Iowa is pretty boring, right? Movies portray it as a collection of bland, small-time settlements with humble rural-folk tipping their straw-hats and waving at everyone that walks by. While we are a very friendly state, that’s not always the case. Here’s a list of absolute maniacs that called Iowa their home at one time or another.
1. John Wayne Gacy, AKA: The Killer Clown
We're not starting off small with this list. John Wayne Gacy is one of America's most notorious serial killers. With an estimated death toll of 33 teenaged boys, who he also raped, anyone who knows anything about serial killers has heard his name. Not many know that he once lived in Waterloo, Iowa, where he managed a string of Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants, and was convicted for committing several sexual assaults. As part of his court-agreed procedure, he moved to Illinois, and would go on to carry out the heinous acts he is infamous for.
2. Tommy Carroll
Although he was born in Montana, Tommy Carroll held up in Council Bluffs for a while before being arrested for larceny. He was once a boxer by trade, and fought in France during World War I. He went on to commit a slew of crimes in the midwest, and was arrested for almost all of them. It is believed the broken jaw he sustained in his boxing career gave him an easily-distinguished mug, making police evasion very difficult. Eventually, he joined the likes of Baby Faced Nelson and other professional criminals, and together they heisted over $30,000 from a bank in Brainerd, Minnesota. He was killed in a firefight with police in Waterloo, Iowa after evading authorities for weeks with his wife.
3. Charles Ray Hatcher
The child of a physically abusive, alcoholic-convict father, Charles Ray Hatcher was bullied often at school and saw his brother die before his very eyes when he was six years old. He was a troubled soul to say the least, and committed 16 murders, mostly children, between the years of 1969 and 1982. He was arrested under an alias in Des Moines after a knife fight, and one of his victims was found buried near Davenport, Iowa. He killed himself in prison in 1984.
4. Robert Hansen
Robert Hansen was born in Estherville, Iowa, and had a childhood reputation as a misfit. He was shunned for his appearance and demeanor. In his adult life, he was arrested for burning down a school bus garage in Pocahontas County. His wife divorced him while he was in prison, and he moved to Anchorage, Alaska after he remarried. It was here that he raped and murdered at least 17 women, but estimations reach more than 30 total victims. Hansen was also called The Butcher Baker, and kept women chained around the neck in his house. In 2014, he died in prison at the age of 75.
5. Jeffrey Dahmer
Also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, Jeffrey Dahmer raped, tortured, murdered, and ingested 17 young men and boys throughout the course of his life. His first victim was a hitchhiker, and Dahmer was only 18 when he killed him. Dahmer is known for his monstrous actions, but what people may not know is that he spent four years of his childhood in Ames, Iowa where his father pursued his doctorate in chemistry. They lived in what was then called the Hawthorn Apartments, but Cyclones today know it as Frederiksen Court.
There you have it, five criminals who used to hold up in the land of the rolling prairie. Which one surprised you the most? Comment below and share!