Cedar Bluffs Murderer Dies in Prison While Serving Sentence

TECUMSEH — Prison officials at Tecumseh State Penitentiary reported Saturday night that Jerry Hansen, a man who committed murder and assault in Cedar Bluffs during the 1960s, has died at age 82.

On a Friday afternoon in January 1965, Jerry Hansen was served with divorce papers. He pursued his 21-year-old wife to her parents’ home in Cedar Bluffs, where she was living with their four month old baby. Around 7PM that night, Jerry Hansen shot his wife, mother-in-law and father-in-law. His in-laws died of their wounds. His wife, miraculously, lived.

After the shooting, Jerry Hansen ran from authorities for about 18 hours, ditching his personal vehicle near David City and eventually hitching a ride with a State of Nebraska road crew near Schuyler. It was at a service station in Colfax county where Jerry Hansen surrendered to authorities, still in possession of the .45 caliber handgun used in the shooting.

A recent Department of Corrections photo of Jerry Hansen.

Jerry Hansen was sentenced to 10 years to life imprisonment for two counts of first degree murder and two counts of “shooting with intent to kill, wound or maim,” in May 1965 at the age of 28. His parole appeals, beginning in 1977, were repeatedly denied throughout the years.

Hansen’s cause of death has not been determined. Nebraska state law requires a grand jury investigation whenever someone dies in custody or while being arrested, and that investigation is underway.

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