Colonel Thomas Swope made his fortune in Kansas City real estate, a pursuit that led to his donation of the 1,350-acre parkland that made his name famous. But his name also retains some of the mystery surrounding his suspicious death in 1909 from a sudden and violent illness, 99 years ago this month.
The Kansas City Public Library hosts Giles Fowler on Sunday, October 19, at 2 p.m. at the Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St., for an examination of the most bizarre murder story of the 20th century in Jackson County – a story of wealth, hatred, alleged poisoning, and fierce controversy over the guilt or innocence of the accused physician Bennett Clark Hyde.
Fowler is a Kansas City native and former critic and editor for The Kansas City Star and retired journalism professor at Iowa State University. For three years he has researched and composed his first book, Deaths in the Family: the Ghastly Enigma of Colonel Swope and Doctor Hyde.
This presentation is part of the Missouri Valley Speakers Series, a program of the Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Central Library. The series is made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Admission is free. Call 816.701.3407 to indicate your interest in attending or RSVP online.