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Esther Christianson Rice papers

 Collection — Folder: 1
Call Number: RH MS P617


"Who Killed Our Son? An Account of the Circumstances and Subsequent Investigation of the Death of Harry Nicholas Rice" by Esther Christianson Rice is her account of the circumstances and subsequent investigation of the death of her son, University of Kansas student Harry Nicholas Rice, who was a victim of gunfire near the Lawrence campus on July 20, 1970.


  • Other: 2003


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Esther Christianson Rice (1928-2019)

Esther Christianson "Chris" Rice (1928-2019), the author of this account, attended the University of Kansas at Lawrence, as did her husband, Harry Dollar Rice. Their son, Harry Nicholas Rice, completed his freshman year at the University in the spring of 1970 and was visiting Lawrence on the evening of July 20, 1970 when he was killed by gunfire near the University of Kansas campus. He was eighteen at the time of his death, and a resident of Leawood, Kansas. His death occurred during a confrontation between Lawrence police and a group of youths at a time when there was great unrest across campus and across the United States.


1 folder (80 pages)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

This 80-page typescript contains Esther Christianson Rice's account of the death of her son Harry Nicholas Rice, the media attention that it drew, and the frustrations of the victim's parents in its subsequent investigation. Included in the spiral-bound typescript are photographs of her son, copies of her related correspondence with U.S. President Richard Nixon, quotations from news accounts of the incident, and excerpts from investigative findings.

The typescript consists of five separately-paged chapters, of which the first four are untitled and the fifth is titled "Inquest." Loose addenda include a one-page introduction to the typescript, a seven-page "forward or conclusion," and a one-page message from the author, dated May 2003, noting the lack of the manuscript's ending due to its theft.

Physical Location

RH MS P617

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Esther Christianson Rice, 2003.

Guide to the Esther Christianson Rice Collection
Esther Christianson Rice papers
Finding aid encoded by mh, 2004. Finding aid prepared by mh, 2004. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2022.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Esther Christianson Rice papers, RH MS P617, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States