Here is a quick round-up of some of our top stories this week as well as a peek at what to expect next week.




Composite sketches of babies found, from left, in 1999, 2003 and 2007, respectively.  (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)
Composite sketches of babies found, from left, in 1999, 2003 and 2007, respectively. (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

A break in the case of three dead babies found in the Mississippi River?

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The deaths of three unidentified babies found in the backwaters of the Mississippi River has confounded investigators from the days their remains were found from 1999 to 2007, but within the last six months or so, DNA analysis has generated new leads in at least one of the cases, giving hope of finding more answers about their tragic ends, according to a retired Goodhue, Minn., investigator.






Marion Barter of Australia traveled abroad in 1997 and then vanished / Seven News, Australia
Marion Barter of Australia traveled abroad in 1997 and then vanished / Seven News, Australia

The Lady Vanishes: the strange disappearance of an Australian school teacher

In 1997 Marion Barter was an award-winning elementary school teacher. The divorced, 51-year-old Australian mother of two was dependable, loving and ready for a brief sabbatical from work when she set off to see the world. Marion flew to the United Kingdom, where she sent a few postcards to friends and family in Australia. She also made some seemingly normal phone calls home to her adult daughter. But then, she simply vanished.






It is one of North Dakota's most bizarre serial murders, perpetuated by one of its wealthiest citizens. Graphic by: Josie Gereszek
It is one of North Dakota's most bizarre serial murders, perpetuated by one of its wealthiest citizens. Graphic by: Josie Gereszek

One of North Dakota's wealthiest farmers was also a serial killer

Eugene Butler was a founding father of the town of Niagara, N.D., in 1882. Shortly after his death in 1915, workmen found six skeletons under his house. Now more than 100 years after his murderous spree, authorities say you might hold the key to identifying his victims.






A flyer for a reward offered in the 1983 beating and stabbing death of Joseph "Scriver" Olson, 75, at his rural Belgrade home. 
Reward poster
A flyer for a reward offered in the 1983 beating and stabbing death of Joseph "Scriver" Olson, 75, at his rural Belgrade home. Reward poster

A Belgrade, Minn., killing remains unsolved almost 40 years later

The 1983 killing of Joseph "Scriver" Olson, 75, of Belgrade, remains an unsolved homicide. The investigation included an FBI profiler, who now has a Netflix show about him; a lawsuit was filed by a man who said he was tormented by law enforcement; and the Olson home burned down, twice.






Brandy Meyers disappeared in 1992.  Photo courtesy of Kristin Myers
Brandy Meyers disappeared in 1992. Photo courtesy of Kristin Myers

1 murder + 1 suspect + 1 confession = 0 convictions: Listen to the story of missing Brandy Myers

In 1992, 13-year-old Brandy Myers left her home in Phoenix to walk door-to-door and collect money for a book-a-thon. She never returned home. Fast forward to the year 2021. Law enforcement are confident they know who killed Brandy, but Arizona prosecutors have no plans to convict.




Coming next week

Monday: What's it like to be a real-life crime reporter? Forum Communications reporters share their experiences

Tuesday: Terry Dorff, 32, was killed after meeting two men at the adult bookstore downtown and inviting them to his Bluemont Lakes apartment. We look back at the murder of a computer programmer in Fargo 30 years ago.

Wednesday: Dakota Spotlight host James Wolner interviews Jaimie Thomas producer/host of podcast Beenham Valley Road.

Thursday: A monster fish is said to lurk Lake Kampeska in Watertown, South Dakota. But where did that legend begin? We try to find some answers.