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The Hendricks Case: Thirty-five years later

Tue Oct 30 19:00:00 2018

On Tuesday, October 30 at 7:00 p.m., former news director, talk show host, and newspaper columnist Steve Vogel will present an in-depth program exploring one of the salient moments in McLean County history—the brutal murder of a mother and her three young children. Marking the 35th anniversary of the Hendricks murders, Vogel will offer new information about this still contested case during this free, public program. The program will be held in the Museum’s Governor Fifer Courtroom.

As one of Central Illinois’s most notorious crimes nears its 35th anniversary, having recently received renewed attention in a nationally-broadcast television series, Vogel’s best-selling book, Reasonable Doubt: A True Story of Lust and Murder in the American Heartland (1989), has been updated with new information and additional photos. Vogel’s book chronicles the closed—yet unsolved—1983 axe-murders of east side Bloomington resident Susan Hendricks and her three young children, and the investigation and trials that followed. David Hendricks, the husband and father of the murder victims, was charged with the deaths a month after they occurred and was convicted a year later. His conviction was first upheld, only to be overturned by the Illinois Supreme Court two years later.Hendricks was acquitted in a second trial and released from prison in 1991. He now lives in Florida. There have been no further arrests. Vogel’s program will explore new developments in the case since Hendricks was freed from prison, review some of the interesting, even quirky, events linked to the case, and will reserve time for questions from the aundience.

Steve Vogel is a veteran print and broadcast journalist, columnist, and talk show host who covered every minute of the original trial described in Reasonable Doubt. After finishing graduate school, Vogel resumed his broadcasting work (which had been interrupted by service in the U.S. Army) with WJBC Radio in Bloomington. He later headed the media relations department of a Fortune 25 company, and served the company’s chairman and CEO as a communication assistant. He retired from that position in 2012 and returned to his print journalism roots by writing an opinion page column for The Pantagraph. Vogel has been the recipient of numerous journalism awards including from the Freedom Foundation, the Associated Press, and National Headliners Club.

Copies of Vogel’s 2018 edition of Reasonable Doubt: A Shocking Story of Lust and Murder in the American Heartland will be available for purchase in the Visitors Center. A book signing by the author will directly follow the program.

For more information about this program, please contact the Education Department at education@mchistory.org or by phone at 309-827-0428. Free parking is available on the Museum Square and surrounding streets, or at the Lincoln Parking Deck located on Front Street.