On this day in 1897, a vengeful mob broke into the Ripley County Jail and forcibly removed five robbery suspects before lynching them. The vigilantes strung up the suspects’ naked and battered bodies from an elm tree about two blocks from the jail then dispersed a little before 1 AM. It is believed that an estimated 250 people were present during the hanging. Approximately only 800 people lived in Versailles at the time.
The lynching victims were identified as:
LYLE LEVI, 57, shot through the breast then dragged to the tree and hanged
WILLIAM JENKINS, 27, skull crushed in with a stool, noose put around neck, body dragged to the tree and suspended
HENRY SCHULER, 24, skull crushed, body dragged to the tree and suspended
CLIFFORD GORDON, 22, bound, dragged to the tree and hanged
ALBERT ANDREWS, 30, bound, dragged to the tree and hanged
Although only 28, Lola Katherine “Kathy” Fry was in the process of changing her life when she disappeared. She’d stopped dancing at Indianapolis bars like PT’s and Brad’s Gold Club where she was involved in a lawsuit and started back to school. She’d even decided to relocate in order to be near one of her sisters. November 13, 1993 was supposed to be her last night in town before moving to Fort Wayne.
She never arrived.
Kathy was last seen that same night, partying with five men. According to information given to qwwwpolice in a 2000 interview, the group was doing prescription medication, cocaine, and marijuana when Kathy suddenly passed out, possibly from a drug overdose. The men she was with wrapped her unconscious body in a blanket and took her to a waiting car. She was never seen again. Also missing is Kathy’s car, a red and black 1990 Mitsubishi Eclipse with personalized license plates reading “LOLA.”
Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact the Indiana State Police @ 317-232-8280.
LOLA KATHERINE FRY
Missing Since: 11/14/1993
Missing From: Greenwood, Indiana
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date of Birth: 02/20/1965 (She would be 56 this year.)
Age: 28 years old at time of disappearance
Height and Weight: 5’5, 120 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, green eyes. Fry’s nicknames are Kat and Kathy. Her maiden name is Coleman. She has breast implants, a scar on her right knee and a small scar on her forehead.
1996: Herb Baumeister Eats His Last Peanut Butter Sandwich
July 3, 1996 – Suspected serial killer Herb Baumeister kills himself with a single gunshot to the head rather than answer questions regarding human remains on his Westfield estate. In his suicide note, the founder of Sav-A-Lot thrift stores states his intention to eat his favorite snack, a peanut butter sandwich, and then “go to sleep.”
The remains of eleven men were found on his property, only eight of whom were eventually identified.
He is also suspected of being the I-70 Strangler, killing at least nine and dumping their bodies along the interstate between Indianapolis and Ohio.
In the early hours of a chilly October morning in 1970, a ten-year-old Indianapolis boy left home to deliver newspapers to his neighbors. Three hours later, his nude body was found discarded along a rural road fifteen miles from his home. He had been stabbed to death.
The events surrounding the murder are as strange as they are tragic. For one thing, the paper route actually belonged to one of Mike’s brothers. Gordon “Bud” Bayles, fifteen, was a delivery boy for the Star but had been employed only about five weeks. According to a statement Bud gave at the time, Mike had volunteered to run the route for him that Saturday. It was a decision that quite possibly cost the younger boy his life.
Shortly before six, a customer toward the start of the route heard the soft smack of a newspaper hitting her porch and then a scream. She looked out her window but saw only the passing headlights of a car. Another customer, William H. Johnson, found the boy’s bicycle and bag when he stepped outside for his paper about half an hour later. A later count of the newspapers in the bag revealed only two were missing, indicating that whatever had happened to Mike must have occurred just after he began the route. The following day, a third witness came forward claiming he’d seen a man dragging a boy into a car at knifepoint in the same location where the bike and bag were later found. The witness said he’d called out to the man, questioning him, but the knife-wielding man had claimed to be the boy’s father. Mike apparently had not contradicted this claim, and the witness did not report what he’d seen until he heard about the murderered child the next day. A polygraph test indicated the witness was telling the truth. Unfortunately, he was unable to provide a good description of either the man he’d spoken to or another, smaller man he thought he’d seen waiting in the car.
Mike’s body was found by a Knightstown farmer later that same morning. Wearing only in socks and left alongside a gravel road, the fifth-grader had been stabbed eight times in the back and abdomen. Although an autopsy would eventually determine he had not been sexually assaulted, police refused to rule it out as a motive. The rest of Mike’s clothes and the weapon used to commit the crime were never found. Since DNA fingerprinting had not yet been discovered at the time, neither the child’s corpse nor the newspaper bag could be tested for trace evidence. (It is unknown whether any forensic evidence was preserved for potential testing in the future.) When a grand jury declined to indict an escaped psychiatric patient for the crime despite a history of sex crimes against minors, Prosecutor Nobel R. Pearcy cited a lack of evidence for the failure.
Anyone with information concerning the murder of Jerry “Mike” Bayles is strongly encouraged to contact Indiana State Police @ 1-765-778-2121 or 1-800-527-4752.
Dusty Lawrence, 30, with his wife and child, who were also present at the shooting.
It wasn’t supposed to happen that way.
On March 28th, Dusty Lawrence, his pregnant wife Betsy, and their daughter, five-year-old Madisyn, left their home in Anderson for a trip to Indianapolis. Dusty intended to meet a potential buyer for some items he’d offered for sale on Facebook Marketplace and took his family along for the ride, hoping to share a pleasant Sunday afternoon drive.
He would never make it home again.
Shortly after they arrived at the 3700 block of Rinehall Drive on Indy’s far East side, Dusty was shot at least once while his family watched helplessly from inside the car. Although he was still alive when police arrived on the scene, the young father later died at a local hospital. Neither Betsy or Madisyn were injured in the attack.
Anyone with information on the murder of Dusty Shane Lawrence is urged to contact IMPD (317-327-3475) or Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS (8477).
Indiana authorities are hopeful advanced DNA technology will help return the names to two unidentified males discovered deceased in 1983. Both are claimed victims of serial offender Larry Eyler.
The DNA Doe Project has been entrusted with applying forensic genealogy resources to track down the identity of both males. “Adam Doe” is a black male that was between 15 to 18 years old at the time of his death in 1983. He was tall standing between 5’8″ to 6’2″ and had short black hair. The investigation revealed he may have been seen hitchhiking during the Summer of 1983 in Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana.”Brad Doe” is a white male that was 17 to 23 years old at the time of his death in 1983. He had medium length reddish brown hair and stood around 5’5″ tall. He had two tattoos on his right forearm and had severely fractured his nose earlier in life.
Please call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST if you have any information that could help identify either of these males.
Four years ago today, someone killed Liberty “Libby” German and Abigail “Abby” Williams in the woods near Deer Creek in Caroll County. Their families have been waiting for justice ever since.
On the Monday afternoon of February 13, 2017, the eighth-grade girls had the day free from classes at Delphi Community Middle School. Taking advantage of the unseasonably warm weather, they asked Libby’s older sister drop them off at the Delphi Historic Trails around 1:30. A little more than half an hour later, Libby posted a picture of Abby walking along a stretch of abandoned railroad track known as the Monon High Bridge. It was the last sign of life from either girl.
Volunteers found their bodies the next day. They were located in a nearby ravine on the property of 77-year-old Ron Logan. Neither girl’s cause of death was released.
When police recovered the girls’ phones from the scene, they made a chilling discovery. Libby had left behind clues to her own murder. Apparently realizing the danger she and Abby were in, Libby had managed to record the man believed to be their killer.
Police have released two sketches in connection with the case. The first sketch, depicting a middle-aged man with a goatee, was released July 17, 2017. Then, in April of 2019, Indiana State Police announced that their attention had shifted away from the goateed man to a younger, clean-shaven man instead. He was described as a white male between 5-foot-6 and 5-foot-10, weighing 180 to 200 pounds, with reddish brown hair. Police also said he possessed “a youthful appearance, but could fall in the age range from his 20s to late-30s.” Authorities did not say what had caused the direction of the investigation to change.
The case remains unsolved.
If you recognize either of these men, or if you were in the area of the Delphi Historic Trails on the day the girls disappeared, police would like to speak with you. Although you can remain anonymous, there’s a $240,000 reward if your tip leads to an arrest.
Larry Terry was well-liked among his neighbors on the southeast side of Indianapolis. Often seen around the neighborhood where he rented a room, Larry always seemed to have a smile for the people he encountered. It wasn’t until he went missing in March of 2019 that the rumors started. Terry, people claimed, had said someone wanted him dead.
Two months later, his body was found stuffed inside a suitcase less three miles from his home.
On Memorial Day, May 27th, a group of people were walking along the banks of the city’s Bean Creek when they spotted a suitcase in the water. Curious, they opened it and made a horrific discovery — Larry’s remains. The Marion County coroner ruled the 56-year-old had been killed by strangulation.
To this day, his killer remains unknown.
If you have any information about this case, please call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.
Place: 5725 Crawfordsville Road in Speedway, Indiana
Claim to Infamy: Four young employees, Daniel Davis (16), Mark Flemmonds (16), Jayne Friedt (20), and Ruth Ellen Shelton (17), were abducted from the restaurant when they were closing up for the night. Their bodies were discovered two days later in a wooded lot in Johnson County. Ruth Ellen and Daniel had been shot to death, while Jayne had been stabbed twice in the heart with a hunting knife. Mark died choking on his own blood after receiving a blow to the head. Although robbery is the presumed motive, less than $600 was taken from the registers. Additional money in the girls’ purses and the store safe was left untouched.
Current Status: Unsolved
Random Disturbing Fact: Daniel was new to the Friday night crew. The girl who’d previously worked that shift quit the week before, and he took her spot. It was his first ─ and last ─ Friday night working until close.
Anyone with information regarding this crime is encouraged to call the Indiana State Police (317) 232-8248 .