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Most People Don’t Know The Horrifying Story Of This Nebraskan Serial Killer

We all know the awful stories of Nebraska murderers Charles Starkweather and John Joubert, but long before these men committed their heinous acts, Nebraska played unwilling host to its first documented serial killer. Stephen D. Richards murdered at least six people in 1878.

(Please note that, with the exception of the jail, the below photos do not depict any actual places involved in the story. They are included here for illustrative purposes only.)

At the time and for many years after his crimes, Stephen Richards was the worst serial killer to have ever plagued Nebraska. He admitted to the murders of his traveling companion, the Harelson family, and his neighbor, but law enforcement at the time thought that he may have killed as many as three more people. Although it was a huge news story when the horrific murders occurred, many Nebraskans have never heard the story…until now.

Delana
Delana is a writer and editor who has lived in Nebraska for most of her life.