David N. Wetzel spent twenty-six years with the Colorado Historical Society as a writer, historical interpreter, editor, and director of the society's publications program. He is the author of I Looked in the Brook and Saw a Face: Images of Childhood in Early Colorado (2002) and coauthor of Robert S. Roeschlaub: Architect of the Emerging West (1988). His latest book, appearing in June 2016, is The Vanishing Messiah: The Life and Resurrections of Francis Schlatter, published by the University of Iowa Press. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri.
The Vanishing Messiah: The Life and Resurrections of Francis Schlatter
The Vanishing Messiah looks at the sudden rise to fame in 1895 of a Christlike healer named Francis Schlatter, who treated some 80,000 people—of all ages, races, and nationalities—before he suddenly vanished from Denver on the night of November 13, 1895. Eighteen months later, prospectors in Mexico found the healer's skeleton and possessions at the top of a canyon in the Sierra Madre. But was he really dead? The book looks at conflicting stories of Schlatter's death and the rise of several healers who took his name over the next twenty-five years. It concludes that one of them was the original healer—and explores his possible motives.