Here is a quick round-up of some of our top stories this week


Minnesota-born man became one of 20th century's most prolific serial killers

Carl Panzram.
Carl Panzram.

EAST GRAND FORKS, Minn. — Nearly 100 years after his death, it's still up for debate where Carl Panzram's life first went wrong.

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It might have been in a boxcar heading west, when Panzram claimed to be the victim of a vicious sexual assault by a group of fellow hobos which left him with a deep hatred of humankind. It might have been in the Red Wing Training School for Boys and Girls, the first place he got a taste of the violence of the American prison system as a pre-teen. Or it might have been even earlier, growing up hard and poor on a homestead nestled between the Red and the Red Lake rivers in the modern-day heart of East Grand Forks.


Watery discovery in South Dakota solves mystery of teen girls who vanished on way to gravel pit party

The South Dakota Attorney General's Office released this undated photo showing the tires of the long lost Studebaker sticking out of creek water near Elk Point. Contributed
The South Dakota Attorney General's Office released this undated photo showing the tires of the long lost Studebaker sticking out of creek water near Elk Point. Contributed

UNION COUNTY, S.D. — Two high school girls disappeared on their way to a gravel pit party down a southeastern South Dakota country road in the early 1970s.

For decades, rumors abounded about the fates of 17-year-old Pamela Jackson and Shirley Miller, two Vermillion high schoolers who never came home. One was tied to David Lykken, a sexual predator from Beresford, already serving over 200 years in prison.

In 2004, after the emergence of a jailhouse confession, state authorities even dug up the Lykken property south of Beresford, turning over a hubcaps and a red purse, but no car or human remains.

Later, it turned out, the confession was fabricated by another inmate.


Commercialized killings: Where jobs are scarce, anyone can be the target of an assassination

Teacher and acting principal Priscilla Mchunu was assassinated in front of her students at Laduma High School in South Africa. Contributed / Volume
Teacher and acting principal Priscilla Mchunu was assassinated in front of her students at Laduma High School in South Africa. Contributed / Volume

When you think about assassinations and contract killings you might imagine mobsters, politicians, royalty and other powerful positions in society. But in some parts of the world you don't need to be a prime minister or mafia boss to become a target. Sometimes all it takes is earning a teaching degree.


Sex trafficking victims helped US attorney for Minnesota convict hundreds of predators in the '50s

Investigators and the U.S. Attorney's Office found John's Bar and Funhouse, previously located at 2500 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis, to be an epicenter for prostitution throughout the Midwest in the early 1950s. Archival photo circa 1953 courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society.
Investigators and the U.S. Attorney's Office found John's Bar and Funhouse, previously located at 2500 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis, to be an epicenter for prostitution throughout the Midwest in the early 1950s. Archival photo circa 1953 courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society.

ST. PAUL — When federal law enforcement began their crackdown on prostitution and sex trafficking in the Midwest in the 1950s — setting their sights on a Minneapolis "funhouse" that served as an epicenter of crime — they had some unlikely allies: the victims themselves.

It began on Thursday, Aug. 14, 1952, when police officers raided a home in Minneapolis' Lowry Hill neighborhood where visitors would go to "see a show," according to Minneapolis Star Tribune archives. Officer Pat Walling, who led the squad, told the Star Tribune that he said he was a businessman entertaining two out-of-town guests. The officers were charged $20 a piece to witness a “show which, (officers) charged, contained immoral acts.”


When 3 kids went missing within 5 months from the same street, police didn't spot a pattern. Learn more about the Bowraville serial killer

16-year-old Clinton Speedy-Duroux went missing after a party. His remains were discovered in bushland near Congarinni Road 7 kilometres outside Bowraville.  Contributed / Dan Box
16-year-old Clinton Speedy-Duroux went missing after a party. His remains were discovered in bushland near Congarinni Road 7 kilometres outside Bowraville. Contributed / Dan Box

One by one they disappeared. Three aboriginal kids vanished from the same rural Australia street within a five-month period. They were all last seen at three separate parties. The same white man attended each of those parties. The remains of two of the victims were found in the bushland near the clothing of the third, who's body was never recovered. Over 30 years later, no conviction has taken place.


‘Our own misery’: Killer’s family wonders if he’s responsible for St. Louis County’s oldest unsolved murder

A family photo of Michelle Little as a child with her father, Richard, and mother, Judith Little. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Little)
A family photo of Michelle Little as a child with her father, Richard, and mother, Judith Little. (Photo courtesy of Michelle Little)

GILBERT, Minn. -- Michelle Little always wanted her mother to tell this story.

“I even bought her a journal,” Little said of her late mother, Judith Little. “She didn’t use it.”

It’s a story of how the family grew up on a lake outside Gilbert, in the grip of an abusive man who terrorized animals and the people he was supposed to love. While the family members survived nightmarish ordeals, he would go on to become a convicted killer for the 1993 slaying and mutilation of 55-year-old Louella LeTourneau.

And before he died in prison in 2016, Richard Floyd Little — the ex-husband and father known as “Dickie” across the Iron Range — was nearly charged with the unsolved murder of Cindy Elias, 19, of Eveleth, from 1977.

Even in death, Little continues to be a credible suspect in the 44-year-old cold case.