John Baker
Birth name John Gerhardt Baker
Occupation Farmer
Born ca. 1863

September 29, 1897(1897-09-29) (aged 34)
Carrol County, Iowa, United States

Cause of death Suicide
Parents John Baker, Sr.
Attack information
Date September 26/27, 1897
Location(s) Carrol County, Iowa, United States
Target(s) Family
Killed 7
Weapon(s) Musket
.32-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver

John Gerhardt Baker, Jr. was an American farmer who killed his wife and six children at their farm in Carrol County, Iowa, United States during the night from September 26 to September 27, 1897, before committing suicide.[1]


Farm of his parents, located in Arcadia Township [2][3]



Lived on a farm four miles south of Breda, eight miles northwest of Carroll, after the murders shot himself in the head, prosperous and happy family, his sin Henry was taken to hospital in life threatening condition, was not expected to survive, Murders were discovered the next morning by his brother when he did not show up to help a nieghbour to thresh wheat. Found Boecker with wife and baby lying dead on a bed, wife had been shot in the neck with shotgun, shot his baby with a six-shot Smith & Wesson revolver and smashed its head with the gun's butt, upstairs Lizzie and Henry lay on a bed, shot in the forehead, the other three children lay on another bed in a corner in the same room, also shot in the forehead,

On September 23 borrowed a revolver from his brother Henry on the premise to kill rats in the cellar, practices target shooting the following days, lived in the neighbourhood for 20 years, Some time prior to murders bought a 200-acre farm not far from his home, was 34, of German origin, On the day of murders attended church in Breda with family, a neighbour who had visited them later that day said they gave the impression of being a happy family. According to relatives the Boecker family had no financial troubles nor were there any conflicts within the family, but there apparently was a disagreement with his parents and his brother over the occupancy of his farm.[5][6] [7][8]

wife and four children died instantly, one of his daughters died a few hours later, Boecker and his son Henry were still alive when found, but were given no chance of recovery, Boecker died shortly thereafter withouth regaining consciousness, shot his wife with a musket, had locked all doors, Shortly before murders was told by his father that he had to leave the farm and his younger brother Henry would take over, dissented for some time, but eventually acquiesce and traded a 120 acre farm he owned for a 200 acre farm in Kniest township. Acted strangely for some time according to neighbours.[9]

Henry regained consciousness when found, could not relate what had happened, suspected of having drugged his victims, shot Caroline twice,[10]

was Married for eleven years, lived with his wife with his parents for a year, then moved to farm where murders took place, not far from parents home,[11][12][13]


  • Mary Anne Baker, 35, his wife
  • Caroline Hoelter Baker, 14, his daughter
  • Christine Baker, 9, his daughter
  • Henry Baker, 8, his son
  • Lizzie Baker, 6, his daughter
  • John Baker, 3, his son
  • Theresa Baker, 5 months, his daughter


Further readingEdit

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