Episode 40

The Kent state massacre

Published on: 23rd June, 2020

A Republican “law-and-order” president under fire after eight years of a Democratic leadership, citizens protesting for change as marginalized groups fought for equality, the rise of conservative populism as the working- and middle-class became concerned with the decline of “traditional” social values, environmental activism, and a country divided by all of these issues…the United States today in 2020? Not quite – try a half-century ago. True Crime Grapple takes you back 50 years to 1970 as the divisions and the disappointments suffered then are still with us today.

As the world struggles with a turbulent 2020 with a pandemic and social unrest, we can see parallels to 1970 and a university in small town Ohio. At scores of American colleges, thousands of students protested President Nixon’s escalation of the Vietnam War. But at Kent State University, no one foresaw the tragic consequences of the first weekend in May 1970 that ended with “four dead in Ohio”.

Show researched and written by Jim Pitts

Narrated by Dan Kelton

Editing and music by Baba beats





The Kent State Massacre: The History and Legacy of the Shootings That Shocked

America by Charles River Editors (2014, CreateSpace Independent Publishing


Surviving: A Kent State Memoir by Paula Tucker (2019, Sunbury Press, Inc.).

Tiananmen West: Why Nixon Ordered the Kent State Massacre by Jenny Deason

Copeland (2017, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform).

Newspaper Articles:

“’Down With Nixon,’ Scream 500 Rioting Kent Students” by Sanford Levenson and Jeff

Sallot, The Akron Beacon Journal, May 2, 1970.

“Kent Under ‘State of Emergency’”, The Akron Beacon Journal, May 3, 1970.

“KSU Rioters Put Torch to ROTC Building” by Jeff Sallot, Ray Redmond, and Bob

Schumacher, The Akron Beacon Journal, May 3, 1970.

“4 Dead, 11 Wounded in New KSU Trouble”, The Akron Beacon Journal, May 4, 1970.

“General: The Guardsmen Were Not Ordered To Fire” by Robert Batz, The Akron

Beacon Journal, May 5, 1970.

“’Rhodes Nixed KSU Closure’” by John de Groot, The Akron Beacon Journal, May 6,


“It Ended As It Began -- With Sound of Guns” by John M. Dunphy, The Akron Beacon

Journal, November 9, 1974.

“U.S. Halts Role in KSU Case” by Bruce Larrick, The Akron Beacon Journal, November

9, 1974.


“The May 4 Shootings at Kent State University: The Search for Historical Accuracy” by

Jerry M. Lewis and Thomas R. Hensley, Kent State University, 1998.

“Kent State: Coming of age 40 years after May 4, 1970 shootings that stunned America”

by Michael Scott, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), May 2, 2010.

“Kent State Shooting” by Editors, History.com, September 8, 2017.

“Student unrest rocked Ohio State University in 1969, ‘70” by Mark Ferenchik, The

Columbus Dispatch, October 5, 2017.

“How 13 Seconds Changed Kent State Forever” by Vince Guerrieri, The Smithsonian

Magazine, May 1, 2020.

"The Kent State shootings: Thirteen seconds of chaos that forever changed rock

history" by Jeffery Peeno, Far Out Magazine, May 4, 2020.

“He told a Kent State classmate he was ‘scared’ of the unrest. Two days later, he was

dead.” by Paula Schleis, The Akron Beacon Journal via Cincinnati.com, May 4, 2020.

“Kent State shootings: Jeffrey Miller despised violence. He died in a hail of gunfire” by

Paula Schleis, The Akron Beacon Journal via Cincinnati.com, May 4, 2020.

“Making the call: Why Kent’s mayor asked the governor to send the Guard to Kent

State” by Paula Schleis, The Akron Beacon Journal via Cincinnati.com, May 4, 2020.

“She studied to help stroke victims find their voices. The Kent State shootings took

hers.” by Paula Schleis, The Akron Beacon Journal via Cincinnati.com, May 4, 2020.

“She told guardsmen at Kent State ‘Flowers are better than bullets!’ Then a bullet killed

her.” by Paula Schleis, The Akron Beacon Journal via Cincinnati.com, May 4, 2020.

“’Be ye prepared’: Warning, flames greeted National Guard ahead of Kent State

shootings” by Paula Schleis, The Akron Beacon Journal via Cincinnati.com, May 4,


“Kent State Student Killings”, Law Library – American law and Legal Information

"Remembering Kent State, 40 Years Later." by Brian Williams, NBCUniversal Media,

May 4, 2010. 

“The Story of the Kent State Shootings” by William A. Gorden,


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Dan Kelton

Here at the True crime grapple show my awesome team and I look to bring you some of the darkest stories from around the globe. Come to us for your fix of morbid curiosity .
As a show, we've been going for over a year and we continue to grow. A main focus of our show is to deliver a consistent and quality product to the listeners.
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