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Thomas N. SCHIRO





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Rape - Sex with corpse
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: February 5, 1981
Date of birth: December 22, 1960
Victim profile: Laura Luebbehusen, 28
Method of murder: Strangulation
Location: Vanderburgh County, Indiana, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on October 2, 1981. Commuted to life in prison in 1996



DOB: 12-22-1960
13147 White Male

Brown County Circuit Court
Judge Samuel R. Rosen

Venued from Vanderburgh County

Prosecutor: Jerry A. Atkinson

Defense: Michael C. Keating

Date of Murder: February 5, 1981

Victim(s): Laura Luebbehusen W/F/28 (Schiro worked in neighborhood)

Method of Murder: manual strangulation

Summary: Schiro was an inmate at a halfway house in Evansville for those about to be released from prison. Schiro was serving a 3 year suspended sentence for Robbery (C Felony).

Schiro went to the home of Laura Luebbehausen and gained entrance on the pretext that he had car trouble and needed to use the telephone. Once inside Schiro used the bathroom with permission, exposed himself, and assured Luebbehausen that she need not fear because he was "gay."

During the conversation, Luebbehausen revealed that she had been sexually abused as a child and was a lesbian.

Over the next few hours, Luebbehausen would be raped repeatedly. Schiro then took her to get more liquor and upon return raped her a third time then passed out.

When Schiro awoke, he found Luebbehausen headed out the door. He dragged her to the bedroom. When he thought she was asleep, he beat her with a vodka bottle, then an iron, then strangled her to death. He then dragged her body into another room and sexually assaulted the corpse. He straightened up the house before leaving.

Leubbehausen's car was found abandoned near the Halfway House two days later. Schiro received the assistance of Halfway house employees in falsifying documents showing his whereabouts, but later confessed to a counselor, and to his girlfriend who he visited just after the murder.

An insanity defense was presented at trial. No less than 5 experts testified at trial, None of which gave an opinion that Schiro was insane at the time of the crime. The jury returned a verdict against a Death Sentence after less than 1 hour deliberations. Judge Samuel L. Rosen sentenced Schiro to death anyway, noting that Schiro had constantly rocked back and forth throughout the trial, but only in front of the jury.

Conviction: Felony-Murder (Murder verdict left blank by jury)

Sentencing: October 2, 1981 (Death Sentence)
Judge Overrides Jury Recommendation against Death Sentence

Aggravating Circumstances: b (1) Rape

Mitigating Circumstances: 20 years old at the time of the murder, sick, rejected, tormented, victim of forced beyond his control.


Thomas N. Schiro



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