• Back Road Mysteries Staff

Topeka Tragedy: Who took the life of the wealthy east coast socialite in June of 1962?

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

Daphne Rhodes

The world-famous and highly respected Menninger psychiatric hospital in Topeka was the kind of place in 1962 that would nowadays be considered a place for the rich and famous "to get their life in order".

3725 S.W. 29th (1962)

Daphne Rhodes was a wealthy, married, 26-year-old New York socialite who came to Topeka to receive outpatient treatment at

Menninger ijn 1962.

3725 S.W. 29th (present day)

Her trip to Kansas ended

in tragedy when she was found raped and strangled in June of that year in the apartment where she lived alone at 3725 S.W. 29th.

According to one news report at the time, Menniger's patients included the aristocratic, the bohemian, the infamous...and is some cases, the dangerous. These patients had two things in common: they were rich and they didn't fit in with the surrounding culture.  

Rhodes was the daughter of a wealthy New York capitalist and industrialist by the name of Arthur H. Bunker who was under investigation by the US Senate for "excessive windfall profits" on a Department of Defense contract at the time of Daphne's death.

In fact, Bunker was called to testify at a Senate Subcommittee hearing in Washington D.C the same week of Daphne's death and part of the investigation centered on what she may have known about her father's business dealings.

Another unusual aspect of the investigation revealed that the photo of Rhodes accompanying this story was taken by her best friend, but she or no other friend or family member ever released it to the press.

Officials in Topeka say any and all possible leads have grown cold and the case is considered inactive.

Daphne Bunker Rhodes was laid to rest a few days after her murder at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, Westchester County,New York

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