The Kickstarter campaign is nearly ready to launch. I hope to reach the funding goal by December 31, 2015 and begin scheduling interviews in January of 2016. The project plan has been submitted and is undergoing review. Those who wish to contribute to the project may do so through the Kickstarter campaign once it's approved, or directly with money orders via regular mail or through the PayPal link to the left. Be sure that your name, and location if you wish, is listed on your money order or in the message section of the PayPal link so I can get your name added to the project contributor's page.
It's exciting to finally get started with this project. When I was conducting research for the book on Hez Rasco, I found that there was very little information in the archives about the sheriffs who were the lead investigators on the case. I wanted to know more about them, but the information had been lost to time. The newspapers provided some information, but the focus, logically, was on the accused, not the investigators. It is my hope that this project will provide future researchers with basic biographical data about Missouri's sheriffs, whether they are researching a specific case or collecting information about the people who served in that role. They have played a key role in developing and improving the system of justice in Missouri.
I have a personal interest in this project. My father, Roger Cronk, served as sheriff of Nodaway County from 1976-1980. Our family resided in the old jailhouse, originally built in 1882, and cared for the inmates during their incarceration. I plan to secure for this project, and the family archives, his information, thoughts, and perspectives of his term as sheriff and some detail about the challenges he faced. His interview will be included with the others to be collected.
It is my belief that the Missouri Justice Project will fill a previously overlooked section of Missouri's history, the men and women who serve or have served as sheriffs in Missouri. Too many generations have already passed without their histories being secured. You can learn more about the different phases of the project and the counties involved in each as they become available. Each phase will have an independent page, the link to which will be found at the top of the blog.
Thank you for taking time to learn about the project. I look forward to providing you with additional updates as the funding deadline nears and the project begins.