Hezekiah Rasco: Child of Woe -- Man of Sorrow

Hezekiah Rasco: Child of Woe -- Man of Sorrow

by Susan Cronk


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In 1896, an argument over a butter churn resulted in the death of Katrina "Katy" Baumli, a thirty-five-year-old wife and mother of three young children. In 1910, poker losses resulted in the murders of Oda Hubbell, his wife Clara, and their two small children, as well as the burning of the family home. What did these two crimes, fourteen years apart, have in common? They shared a common acquaintance with Hezekiah Rasco, a handsome, intelligent, charismatic man from Nodaway County, Missouri.

Hezekiah "Hez" Rasco committed his first murder in 1896, at the age of fifteen. The sheer brutality of Katy Baumli's death shocked the people of Arkoe, the quiet farming community near where they lived. The community was stunned again a week later when Hez Rasco confessed to the crime. Ultimately, it would take three trials to get at the truth and secure justice for Katy and her family, and to restore the peace of the community.

In late 1897, Hez Rasco began his first prison sentence in "The Walls," the Missouri State Penitentiary at Jefferson City. There he lived the life of a model prisoner and learned a trade. Hez gained his freedom in 1905, but it was short-lived. He returned to The Walls in October of that same year to serve a two-year sentence for grand larceny, after being found in possession of a stolen horse in Buchanan County, Missouri.

Upon release in 1907, Hez Rasco made his way back to Nodaway County to resume his former life as a farmer, helping out on his father Henry's farm near Guilford, Missouri. On November 19, 1910, after a long day's work, Hez cleaned himself up and went to Guilford in search of some entertainment. There he met up with two acquaintances, Oda Hubbell and Charles Wallace. The men went to an empty boxcar parked on an unused side track at the Guilford depot and began to play poker. Eventually Hez and Oda were left to play until dawn. Hez's losses to Oda during the course of the game resulted in an argument the next morning. Oda refused to acquiesce to Hez's demand to continue playing. Instead, Oda went home that Sunday morning to be with his family. Hez went looking for a gun. By seven o'clock that Sunday evening, the Hubbell family was dead. By ten o'clock, their home was ablaze. Within twelve hours, Hez Rasco, age 30, was under arrest for their murders. But, was he guilty of murder and arson or was he a convenient suspect for predisposed minds? Only the evidence and a jury of twelve men could answer that question.

Hezekiah Rasco: Child of Woe - Man of Sorrow recounts the story of Hez's life, as evidenced through available records.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781490365824
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 06/10/2013
Pages: 262
Product dimensions: 6.69(w) x 9.61(h) x 0.55(d)

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