Historical Book About Harrisonville S...

Historical Book About Harrisonville Shooting

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Independence, MO

#1 Aug 26, 2008
Years ago, my father told me about a shooting that happened on the square in Harrisonville either in the 60's or 70's. He knew someone involved I believe, and said someone went on to write a book about it.
I was wondering if anyone might have any info on these events themselves as well as the name of the book and who wrote it. I'm from the Urich area, so this interests me, as nothing like that happens a whole lot in those small towns.

Kansas City, MO

#2 Aug 27, 2008
Google CassCoLibrary.org or call the Historal socity in Harrisonville. They can help you find what you need. If I remember right it was in 1971.

United States

#3 Nov 7, 2008
It was April of '72. The book was titled "Charlie Simpson's Apocolypse", written by Joe Esterhaus.....

El Dorado Springs, MO

#4 Mar 22, 2009
KWO is correct, I was in my senior year of high school with this occurred. It was a crazy time in Harrisonville. This was also about the time of the Kansas City riots. I also knew the people that were originally involved in the group, however, when they saw what Charlie Simpson was up to, they backed out and took off, they didn't want any part of it. After Charlie Simpson shot up the Allen Bank and Trust, Co. he walked down the street and shot the sheriff through the sheriff office window then walked back up to the old hospital and killed himself. The interesting thing is, the author of that biography has many things in the book about what happened wrong. It isn't accurate. People that lived there and worked on the square at the time can tell you the truth about that day.

Chagrin Falls, OH

#5 Apr 2, 2009
I got a shooting story from the old square. My great uncle (retired from railroad) hung out and lived in the old hotel before it was demolished. He was a little wacked out. If you were ever around the square in the late 70's early 80's then you might remember him. He got a little rattled one day and started waving around a gun...(BB gun)..and ended up in his room...cops outside the door...the burst in....he was shot and killed. I blame none of the cops....they did what they had to do...not knowing what he had in his hands.
H ville Girl

Lebanon, MO

#6 Apr 2, 2009
Jynx, Who was your uncle? I was a teen when all that was going on and hung out with the whole group. And William is correct, it was a very crazy and fun time, however the book that was printed has alot of things wrong. Some guy from the underground came in and questioned people and then kind of came up with a version of it all.

Chagrin Falls, OH

#7 Apr 3, 2009
Always called him Uncle Ralph...I think his last name was Hunt.

Chagrin Falls, OH

#8 Apr 5, 2009
Now i remember...his name was Ralph Knapp
H ville Girl

Lebanon, MO

#9 Apr 5, 2009
I knew a Sue Knapp who married a guy named Larry.


#10 Jun 24, 2009
as far as i remember it, that fella from the underground got things pretty accurate in that ole book a his...

Debary, FL

#11 Feb 4, 2010
Most of the story as recalled by William is correct except he left out the part of Simpson killing two police officers in cold blood outside the bank and after shooting the sheriff he shot and killed another man (my father) getting out of his car at the dry-cleaning shop across the street.

The author, Joe Esterhaus, was a writer for "Rolling Stone" magazine and there were many errors in the book trying to sensationalize it. It is speculated that the book was written in a way to sell drama.

Simpson was a wacked out kid (we knew him also) and drugs played a strong roll in his life as it did with many kids back then.

I admit that my lifestyle was not very straight and narrow back then but while some may recall the time as fun I can assure you there were also many tragedy's because of these lifestyles;
nobody is my name

Branson, MO

#12 Apr 20, 2010
was it true his brains was atop air conditioner when shot self them was wild days on the brick road

Chesterfield, MO

#13 Jul 22, 2010
Uncle Ralph was not shot. He was my uncle and I would have known if he was shot. I lived there at the time. It was a sad time for Harrisonville. You have the names all mixed up. Ralph Knapp is correct, but Larry was married to Sheryl and Sue was not a Knapp, although she was also a niece to Ralph. I can't remember exactly when but the incendence with the gun actually happened but it was another guy named Jr. Lynn that had the bb gun and was shot by the police.
I am curious as to the idenity Jynx cause you would have to be related to me if you are related to Ralph. And I am in Cooter. Also I am curious about the hville girl, I think if you knew Sue you would probably know me!!

Pittsburgh, PA

#14 Aug 6, 2010
One of the officers Simpson killed was my brother Frank. Twenty-five,fresh out of the Marines, and living with our Grandma. At least he was single. The other officer, Don Marler, left a widow and a small child. Terrible thing. My brother Mike and I are going back to Harrisonville next month - first time since Frank's funeral.

Red Oak, IA

#15 Dec 22, 2010
i heard the story from my mom she is the sister of win allen during this time she was pregnant with me.i just found out about the this year from a friend i grew up with in H'ville.

Dodge City, KS

#16 Jun 29, 2011
I am so very sorry for all the victims of that awful day. Charlie was my cousin. It was such a waste of human lives. It's been years now and every time I think of it tears comes to my eyes. Being caught in the middle between family and friends is a horrible place to be. No matter where I turned there was pain that couldn't be fixed. When I was little I looked to Charlie and somewhere along the line we lost him. I spoke to him a few months before the shooting and he told me he had some money saved and he had found some land in CO. he was going to buy. If only that just could of happened so many families would of been spared. The book was incorrect in many places.

Nederland, TX

#17 Mar 20, 2012
i knew Charlie and Bubby ,i was a very young kid in Holden at the time and Charlie had only been back from Veit-nam a short time , my young memory of Charlie was that of a cool Harley riding dude that fell in with a rough group out of K.C. and some of the (gang) were in jail in cass or jackson county and Charlie tried to barrow money from the bank and they wouldnt loan him the funds , he was drugged out as a lot of us in those days were and for a few years to follow , what Charlie did was horrifing and unexcusable and i think for a few seconds at the very end he knew it and took his own life ... there are mentions of the incedent in book titeled tornado alley a book written just a few years after it happened my heart goes out to Pat and his brother and all the victims that day including the Simpson family

Waynesville, MO

#18 Apr 21, 2012
I knew Charlie and his dad. They traded at a station here in Holden. Old man Simpson was a very good man. I believe there was another son, too. Charlie was pretty strung out on drugs most of the time and had a lot against him from his experience in Vietnam. Yes, Charlie had a nice Harley and it was pretty sweet. Charlie was a bit spooky but was always polite to us. There was a lot of law in town after this horrible event. We felt sorry for his dad. He was a good old man and was very effected over the event. My father-in-law to be bought a 14' aluminum john boat and motor from Mr. Simpson. I graduated in '72. There were alot of kids screwed up on drugs and mixed up with Charlie during that time.

United States

#19 May 2, 2012
My granpa was supposed to be the officer that was with Don not Frank. Grandpa was there but was unable to walk the square with Don so Frank took his place. I think about that alot even though I was not even born yet because If it had worked out differently It would have been my grandpa and I never would have had the chance to get to know him. my heart goes out to the family of Don and Frank cause it could have very well been my family instead. I attended the memorial last month for the 40 year anniversary mostly for moral support for my grandma, mom and Aunt who remember that day like it was yesterday. But for support of the family's of the officers and Mr. Allen who where taken that day. I am glad they finally got the recognition that they deserved.

Liberty, MO

#20 Jun 2, 2012
my grandma and grandpa took my mom to speech lessons at the time. and my grandma said the people that hung around the court house or square then were bums or homeless people and my grandma said she saw them always take a piss on the court's yard or on the square. she said she'd always see this white-guy with a Red afro. my grandpa said he knew the Charlie guy really well. i would just like to know how many people were killed at this incident. does anyone know? and my grandpa said it really straightened up H'ville after this happened.

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