Why People Are Talking About A Serial Killer In Iowa

Jeffrey Dahmer isn't the only serial killer who's become the current talk of the true-crime town. According to the Des Moines Register, one Fremont County, Iowa woman has come forward with a claim that, if it turns out to be true, is liable to unveil one of the most atrocious and cruel sagas of mass murder in American history. "She's got a hell of a story but we don't have any proof of anything other than we had a cadaver dog hit," Sheriff Kevin Aistrope of Fremont County told the outlet. "We've got to have more proof than that."

Lucy Studey told police that her father, one Donald Dean Studey (now deceased), is responsible for a myriad of homicides that somehow went undetected during his multi-decade killing spree a number of years back. Authorities are still investigating her claims that a horrendous slew of meticulous murders resulted in no less than 50 lives (via Newsweek).

Donald Studey — killer or myth?

Lucy Studey told police that her father, who died in 2013 when he was 75 years old, would employ the help of her and her other siblings in the disposal of his victims. "Every time I went to the well or into the hills [to bury bodies], I didn't think I was coming down," she told Newsweek. "I thought he would kill me because I wouldn't keep my mouth shut."

According to his daughter's personal account, Donald Studey may have murdered up to 70 women — mostly sex workers and girls passing through Omaha — and buried their bodies in a well/the surrounding area located in a remote section of his 5-acre farmland. He'd allegedly instruct his children to throw lye (a chemical compound often used to dissolve corpses) onto them before covering their remains in soil. "No one would listen to me," Lucy told Newsweek. "The teacher said family matters should be handled as a family, and law enforcement has said they couldn't trust the memory of a child." She claims that she tried to warn people of Donald's heinous acts of murder for 45 years to no avail. 

Evidence thus far

"I believe her 100 percent that there's bodies in there," Sheriff Kevin Aistrope shared (via Newsweek). Aistrope and a team of his subordinates — along with two cadaver dogs — ventured up into the hills where Lucy Studey claimed her father stored his victims' bodies. Authorities first needed to obtain permission to comb the area, given that the property now belongs to someone else, but once they did, the police dogs reportedly located two "hits" around the spot where Lucy asserted some five or six corpses were located (per USA Today). 

However, the well itself where Lucy claimed a few of the bodies were stored has since been buried and is currently some 90 feet beneath the surface of the earth, and an exhumation process would be a lot to take on, as USA Today reports. The alleged victims' corpses have yet to be produced, though police are painstakingly working toward finding out the truth of the matter. They have reported that, per the dogs' findings, the scent of human decomposition may very well be present in the locations specified (via Newsweek).

Lucy's sister, Susan, says that the claims are false (via Newsweek).