When I think of Iowa, I think of gently rolling hills and plains, high bluffs, giant cornfields, and a whole lot of rural beauty, (yes, I know they have some amazing cities too).

I don't think serial killers, but all that may change with a Newsweek story coming out of Thurman, Iowa. It's a very small Iowa town with 167 people, about 40 miles from Omaha, on the Iowa-Nebraska border. In 2012, it was the site of a devastating tornado. Now it may well take on a new and not-so-great designation.

Lucy Studey, a former Thurman resident, has claimed for years that her father, Donald Dean Studey is a prolific serial killer. She says that as a child she witnessed her father's activities and along with her siblings helped bury the bodies.

She apparently has approached authorities before with her story, but for some reason, law enforcement authorities are now acting on that information.

Studey says that her father hunted and preyed upon sex workers and runaways, primarily in the Omaha area. He would bring them back to the Thurman area, and kill them. He then buried their bodies in and around a 90-foot well on the piece of land he lived on. By her estimates, he may have killed anywhere from 50 to 70 people.

Last Friday, October 21, cadaver dogs were brought into that area and identified several places as having the scent of human remains. The well was filled in long ago so unearthing the bodies would be a major undertaking.

Donald Studey, who died in 2013, according to his daughter made a living by smuggling drugs and guns and did have a number of arrests on his record for larceny, drunk driving, and gambling-related offenses. By her estimates, he may have killed anywhere from 50 to 70 people.

Local Fremont county, Iowa, authorities and the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation are now involved in the continuing investigation.

Sources: Newsweek and USA Today



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