FLASHBACK! Neighbor Kills Family of 8 In Turtle Lake North Dakota
It's Halloween, so why not revisit North Dakota's worst mass murder?* It was mostly all one family...
Look, the picture says 1920- so we're not talking today's headlines, but let's discuss a family of eight violently murdered in Turtle Lake, North Dakota. It's Halloween, right? So let's read on...
The girl in the white hat is the lone family member to survive. I kid you not. Damn tragic.
I'm from Minot and have lived in Bismarck and Mandan for over 20 years. And somewhat halfway in between the cities is Turtle Lake, North Dakota. In 1920 eight people on one farmstead near Turtle Lake were brutally murdered.
I just heard about this last year. News to me. Why had I never heard about this before? Must be that secrets just disappear? Not really, because when I brought it up with my pal Turtle Lake connected Jaden...she says- oh I've been at the grave sites.
Let's follow convicted ND family killer Henry Layer on Murderpedia
Henry Layer, 36, was born Heinrich C. Layer on November 12, 1884 in Eigenfeld, South Russia. He came to this country in 1886 with his parents who settled near Ashley, N.D., where he lived until 1916. He was married first to Mathilda Miller in 1904, and the couple had two children, Elizabeth Katherina and Edward. They were divorced in March of 1911, and the children remained with their mother. He married Lydia Brokofsky Hinzman in Ashley on January 30, 1912.
Henry was sentenced to life in the state penitentiary on Thursday, May 13, 1920, for the murders of the Wolf family and their hired boy. He and Lydia were divorced on December 21, 1922, and he died in the prison hospital on March 21, 1925. His obituary in the Bismarck Tribune said he was buried "in a local cemetery," but it is not known where he was buried.
Henry Layer had an argument with his neighbor Mr. Wolf. It was in regards to Mr. Wolf's dogs biting Mr. Layer's cows.
Here's a piece from ND Historian Dan Feldner (in a wild coincident former fantastic high school instructor of mine)...
When Layer ignored Wolf’s orders to leave his property, Wolf got his double-barreled shotgun and put two shells in the chambers. Layer grabbed for the gun, and in the ensuing struggle, the gun discharged twice with one shot killing Mrs. Wolf and the other hitting the chore boy through the back of the neck and killing him.
So Henry was in it...and so he went and hunted down the rest of the family across the homestead.
When Wolf fled into the yard, Layer reached into a dresser drawer for more ammunition, fired at Wolf, hit him in the back and again at close range.
Maria and Edna fled screaming to the barn, where they were pursued and shot by Layer.
Bertha, Lydia and Martha were screaming wildly in the house. Layer silenced two of them with the shotgun and Martha, the youngest to be killed, was hit on the frontal bone with the broad side of a hatchet.
Layer then dragged Jacob Wolf’s body to the barn and covered it and those of his daughters with hay and dirt before returning to the house and pushing the other bodies in the cellar.
This is from murderpedia.com which is referencing my former history teacher Dan Feldner**
So there's the terrifying Halloween tale...
Some guy massacres eight neighbors because of dog.
**not either Don Henley, Don Felder, or Glen Frey and never an active Eagles member....sounds like one tho'
*also you're right...probably by far not ND's worst mass murder.
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