Iowa cops launch probe into serial killer after daughter accuses him of slaying up to 70 women


Police are investigating allegations that a farmer in Iowa murdered up to 70 women – after his daughter told authorities ‘I know where the bodies are buried’.

Lucy Studey claims that her father Donald Dean Studey was a serial killer who forced her and her siblings to dump bodies of women he killed into a 100ft well.

She told authorities that she was forced to use a wheelbarrow in the warmer months and a toboggan in winter to move the corpses across the farmland in Thurman, Iowa.

His four children did their father’s bidding when he told them to ‘go to the hills’ because they were terrified they ‘wouldn’t come back’ according to his daughter. 

According to his daughter, Studey was ‘routinely drunk’ and liked to kill women by smashing or kicking in the heads of the women inside a trailer. 

Fremont County Sheriff’s office confirmed that cadaver dogs alerted at least four spots on the property, with the last getting multiple ‘hits’.  

Studey, who died in March 2013 aged 75,  is accused of killing anywhere between 50 to 70 women and at least two men – one in his 40s and one in his 20s.

Both of his wives died before him, with police records confirming one died after strangling herself with an electrical cord and the other shot herself. 

Investigators believe his daughters claims, which would make Studey one of the most prolific serial killers in American history.   

Law enforcement suspect that he lured woman, thought to be sex workers from Omaha, Nebraska, to his five acres of land before murdering them.

Lucy claims that the women all had dark hair, were white and most were in their 20s and 30s except for a 15-year-old runaway – and two men.

They were all buried clothed and wearing jewelry, with Lucy claiming that her father kept the gold teeth as trophies.

Donald Dean Studey has been accused of slaying between 50 to 70 women by his daughter, as well as two men. He died in 2013

Donald Dean Studey has been accused of slaying between 50 to 70 women by his daughter, as well as two men. He died in 2013

Fremont County Sheriff¿s office confirmed that cadaver dogs alerted to several spots on the property, as well as some on neighboring land

Fremont County Sheriff’s office confirmed that cadaver dogs alerted to several spots on the property, as well as some on neighboring land

Lucy Studey claims that her father Donald Dean Studey was a serial killer who forced her and her siblings to transport bodies of women he killed into a 100ft well

Lucy Studey claims that her father Donald Dean Studey was a serial killer who forced her and her siblings to transport bodies of women he killed into a 100ft well

Lucy told Newsweek: ‘He would just tell us we had to go to the well, and I knew what that meant.  

‘Every time I went to the well or into the hills, I didn’t think I was coming down. I thought he would kill me because I wouldn’t keep my mouth shut.

‘I don’t feel anything for my father. Nothing at all. I wanted justice when my father was alive, but he’s gone. I just want for the families some closure and a proper burial.’

Studey reportedly forced his children to pile dirt and chemical lye on top of the bodies after dumping them into the well. 

Fremont County Sheriff Kevin Aistrope confirmed the investigation, saying ‘I believe her 100 percent that there’s bodies in there’ and said if they do excavate the scene it will be a ‘big mission’.

He added that the cost of boring the well would be around $25,000 while a full excavation would be more than $300,000.

The property, on Green Hollow Road, is not an official crime scene because officers have not yet discovered any remains 

Authorities were alerted to her claims, in which she details using a wheelbarrow in the warmer months and a toboggan in winter to move the corpses across the farmland in Thurman, Iowa

Authorities were alerted to her claims, in which she details using a wheelbarrow in the warmer months and a toboggan in winter to move the corpses across the farmland in Thurman, Iowa

Lucy claims that she and her four siblings kept quiet out of fear their father, who died in March 2013 aged 75, would murder them

Lucy claims that she and her four siblings kept quiet out of fear their father, who died in March 2013 aged 75, would murder them

An aerial view of the farmland in Iowa

An aerial view of the farmland in Iowa

The FBI and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation are both assisting the local police force with the investigation.

Studey, who had ‘love’ and ‘hate’ tattooed on his knuckles, is understood to have a criminal history but was known to use several aliases.

He was jailed in Missouri in the 1950s for petty larceny, in Omaha in 1989 for a drunk driving offence – as cops confirmed they rarely went to the trailer where he lived because they were ‘wary’ of him.

Investigators believe his daughters claims, which would make Studey one of the most prolific serial killers in American history

Investigators believe his daughters claims, which would make Studey one of the most prolific serial killers in American history

The FBI and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation are both assisting the local police force with the investigation

The FBI and Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation are both assisting the local police force with the investigation

She added: ‘All I want is to get these sites dug up, and to bring closure for people and to give these women a proper burial. My father was a lifelong criminal and murderer.’

It is unclear if her siblings have been cooperative with the authorities, with her brother Gary committing suicide aged 39.

Lucy claims that she told her stories to several people over the years trying to get something done about it but ‘no one would listen to her’.



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