On its surface, Ray A. March’s Mass Murder in California’s Empty Quarter tells the story of a violent attack that took place in the far northeast of California, at the offices of the Cedarville Rancheria, a small, federally recognized Northern Paiute tribe. In February of 2014, Cheri Rhoades, an enrolled member of the tribe, opened fire during a meeting of the tribe’s executive committee. Over the course of nine minutes, she killed four people and injured two others. Three of the four killed were Rhoades’s blood relatives. After her arrest, trial, and conviction, she became the first woman in U.S. history to be sentenced to death for committing mass murder. While noting that mass shootings have become a nearly constant fixture in contemporary American life, March recognizes that the Cedarville murders must be understood and analyzed within the broader context of Native American history. Aiming to uncover the “systemic events”...
Review: Mass Murder in California’s Empty Quarter: A Tale of Tribal Treachery at the Cedarville Rancheria, by Ray A. March
ANDREW SHALER is visiting assistant professor of history at Whittier College. He holds a PhD in Native American history from the University of California, Riverside. His research examines Indigenous histories of resistance, resilience, and migration in nineteenth-century California.
Andrew Shaler; Review: Mass Murder in California’s Empty Quarter: A Tale of Tribal Treachery at the Cedarville Rancheria, by Ray A. March. California History 1 February 2022; 99 (1): 125–127. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/ch.2022.99.1.125
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