Saratoga Press, LLC PRESENTS :
The Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire
The Untold Story Behind Kentucky's Worst Tragedy

Sunday, May 29, 1977, 3:30AM:  At Rick Schilling, Jr.’s home in Edgewood, Kentucky, wife Margie decides to gather Saturday’s mail before entering their home.  Inside the mailbox, among the other pieces of mail delivered before the fire broke out, is a folded piece of paper.  Margie unfolds the single sheet revealing a very short, but heart-stopping message.  With individual letters cut from newspaper print, the letter reads:

“WE BURNED YOU BEFORE
WE’LL BURN YOU AGAIN.  
YOU KEEP BUILDING
WE'LL KEEP BURNING!"
1

The Beverly Hills Supper Club Fire:  The Untold Story Behind Kentucky’s Worst Tragedy by Robert D. Webster and contributors David Brock and Tom McConaughy

 

May 28, 2012 marks thirty-five years since the fire. Other books about the fire have been published, but none as told by eyewitnesses, none pointing directly to arson, and none showing that the owners were NOT negligent.  No other book explores the role of the Governor of Kentucky, the Kentucky State Police, and organized crime in the tragedy.

 

 

Bob Webster is a Northern Kentucky native and author of numerous articles on local and regional history.  He has written three previous books, two of which received Kentucky History Awards.  Bob is a 1976 graduate of Holmes High School and attended Morehead State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism.  He is a member of the Kenton County Historical Society and serves as their vice-president. 

 

David Brock was employed at the Beverly Hills Supper Club during the 1977 tragedy and witnessed unusual activities just before the fire broke out.  He kept silent for years, but at the 20-year anniversary of the tragedy, he learned he was not the only witness to see clear evidence of foul play and began what would become a 15-year pursuit of the truth. 

 

Tom McConaughy is a long-time friend and former co-worker of David Brock, and was well aware of Brock’s experience the night of the tragic fire.  When other witnesses stepped forward and Brock began his investigation, Tom became one of the investigation’s primary researchers.  Much of what is now known comes from his study through thousands of files retrieved from the Kentucky State Police, the National Fire Protection Association, and the Consumer Products Safety Commission, as well as the personal files of the club’s owners.  


On Saturday May 28, 1977, the Commonwealth of Kentucky experienced its worst tragedy since the great Civil War.  The Beverly Hills Supper Club, located in the tiny town of Southgate in Northern Kentucky, was packed with people over the Memorial Day weekend, many to see popular entertainer, John Davidson.  Before midnight, more than 120 bodies had been pulled from the burning structure and dozens more would be found the following day in what was the third-worst nightclub fire in our nation’s history. Several Employees had told investigators from the very beginning about suspicious activities they had witnessed leading up to the fire. These eyewitness accounts were ignored. Due to one former employee's unwavering quest, new researchers spent several years and countless hours in a reinvestigation to uncover what really happened. This is the complete history of the magnificent Beverly Hills Supper Club - the untold story of Kentucky's worst tragedy, where 169 people were killed as a result of greed, corruption, deceit, mafia rule, government cover-ups, kidnapping, and murder.




1 Personal interview with Margie Schilling on August 17, 2010.

The existence of this letter was also later confirmed by the Schillings’ attorney, Thomas Hill.

 

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