Daughter says father killed 70 and made her bury bodies

Authorities in Iowa (USA) identified an area with possible human remains after a woman reported that her father, now dead, was a serial killer and murdered about 70 women. The deaths would have occurred decades ago, with the use of their own children as accomplices to hide the corpses.

According to Newsweek, Lucy Studey tried to alert Thurman City Police about crimes committed by her father, Donald, 45 years ago. However, she says that no one listened to her.

Now the agents have started a search operation with sniffer dogs in all the places indicated by the woman. After the investigations, suspicions of the occurrence of a series of murders in the region began to be taken seriously.

Lucy reported that her father, Donald Studey, killed between 50 and 70 people years ago and that she and her brothers helped him dispose of the bodies at a property he owned nearby. He died in March 2013, aged 75.

According to the woman, the children were constantly threatened by the father and forced to hide their bodies in the property’s well:

He just told us we had to go to the well, and I knew what that meant. I thought he would kill me because I wouldn’t keep my mouth shut.

She added that when bodies were thrown into the well, the brothers would dump dirt on top.

Susan Studey, Lucy’s older sister, told Newsweek that her sister’s claims are false. “My father was not the man she described. He was strict, but he was a protective father who loved his children. Strict parents don’t turn into serial killers.”

Police suspect Donald Studey was luring women into his home, mostly call girls or passers-by from Nebraska. According to Lucy, the father acted without hiding what he was doing from his children. She also recalled that Donald came to justify one of the crimes with offenses: “That dog deserved it”.


Lucy has received support from Fremont County Sheriff Kevin Aistrope. He was in charge of conducting the search operations for the bodies mentioned by her.

“I 100% believe there are bodies there,” said Sheriff Aistrope. “The woman told us the story. We brought in some corpse-sniffing dogs. They worked on the old family property and pointed out the possible area where the bodies are deposited.”

He added: “We will do everything we can to prove whether or not it is a crime scene.”

In addition to Aistrope’s office, the case also involves state and federal agencies, such as the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and the FBI, in a joint effort to look for clues to the possible serial killer.

DCI Assistant Director Mitch Mortvedt told broadcaster KETV that the investigation is still in its infancy and will take months to evolve. During this period, agents will verify the validity of Lucy Studey’s reports, before authorities carry out excavations in the area where dogs indicated possible human remains.

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