Families Of Slain Iowa Clerks Ask Why

ALGONA, Iowa (AP) — The families of two clerks killed during robberies at convenience stores in northern Iowa are grasping for answers about why they died.

Vicky Bowman-Hall, a mother of 11, was shot at a gas station in Algona Monday night and died at a hospital. Sheila Myers was shot and killed about an hour later at a store in Humboldt.

Seventeen-year-old Michael Richard Swanson, of St. Louis Park, Minn., is charged in their deaths.

Bowman-Hall’s daughter, Jillian Bowman, told The Des Moines Register that she remembers holding her mother’s hand in the hospital and telling her that she would “take care of everybody.”

Myers’ daughter, Mandy, told the newspaper that news video of her mother’s alleged killer smiling after his arrest left her disturbed and asking “a lot of whys.”


HUMBOLDT, Iowa (AP) — Hundreds of people are mourning the deaths of two clerks who were killed at different convenience stores in northern Iowa.

KCCI-TV of Des Moines says a big crowd braved the cold for a candlelight vigil Wednesday night at the Kum and Go in Humboldt, where clerk Sheila Myers was shot during a robbery Monday night.

About an hour earlier, Vicky Bowman-Hall was shot during a robbery at a convenience store in Algona.

Residents say one of the toughest things is the loss of innocence in the community.

A Minnesota teenager, Michael Richard Swanson, of St. Louis Park, is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in the women’s deaths.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • getridofem

    This is one time that abortion would have been a good choice–now I would say a 357 would be a better choice—–

  • Edie

    We are mourning in Algona and asking why would someone kill a stranger for a few dollars and cigarettes? We wonder if he was drug or alcohol impaired because he was certainly not thinking rationally. In small towns like ours, we like to watch each other’s backs. A person here saw him driving a Jeep Cherokee wearing a ski mask and going through every stop sign and light without stopping. The police were called and this helped them know which vehicle might have been imvolved. Why, Why, Why – it was so senseless! Maybe someone will have an answer but we don’t. Please pray for the families.

  • WiMom

    Edie, First of all Id like to express my heart felt sympathy to all individuals in these towns, relatives,,and friends of the two victims. This news is so sad in so many ways. According to various news reports, it has been stated this “animal” wothless piece of you know what, had drunk a bottle of Vodka in less than an hour, felt dizzy, yet continued to drive. He too, smasked into a Cadilac Escaulade. What snapped in this kid, we wont know, other than he decided to kill the victims because he didnt want them to be able to identify him! It has also been reported this kid has been a problem since the age of 13, and may have lived outside of the home for a time due to his uncontollability by his parent(s). Like many parents today, they dont teach their kids responsibilities, respect for themselves, or others, the difference between right and wrong, and the list goes on. In MANY cases, one can place blame on the parents for how their kids turn out! Other children, and this one to may have mental problems , but nothing has been reported regarding that issue. Again, we all feel your pain, the loss and the horrific distress you are going through. Know that everyone of you are in our prayers.

  • Sue

    I grew up in Kossuth County very near Algona and Humboldt. It is an area of small farming communities. We all grew up knowing you could leave your house unlocked and the keys in your car without worry. Although those days are long-gone, it is still a place where you can trust almost everyone. This makes me so angry! This animal came into our communities and destroyed two families and the peace of mind of everyone. To family and friends of the victims, you have my deepest sympathy. Know that your loved ones will not be forgotten.

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