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Ralph Monaco to autograph his newest book at Jesse James Festival

The Jesse James Festival will be held this Saturday and Sunday (September 15-16) in Kearney, Missouri. This is an annual festival held in Kearney and it attracts thousands of visitors each year.

This year Ralph A. Monaco, II, a life-long resident of Raytown, current President of the Jackson County Historical Society, and former Raytown School Board President and State Representative for our area, will be a special guest at the festival.

Mr. Monaco has written his second book, Son of a Bandit, Jesse James & The Leeds Gang which was published this year by Monaco Publication, LLC. The book focuses upon the life and times of the bandit’s son, Jesse James, Jr., and especially focuses upon the events surrounding the criminal trial in 1899 in which the bandit’s son stood accused for having allegedly robbed a Missouri Pacific railroad passenger train at the Leeds Junction in Kansas City in September, 1898. Mr. Monaco’s book, Son of a Bandit, Jesse James & The Leeds Gang, has already received national and local acclaim. It was ranked in the top ten best sellers for self-publishing this past May and the book received the coveted John Newman Edwards Literary Award from the Friends of the James Farm in June.

The book also served as the backdrop to the living history event sponsored by the Jackson County Historical Society earlier this year: The Retrial of Jesse James, Jr. The retrials were held at U.M.K.C. Law School as part of the continuing education program for attorneys and judges, and it was also held at the Truman Memorial Building in Independence and at William Jewell College.

This is a great opportunity to purchase an autographed copy of the book from our Raytown author. Mr. Monaco will also have on hand several copies of his first book, The Strange Story of Col. Swope & Dr. Hyde. This book was also presented as a living history event by the Jackson County Historical Society and U.M.K.C. Law School in 2010. The book is a thorough review of the haunting, unsolved murder mystery surrounding the death of Col. Thomas H. Swope, the namesake of Swope Park.

We are also told that Mr. Monaco’s third book, Blood on the Street The Civil War Comes to Jackson County, Missouri, August 1862, will be co-published and released later in the fall by the Jackson County Historical Society and Monaco Publications, LLC.

Our sources tell us that he and David Jackson, the archivist for the Jackson County Historical Society, are already in the process of co-authoring another non-fiction book scheduled to be released next summer: Smoke in the Air, which is to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of that notorious order, Order Number 11, issued by General Thomas Ewing after Quantrill’s guerrillas raided Lawrence, Kansas in August 1863, and which Order was made infamous by the notable 19th Century Missouri artist and painter, George Caleb Bingham.

For more information on the festival contact Gerri Spencer at 816-628-4397 or to find out further information about Son of a Bandit, Jesse James & The Leeds Gang visit www.sonofabandit.com.

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