Iowa · Newspaper clippings

Vintage crime: 14-year-old beats mother to death for slapping him (1930)

From multiple sources published July 19, 1930
Lester Mohr (14), under the influence of “near beer [low alcohol beer] and pop ‘spiked’ with alcohol,” beat his mother with his fists, bricks, and a poker, managed to wedge her head between a tree and a fence, beat her more, then returned to shoot her with a shotgun. The attack was sparked when Mrs. Mohr slapped her son.

Lester originally pleaded not guilty but later changed his plea to guilty. Due to Lester’s age, he was not given a life sentence at his sentencing, instead being handed a term of 50 years of hard labor with the chance of a reduced sentence for good behavior. He was paroled in 1940 but violated his parole in 1945 after being charged with forgery.

Image sources:
The Souix City Journal, published July 30, 1930 (photograph)
The Daily Times (Davenport), published July 19, 1930 (left article)
The Milwaukee Journal, published July 19, 1930 (right article)

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