Research Publications

Harpe Brothers


Who Were the Harpes?

         Little is known of the backgrounds of the two men whom an early historian called "the most brutal monsters of the human race." One was Micajah, or Big Harpe, and the other was Wiley, also known as Little Harpe. Together they were responsible for one of the earliest recorded rampages of what today would be called serial killings. In the years 1797-1799, they murdered a stunning number of hapless farmers and travelers in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Illinois. Few were spared. Men, women, children, even babies, were numbered among their victims. The Harpes were indeed diabolical in the treatment of their prey. Persons were often mutilated. A knife was driven so deeply into the body of Mary Stegall, one of the victims, that the fires of the burning cabin did not scorch the weapon's handle. The Harpes may well have invented or introduced to the frontier the gruesome practice of disposing of bodies by eviscerating the corpse, filling the cavity with rocks, and sinking the body in a river. No one knows how many persons the Harpes murdered. Historian Otto A. Rothert puts the number at twenty-eight, while Paul Wellman holds that thirty-nine persons died at the hands of the Harpes. (The discrepancy results primarily from the uncertainty as to whether the Harpes were indeed responsible for the murder of three men at the mouth of the Saline River in Illinois and the ambush of the Trisword family and its slaves.)

Read more: Harpe Brothers

Shakespeare and Other Renaissance Authors

  • "An Obscure Poem by Robert Herrick and the Unlikely Popularity of the Plays of Beaumont and Fletcher." Kentucky Philological Review 19 (2005): 50-57.
  • "What Can We Say about Caliban?" Kentucky Philological Review 15 (2001): 57-62. (Essay Winner of the Editor's Choice Award for 2000).
  • "Warring Within and Warring Without: A Psychological Nexus between Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida and Tasso's Jerusalem Delivered." Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 17.1-2 (1996): 109-24.
  • "Dead Men in Deptford: Recent Lives and Deaths of Christopher Marlowe." Research Opportunities in Renaissance Drama 34 (1995): 111-24.
  • "Middleton and Rowley's The Changeling and M. Scott Peck's Theory of the Evil Personality." Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 15. 1-2 (1995): 29-38.
  • "Did John Webster Know Shakespeare's King John?" ANQ: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes, and Reviews 1:4 (1988): 125-30.
  • "Psychetypes and Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra." Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 5.3-4 (1984): 176-81.
  • Levin, Richard. "The Acting Style of the Children's Companies." A Response by Kenneth Tucker. American Notes and Queries 22:3-4 (1983): 34-35.
  • "Philip Massinger's "The Roman Actor and Other Elizabethan-Jacobean Moral Plays Without Morals."  Kentucky Philological Review 26 (2012): 51-58.
  • "The Dramatic Use of Divine Intervention in Elizabethan Drama." Dissertation Abstracts International 31 (1971): 19714137A (KY). (Dissertation Abstract).

Book and Theatre Reviews on Shakespeare and Other Renaissance Authors

  • Book Reviews. The Paducah Sun 1980-81.
  • Book Reviews. Episcopal News, Diocese of Kentucky.
  • Book and Theatre Reviews of British Productions of Shakespeare at the New Globe in London and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford. The Shakespeare Newsletter.

On Other Authors

  • "Ulmer and Ruric's Adaptation of Poe's 'The Black Cat': A Subtle Masterpiece of Horror." Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 21:1-2 (2000): 58-66.
  • "The Case of Howard Phillips Lovecraft: A Serious Artist Manqué?" Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 21.3-4 (2000): 217-29.
  • "Important Brush Strokes: The Significance of Two Biblical Episodes in Fitzgerald's Tender Is the Night." ANQ: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes, and Reviews 9.4 (1996): 44-48.
  • "A Series of Dreadful Daydreams." In the Village (Official Journal of The Prisoner Appreciation Society) 6 (1995): 14-16.
  • "The 1995 Presidential Address (of the Kentucky Philological Association): In the Future 'a fit audience,' but Hopefully not 'few.'" Kentucky Philological Review 10 (1995): 1-3.
  • "The Sword and the Shadow: A Jungian Reading of Malory's Tale of Balin." Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 12.1-2 (1991): 2-16.
  • "The Time Machine: H. G. Wells' Early Fable of Human Identity." Journal of Evolutionary Psychology 9:3-4 (1988): 352-63.
  • "The Pied Piper-A Key to Understanding Robert Penn Warren's 'Blackberry Winter'." Studies in Short Fiction 19.4 (1982): 339-42.


Annual Presentations at the Kentucky Philological Society from 1974 to the Present.

Annual Presentations "To the Immortal Memory of Robert Burns" address at the Caledonian Society of Murray's Annual Robert Burns Supper 2001, 2004.