.360] - Christopher

Yeah.

[00:17:12.710] - Ben

Got you. Tell me about because this does very quickly progress to proper a formal inquest against Rutherford and Murray, and they are put on trial. I was curious, in amidst this sort of corruption soup of turnip century hot springs, who was Harry Evans? Who was Henry Evans? Excuse me? The judge who ends up having to preside over this particular case?

[00:17:40.910] - Christopher

That's a great question in terms of who he is and how he fits into all this. I'll confess I don't know that I could say with definitive evidence. Kind of where he fits in. I think we've got some folks in the story that are clearly kind of on the side of the reformers. We have some folks that are pretty clearly corrupt or engaging in some questionable things, and I think we have other folks I just don't know. It's a good question. I don't know exactly how I would categorize.

[00:18:13.780] - Ben

Well, sometimes as we're doing this research, we don't always get the full picture or the portrait of a person who enters in. And I found out, particularly with law enforcement, sometimes you get someone plays a role for a brief time, and then they disappear from the kind of the records or the story or what have you. But it struck me because Henry Evans, Judge Evans in your entire account, he does seem to be an actual nononsense law and order kind of judge who does not view law enforcement with this kind of instinctive sympathy right. That you might see in other places or in other times. He's the one who keeps this train moving towards justice. Now, it is a jury trial, which is not completely up to Evans to decide Rutherford and Murray's guilt, sure. But he seems, at least in this account, to be about as impartial as one could possibly hope for. What I want to ask you, though, is what is the strategy of the prosecution in the defense here? Because you've got a law enforcement officer, two law enforcement officers on trial, you know, for murder, and Rutherford has to have his defense, and yet the prosecution, the state, has to have their conflicting version of events and their approach.

[00:19:34.540] - Ben

So how does that shake out once we actually reach the courtroom?

[00:19:40.760] - Christopher

Yeah, that's a great question. I think Rutherford and his defense attorneys are pretty adamant that, no, there was a lynch mob. I think Rutherford tries to kind of stand on his status as a member of law enforcement. He tries to be very adamant that he had no personal animosity towards Chitwood, that he's a professional law man. He is above such silly things. He had no particular reason to want to murder him. He has no real motive to do this. He certainly has no motive that would be so great, that would put him into making the kind of decision that would put him in legal jeopardy. And he's just very adamant that he is correct that he was there and that Murray was there and other people weren't, and that the other witnesses are untrustworthy in one way or another. Either they're a townsperson that was living a block away that said, oh, there's no way a lynch mall passed by me. Well, how sure can you really be of what's going on outside your house at 02:00 a.m. When you're sound asleep? It's all well and good to say, you know, but how can you really know?

[00:20:54.340] - Christopher

And then we have the testimony of prisoners. And I think the defense does a really good job of questioning that testimony by pointing out prisoners have every reason to say something ugly about members of law enforcement they're holding accountable for their crimes. You can't trust these people. They're in jail for a reason and they have every reason to be unhappy with their guards. So I think I think that's essentially the argument is that their testimony is more trustworthy than anybody else's and that.

[00:21:28.270] - Ben

They have the prosecution come back against these particular claims.

[00:21:36.190] - Christopher

Well, the prosecution essentially argues that the deputies did have motive to want a murder chipwood. They point out that Hoft was a very popular sheriff. They'd been their employer, that he was a fellow lawman, that it's perfectly reasonable that a sheriff's deputy would dislike someone who they think has murdered a member of law enforcement in their town, particularly one that they had a personal relationship with and own some kind of personal loyalty to. They point out that that absolutely is a motive for murder. You also get in this kind of complicated, messy issue where these two deputies had tried to claim the reward for capturing Chitwood and that was kind of shot down. And they were even kind of shamed for trying to collect a reward for basically doing their jobs as sheriff's deputies. So that as an additional level, that they may have been trying to kind of recover their image because they were seen by some people in town when they tried to claim that reward is kind of being greedy or nefarious or something like that. This may have been an attempt to kind of COVID their good name or to silence somebody who may have had other things to say about them that would have been a problem for them.

[00:22:54.150] - Christopher

And they claim that while it certainly is true that people are usually in jail for a reason, that there's pretty strong testimony that they heard and saw all the murder takes place, and that while one individual member of the community thinking they heard something or thinking they saw something, maybe something. But the fact that you have unanimously consistent testimony from everyone living in the neighborhood saying, no, this could not have happened the way the deputies have said. And they certainly have no reason to be unhappy with the deputies or want them in trouble. That the totality of the evidence suggests, along with maybe some forensic details and stuff. Unfortunately, the coroner's inquest is missing. I was able to find some really good records, but I wasn't able to locate that. I don't think it exists anymore. Maybe there's some nefarious reason for that, or maybe it's just one of those things that just didn't get preserved. It was done at this point, but.

[00:23:53.770] - Ben

Essentially that's yeah, it would not be the first sort of mysterious disappearance that takes place in your book. The autopsy report from the day of the shootout also mysteriously disappeared or was never produced. And it's funny how in sort of small town, sort of southern law enforcement officers records sometimes mysteriously just go missing. It's funny how often that happens.

[00:24:24.110] - Christopher

It does. And obviously, that certainly is possible. It's possible there was something inconvenient, and it was thrown down the memory hole to be forever gone. However, one of the old tropes, if you do research on old old archives or old courthouses, particularly in the south, is someone who say, oh, we had a fire. Oh, we had a fire. Well, there was actually a really well documented fire in 1913 in Hot Springs, and some of the records I looked at from this 1910 era had six marks on them. So clearly some of the oh, they did. Yeah, absolutely. Some of them absolutely have, like, synche marks around the edges, a couple of boxes. Clearly, it had fire damage. Whether that was done in 1913 or 100 years later, who knows? So, yeah, it may be that there was something nefarious that was intentionally destroyed. It could also be that in this rare circumstance, we really can blame a.

[00:25:19.960] - Ben

Fire that is yes, okay, you win. My skepticism is my skeptic cat has just come off that may well ever explained it. All right.

[00:25:38.440] - Christopher

Here'S the thing on that too. I'm really not taking aside. I honestly don't know. I mean, if I had to guess, I'd flip a coin. So, yeah, your cynicism is well founded, but I don't know.

[00:25:53.850] - Ben

You're right that the verdict really was a surprise to everyone, wasn't it?

[00:26:02.140] - Christopher

Yeah, I think it was. The fact that he was found that Rutherford was found not guilty, I think really shocked a lot of people, because the evidence did seem pretty overwhelming.

[00:26:14.230] - Ben

No other first of all, what was his reaction or what was the reaction when that verdict was announced. I mean, did Rutherford sort of sort of claim vindication and go right back to murdering unarmed prisoners? Or did he take a little time out of the public eye in order to let the whole thing calm down?

[00:26:41.660] - Christopher

I think he took it as vindication. I think that whole kind of faction took it as vindication. I think their reformers rightly. Saw it as a repudiation of repudiation of their efforts. Yes. Both of them, both Rutherford and Murray, both kind of remain kind of shadowy characters. I don't know that either one of them ever murdered a prisoner. There was one, and I apologize, I can't remember which one. It was off the top of my head that ended up doing something like 13 years in federal prison for trying to blow up a judge with the Nike.

[00:27:14.370] - Ben

Oh, good Lord. Well, yeah, don't do that as a rule. Just don't do that. What struck me in your account of the aftermath there was that there were a number of other indictments that were handed down as a kind of consequence or in parallel with this particular trial. And most notably, Christopher, you write that Sidhopped himself was handed an indictment. And why was that?

[00:27:41.060] - Christopher

Yeah, so he got himself in trouble in a couple of ways. So these two deputies, of course, had worked for him. They worked together as deputies, and then Sid had been the sheriff with these two men working for him. And even though Sid was away, he was out of state at the time of Chip Woods murder, he was still sheriff. And when he came back and Murray and Rutherford were put on trial, there was a court order to hold them in the jail because they were, I think, quite rightly seen as very dangerous characters that needed to be kept under lock and key. And Sid and his duties as sheriff told them, no, no, it's okay. I know what the judge said, but you can live at home. Just make sure you show for all your court dates. And so he was actually indicted for charged with facilitating escape of a prisoner, which is kind of crazy. And his defense, when it goes to trial is as an elected sheriff, or he was elected, but sheriff usually is an elected position as sheriff for the county. He is the chief law enforcement officer for the county.

[00:28:57.570] - Christopher

He has a right to decide how prisoners will be housed and things like that. And he points out correctly, they showed up for all their court dates. So he says, I correctly deduced, they could live at home and they would still show up for all their court dates, and they would still make sure they wouldn't disappear into the night or anything. But he did violate the judges orders, and he was this actually broke the.

[00:29:25.560] - Ben

Grip of the Hopped family on the justice system locally. That was kind of the end of their reign. So to speak, which is really interesting. You don't often see that as much.

[00:29:38.810] - Christopher

Yeah. And there was also corruption issues that both Hop brothers had gotten into in terms of misallocation of funds. There's also the Williams family and the Williams and the Hops had kind of gone back and forth on who was running that office. There was also another brother we mentioned the book A Rebalp, which is a great name, who had been removed for corruption but was still allowed to be a deputy. I don't understand exactly how that was allowed, but that's how it works sometimes. So, yeah, there's also a question kind of misallocating funds and when he was convicted, I think he was sentenced to something like one day in jail. And the idea was really just to remove him from the sheriff's office.

[00:30:23.360] - Ben

I have just a couple more questions for you.

[00:30:28.010] - Christopher

Sure.

[00:30:28.650] - Ben

The first one is, I mean, you write that sort of rutherford is never convicted. He walks, basically and chill with murderer. He lives out the rest of his days and so forth. Near the end of your book, Christopher, you have an extended meditation on violence. And this is a topic, as we discussed last week, that you've written about a great deal before. And it's a topic that we both know is unfortunately endemic to the south, and in particular the Jim Crow South. And this book struck me as one that could have very easily come in our series on the Dixie Mafia that we did last year, that the sort of the actions of the Hopped family were of Kif and Ken with so many other corrupt sheriff's offices of the day. The question that I have for you is in this series on holiday horror. Horror is not always evil clowns or axe murderers or sort of bloodstained floorboards and haunted house, right? Sometimes it is the wrongful murder of a man who has denied his due process, even if his actions had in fact led him to be handcuffed and bound. The horror is his wrongful murder at being being denied his constitutional rights.

[00:31:56.210] - Ben

The question I have for you is what is the legacy of this case in Hot Springs or in Arkansas generally today?

[00:32:08.660] - Christopher

That's a great question. So I think going back to something we were talking about a minute ago, about the idea that the news of the supposed lynching spread and was never really retracted. It's interesting that from time to time, if you read books or if you look at monuments or things like this that have lists of lynching victims, oscar chip wood is still often listed as a lynching victim. And it's because the truth never quite came out. As horrible as the story of a lynching is, I think the story of what really happened is in some ways worse. And the idea that it's not the vigilantes, it's not the scary people that you cross the street to avoid because it's this. Unruly mob that looks dangerous, but instead it's this person in an official capacity who has a government job, that has a badge, that has all the authority of the county and the state behind them. I think that's a much scarier story. So I think to the extent that it shows up anywhere, he kind of is listed as another lynching victim, which is, of course, incorrect, or at least Lancaster argue is incorrect.

[00:33:23.960] - Christopher

In terms of how it's remembered in Hot Springs, I really don't think it is. I think it's one of those stories that really has never really been told any significant degree before Lancaster and I came along and brought it to light. There are other stories in Hot Springs, certainly about crime and violence that are told, and this one has not really been told, which is part of why we want to tell it. And I think a lot of why it's not told is because it's just such a messy, conflicted story.

[00:34:00.190] - Ben

Well, that certainly is a reminder that horror takes many forms, isn't it?

[00:34:06.940] - Christopher

Absolutely.

[00:34:07.510] - Ben

The last question I have for you is where can listeners find out more about your work and guideline Caster's work if they want to read more about this case or some of the other books that you've written?

[00:34:23.210] - Christopher

Sure. So great resources on this story and on things surrounding that story. I would strongly encourage people to check out the Encyclopedia of Arkansas. It's available for free online. There's lots of wonderful, wonderful articles. You can easily go down a rabbit hole, and I often do, of going down and clicking from one thing to the next and learning more about the history of Arkansas and the history, particularly of Hot Springs. I've written some of those articles. Lancaster has written quite a few. If anyone is interested, not just in learning more, but actually wants to contribute, maybe they want to help out as we all try to preserve some of this fascinating history. The Encyclopedia is always looking for contributing authors, so please click on that and consider contributing your time and your expertise to help us with that. Another thing I'll recommend would be the Garland County Historical Society. Liz Robbins, who is the head of that society, is absolutely phenomenal. We could not have written this without her. And if you want to know about the history of Hot Springs, if you want, about the history of this fascinating place, you need to subscribe to their journal, which Lancaster and I both publish in from time to time, and lots of other historians that are really fantastic.

[00:35:40.570] - Christopher

But you can get copies of their journal and they have books that they publish and various other things. Or if you just want to go and look at those primary sources, of course you can go visit in person if you're able, but you can visit their website and get their materials. In terms of my books, I published my first one with McFarland Press. My Civil War book that I published last year was with University of Tennessee Press, and I've got another one coming out with the University of Tennessee Press that will come out in 2023. And then Lancaster, of course, you can pull him up on Amazon and see his long list of highly esteemed works. I'm going to get the list, at least some of the good ones, I'm sure, but he's quite a prolific author. I'm glad that I've got to work with him. Encyclopedia of Arkansas and the Garland County Historical Society would be the two things that I would check out. If you want to learn more, if you want to maybe even contribute a.

[00:36:32.490] - Ben

Little bit, there are some lovely invitations, and I know that our listeners will be delighted to take a look and see what's out there. So thank you so much, and thank you for joining us these past two weeks. We have appreciated it so much, and it's a hell of a story. I feel, pardon my French, but very grateful for your takeaway back in time and all the best for your next book.

[00:36:55.390] - Christopher

I appreciate that. And thank you so much for inviting me to come and speak with you. It's been a wonderful conversation


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