AXMAN, a meditation on a man and a mystery.
This year marked the 104th anniversary of Iowa's worst mass murder, forever known as the 1912 Villisca axe murders. Dr. Edgar Epperly, considered the expert on the still-unsolved crime, will lead a special Halloween presentation at the Des Moines Public Library, 5000 Franklin Avenue, on Tuesday, October 25th, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. and a screening of AXMAN, an award-winning short documentary by Fourth Wall Films.
Sometime during the night of Sunday, June 9, 1912, a person or persons unknown entered a modest house in Villisca, Iowa and bludgeoned to death Josiah B. Moore, his wife Sara, and their children Herman, Katherine, Boyd, and Paul and overnight guests Lena and Ina Stillinger. The crime, known thereafter as the “Villisca axe murders”, is the most notorious mystery in Iowa history. The tragedy spawned nearly ten years of grand jury investigations and three sensational trials all centered around the Montgomery County Court House in Red Oak. The haunting case made and broke political careers and led to the establishment of the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation. The murders also split residents of the small community of Villisca, Iowa over the guilt or innocence of a local suspect, Iowa State Senator Frank Fernando Jones.
In 1955, a college student named Edgar Epperly began researching the details behind Iowa's worst mass homicide, the 1912 Villisca Ax Murders. Now, over 60 years later, the retired college professor is still actively searching for a solution to the crime and working on a book. Exclusive interviews with Epperly and others close to his unique work reveal the secret reason behind his dogged devotion to America's greatest unsolved mystery in AXMAN.
“AXMAN is a meditation on a man and a mystery,” said Villisca: Living with a Mystery and AXMAN director Kelly Rundle.