Her maiden name was Trueblood but a more appropriate name would have been cold blood. If you know your Pocatello history, the name Lyda Southard is enough to give you a shiver and make you examine your dinner plate. In all, Lyda is suspected of killing four of her husbands, a brother-in-law and her own child.
At the age of 14, Lyda’s family moved from Mississippi to Idaho. A few years later, she would marry her first husband. It seemed like a fairytale but in reality it was a nightmare.
“In 1920, she married and her brother-in-law ended up dead, and her daughter ended up dead, and then another husband ended up dead, another husband and finally the police stated to get suspicious,” said ISU Student, Emily Crumpton.
This semester, a handful of ISU students are learning the details of one of Idaho’s most notorious killers in an unconventional way. The method is called ethnodrama and it’s a hit with the students.
“It’s definitely much more interactive because we are forced to actually do the work ourselves,” continued Crumpton. “We are not sitting in a classroom being told this is what you need to learn and these are the dates and this is where she went and then given a test…We are learning the information and then retelling it back to the public.”
The performance will take you on Lyda’s journey from Idaho to Hawaii and back. This thrilling true life story is sure to entertain while teaching audience a thing or two about our area in the 1920s.
“Part of it took place right here in Pocatello, Twin Falls, Idaho Falls. It’s all relatively local and so it’s a little bit of your own history,” said Crumpton. If you are from Idaho, if you’ve grown up here, this is a little bit of our past. So it gives you a chance to learn about somebody who helped create the image of Idaho, at least in the 1920s.”
ISU will be hosting two performances on Tuesday, April 39. The first will be held at 1:00 PM inside the Stephens Performing Arts Center. An encore will be held at the Marshall Public Library at 6:30 PM.