Kate Bender placed posters like this throughout the county advertising cures for "all sorts of Diseases, Blindness, Fits, Deafness, and all such Diseases. Also Deaf and Dumbness". This circular is dated June 18, 1872.

When a lone traveler approached the house, buxom Kate would station herself at the roadside in front of the inn and as the unsuspecting individual drew nigh she would accost him pleasantly. She would inquire in her friendly manner where he was going. If it was near evening, she would assure him that it would be impossible for him to reach his destination before nightfall and propose that he should remain over night with them. Most travelers graciously accepted the hospitable. Cherryvale’s most infamous and least desirable early-day residents were careful to select only travelers who had no relations in or connection with any southeast Kansas families for their beastly crimes. As most of the travelers were going to a new and far-away country to settle, it was an easy matter to cover their disappearance. Mails and other communications at that time were uncertain and infrequent. The Bender family lived for a time, undisturbed and with apparent placidity, in the ghastly setting they had created, and surrounded by the decaying bodies of their victims. But the butchering clan used extremely bad judgment with the disappearance of a widely-known, Independence physician named Dr. William York.

After the family had disappeared, the above knife was found stored inside a clock at the Bender Inn kitchen and sleeping area.  Topeka State Historical Society Collection