The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By William H. Benson

Kidnapping: It's simply ugly and immoral


In 1907, the author O. Henry wrote a short story he entitled “The Ransom of Red Chief.” In it, two crooks named Bill and Sam kidnap a red-headed boy in an Alabama town thinking that they will demand a ransom, but unaware that the boy is ornery. He throws rocks at them, claims he is an Indian chief and that they are his horses and forces them to play by his rules. He terrorizes them.

Bill and Sam write a ransom note to the boy’s father, Ebenezer Dorset, but he knows his son too well, and so he replies that it is they who should pay him, to take the lad off their hands. The kidnappers,...

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