Press Release: February 23, 2010
National Archives at Kansas City
Author Giles Fowler to discuss Deaths on Pleasant Street: the Ghastly Enigma of Colonel Swope and Doctor Hyde
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Kansas City, (MO)…The National Archives at Kansas City will host Giles Fowler at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 9, for a discussion of Deaths on Pleasant Street: the Ghastly Enigma of Colonel Swope and Doctor Hyde. Fowler will be available to sign copies of the book after the discussion. A 6:00 p.m. reception will precede the event.
The 1909 murder case surrounding the wealthy Swope family of Independence, Missouri, gripped newspaper readers throughout the nation. Deaths on Pleasant Street gathers the facts behind the suspicious fates of three Swope family members: the eccentric Colonel, a wealthy benefactor of Kansas City; his affable cousin; and a young nephew and heir. The mystery pits the Swope matriarch against her disfavored son-in-law, Dr. Bennett Clark Hyde. Charged with poisoning the Colonel and suspected of multiple other attempted murders, Dr. Hyde endures national media attention for this crime of the century. The series of trials and appeals that followed explores the question: Was he a diabolical villain bent on inheriting the Swope family money or the unfortunate victim of a family grudge? Fowler utilizes court transcripts, newspaper coverage, and personal memoirs to re-tell the story surrounding the Swope family.
Giles Fowler was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and educated at Westminster College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He has spent his career practicing and teaching journalism – first as a writer, critic and editor for The Kansas City Star, then as a faculty member at Kansas State University and the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication at Iowa State University. Besides his book Deaths on Pleasant Street: the Ghastly Enigma of Colonel Swope and Doctor Hyde, he has published short stories in the Sewanee Review.
Copies of Deaths on Pleasant Street will be available for purchase at The Kansas City Store at the National Archives. For more information or to make a reservation call 816-268-8010 or register by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Archives at Kansas City is one of 13 facilities nationwide where the public has access to Federal archival records. It is home to more than 50,000 cubic feet of historical records dating from the 1820s to the 1990s created or received by nearly 100 Federal agencies. Serving the Central Plains Region, the archives holds records from the states of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The facility is located at 400 West Pershing Road, Kansas City, MO 64108. The National Archives at Kansas City is open Tuesday–Saturday 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. for exhibits viewing and Tuesday–Saturday from 8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. for research.
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