CSU-Pueblo faculty authors pen books on murder and rebellion


CSU-Pueblo faculty authors pen books on murder and rebellion

PUEBLO – Two Colorado State University-Pueblo faculty members are releasing separate books this winter on topics of particular interest to Southern Coloradans.

Mountain Murders: Homocide in the Rockies, a new book by sociology lecturer Betty Alt and co-author Sandra Wells, will be featured this month as part of a radio interview and book signing. The two authors will conduct a radio interview with Ray Weston on KCSJ 590 AM on January 25 and will follow up with a book signing at Barnes and Noble, 4300 North Freeway, from 1-3 p.m. on Jan. 30.

Mountain Murders brings to the public 15 legendary Front Range Colorado murders, dating from 1909 to the early 1980s. Included are: the tragic story of 12-year-old Jimmy Melton who murdered his sister; the bludgeoning death of Dorothy Drain; the kidnapping, torture and murder of high school student Alice Porter; the death of 44 in the bombing of United Airlines "Mainliner" by Jack Graham for his mother's insurance; two unsolved Mafia murders and many more. Forty photos of both victims and killers enhance the historical narratives.

Mountain Murders: Homicide in the Rockies is the fifth book co-authored by Alt and Wells. Wells has a Ph.D. from Colorado State University in Fort Collins and has retired as chief investigator after 29 years with the Pueblo, Colorado, District Attorney's Office. Alt earned a bachelor’s degree from Northeast Missouri State University. The two are now under contract from Rowan & Littlefield for a sixth book.

History Professor Dr. Jonathan Rees penned Representation and Rebellion: The Rockefeller Plan at the Colorado Fuel & Iron Company, 1914-1942, which will be released Feb. 15 and available in store and at online retailers like Amazon.com.

In response to the tragedy of the Ludlow Massacre, John D. Rockefeller Jr. introduced one of the nation’s first employee representation plans (ERPs) to the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company in 1915. With the advice of William Mackenzie King, who would go on to become prime minister of Canada, the plan—which came to be known as the Rockefeller Plan—was in use until 1942 and became the model for ERPs all over the world.

In Representation and Rebellion, Rees uses a variety of primary sources—including records recently discovered at the company’s former headquarters in Pueblo, Colorado—to tell the story of the Rockefeller Plan and those who lived under it, as well as to detail its various successes and failures. The primary collection utilized to tell this story was the Colorado Fuel and Iron Archives housed in Pueblo and owned by the Bessemer Historical Society. 

Taken as a whole, the history of the Rockefeller Plan is not the story of ceaseless oppression and stifled militancy that its critics might imagine, but it is also not the story of the creation of a paternalist panacea for labor unrest that Rockefeller hoped it would be.
Addressing key issues of how this early 20th Century experiment fared from 1915 to 1942, Rees argues that the Rockefeller Plan was a limited but temporarily effective alternative to independent unionism in the wake of the Ludlow Massacre. The book will appeal to business and labor historians, political scientists, and sociologists, as well as those studying labor and industrial relations.

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