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The Original 27 Silent Witnesses

Silent Witness Project 1990

In 1990, at least 26 women in Minnesota were murdered where the suspected perpetrator was a husband, boyfriend, intimate partner or acquaintance.  The deaths of these women started a national initiative to end domestic violence murders in the US by the year 2010. These women's lives will never be forgotten. They are now heroines. This information was compiled from public records by the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, and edited by Arts Action Against Domestic Violence.  No state agency collects comprehensive data on femicides or domestic abuse.

1. Marlys Engle, 37 March 5 1990.  She lived in Minneapolis.  She was stabbed to death in her apartment.  Her husband was charged with two counts of second-degree murder in her death.

2. Rosa Ziebeck, 42 March 9, 1990.  She lived in rural Wright County.  She died of a gunshot wound to the chest.  Her husband was charged with first-degree murder in her death.

3. Corinne Brocklin, 23 April 21, 1990.  She lived in Richfield.  She was found beaten and strangled to death in her home.  Her boyfriend was charged and convicted of a third-degree assault on one of her friends.  He remains a suspect in Corinneís death.

4. Candy Shultz, 18 April 26, 1990.  She lived in Rice County.  Her body was found in a ditch.  She died of gunshot and knife wounds.  Two acquaintances were charged with first-degree murder in her death.

5. Dawn (Egert) LaMeree lived in Parkers Prairie.  She was shot in the head by her husband, who then committed suicide.  She survived for two days.  Her children, ages 5 and 9, were home at the time of the shooting and survive her.

6. Beverly Miller, 16 June 10, 1990.  She was a teenager living in Roseville.  She was stabbed 22 times in a triple stabbing that left her sister and a friend injured. She died wrapped in a blanket on the sofa.  Her sisterís former boyfriend, previously charged with domestic assault, was charged with first-degree murder in her death.

7. Kathryn Hebert, 37 June 19, 1990.  She was the mother of two children and lived in Lakeville.  She disappeared from the home of  her estranged husband following an argument.  She had a court order for protection from him.  He left the state and returned six months later to lead police to her body.  Charges are still pending in her murder.

8. Barbara Newton, 35 June 20, 1990.  She worked in the Hennepin County Government Center.  Her throat was slashed as she arrived for work.  She had gone to court the day before she died for an order to protect her from her former boyfriend.  He was charged with first and second-degree murder.  The protection order was signed by a judge two hours after she died.

9. Connie Schmidt-Wold, 42 July 2, 1990.  She was the mother of one adult child.  She was beaten and stabbed to death in her home in St. Louis Park.  Her estranged husband was charged with first-degree murder.  She had obtained a court order for protection from him three days before her death.

10. Lucy Simonson, 40 July 22, 1990.  She was the mother of a daughter and two sons.  She was leaving her home in Sunfish Lake with her sons when her husband put a gun to her head.  When the shot was fired her seven-year-old son was holding her hand.  Her husband was charged with first and second-degree murder in her death, and later committed suicide.

11. Betty Richter, 44 July 21, 1990.  She had been living on the street in St. Paul.  She was strangled at the apartment of an acquaintance.  He was charged with second-degree murder in her death.

12. Beverly Lone Eagle, 31 July 27, 1990.  She had previously sought shelter as a battered woman.  She was pushed from a car, then struck and killed while walking along the old Bemidji highway.  Her husband was charged with second-degree manslaughter in her death.  He had previously served a reduced sentence for the axe-murder of his first wife.

13. Nancy Carolyn Jackson, 30 August 30, 1990.  She was a mother and lived in Crystal.  She died in her home of multiple stab wounds.  He boyfriend remains a suspect in her murder.

14. Leslie Blanchard, 38 August 8, 1990.  She lived in St. Paul.  Her body was found in a grassy area between apartment buildings.  She had been strangled.  An acquaintance was arrested and released without charges, pending further investigation.

15. Karla Mary Ladelle, 24 August 17, 1990.  She lived in Little Falls.  She died of multiple blows to the head.  She had bruises on her face and upper body and was identified through dental records.  The man with whom she shared an apartment was charged with second-degree murder in her death.

16. Marny Waite, 23 September 26, 1990.  She lived in Owatonna.  She was shot in her home allegedly by her husband.  He then committed suicide.

17. Michelle Marie Warren, 23 October 7, 1990.  She lived in St. Paul.  Her mother discovered her body after she had not heard from her daughter for two days.  She had been shot four times in the head with a handgun.  Her boyfriend then apparently shot himself.  She had moved out of an apartment they shared two weeks before her murder.

18. Veronica Olson, 62 October 15, 1990.  She was a retired high school teacher who lived in Plymouth.  She died from multiple blunt force injuries believed to be inflicted by hands and feet.  Her husband was charged with second-degree murder.  He is recovering from a brain injury and has been released from a medical center following a series of violent deaths.

19. Harriet Mabel Casey, 74 October 22, 1990.  She managed the Golden Valley apartment complex where she lived for nineteen years.  She was strangled to death.  A former caretaker of the apartment who had recently asked for his job back was charged with her murder, and later committed suicide.  He had been serving a sentence for making terroristic threats against his wife and her family.

20. Signe Scoville, 86 October 23, 1990. She lived alone in a two-story farmhouse in Cook.  She was found dead at the bottom of a stairway in the basement.  She had been strangled to death.  Her grand-daughterís husband was charged with her death, and with the death of Harriet Mabel Casey.  He later committed suicide.

21. Madelaine Gordon, 21 November 10, 1990.  She was a mother and lived in St. Paul.  She was found strangled to death in a closet of her apartment.  Neighbors reported frequent sounds of fighting and screams for help prior to her death.  A former boyfriend was taken into custody but charges were dropped for insufficient evidence.

22. Clara Block, 31 December 6. 1990.  She lived in Minneapolis.  She died of a gunshot wound to the head.  The man with whom she shared an apartment has been charged with second-degree murder in her death.

23. Ellen Klier Howard, 50 December 8, 1990.  She was the caretaker of the building where she lived in St. Paul.  She was found in her apartment with multiple stab wounds to the chest.  One of her tenants and another man have been charged with second-degree murder, and reportedly admit to pushing and stabbing her following an argument.

24. Dana Harken, 27 December 11, 1990.  She was the mother of four children and lived in Minneapolis.  She and her boyfriend, Rodney Waritzo, were found by her six-year-old son when he awoke in the morning.  Both had been shot.  Danaís former boyfriend was held pending formal charges.  She had previously obtained a protection order against him.

25. Risa Mack, 33 December 11, 1990.  She lived in Minneapolis.  She was shot, along with her brother, Rodney Waritzo, and Dana Harken.  She was found on the living room couch and died later in the hospital.  A former boyfriend of Dana Harken was held pending formal charges.

26. Kari Sanchez, 37 December 27, 1990.  She was the mother of two adult children and lived in Hubbard County.  She was pronounced dead at the hospital after being shot by her husband during an argument.  He had previously been arrested for domestic assault.  Her husband was charged with second-degree murder.  He admitted the shooting, while claiming that hitting her was accidental.

27. The Uncounted  Woman - 1990.  She lived among us in Minnesota.  She worked every day.  She greeted us when we met.  The telephone receiver in her hand, she was calling for help when she died in her home.  She was killed by someone she knew well.  Her death was ruled accidental.  No charges were ever filed.

 

How Silent Witness Began  :  The Original 27 Silent Witnesses

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