Freelance Journalist and Author

By Lin Waterhouse
The History Press, December, 2010, 2012

    On a rainy Friday the Thirteenth in 1928, a massive explosion transformed a Missouri dance hall into a raging inferno that killed 39 people, sparked international media attention and inspired a popular country song. To this day, it remains an unsolved mystery. In this first book on the notorious catastrophe, Lin Waterhouse presents a well-researched account of the event and its aftermath that judiciously weighs conflicting testimony and deeply respects the personal anguish experienced by families forced to identify the charred remains of their children by their clothing and personal trinkets.
    The book is available as a paperback or e-book from your local bookstore, online booksellers and from The History Press (
    For an autographed copy, contact the author at Please indicate “Explosion Story” in the subject line when ordering. Cost of the book is $19.99 plus $3 s/h.

As you read [The West Plains Dance Hall Explosion], you realize you are reliving a real cold case. Intriguing and fascinating!" -- Jeanie Loiacono, Loiacono Literary Agency

Bond Hall, the site of the explosion, on the top floor of the brick building on the right.
This photo taken the day after the explosion shows the total destruction of the entire block of buildings.
Click KSMU to read and hear a radio interview with Lin about the West Plains explosion.