Dorothy FACKNITZ 1
- Born: Abt 1935, NE 1
- Died: 7 Apr 1953, Hall Co, NE about age 18
Beatrice Daily Sun, Beatrice, NE, Wednesday April 8, 1953:
Marine Held After Death of Waitress, Hastings, NE (AP)
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Weaver, who came here from Grand Island, said Getter had admitted being with the dead girl but made no statement.
Miss Facknitz was the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Harry Facknitz, Route 1, Grand Island. She had been paroled from the Girls Training School at Geneva only last February.
The girls father said his daughter left home about 9 p.m. Monday with a young man, but the parents did not see him nor the car he was driving.
Weaver said it had been established that Getter had known Miss Facknitz about a month.
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Although the body was found two miles west of the Soldiers & Sailors Home at Grand Island, police expressed belief the death may actually have occured some time earlier a mile and a half west of Cairo and that the body was dumped at the spot where it was found.
Racine Journal Times, Racine, WI, Thursday, April 9, 1953:
"Flabby" Marine Held in Slaying - Grand Island, Neb. (U.P.)
A 17-year old Marine arrested for questioning in the death of a bludgeoned waitress, is in the custody of the Marine Corps.
Officers at the Naval Ammunition Depot at Hastings, Neb., said they probably would turn Richard D. Getter of Bethlehem, Pa., over to civilian authorities, but added that a statement from Gov. Robert Crosby was needed before the transfer could take place.
Meanwhile, Hall County Attorney Harold Weaver said he would issue a warrent for Getter but had not decided what the charge would be.
Weaver said four witnesses had identified Getter as the "flabby-looking" youth seen standing over an unconscious girl on a road ditch near Cairo, Neb.
The beaten body of 18-year old Dorothy Facknitz was found Tuesday, 15 miles from the spot where the "flabby" youth was seen.
It is believed that the auburn haired girl was thrown from an automobile. Weaver said an autopsy showed Miss Facknitz died of a fractured skull and had apparently been ravished.
Getter was arrested at the naval depot, and the county attorney said the arrest came after law enforcement officers traced the movements of the "flabby-looking" youth.
Witnesses told Weaver that when they came across the youth standing over the unconscious girl he told them she was ill. They said the young man told him he planned to take her to a hospital, and they helped lift her into a green panel truck.
The truck, identified as one stolen from a used car lot here, was found abandoned.
Miss Facknitz, who worked at a Grand Island restaurant, was found dead about two miles from the farm home of her parents, Mr. & Mrs. Harry Facknitz.
Beatrice Daily Sun, Beatrice, NE, Thursday, April 9, 1953:
G.I. DEATH NOT MURDER - Grand Island, NE (AP)
Richard D. Getter's story of the death of a girl companion Monday night was made public Thursday but Hall County Attorney Donald Weaver said officials are skeptical of some of the details.
At the same time Weaver modified his earlier stand that the possibility of murder has been ruled out. He said among other things the physician who performed the autopsy on 18-year-old Dorothy Facknitz of Grand Island is skeptical about some points of Getter's story. The autopsy showed her death resulted from a skull fracture.
A conference was to be held Thursday afternoon among state, county and city officials to "coordinate the material facts" with Getter's testimony given in a 2-1/2 hour interview at the Hastings Naval Ammunition Depot where Getter, 17 year old Marine from Bethlehem, Pa is being held.
Weaver said Getter gave this version of the night's events: He picked up the girl about 9 p.m. and a short time later they decided to drive to Broken Bow. After they were under way the girl decided she did not want to go on but he continued toward Bow ken Bow. She then climbed out on the running board of the truck he was driving and clung to the door. She called to him to stop the truck and as he slowed down she lost her grip and fell, striking the back of her head on the pavement. This was about 9:30.
Apparently it was while he was lifting her back into the trunk that he was seen by several witnesses. Getter said he then drove to Grand Island and consulted an unidentified friend who told him to take the girl home. He did not know at that time whether or not she was alive.
Twin Falls Times News, Twin Falls, ID - Thursday, April 9, 1953:
Marine Held in Slaying of Ex-Area Girl -
(First part of article was similar to the one above.)
The Facknitz family lived in Twin Falls from 1947 to 1950, moving back to Nebraska at that time. Mrs. Bill Winters, a sister of the girl, lived here from 1945 to about a year ago when the family moved to Ely, Nev. Roberta Carmichael, a niece of Miss Facknitz, is a present resident of Twin Falls.
Council Bluffs Nonparell, Council Bluffs, IA - Friday. April 10, 1953
Rule Out Murder in Grand Island Death
GRAND ISLAND Neb
(Most of article was similar to those above.)
Weaver said a lie detector test supported Getter's version of the affair.
Great Bend Daily Tribune, Great Bend, KS, Friday, April 10, 1954:
Accidental Element in Death of Girl
GRAND ISLAND, NEB. UP -
A 17-year-old Bethlehem, Pa., marine private held in the death of a teenage waitress here is "not guilty of murder because there was an accidental element" authorities said today.
Pvt. Richard Getter probably will be charged with "something less than murder", Hall County Attorney Donald Weaver said today. "It could be anything from manslaughter on down."
The body of 18-year-old Dorothy Facknitz of Grand Island was found on a gravel road near here early Tuesday. Several witnesses testified that Getter was with the girl earlier in the evening.
Authorities determined that Miss Facknitz, a waitress who had been released recently from the state girls school where she was sent for stealing a dress, died of a blow on the head. They said she might have been raped.
At Hastings, Neb. Capt. John J. Cagen of the Hastings naval depot, where Getter is held, said the youth claims the girl fell from a truck in which they rode and hit her head. Because the truck had been stolen from a Grand Island used car lot, Getter apparently was afraid to report the accident.
Weaver said that "I'm positive Getter is not guilty of murder".
Council Bluffs Nonpareil, Council Bluffs, IA - Tuesday, April 14, 1953:
Name Marine in Criminal Charge -
GRAND ISLAND, NEB. A.P. - Three criminal charges have been filed against Richard D. Getter, 17, Bethlehem, Pa, Marine, Monday in connection with the death of his girl companion, Dorothy Facknitz, 18, Grand Island, last Monday night.
Hall County Attorney Donald Weaver filed charges of motor vehicle homicide, abandoning a dead human body and failure to render aid to a person injured in an accident. The charges were filed in the court of Justice of the Peace Paul C. Holmberg.
Arraignment of the youthful marine awaits his transfer from military to civilian custody. Getter has been in military custody of the Hastings, Neb., Naval Ammunition Depot, where he is stationed, since last Tuesday.
Miss Facknitz' body was found beside a road near Grand Island early last Tuesday. An autopsy showed death had been caused by a skull fracture.