Minnesota · Newspaper clippings

Woman tied to a tree, raped, shot in face, and left to die

September 20, 1916
Good Hope Township, Minnesota
School teacher Olga Dahl is raped, shot twice in the face, and left for dead

According to an interview with Dahl’s children by the Itasca County Historical Society, Dahl had seen her assailant the day before the attack, staring at her as she ate her breakfast, though she did not know him otherwise. The attacker later approached her in the schoolhouse, forced Dahl into the woods telling her she was “just too pretty to live,” tied her to a tree, sexually assaulted her, and shot her twice in the face. According to the Herald Review (Sept. 27, 1916), “One bullet had entered the left cheek and passed through the face, lodging near the surface of the right cheek. The other shot entered the left temple and passed through the eye, destroying sight.”

Dahl’s attacker took some time to write a note in broken English, reading:

“This is a preety friend of heres and shee is too pretty for here one good so if you stand happy to find this boddes I see you later.

Sept. 20, 1916”

(It was interpreted to read “This is a pretty good friend of her’s and she is too pretty for her own good, so I think that I will fix her. If you should happen to find this body, I will see you later.)

Dahl was then left to die.

She was found early the next morning and treated for her injuries. As she recovered, a doctor slept near the door to her room, armed with a shotgun. Despite a posse of a hundred men searching for her attacker, he was not apprehended. Seven months after the assault, in May of 1917, a spear fisherman dislodged a corpse in a nearby creek. Though the body was badly decomposed, Dahl was able to positively identify the corpse as that of her attacker after recognizing his coat buttons, officially closing the case.

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