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December 2001

1912 -- Moore-Stillinger axe murders discovered on June 10

1914 -- The State of Iowa reopens the axe murder investigation

1916 -- State Senator Frank Jones is openly accused of murder and loses a slander suit

1917 -- Indicted by the State for the axe murders, Reverend Lyn George Jacklin Kelly is tried twice and acquitted

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(left to right) Four of the six murdered Moores, Senator Jones, and Reverend Kelly.
 

1955 -- College student Ed Epperly begins researching the 1912 Villisca murders

1986 -- Morning Ran Red, a novel based on the axe murder story, is published

1987 -- Villisca has its first annual Heritage Days celebration, they acknowledge murders are part of their history

1990 -- A Terrible Stillness, Rebecca Christian's play based on the murder story, is performed in the Red Oak Courthouse

 

 

1993 -- June, Kelly and Tammy Rundle visit Villisca, Iowa and meet with Dr. Ed Epperly in Decorah

1993 -- Extensive documentary research begins

1993 -- August, The Hollywood Reporter announces the beginning of the Villisca: Living With a Mystery documentary project

1993 -- October, the Rundles shoot their first interviews in Des Moines and Muscatine

1994 -- January, Dr. Bruce Stillians interviewed in Hawaii, Rundles return to earthquake damaged Los Angeles

1994 -- June, filming in Georgia, Massachusetts, and Nebraska

1994 -- July, filming in Villisca, Red Oak, Stanton, Macedonia, New Market and other Iowa locations

1995 -- More filming in Villisca

 

 

1996 -- Villisca Preview screens in Villisca

1996 -- September, in the midst of Hurricane Fran, the Rundles interview former F.B.I. Agent Robert Ressler in Virginia

1997 -- Villisca receives a Humanities Iowa Grant

1997 -- A website supporting the documentary is launched

1997 -- Villisca script is completed

1998 -- March, more filming in Villisca during one of Iowa's worst blizzards

1998 -- Villisca assemblage complete

1999 -- Research in Colorado, Kansas, and Illinois

1999 -- Villisca receives a Nebraska Humanities Grant

 

 

2000 -- A portion of Villisca's rough-cut is previewed during Villisca's Heritage Days

2000 -- villisca.com goes online

2000 -- Villisca receives a grant from the Red Oak Heritage Foundation

2000 -- Historical documents acquired from a private individual are donated by the Rundles to the Villisca Historic Commission

2001 -- Rundles and Epperly examine "secret" Iowa Bureau of Investigation Villisca axe murder file

2001 -- Final historical photographs gathered in Omaha, Nebraska

2001 -- Final footage gathered

2001 -- Preliminary rough-cut complete

2002 -- Nation-wide feedback screenings in a dozen locations

2004 -- Des Moines premiere followed by 43 showings in 24 cities in 5 states in less than 90 days

2004 -- Halloween season showings in Illinois and Iowa

2005 -- Theatrical release continues through the winter and into the spring through the Fridley Theatres chain, Main Street Theatres chain, and independent theaters.

June 2005 -- Los Angeles Premiere - the 48th city where the film has been shown

June 10, 2005 -- Showings in Bedford, Iowa commemorate the axe murder anniversary and mark "one year in theaters"

July 2 & 3, 2005 -- Final Iowa showing at the Rialto Theater in Villisca during Heritage Days

More to come...


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