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Steve Lehto appears in the new PBS documentary
Red Metal: The Copper Country Strike of 1913

Steve Lehto's YouTube video overview of the Italian Hall Disaster >>>

Updated second editon (2013) of Death's Door


Big Annie Clemenc carries the flag in parade of family members supporting striking miners in Calumet, MI


main room in Italian Hall, December 25, 1913


funeral carriages for victims of Italian Hall disaster, 1913


mourning the victims of 1913 Italian Hall disaster


graves of Italian Hall disaster victims, 1913


diagram of stairs involved in Italian Hall disaster, 1913


stairway where victims of 1913 Italian Hall disaster died



Press and Reader Reviews

Death’s Door
The Truth Behind Michigan’s Largest Mass Murder


Steve Lehto


Death’s Door . . . is outstanding: it reaches beyond regional Michigan history to provide an intense crime probe into a long-unsolved murder mystery and in doing so involves even readers with little interest in Michigan affairs.”

Midwest Book Review
February 2007

“Nearly a century now after the ‘Italian Hall disaster’ (or as Woody Guthrie called it, ‘massacre’), one might understandably think that any and all new leads would have been exhausted, and any potential revelations reduced to the realm of ‘old news.’ . . . But along came Steve Lehto of Farmington Hills, Mich., who put to good use his unique combination of talents and qualifications—a legal ‘sharp eye,’ a history degree, previous historical writing experience and impressive Copper Country roots (which by definition usually precipitate lingering wonderment about Italian Hall)—to further the investigation while (of utmost importance) keeping the discussion within a larger context of history.

Gerry Mantel, Copper Country historian
July 2008

To read more of this review

“Lehto’s book, which is, above all, a determined effort to arrive at the truth of what happened at the Italian Hall on December 24, 1913, will surely prove to be, of the several that have been published, the definitive and authoritative account of that event. . . . When a book corrects history by documenting and telling the truth, instead of the accepted version of events, its author has succeeded in the historian’s task. Lehto is to be commended for a work of high scholarship.”

Frederick Baker, Jr., Michigan Bar Journal
September 2007

To read more of this review

Deaths Door follows in the tradition of classic works such as Frank L. Palmer’s Spies in Steel: An Expose of Industrial War, or Philip S. Foner’s The Case of Joe Hill, which examined corporate-sponsored labor repression. As a result, critics predisposed to discount immigrants’ views of the Italian Hall deaths may not agree with Lehto’s conclusions. However, the book provides a cogent argument that is supported by a variety of sources. It is a useful study of Copper Country history, regional interethnic relations, and labor conflicts in mining communities.”

Paul A. Lubotina, Michigan Historical Review
Fall 2007

“Over the years, stories have grown and changed and much was done at the time to muddy the waters. Lehto, with monumental patience, went over all records and found things which had been thought missing for years.”

Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli, Traverse City Record-Eagle
December 17, 2006


December 1913 headlines reporting the Italian Hall disaster


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Additional Details

Info about SHORTCUT, Lehto's 2011 investigation
of the Seeberville Murders

Steve Lehto appears in the new PBS documentary
Red Metal: The Copper Country Strike of 1913

Updated second editon (2013) of Death's Door

Steve Lehto's Facebook Resource for the Italian Hall Disaster's 100-year anniversary >>>

Steve Lehto’s 2014 YouTube video overview of the Italian Hall Disaster

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