Last Meal

Based on the True Story of the Bloody Benders
Narrated by: Molly King
Length: 6 hrs and 53 mins
4 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In 1873, the largest serial-killing spree in American history happened along the Osage Trail in Kansas. The family would later be identified as the Bloody Benders. Unlike most criminals of their time, they escaped and were never caught. This true history is now captured in a gripping fictional tale that takes the horror of murder on the plains to a dark new level.

©2016 Paul Ibbetson (P)2016 Paul Ibbetson
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Pretty darn good

How could I resist a telling of the Legend of the Benders? It starts so well then the fictional part of the book pops up and ruins the plot ( for me ) BUT it is fascinating to listen to on a dreary winter day - an introduction to an early serial killer "family" that escaped - where after leaving Kansas - no one to this day has discovered where they went. Not gory or creepy, really just interesting.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting

Although based on a true story, this telling of the Bender family has parts that are both real and fictional. Since it is not known exactly what happened to the Bloody Benders, it was interesting to see this author’s telling of the story. Not only do we see events from the POV of a detective, but we also see it from Kate’s.

When the story is told from Kate’s POV, it held the most interest for me. This was a very elusive group of criminals, and she was the mastermind. It’s interesting even now to see how much power she held over her “family.”

Narration was okay. Molly King was a bit slow, and I found some of the background noises distracting, but other than that the characters were spot on.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing story!

This tale tells the story of a murderous clan of 4 posing as a family. The fact that it actually happened gives you chills. Both the writing and narration are impeccable.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A totally different story!

I thought I knew the story of the wild bloody vendors, Paul Ibetzon unfolds the whole picture. His way of writing and holding you in suspense is a Loring and I think a great way to tell a story. One I haven’t seen a lot in any genre. I love how he put in all the details at a time appropriate pace. Not rushing you, not bombarding you not getting you there in slow motion it is even keel and very enjoyable read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Intriguing tale

I found Last Meal to be intriguing and mysterious. I thought the storyline and the plot went hand in hand because no one knows the whole truth. The characters were believable but not neighbors I would want to live next to.
I liked the narration but there were a few things that truly could not be helped. I loved how descriptive the book was without going over the top by being gory. I received this audio book at my request. On my own volition I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • SD
  • 09-15-19

Scary true based story

The story is good, but somethings made me not give a better score.
I liked more the part of the story that is told from Kate's point of view, so the other parts were the narration switch were less interesting. I would like to be able to separate better what is real and what is fiction. My feeling was that most of it was fiction, but I may be wrong. The supernatural ending is a bit off the topic in a true based story.
In the end, I was expecting a bit more quality as a hole.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting Book

I really enjoyed the book and how much depth the author went into about the topic. It's always interesting to hear about true crime.

I'm sorry to say, the narration was not my favorite. I do not like hearing extraneous noises such as breaths, mouth noises, etc. and there were plenty in this recording.

I received this audiobook from the author in exchange for an honest review via Audiobook Boom.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting but not riveting with a bored narrator

This book seemed to have a lot of 'filler', but did make an interesting listen.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

wonderful tale of historical nature

I had never heard of them until I read this book, it really is a piece of work how nonfiction is intertwined with fiction and facts. the author truly gave each person a personality someone to see in your mind as the story progresses, I truly enjoyed this book I think anybody who enjoys historical books well enjoy this

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Texas Chainsaw Massacre without the cannibalism

With a name like Last Meal, I’m sure you may expect this to get gory. I know I did. I went into this thinking Texas Chainsaw Massacre and got that minus the cannibalism. It’s still a crazy story, and one that would never happen today, so it was very interesting to listen to. Plus, the idea that these were the first serial killers, prior to Jack the Ripper, prior to everyone we know about sans maybe Bloody Mary!

The story itself is about a family that migrated to Kansas. They introduced themselves as Ma, Pa, Junior, and Kate. These titles are thought to be fictional, so they could fit in like a good, Christian family, like anyone at that time. They used their cabin as a small inn, for guests to have a respite during their travels, before heading through to the town. Kate and her mother were actually related and used their knowledge of herbs to talk to people and sell their knowledge by potions and spirituality, which were both growing popular during that time. This also allowed them to become friends with many people in the town and when people started going missing, of course, they were the last to be looked at.

In the book, Kate speaks to a man who she thinks is her benefactor. He saved her life early on in the book and she thinks he’s looking over or for her. He even tells her which people can be potential victims and which to stay away from. She believes him to be a specter because nobody else in the family can see him. Kate’s story in itself is very interesting and drew me in. You could almost believe that she was a victim. And she was, but not after 30 killings. She definitely pushes the envelope on empathy. And I’m actually curious if her story is as good as the author writes.

The audio was pretty good. The first copy I got fell off immediately and I was scared that was how it ended! ACK! But, fortunately, it was just a strange copy, thank goodness. I only had an hour left, but stopping in the middle, especially that far into the book was a nightmare! That didn’t have anything to do with the book, fortunately, and it ended very well. The narrator, Molly King, did read a little slowly, but maybe due to so much information coming in. There are a lot of people that this family takes in, to either kill or let move along, but either way, it’s a lot. But, due to that I wound up listening at 150%. Which is a bit normal for me, as I like listening faster, but at the regular pace, it seemed extremely slow.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jennifer
  • 09-15-19

Didn't finish

I had high hopes for this audio book. Normally I really find this type of story interesting. My let down is I couldn't finish as I didn't enjoy listening to the narrator. I felt like she wasn't right for the book. Sadily I got distracted while she was talking.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • miss
  • 06-06-20

fantastic

what a great fictional book based on real life from the pen of Paul Ibbetson and narrated by Molly King xxxx

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kerri Carter
  • 07-21-19

Interesting take!

Interesting take real people! I really like a fictional book about nonfictional characters. Definitely worth a listen

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Helen
  • 07-20-19

enjoyable history

In 1873, the largest serial-killing spree in American history
enjoyed this book very much written well by Dr Paul Ibbetson

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • deafmick
  • 09-24-19

I have lots of Paul ibbetson work it all 100 % it's my first by narrated Molly king 5 out of 5