Sunday, September 27, 2009

Things I Think About

Julie Ann Benning

Julie Ann Benning

19 YOA
Waverly, IA (Bremer County)
Jurisdiction: Butler County
November 28, 1975

Julie Ann Benning (also referred to as Julia Benning), 19, disappeared from Waverly, IA the day after Thanksgiving on November 28, 1975. A missing person search that sometimes extended to other states produced no clues to her whereabouts until a Butler County road maintenance worker found her nude and decomposed body in a roadside ditch along a quiet country road about a mile northeast of Shell Rock on March 18, 1976.

Benning had been strangled. An autopsy report established her death was due to "homicidal violence, caused by injury to the throat area."

Benning was last seen the afternoon of Nov. 28, 1975. Initial reports stated Benning was walking on Bremer Avenue on her way to work as a cocktail waitress at the Sir Lounge in Waverly's downtown business district, but on December 17 just before noon, Waverly Police Chief Clarence Wickham announced that further developments established Benning had been in a shoe repair shop at 5:05 p.m. to get a pair of shoes she had left there.

Julie Benning with boulder-size rockA 1975 graduate of Plainfield High School, Benning lived on a farm near Clarksville but had been staying with her aunt and grandmother, Malita Benning and Mrs. Emil (Frieda) Benning, in northwest Waverly while employed at the Waverly lounge.

While a senior at Plainfield High School, Benning had sharply criticized the taking of human life and life imprisonment. In a May 8, 1975 school newspaper editorial, Benning wrote: "Murder is a horrible crime to commit and, of course the offender must be punished, but does that mean he should rot in prison until he dies? I don't think so . . . nor do I think any person has the right to say someone should never be let out of prison, or give them the death penalty." She urged her readers to "Put yourself in their shoes -- the convicts are still humans, too. I hope people will be willing to help them and lend support in convicts' efforts to rehabilitate themselves."

Six months later, the outspoken teen was dead.

On Saturday, March 29, 1976 at about 8 p.m., Butler County Attorney Gene Shepard received an anonymous letter postmarked March 27 from Oelwein. Authorities didn't say how or where the note was found, but said officers wanted to look further into the information contained in the note.

Lisa Peak
Lisa Peak

FBI criminologists were later consulted to determine if the same person murdered both Benning and Lisa Peak, a 20-year-old Wartburg College journalism student whose body was found almost five months later about six miles from where Benning's body was discovered. Peak, too, had been strangled and had a broken neck.

Investigators cited a number of similarities in the Benning and Peak slayings.

Valerie Klossowsky
Valerie Klossowsky

Both Benning and Peak were attractive and described as "outgoing" or "popular." Both disappeared in broad daylight -- Miss Benning on Friday, Nov. 28, and Miss Peak on Monday, Sept. 6. Miss Benning was last seen in a shoe store, and Peak was reportedly going to pick up a pair of shoes. When found, both were nude. Peak had been sexually molested. Benning's body was badly decomposed when found, but authorities never said whether they were able to determine if she had also been molested.

Like Lisa Peak, Miss Benning was also interested in journalism. She enjoyed writing stories -- including mysteries -- and particularly loved Nancy Drew mysteries.

Questions also remained as to whether the Benning and Peak murders were related to another area homicide four years earlier. On June 15, 1971, the partially clad body of 14-year-old Valerie Lynn Klossowsky of Waverly was found on a creek bank under a bridge on a country road three miles west of Denver, IA. The Waverly-Shell Rock Junior High School student also had been strangled.

Miss Benning's survivors included her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Lowell Benning of rural Clarksville; four sisters, Lori, Kelly, Carol, and Linda, all at home; and a grandmother, Mrs. Emil Benning of Waverly.

Sources and References:

The Plainfield News, Wednesday, December 17, 1975
The Waterloo Courier, Sunday, March 21, 1976
The Cedar Rapids Gazette, Friday, March 26, 1976
The Oelwein Daily Register, Tuesday, March 30, 1976
The Waterloo Courier, Tuesday, April 13, 1976
The Des Moines Register, Friday, September 10, 1976
The Waterloo Courier, Sunday, September 12, 1976

Another Checkmark on the Life List of Things to Do

Here is a slideshow of my fun!!!

Wartburg vs. Loras

Lemme just tell you, we arrived at halftime of the Wartburg vs. Loras game and were surprised by how far away from the field the visitor spectators were placed. Not at all welcoming. Boooo....

Oh well. Wartburg totally kicked bootwah again, winning with a 28-9 final score!!! The defense (aided by my CollegeBoy) only allowed Loras 155 yards total. Whoot Whoot


Here are the photos....
CollegeBoy is #91.

Because I get asked.... a lot!

© 2005 Super Duper® Publications
Super Duper® Handy Handouts!™ Number 98

by Katharine F. Bedsole, M.S., CCC-SLP
Articulation: When Should I Worry If My Child is Behind?

Developing speech and language skills is a difficult task. It is natural for young children to
make mistakes in the process of learning to speak. Most children eventually drop errors in their
speech and develop normal speech patterns. Some children continue to make errors beyond
the age when other children have mastered those sounds.

It may be time to show concern if you observe one or more of the following:

1. Family members or friends have a hard time understanding your child.
2. A child demonstrates frustration because you don’t understand his/her speech.
3. Your child shows no signs of frustration when trying to communicate, but you do not
understand his/her speech.

This is the time to seek a professional’s opinion. Direct questions about your child’s speech development to a local speech-language pathologist (SLP). To find an SLP in your area, visit

A certified SLP administers a standardized test comparing your child’s skills to other children his/her age. These test results, in addition to other information, determine whether your child requires speech therapy.

The chart below gives general guidelines of sound mastery. The guidelines allow for the different developmental speech milestones that children experience.

90% of Children Have Mastered These Sounds... By Age

p, d, m, w, h, n 2 years old
t, b, k, g 3 years old
f, v, y 4 to 5 years old
s, z, j, l, r, sh, ch, th, blends 5 to 7 years old

Mawhinney, Linda and McTeague, Mary Scott. (2004) Early Language
Development. Greenville: Super Duper Publications.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Boss on a Monday Night in Iowa

Before there was a movie called "The Bucket List", there was a 40 year old woman who felt that life was getting away from her, that time was passing faster and faster and that it was time to get serious about living with no regrets. So, she made a list; a Life List of Things to Do. That woman was me (soooo obvious).

I revisited my list from time to time, but with two high school kids, there was not much time for crossing things off the list. I transferred the list from a handwritten journal, to my blog, to my FaceBook and just sort of kept it in all the back of my mind.

Until one week ago. One week ago, I received an email from a mom friend. She was feeling ill and felt that she would be unable to use her tickets to the Bruce Springsteen concert. I was stunned, but first of all, I told her I wanted to pray that *she* would become well enough to attend herself. She agreed to this, but was dubious.

Monday, mid afternoon, I received a text from this Momfriend, stating that she was at the hospital and that she still wanted me to have the tickets. I agreed and quickly needed to make some plans. Had to find someone to go with. Had to make a plan.

Found another Momfriend, Jean and off we went. We arrived with minutes to spare and then found our seats. Then we waited an hour. ::ahem: After that, the Boss came out and we were treated to 3 hours of nonstop Bruuuuuce. The man, who is on a recent cover of AARP (my daughter and hairstylist do not even know The Boss---how sad) moves like a 30 year old. Amazing.

I really, really wanted to hear "Born to Runnnnnn" (of course) and "Thunder Road" and if I heard those, the rest would be gravy. Wish granted. I was in heaven. Except for the huge round bruise I have on my upper, outter right thigh, from where I would ker-slam my leg, as I danced in the dark. Did I already used the word 'heaven'? hahahaha

Such a generous gift. Such an amazing night. I was blessed, indeed. Now, onto the next item on the "Life List of Things to Do". Oddly enough, it was to come less than one week later. :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Propaganda 101--All that's missing is a bust of Uncle Ho, er, I mean Uncle O

Well, since they keep removing the video of those children singing their teacher-led propoganda, I have no choice but to include this *re-made* version of the MMM-MMM-MMM song...

Are you KIDDING me??

Filmed at a NJ Elementary School.

(You will need to turn off the music player, in order to hear the children singing the song. UGH)

Song 1:

Mm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said that all must lend a hand
To make this country strong again
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said we must be fair today
Equal work means equal pay
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said that we must take a stand
To make sure everyone gets a chance
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said red, yellow, black or white
All are equal in his sight
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

Mmm, mmm, mm
Barack Hussein Obama

Song 2:
Hello, Mr. President we honor you today!
For all your great accomplishments, we all doth say "hooray!"

Hooray, Mr. President! You're number one!
The first black American to lead this great nation!

Hooray, Mr. President we honor your great plans
To make this country's economy number one again!

Hooray Mr. President, we're really proud of you!
And we stand for all Americans under the great Red, White, and Blue!

So continue ---- Mr. President we know you'll do the trick
So here's a hearty hip-hooray ----

Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Kinder, Gentler Playlist of Songs from Yesteryear

My new PlayList will be a total snorefest, unless you are a child of the 60's and 70's, as I am.

Me, I am in a soft, gentle place, when I listen to these sweet tunes. sigh

Peter, Paul and Mary, Simon and Garfunkle, Ambrosia, Kenny Loggins, John Denver, Cat Stevens. Ahhhhh....remember?

I do. :)

The Dam Has Burst... more ways than one.

First, today's multitude of blog posts (after a long dry spell) and in this photo, on this favorite website of mine (thanks to Val for sharing the love).

Be sure and read through the comments. They are every bit as good as the photos.

Wartburg vs. Augsburg

CollegeBoy is a junior this year!! Can you believe it?

We missed College Boy's first game of the season for a couple of reasons 1). It was faaaar away and 2). I was faaar away. They lost in overtime---booooo! :gasp: Was it because we weren't there??? Ruh-roh.

The second game of the season was at home against Augsburg. It was a night game, which is unusual for college ball. The weather was perfect and the outcome terrific. We got to hear CollegeBoy's name on the loudspeaker several times ("Jared Olson on the tackle...").

Here are some photo highlights.

#91 in his home jersey

The swarm before they storm the field.

Me and CollegeBoy.

CollegeBoy Fan Club

He played that night in memory of his Aunt Deb. Her son got married that day.

The Knight


RV Dreamin'

Here's the one we fell in love with. Amazing!! It's a Montana Hickory edition.

Corian, pendant lights, Lazyboy recliners, desk area, real dining table and chairs, 2 flat screens, washer dryer hookup, central vac, fireplace, 'garage' below, good sized shower and bath---yeah. I think I could LIVE there.

CollegeBoy Game Coverage

The Wartburg Knights took on the Cornell Rams yesterday. Gorgeous weather. Another great game. Another awesome show by the defense. Another win...30-7!

Jared played yesterday in memory of his Aunt Deb (who passed away two weeks ago) and his Grandpa Suiter (who passed away in July). Love that kid.

#91 is in the houseeeeee!

Hand over his heart during the national anthem. Just like we taught him. Proud.

There is also a link (below) to watch the local Iowa conference college football coverage.

Go Knights!!


I am so far behind on this poor, forsaken blog that I am not sure how to dig myself out from under the pile. We have had a wedding, the Baby has moved out to start college and apartment life, the Boy has started his junior year of college and football, husband and I took a tennis trip to OKC...oh my.

Most of the updating of our family life happens in real time on FaceBook, where I am a complete junkie. Middle-aged women gone bad. LOL

So, I am undecided about how to proceed. Should I try to catch up here on the blog, moving through the past events in chronological order? Should I scrap the blog and just update on FB? Should I just begin blogging again from where we find ourselves today, ignoring the life passages that have already occurred? Oh dear...

So many choices. Such a rapid pace of life.

Plus, I have just felt sort of dry with regard to blogging my thoughts and opinions. I need a jump start, fo sho, if I am to continue.

Sigh. Just try to imagine being inside my head...heh heh

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Maybe I will have to change the name of my blog to "Lazy Blogger's Dream" or "I Have Nothing to Say" or "Reading the Bible is Best" or something equally clever (or lame), but here is another video clip that makes me smile.

A bi-partisan offering this time.

Because, I think we can all agree that this kid has a future. :)

(be sure and scroll to the end of the page and turn off the music player, which also needs attention. sigh)

Funniest Dance To Low - Watch more amazing videos here