Historical Society’s Fall Author Series

The Historical Society for the Western District of Missouri has announced its fall 2011 luncheon author series.   Each author will speak at 12 noon  on the following Fridays in  Conference/Training Rooms A & B on the second floor of the federal courthouse located at 400 E. 9th Street in Kansas City.  A voluntary $5 donation will help defray the cost of the luncheon.  The programs will end by 1:15 p.m. and copies of all books will be available for purchase. 

Deaths on Pleasant StreetFriday, Oct. 28, 2011           Giles Fowler, “Deaths on Pleasant Street”

Prior to the Greenlease kidnapping in 1953, the most chronicled and memorable criminal trials in Kansas City’s illustrious and notorious history involved the triple homicide of members of the prominent Swope family of Independence, Mo. The cases attracted the two great trial lawyers of the day:  Frank Walsh and James A. Reed.  The case also featured the introduction of some groundbreaking forensic evidence.  The drama of the events that unfolded at the Swope Mansion and then in the courts are compellingly retold by Giles Fowler.  Giles is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Journalism and worked as a reporter, critic, feature writer and editor of the Kansas City Star for 23 years.

Friday, Nov. 18, 2011       William Ouseley, “Mobsters in Our Midst”

Mobsters in Our Midst Former FBI agent William Ouseley has written the definitive story of the fall of the longest reigning underworld boss, Nick Civella.  The book focuses on Civella’s rise, his 1970 indictment for gambling offenses related to the Chiefs appearance in Super Bowl IV and the Spero brothers’ war with him that led to bombings and murders of individuals associated with the River Market area in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.  Ouseley’s account contains some controversial views of the role of certain District Court judges during the period.

Ouseley spent 25 years in the FBI, 20 of them working out of the Kansas City office, where he was the chief investigator of organized crime figures in the area.

Justice on the Prairie: 150 Years of the Federal District Court in Kansas
Friday, Dec. 2, 2011          Mike Hoeflich, “Justice on the Prairie:
150 Years of the Federal District Court of Kansas”

To commemorate the sesquicentennial of the federal District Court of Kansas, Mike Hoeflich was commissioned to write its history.  He will speak on the subject of “Writing Court History.”

Hoeflich writes on legal history, ethics, and comparative law and is a law professor at the University of Kansas.

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