JOPLIN — A new book titled "Murder & Mayhem in Missouri," by a local author is now available.
Larry Wood, who has written history books in the past concentrating on Southwest Missouri, has now expanded his new book to include the entire state.
"This covers the whole state of Missouri things like Jesse James' assassination in St. Joseph, Mo., and more," said Wood.
The book also contains stories from right here in Newton and McDonald counties.
"One from right around here is the Chenoweth-Mann case from McDonald County: the trials and everything took place in Neosho," he said. "In 1883, Dr. Albert Chenoweth of Pineville was murdered and Garland Mann, who was a former saloon keeper and farmer that lived west of Pineville on the river, was immediately suspected because he supposedly made threats against Chenoweth. Chenoweth had actually sold (Mann) the building where Mann later opened his saloon.
"He got a change of venue to Newton County, the first trial ended in a hung jury, evenly split 6-6," said Wood. "[During the] second trial he was convicted: however, the Missouri Supreme Court overturned it and remanded it to Newton County. The third trial, it was another hung jury. [During] the fourth trial, which began in August 1885 and was in session, people broke into the jail in Neosho where he was at and killed him when he resisted.
They shot him three or four times. They were trying to pull him from his jail cell and try to hang him, but I guess he resisted, so they just shot him."
For his book, Wood researched old newspapers – including the former Neosho Times and the former Neosho Miner and Mechanic. He also looked at the Missouri Historical Society in Columbia, Mo.
The book is 128 pages and includes some photographs.
"What I usually try to start at a high point action and then flashback and fill in the details of what led up to that," Wood said.
Other chapters deal with Bonnie and Clyde, the Barkers and Charles Arthur "Pretty Boy" Floyd. Another looks into the Slicker War of the 1840s, a vigilante movement that devolved into a lingering feud in which the two sides sometimes meted out whippings, called slickings, on each other. Yet another recounts the Kansas City Massacre of 1933, a shootout between law enforcement officers and criminal gang members who were trying to free Frank Nash, a notorious gang leader being escorted to federal prison.
"[Doing the book] was kind of interesting to me, because all of these were stories that I had not previously written about, that was one of my criteria," he said. "Of course, I expanded to include the whole state of Missouri."
This marks Woods' 12th book. Other local books he has written are "The Two Civil War Battles of Newtonia" and "Wicked Joplin."
Page 2 of 2 - To purchase the book, visit www.historypress.net. The book sells for $16.95.
Wood has another project in the works.
"I was thinking about writing about the [Civil War] Battle of Lexington, Mo.," he said.