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New Book Examines 1856 Murders On Cincinnati Steamboat

University Press of Kentucky

In March 1856, a dead body washed onto the shore of the Mississippi River. The body belonged to a man who had been a passenger on the luxurious steamboat known as the Ohio Belle, and he was the son of a southern planter. Who had bound and pitched this wealthy man into the river? Why? As reports of the killing spread, one newspaper shuddered, "The details are truly awful and well calculated to cause a thrill of horror."  That description was too much for Kentucky Historical Society advocate Stuart W. Sanders to ignore.  Drawing on eyewitness accounts, his new micro-history, Murder on the Ohio Belle uncovers the mysterious circumstances behind the bloodshed.  It's a story of double murders, secret identities, and hasty getaways -- that reveals the bloody roots of antebellum honor culture, classism, and vigilante justice.

Stuart Sanders is the former executive director of the Perryville Battlefield Preservation Association and the author of several books including:  Perryville Under Fire: The Aftermath of Kentucky's Largest Civil War Battle, The Battle of Mill Springs, Kentucky, and Maney's Confederate Brigade at the Battle of Perryville.

Bitten by the radio bug as a teenager, Alan Lytle got his start start more than 30 years ago volunteering in Clermont County, Ohio for WOBO-FM. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Broadcasting from the University of Cincinnati and worked at a variety of radio stations in the Cincinnati market, then made the move to Lexington in the mid-1990s.
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