Urlifestyle Magazine October 2016 October 2016 - Page 38

Cold Cases on the By Kristin Bohlken Staff Writer Digging into these five North Dakota cold cases has been disturbing and gross – not your typical image of the innocence of the Great Plains. Additional details of these killings are stressful and creepy. I like to imagine our sweet state as the safest in the US and enjoy a simpler view of this part of the country. These unresolved murders can be traced over the last one hundred years in North Dakota. These cold cases from the Great Plains continue to baffle law enforcement and historians in our area. Who were they? Six unidentified bodies were discovered in Niagra, North Dakota more than a century ago. The exact date of the murders is unknown and neither are the victims. Niagra can be found on the far west edge of Grand Forks County. The main suspect in the killings is Eugene Butler, who was described by neighbors at that time as a loner, and someone who was “off.” He was committed to an insane asylum in 1906. It was only after his passing that six bodies were found in a crawlspace hidden by a trapdoor in his ND homestead. These poor souls were killed by an object sharp enough to put holes in their skulls and the legs of some of the victims were broken so they would fit under floorboards. Urban legend suggests that Butler burned the clothes of the victims and that neighbors flocked to the home and took bones as souvenirs – evidence was hard to find. Between having nothing physical to go by, limited records and police force 100 years ago in rural North Dakota, the facts of the killings are unknown. If Eugene Butler slaughtered these victims, it is still a mystery that he took to his grave. An entire family killed in 1920? The Wolf Family Murders on April 22, 1920 are still unsolved in the minds of many. This violent crime was Seven members of the Wolf Family were murdered in 1920. The only survivor was the nine-month old daughter. committed just outside of Turtle Lake. A family of seven and their farm hand were systematically shot, one by one, on their land during an average day’s work. The only survivor was the Wolf’s nine-month old daughter, Emma. It took neighbors two days to discover the bodies and the baby. Because of a tight, very political, statewide election coinciding with these crimes, a hasty investigation led to an arrest of Wolf’s neighbor, Henry Layer. Layer says he was forced to sign a confession by police as they swiftly moved to wrap the case up. Layer was accused of the crime after a series of arguments between he and Wolf over land and land use issues. Henry Layer died in prison and claimed that he was wrongly accused until the time of his death. A serial killer from Fargo, ND? Laura Jean Dugan from Montana was found dead in Medora, North Dakota in 20 Season of the (Basic) Bitch By Michael Kashey Opinion Column It’s that time of year again. The weather is changing, the air becomes more frigid, malls begin playing Christmas music. That’s right, it’s almost Halloween. As summer becomes fall, planet Earth goes through several changes. From temperature and other weather changes to bulking not cutting, a shift begins. 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