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Red State ReligionFaith and Politics in America's Heartland$
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Robert Wuthnow

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691150550

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691150550.001.0001

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Murder at the Glenwood

Murder at the Glenwood

(p.10) Murder at the Glenwood
Red State Religion

Robert Wuthnow

Princeton University Press

This essay examines the murder of Laura Beers in Topeka and what it means for Kansas religion and politics. Laura Beers was found dead in a pool of blood by the Topeka police on the night of November 12, 1912, in the Hotel Glenwood. Her husband, Reverend W. L. Beers, an upstanding Methodist preacher, was charged with the crime. The Beers case was a crime of passion arising from a domestic quarrel, but it also illustrated something important about Kansas politics. In addition, it was suggested that Laura Beers had been killed because of her religion. The story came out that Laura Beers had been raised Catholic and did not see eye to eye on matters of faith with her Methodist husband, who reportedly hated the Catholic Church with intense bitterness. Tension between Catholics and Methodists, and with other Protestants, continued long after the Beers trial.

Keywords:   murder, Laura Beers, Kansas, religion, politics, W. L. Beers, crime of passion, Catholics, Methodists, Protestants

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