Donald Dean Studey: 2 wives of Iowa 'serial killer' who allegedly killed up to 70 women died by suicide

Donald Dean Studey: 2 wives of Iowa 'serial killer' who allegedly killed up to 70 women died by suicide
Donald Dean Studey's wives killed themselves as one shot herself and the other strangled herself to death (Family handout)

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

FREMONT, IOWA: Iowa man Donald Dean Studey who died in 2013 was blamed by one of his daughters for killing up to 70 women. Though there are rumors that the supposed killer also murdered his two spouses, police files contradict this. According to police, both of Donald's wives died by suicide. One reportedly choked to death, while the other shot herself.

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The information was revealed following Donald's name being mentioned in the media when his daughter Lucy Studey claimed to know "where the bodies were buried." According to Lucy, her father once made her and her brothers throw the remains of women he had killed into a 100-foot well on their Green Hollow Road farm. Lucy stated that she tried to tell others when she was younger but they ignored her. Susan Studey, her older sister, refuted the allegations, claiming that although their father was harsh, he was in no way a murderer. “My father was not the man she makes him out to be,” Susan told Newsweek. “He was strict, but he was a protective parent who loved his children...Strict fathers don't just turn into serial killers.”

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Both the FBI and the Iowa Division of Criminal Probe are assisting the local police in their investigation into the alleged murders. On October 25, the investigation was verified by the sheriff of Fremont County, Kevin Aistrope, who said: “I believe her 100 percent that there's bodies in there.” Law enforcement suspects he brought women from Omaha, Nebraska, supposed to be sex workers, to his five acres of land before murdering them. At least four locations on the property were alerted to by cadaver dogs last week that contained human remains, the Fremont County Sheriff's Office verified 45 years after Donald's death.

Given that the canines are trained to overlook animal bones, the dog handler and sheriff have stated that they think the remains are human. The remains of Donald's stillborn little sister who was interred on the property in a shoebox and those of a golden retriever, according to Susan, may have deceived the cadaver dogs that searched the area last weekend. Lucy said investigators that their father made the children transport the corpses using a toboggan in the winter and a wheelbarrow in the summer, but her sister denies these claims.

Susan revealed to Newsweek that she would first learn of any remains being buried on the site. “I'm two years older than Lucy. I think I would know if my father murdered,” she said. “I would know if my dad was a serial killer. He was not, and I want my father's name restored.” The only violent incident Susan could recall involving her father was when a neighbor drove over their dog and Donald got into a fight with him, Susan continued. The four children obeyed their father's orders to "go to the hills" because they were afraid they "wouldn't return back," as per Lucy. She also claimed that her father frequently drank and that he enjoyed stomping or crushing the heads of women inside trailers to death. If his daughter's statements are accurate, Donald would rank among the most prolific serial killers in American history.

With the exception of a 15-year-old runaway and two men, Lucy reports that all the women were White, had dark hair and were in their 20s and 30s. All of them were dressed and wearing jewelry when they were buried and Lucy claimed that her father had retained the gold teeth as souvenirs. Lucy stated to Newsweek: “He would just tell us we had to go to the well, and I knew what that meant. 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. I don't feel anything for my father. Nothing at all. I wanted justice when my father was alive, but he's gone. I just want for the families some closure and a proper burial.” After throwing the dead into the well, it's been said that Donald made his children lay soil and chemical lye on top of the corpses.

In order to bolster her accusations, Lucy has repeatedly offered to submit to a lie detector test, according to Newsweek. “All I want is to get these sites dug up, and to bring closure for people and to give these women a proper burial. My father was a lifelong criminal and murderer,” she said.

It will be a "big mission" for the cops to bore the well and excavate the scene. According to officials, drilling the well would cost about $25,000, while a full excavation would cost over $300,000. Since police haven't found any remains yet, the property on Green Hollow Road isn't considered a crime scene. Although it is known that Donald used multiple aliases, it is believed that he had a criminal past. He served time in prison for minor theft in Missouri in the 1950s and for drunk driving in Omaha in 1989, according to the police, who admitted they were generally wary of him.

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