Laurie Dann led an unassuming childhood, growing up in an affluent northern suburb of Chicago. She was recollected as being somewhat awkward and lacking in confidence. Maybe that’s why she completely altered her face with plastic surgery at quite a young age. She attended the University of Arizona for several years but never graduated. Whilst working as a cocktail waitress at Green Acres Country Club, she met Russell Dann, the son of a wealthy family. The duo were inseparable and settled down and got married in September of 1982. They moved into a large mansion - something that had always been a dream of Lauries.
Shortly thereafter, Russell began to notice some bizarre quirks about his new wife. For example, she would keep her makeup in the microwave, would throw money into the back seat of her car, and would put clothes away while they were still soaking wet. While the couple remained together for several years, Laurie’s quirks began to worsen and worsen. Eventually, she completely stopped leaving the house and refused to cook or clean up after herself. The relationship was doomed but it reached calamitous heights in September of 1986. Police received a phone call from Russell. Somebody had stabbed him with an ice-pick whilst he slept and he was certain it was Laurie. In fact, a store clerk would come forward to say Laurie had indeed purchased an ice-pick just days previously. The ice-pick missed his heart by just an inch. Considering Russel was asleep and didn’t see his attacker, the charges against Laurie were dropped. The couple divorced shortly afterwards. As the divorce was underway, Laurie’s ex-boyfriend from five years previously started to receive threatening phone calls from Laurie in which she claimed she was pregnant with his child. The harassment finally ended when his lawyer contacted her parents.
Laurie moved from the marital home and decided she wanted to become a babysitter but this quickly failed when she was accused of stealing from her client’s homes and slashing up their sofas, rugs, and curtains. Following this failed business idea, she moved into a dorm room on the northwest campus. This too fell apart when Laurie starred to hide rotten meat inside furniture as well as hiding rubbish in other student’s rooms. In January of 1988, she moved to a dorm in Madison, Wisconsin, where she became known as “elevator lady.” Students recalled her riding up and down in the elevator all day long. Once again, she started to leave rotten meat around the dorm and would often be seen stark naked in the communal areas. A month after moving in, a dorm room was set alight. Many believed Laurie had caused the fire intentionally but with no evidence, she was never charged.
By now, Laurie’s sanity was completely unravelled and nobody thought to get her more suitable professional help. After threatening a fellow student and slashing his clothing, Laurie baked buns and injected them with arsenic. She sent these laced treats to several frat houses and homes in the area before making her way to the home of a former babysitting client, asking if she could take their kids to the local fair. She gave the two children poisoned milk. Thankfully, they threw it out after saying it tasted strange. The arsenic in the laced treats she had sent out was so diluted that it caused no damage. From here, Laurie went to a local daycare and tried to set it on fire before returning to the former clients home which she then set on fire. They were lucky enough to escape out of a smashed window. By the time the family escaped, Laurie was en route to Hubbard Woods Elementary School. Armed with two handguns, Laurie started shooting indiscriminately as soon as she entered the building. She shot and killed 8-year-old Nicholas Corwin before critically wounding another five.
Laurie ripped off the bloody shorts she was wearing and tied a plastic bag around her waist. After fleeing the school, she crashed her car into a tree and then broke into the home of Ruth and Phillip Andrews. Laurie held the terrified family hostage for six hours, claiming she had shot and killed her rapist and was now on the run from the police. Phillip grabbed the gun from Laurie as his family escaped. During the scuffle, he was shot in the chest but managed to stagger into the garden. Alone in the Andrews home, Laurie shot herself dead.