Western Kentucky has always had a dark side, despite being the “Birthplace of Bluegrass Music.” Mary James Trotter, an arrested moonshine-selling grandma, remarked to a judge that she “simply had to sell a little liquor now and then to take care of my four grandchildren.” Rod Ferrell led a bloodsucking vampire cult in Murray, Kentucky, and traumatized parents of the 1990s. In the early morning of July 13, 1928, at the “Castle on the Cumberland,” seven men were put to death in Kentucky’s deadliest night of state-sponsored executions. Join award-winning author Richard Parker as he takes you on a journey through fifteen of Western Kentucky’s most nefarious people, places and events.
Meet the Author
Richard Parker is the vice-president of the Jackson Purchase Historical Society and has authored several articles and book reviews that have been published in the Journal of the Jackson Purchase Historical Society. In 2019, the Jackson Purchase Historical Society won a Kentucky History Award for volunteer organization of the year. Parker’s most recent contribution to the society’s Journal won the 2019 Dr. Lonnie E. Maness Award for the most outstanding article. The 2019 Journal was awarded a Kentucky History Award in November 2020. Parker is a speaker for the Kentucky Humanities Council. He and his wife, Emily, co-own Atomic City Tours, a company focused on providing historical walking tours in downtown Paducah. Atomic City Tours won their first Kentucky History Award in 2022 for their Forgotten Spirits tour, a tour that explores Paducah’s connections to the Paducah industry. He lives in Paducah, Kentucky, with his wife and two children. Parker studied History in college, earning an undergraduate degree from Murray State University and a graduate degree from Western Kentucky University.