About the Episode

Kennedy Eckert was a bell boy and a local billiards champion in Lancaster. Although these titles hint at Eckert’s proximity to gambling and commercial sex, the unpublished Vice Files reveal surprising details about Eckert’s experiences in the underworld of vice.

Supporting Documents

  • Eckert Investigator Report

    Investigator’s report on his travels through brothels in the city with Kennedy Eckert in November of 1913. These reports are preserved in the Law and Order Society Collection at LancasterHistory in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

  • Lancaster Morning Journal (Pool Room)

    “Pool Room Raided.” Lancaster Morning Journal. 11 Dec 1927. The pool halls frequented by Kennedy Eckert were linked with drinking, gambling and commercial sex.

Resource List

Chauncey, George. Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture and the Making of the Gay Male World. New York, Basic Books, 1994.

Hemphill, Katie. “‘Pastor Was Trapped’: Queer Scandal and Contestations of Christian Anti-Vice Reform.” Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, vol. 22, no. 3, 2022, pp. 182-200.

Romesburg, Don. “‘Wouldn’t a Boy Do? Placing Early Twentieth Century Male Sex Work into Histories of Sexuality.” Journal of the History of Sexuality, vol 18, no. 3, 2009, pp. 367-399.

Shoemaker, David. Demuth’s Lancaster Tour. Demuth Foundation. This tour includes a discussion of Charles Demuth’s enjoyment of the Colonial Theater and the Hotel Brunswick. There is no evidence that Demuth participated in Lancaster vice, but the cultures of vice,which challenged conventional sexual morality, might have been a haven and a source of inspiration for Demuth, a gay artist.

Law and Order Society Collection. LancasterHistory, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.


Writer and Producer: M. Alison Kibler
Narrator: Dylan Sykes
Research Team: Jayden LaCoe, Kylie Loughney, Rachel Rubins, Dylan Sykes
Financial Support from the Center for Sustained Engagement with Lancaster at Franklin & Marshall College
Additional Support from LancasterHistory