This week, an Iowa woman unleashed allegations that, if true, could uncover a decades-long crime spree that went completely undetected. The woman in question is named Lucy Studey, and she’s accused her father, Donald Dean Studey, of killing as many as 70 women throughout his lifetime. Here’s what we know so far.
Iowa Woman Goes Public With Details Of Traumatic Upbringing
In an interview with Newsweek published on October 22, Iowa woman Lucy Studey brought her harrowing story to a national audience. What’s followed is a massive investigation that could potentially uncover one of the most prolific serial killers in American history.
As Lucy told Newsweek, she’s tried to uncover her father’s crimes for decades. She insists that her story isn’t just suspicion—shockingly, she claims that she helped bury the bodies of her father’s victims. According to the interview, Donald would direct Lucy and her siblings to help transport the remains to a well in the woods adjacent to their property. They were then directed to pile dirt and lye on top of the victims.
“He would just tell us we had to go to the well, and I knew what that meant,” Lucy remarked. “Every time I went to the well or into the hills, I didn’t think I was coming down. I thought he would kill me because I wouldn’t keep my mouth shut.”
The Investigation So Far
Lucy Studey’s stories have become local legend. Up until now, the word of one woman hasn’t been enough to spur an investigation sure to cost the state tens of thousands of dollars. However, that was until Jim Peters, the head of Samaritan Detection Dogs, got involved. Peters took on the case pro bono, leading his tracking dogs to the area Lucy insists hides upwards of 50 victims.
The dogs picked up on the scent of human remains at four different locations, however, the last location took most of the canines’ attention, getting multiple “hits,” as Peters tells it. “Today told me there is the odor of human decomposition in the area,” said Peters. “More work needs to be done to confirm that … I feel pretty good about what I saw from the dogs, but I’m not going to hang my hat on that.”
The Fremont County Sheriff’s department is now involved, and Sheriff Kevin Aistrope is convinced that there’s something to Lucy’s story. “I really think there’s bones there,” said Aistrope. “It’s hard for me to believe that two dogs would hit in the exact same places and be false. We don’t know what it is. The settlers were up there. There was Indian Country up there as well, but I tend to believe Lucy.”
However, as it stands, there is no evidence of a crime. No bones have been recovered, and no potential victims have been identified. “No one would listen to me,” Lucy told the outlet. “The teacher said family matters should be handled as a family, and law enforcement has said they couldn’t trust the memory of a child. I was just a kid then, but I remember it all.” Yet, finally, after 45 years, law enforcement is finally unpacking Lucy’s horrifying tale.