When Father and Son Conspire: Minnesota Farm Murderby Joseph A. Amato
When Father and Son Conspire examines in depth the September 29, 1983, murders of two southwestern Minnesota bankers by 46-year-old James Jenkins and his 18-year-old son, Steven, on a farm mortgaged to the bankers and abandoned by Jenkins. The crime led to a nationwide search, the apparent suicide of James, the surrender of Steven, and a case for Steven's defense based on the bizarre relationship between father and son.
Was their crime really the desperate act of desperate men caught in the farm crisis, as the media espoused? Or was it the eruption of both men's growing mental illness fed by mutual delusions of reality, rootlessness, divorce, loneliness, and obsessive behavior?
When Father and Son Conspire examines the men, their myths, the murders they committed, and the motivation of it allconsidering facts not taken into account at the trial and concluding that the farm crisis was a convincing excuse but not the real reason for this ruthless crime.
Author Bio: Joseph A. Amato, Dean of Southwest State University's Center for Rural and Regional Studies, has authored many books on rural life and the contemporary countryside. They include Countryside, Mirror of Ourselves; When Father and Son Conspire: A Minnesota Farm Murder; The Great Jerusalem Artichoke Circus: The Buying and Selling of the Rural American Dream; Servants of the Land: God, Family, and Farm, the Trinity of Belgian Economic Folkways in Southern Minnesota; The Decline of Rural Minnesota; To Call it Home: The New Immigrants of Southwestern Minnesota; and Community of Strangers: Change, Turnover, Turbulence and the Transformation of a Midwestern Country Town. In addition to books on a range of diverse topics including golf, death, and bypass surgery, he has written extensively on European intellectual history and culture.
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