Is Eugene Butler North Dakota’s Most Notorious Serial Killer?
With Halloween right around the corner, let's take a look back at the man many think is North Dakota's most notorious serial killer: Eugene Butler.
Butler's story differs quite a bit from most serial killers, as his crimes weren't discovered until two years after his death.
According to Murderpedia, Butler lived the majority of his life near Niagara, North Dakota, which is about 40 miles west of Grand Forks. He was a bit of a recluse and avoided most people, save for the young men he hired to work on his farm.
Butler ended up being declared insane in 1906 and died in a Jamestown asylum in 1913. His crimes went undiscovered, according to Murderpedia, until an excavation of his former home revealed the unimaginable truth.
Underneath the floorboards of Butler's home, the bodies of six young men, between the ages of 15 and 18, were discovered. Blunt force trauma to the back of the head was determined to be the cause of death for each one.
Since Butler had died years before, there was no way to determine his motive. Some who had spoke with him over the years, according to Murderpedia, believe that he may have killed the young men because he was afraid they were going to rob them. Others thought there may be some sort of homosexual connection. Unfortunately, though, there is no way to prove either of these theories and no way to know the real reason why Butler committed these heinous crimes.
Because there were no reports of missing persons in the Niagara area when the crimes were committed, the identities of the six men have never been determined.
According to GhostsOfNorthDakota.com, a workshop now sits atop of the site of Butler's former home. There is a historical complex in Niagara, but there is, obviously, no mention of Butler, who may unfortunately be their most famous resident.