Iowa Axe Murders Documentary ‘Villisca: Living with a Mystery’ coming to the Orpheum
In the picturesque rolling hills of Southwest Iowa is a small town of 1,300 called Villisca. The locals refer to their town as the “bacon and egg” center of Southwest Iowa because of an egg-laying facility and numerous livestock farms near town. However, Villisca is best known throughout the country as the site of Iowa's worst mass homicide: the 1912 axe murders.
The IVCCD Orpheum Theater Center will be showing, Villisca: Living with a Mystery, on October 18, at 7 pm. This documentary feature film explores the effect the 1912 Axe Murders have had on the small rural community throughout the years. The nighttime slayings of a family of six and two visiting children has never been solved and the mystery lingers there today.
There will be a post-show discussion with Historian Dr. Edgar Epperly. Epperly began researching the axe murders as a college student. In 1955 he traveled to Villisca for the first time with two friends where they interviewed Dr. Cooper, the first physician to examine the victims and the crime scene. Dr. Epperly’s 50+ years of meticulous research qualifies him as the foremost authority on the 1912 Villisca, Iowa Axe Murders. He is now a newly retired Professor of Education at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.
“This is a one night event at the Orpheum that we know will be an interesting movie and discussion with our special guest Dr. Epperly,” says Pip Gordon, Executive Director of the Orpheum Theater Center. “We are also honored to have the opportunity to support our Iowa film makers of FourthWall Films who are award winning documentarians.”
Tickets are just $7.00 each and are available now at the Orpheum Welcome Center during regular business hours (9 am – 5 pm). You can also call to reserve tickets at 641-844-5919. Additional information can be found on the Orpheum Theater Center website at www.ivotc.com.
The IVCCD Orpheum Theater Center is owned and operated by the Iowa Valley Community College District.
PHOTO CAPTION: Dr. Epperly shown with an axe similar to the one used in the Villisca murders.