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The historical murder that author Peter Kaufman captured in print will soon be on TV.

One hundred and seventeen Februaries later, a historical Benton County murder is still attracting attention.

A few months ago, Iowa historian Peter Kaufman visited the Vinton library to discuss his book, "Skull in the Ashes," which told the story of how Frank Novak murdered a local man in February of 1897, then burned his store with that man inside, in order to fake his death and collect the insurance money. The book also chronicles the investigation of local prosecutor M.J. Tobin, who determined that the deceased man in the fire was not Novak; as well as the story of detective Red Perrin, who tracked Novak to Alaska and arrested him.

Now, the Travel Channel cable network is planning to feature the story. Camera crews and producers are in Vinton this week speaking to local residents about the famous story.

Here are a few links about that story

Peter Kaufman's visit to Vinton

'Skull in the Ashes' profile

A New York Times clipping that contains some inaccuracies about the case

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Comments (1)

That is pretty interesting, will have to watch for it on the Travel Channel.
By: Kim Szukics on February 27th 3:36pm

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