Blanket Fort Radio Theater

Thursdays

SIU Press and WSIU present Blanket Fort Radio Theater, a project highlighting works published by SIU Press. This series includes work from students in the SIUC Creative Writing Program, who have taken SIU Press books and brought them to life. Join us each Thursday for a new installment of Blanket Fort Radio Theater.

Looking for more? Check out Inside the Blanket Fort - a special peek behind the blanket, where you can meet the students creating our series, and learn more about the projects!

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SIU Press

This week on Blanket Fort Radio Theater's podcast of "Survived by One," Tom Odle recalls the murders of his parents and siblings.   "Survived by One: The Life and Mind of a Family Mass Murderer" is written by Robert Hanlon and Thomas Odle and published by SIU Press.

Blanket Fort Radio Theater is a story telling initative by SIU Press in collaboration with the SIU Creative Writing Program and WSIU Radio.

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SIU Press

This week on "Survived by One" from Blanket Fort Radio Theater, Tom Odle describes the day leading up to the murders.    "Survived by One: The Life and Mind of a Family Mass Murderer" by Robert Hanlon and Thomas Odle is published by SIU Press.

Blanket Fort Radio Theater is a storytelling initative by SIU Press in collaboration with the SIU Creative Writing Program and WSIU Radio.

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SIU Press

This week on Blanket Fort Radio Theater's production of "Survived by One," Tom Odle briefly enters the army before being discharged, an act that sets his downward spiral in motion.   "Survived by One: The Life and Mind of a Family Mass Murder," by Robert Hanlon and Thomas Odle is from SIU Press.

Blanket Fort Radio Theater is a story telling initative of SIU Press in collaboration with the SIU Creative Writing Program and WSIU Radio.

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SIU Press

This week on Blanket Fort Radio Theater's podcast of "Survived by One," Tom Odle describes his senior year of high school and meeting a girl that would have a big impact on his life. 

Blanket Fort Radio Theater is a storytelling initiative of SIU Press in collaboration with the SIU Creative Writing Program and WSIU Radio.


 

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SIU Press

This week on Blanket Fort Radio Theater's production of "Survived by One," the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services removes Tom’s brother Sean from the Odle family home.

"Survived by One: The Life and Mind of a Family Mass Murderer" by Robert Hanlon and Thomas Odle is from SIU Press.

Blanket Fort Radio Theater is a storytelling initiative of SIU Press in collaboration with the SIU Creative Writing Program and WSIU Radio.

Inside The Blanket Fort logo
SIU Press

This week on Blanket Fort Radio Theater's podcast of "Survived by One," Tom Odle is arrested for the first time at age 16.    "Survived by One: The Life and Mind of a Family Mass Murderer" by Robert Hanlon and Thomas Odle from SIU Press.

Blanket Fort Radio Theater is a storytelling inititative of SIU Press in collaboration with the SIU Creative Writing Program and WSIU Radio.

Inside The Blanket Fort logo
SIU Press

This week on Blanket Fort Radio Theater's podcast of "Survived by One,"  Tom Odle describes his early experiences with sex, drugs, and crime.  "Survived by One: The Life and Mind of a Family Mass Murderer" by Robert Hanlon and Thomas Odle is published by SIU Press.

Blanket Fort Radio Theater is a storytelling initaitive of SIU Press in collaboartion with the SIU Creative Writing Program and WSIU Radio.


 

Inside The Blanket Fort logo
SIU Press

This week on Blanket Fort Radio Theater's podcast of "Survived by One," Tom Odle talks about his adolescent struggle for independence.  "Survived by One: The Life and Mind of a Family Mass Murderer" by Robert Hanlon and Thomas Odle is from SIU Press.

Blanket Fort Radio Theater is a storytelling initiative of SIU Press in collaboration with the SIU Creative Writing Program and WSIU Radio.

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SIU Press

Welcome to Blanket Fort Radio Theater.  This week on Episode 3 of the podcast of "Survived by One," Tom Odle details the control his mother had over her children.   

"Survived by One: The Life and Mind of a Family Mass Murderer" is written by Robert Hanlon and Tom Odle from SIU Press.

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SIU Press

In Episode 2 of "Survived by One: The Life and Mind of a Family Mass Murderer," by Robert Hanlon and Tom Odle, Tom recalls the abuse and isolation he experienced while growing up.

Blanket Fort Radio Theater is a storytelling initative of SIU Press in collaboration with the SIU Creative Writing Program and WSIU Radio.

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SIU Press

Blanket Fort Radio Theater presents "Survived by One: The Life and Mind of a Family Mass Murderer" by Robert Hanlon and Thomas Odle from SIU Press. 

In Episode 1, Tom Odle contemplates memories of his early childhood and his relationship with his mother.

Blanket Fort Radio Theater is a storytelling iniative of SIU Press in collaboration with the SIU Creative Writing Program and WSIU Radio.

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SIU Press

Author Gary DeNeal reveals his inspiration for writing A Knight of Another Sort—in particular, the way in which his family’s personal connection to the Birger gang sparked a lifelong fascination with southern Illinois’ history.

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SIU Press

Author Gary DeNeal reveals his inspiration for writing A Knight of Another Sort—in particular, the way in which his family’s personal connection to the Birger gang sparked a lifelong fascination with southern Illinois’ history.

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SIU Press

The stories of Charlie Birger, the Sheltons, their men, and their adversaries don’t end after the trials, the sentences, or even the hangings. Several men outlast their years in prison. Some fall to enemy bullets. Some vanish into obscurity or old age. But a few—like Charlie Birger—leave us with a legacy that has survived a hundred years and may well survive a hundred more. 

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SIU Press

The murder trial of Ethel Price concludes, Arlie O. Boswell and other prominent officials stand trial for violating the Volstead Act, and members of the Birger gang set the record straight who was responsible for the destruction of Shady Rest.

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SIU Press

On April 19th, 1928, Charlie Birger is executed for his crimes, marking the last public hanging in Illinois. After his death, the trial of the accused murderers of Ethel Price begins.

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SIU Press

Until the day of his hanging is upon him, Charlie Birger spends the last months of his life behind bars.

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SIU Press

On October 21st, 1927—a year after the murder of Ward “Casey” Jones—Birger gangman Rado Millich mounts the gallows, reads aloud his final words, and is hanged.

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SIU Press

The testimony of Jesse Cremer, a witness to the murder of Joe Adams, results in the conviction of Harry Thomasson. In August 1927, Sheriff Coleman arrests Fred “Butch” Thomasson and Joe Booher for the murder of Lyle “Shag” Worsham. Meanwhile, Arlie Boswell is again fired upon by, he believes, members of the Birger gang.

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SIU Press

At trial, Art Newman’s schemes are expected to ensure convictions for Charlie Birger and Ray Hyland, leading the men’s attorneys to mount a weak defense. While Newman and Hyland receive life imprisonment, Birger’s hanging is scheduled for October 14th.

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SIU Press

Charlie Birger’s trial unfolds, captivating the entire town, from reporters to small children. Witnesses to the gangsters’ crimes tell story after story of their harrowing ordeals.

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SIU Press

After a brief trial full of conflicting testimony, two Birger gang members, Eural Gowan and Rado Millich, are convicted of killing Ward “Casey” Jones.

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SIU Press

Birger and his gang members confess to numerous crimes and murders, including the gruesome killing of an innocent witness, Ethel Price. As the truth comes out, shaking Southern Illinois to its core, Birger attentively watches the trials’ outcomes, aware of his own precarious fate.

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SIU Press

The Thomasson brothers confess to the murder of Joe Adams and recount the details of the crime, revealing the roles of Charlie Birger and Art Newman.

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SIU Press

All three Shelton brothers are sentenced to 25 years in prison for the mail robbery in Collinsville; meanwhile, the body of patrolman Lory Price is found. Charlie Birger is arrested at his home, and Arlie Boswell is attacked and threatened by an anonymous letter.

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SIU Press

Shady Rest is destroyed in an explosion and four bodies are found at the scene. Soon after, state highway patrolman Lory Price, who remarked that he had seen Charlie Birger, Art Newman, and Connie Ritter driving toward the scene that night, goes missing along with his pregnant wife Ethel. Charlie Birger testifies against the Sheltons in the trial for the Collinsville mail robbery.

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SIU Press

With the murder of Joe Adams and the theft of a local reverend’s brand new red Chevrolet, the Birger gang’s criminal disruptions have pushed the law to its limit, and authorities devise a plot to arrest Charlie for good.

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SIU Press

A bank robbery, attacks on Shady Rest, home bombings, and even the murder of a mayor: the squabbles between Birger’s gang and his enemies grow increasingly violent as Birger’s notoriety spreads.

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SIU Press

When Birger and his gang have scores to settle, dressing in drag might be their best option to take care of their dirty business. Meanwhile, Birger resorts to threats of violence to keep the doings of his gang under wraps.

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SIU Press

The war between the Birger and Shelton gangs rages on, with Charlie Birger desperate to get his hands on the Sheltons’ prized tank. In October, the bodies of two gangsters are discovered, with no culprits in sight.

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