It was a mild and balmy May evening when services ended at Culbertson’s Chapel, in Nickelsville, Virginia. Everson “Red” Collins attended and afterward visited with friends at the home of Kelly “Buster” or “Buck” Vermillion.
The case of Reuben Herndon is often mentioned as one instance of the “ordeal of blood” in Virginia’s history, but unfortunately, no evidence can be found to support this long-held belief. Still, the case remains a fascinating glimpse at justice in Virginia just after the Civil War.
The proverbial “axe murderer” is a staple of many urban legends. It’s been the subject of countless works in film and fiction, inspired by very real events like the Villisca Axe Murders and the Axeman of New Orleans.