Ever wonder if Minnesota has been terrorized by a serial killer? Or perhaps Minnesota is where a serial killer calls home? This blog series will explore potential serial killers that either have roots in Minnesota or have been accused of preying on Minnesota residents. Part five covers Lawrence Scott Dame.
Lawrence Scott Dame was born on September 16, 1972. Larry’s problems started young, beginning with his expulsion from a Catholic high school and alcohol abuse. In 1995, Larry began a four-year sentence for first-degree assault after using a knife to slash a man’s throat during an altercation.
In February 2000, Larry was released from prison. He lived in his parents’ home in Lino Lakes and began loading trucks for Sisco Minnesota in Mounds View. Soon after, he moved into his own apartment. However, by September 2000, Larry had been fired and was drinking heavily. His youngest brother, Walter, said Larry sometimes drank two liters of vodka a day during this period. Larry reportedly told Walter that the alcohol eliminated the voices or spirits he heard in his head.
In October 2000, Larry was arrested for taking one of his sister’s cars. Larry was released from the Anoka County Jail on October 18, 2000. Todd Mimbach, Larry’s brother-in-law, picked Larry up from jail and brought him right to Mercy Hospital for a mental health evaluation, per the judge’s orders. After several hours, Larry was released and brought back to the Mimbachs’ home.
Later that day, Larry’s sister, Donna, called the Lino Lakes Police Department and asked for help finding a place for Larry. Donna said Larry could not stay with them, but he had been turned away at the hospital. During the call, Donna said, “He has to go back to jail or something.” The officer said there was nothing they could do because Larry was neither suicidal nor making threats.
Early the next morning, Larry killed his sister, her husband, and their three children as they slept in their beds. Larry used a hammer on each member of his family, as well as a kitchen knife on everyone except his sister. Donna was 29, Todd was 32, John was 12, Amber was 9, and Daniel was 22 months old.
According to Walter, the voices in Larry’s head said his family was out to kill Larry because they were trying to commit him to a mental hospital. Larry’s mother said Larry decided to kill everyone before they killed him.
Larry pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness and proceeded to a bifurcated (split) trial. During the guilt phase of the trial, the judge convicted Larry of five counts of first-degree murder. During the mental-illness phase of the trial, the jury also convicted Larry of five counts of first-degree murder and rejected his mental-illness defense. Larry’s conviction was upheld on appeal to the Minnesota Supreme Court, and he was sentenced to five consecutive life sentences.
Larry is currently an inmate at the Minnesota Correctional Facility – Oak Park Heights in Stillwater. He is 50 years old and is not eligible for parole.
If you enjoyed this blog, make sure to catch up on this series by reading Part 1 – Paul Michael Stephani, Part 2 – Joseph Donald Ture, Jr., Part 3 – David Francis Brom, and Part 4 – Khoua Her.