The murder weapon used in the 1912 Villisca murders made a rare appearance in Villisca during the city's sesquicentennial weekend in July 2008.
Historian Dr. Edgar V. Epperly is shown above holding the axe he owned for many years near an inner lobby display at the Rialto Theater. Epperly joined filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle at the theater for a historical program on the axe murder mystery and a showing of the Rundles' Lost Nation: The Ioway. They also previewed a book about the famous true crime that the three have been working on.
Below is a photo of the axe as wrapped by the State Historical Society of Iowa. Epperly donated the axe to the Villisca Historical Society and the state organization is storing the weapon for the Villisca group.