A double murder rocked the tiny town of Odessa, Buffalo County on the night of December 4, 1899. Lillian Dinsmore was found dead in the kitchen of the house in which she and her charismatic husband Frank L. Dinsmore boarded. Fred Laue, the boarding house owner was shot in his bedroom. The Dinsmores had been married only a year. According to Fred Laue’s wife, Mr. Dinsmore became obsessed with her and seduced her. Unhappy in his marriage, Dinsmore supposedly plotted to kill his young wife and murder Laue. After she was murdered, Lillian Dinsmore’s brothers accused Dinsmore of using hypnotic powers on their vulnerable sister. After hearing the accusation, Mrs. Laue also claimed to be a victim of Dinsmore’s hypnotic influence. The Dinsmore case became a newspaper sensation. He vehemently denied all the charges even after the guilty verdict was read and he was sentenced to death by hanging. Dinsmore’s lawyers appealed the sentence and Governor Dietrich stepped in to commute his sentence to life in prison. Dinsmore posed for his mug shot at the Nebraska State Prison wearing a simple white cotton shirt, sack jacket, and striped prison-issue pants.
- Prison ID Number: #3741
- Criminal Offense: Murder, life
- Offense Location: Nebraska State Penitentiary