The Criminal

In 1972, This Young Iowa Mother Strangely Vanished, And Rumors Continue To Swirl That Her Ex-Husband Killed Her And Fed Her Remains To His Pet Alligator Named Pogo

Lynn Louise Schuller was born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis. And by the time she was a teen, she met a man named Keith Schuller.

Keith was six years older than Lynn. But, the pair crossed paths after both going on family vacations to northern Minnesota.

And their chance encounter led to a long-distance relationship that even resulted in marriage.

On September 18, 1965, Lynn and Keith tied the knot. Afterward, they settled down in Cedar Rapids before welcoming their first and only child– a son– into the world in 1969.

From the outside, the Schuller family appeared happy, too. That’s why after Keith announced that he wanted a divorce out of the blue in 1971, everyone was shocked.

Despite her husband’s wishes, though, Lynn refused to split up her young family. That’s why she would not agree to grant the divorce.

“She always indicated to me that she was hopeful they would resolve it because of the child,” Eloise Tickner, Lynn’s mother, said in a 1992 interview with the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Still, Keith did not back down and continued putting pressure on his wife for a divorce. Then, in 1972, Lynn penned a letter to her mother detailing how her husband had threatened to murder her.

It is crucial to note that Keith had served as an Army medic for three years. He also owned a 6-foot-long pet alligator named Pogo.

Sergey – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person

According to Eloise, though, the letter’s claims just did not seem plausible.

“You never believe anything like that is going to happen in your own family. So I threw the letter away,” she recalled.

Yet, just a couple of months later, Lynn’s parents received a call from Keith while they were on vacation at the very same lake where their daughter and son-in-law had met.

During that phone conversation, Keith revealed that his wife had disappeared and claimed to have no idea where she had gone.

After receiving that horrifying news, Harry and Eloise Tickner quickly traveled to their daughter’s Cedar Rapids home– where Keith had claimed to last see Lynn sleeping.

Keith detailed how, at about 7:30 a.m. on August 6, 1972, he and his 3-year-old son left the house for about five hours. Then, upon returning in the early afternoon, they realized both Lynn and her bike were missing.

But, according to Keith, he and his son then decided to go swimming at Bever Park. And before they left, he claimed to have left a note behind for his wife– still not knowing where she had gone.

Their dip in the water did not last very long, though, and Keith and his son returned home approximately one hour later. At that point, though, Keith alleged that his wife’s bike was suddenly there. However, Lynn was still missing.

At the time, the Schuller residence showed no evidence of forced entry. Inside, none of their belongings were disturbed, either. Instead, Lynn’s purse was just left behind.

So, after Keith contacted Lynn’s parents regarding her disappearance, numerous people arrived at his home to begin conducting search efforts.

But it was not until the next afternoon, about one whole day after Keith first realized his wife had gone missing, that he decided to file a missing person report with the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.

At that point, dozens of volunteers showed up to aid a more widespread search. At the same time, investigators obtained a search warrant and collected various items from Lynn and Keith’s home.

Keith was then asked to assist with the search efforts– particularly in the nearby woods. However, he reportedly refused to help and was ultimately arrested for not assisting a police officer.

Apparently, Keith claimed he just refused because he had already searched in the woods. And later, the charge against him was dismissed due to a lack of evidence.

Investigators then proceeded to capture infrared aerial photos of the area surrounding the Schuller home. However, this effort yielded no evidence.

So, Lynn’s parents ultimately offered a reward valued at $1,000 for anyone with information leading to the location of Lynn’s body or her whereabouts.

No one came forward, though. Instead, the rumor mill began to run wild.

Community members began to speculate that Keith was behind his wife’s disappearance. They believed that he had killed Lynn, cut up her body, and fed the remains to his alligator Pogo.

In spite of these rumors, Keith still continued trying to obtain a divorce. And following Lynn’s disappearance, he tried to claim it was due to the fact that his wife had deserted him.

After Lynn’s parents got an attorney, though, Keith eventually dropped the case.

He would later try to file for divorce repeatedly– seven times in total. Each time, though, he dropped the case after realizing he would have to testify about the details surrounding his wife’s disappearance.

It was not until July 1976, when Keith traveled to the Dubuque County District Court to file divorce papers without Lynn’s parents’ knowledge, that the divorce was actually granted.

Then, two years later, a judge granted Keith’s request to have his ex-wife declared legally dead on March 20, 1978. At that point, Lynn and Keith’s son were designated as the only heir of Lynn’s life insurance; meanwhile, Keith was the conservator.

Keith went on to get remarried, tying the knot with a woman he met in Cedar Rapids prior to Lynn’s disappearance. But, this second marriage also ended in divorce.

So, eventually, Keith and his alligator Pogo moved to Fruitland, Idaho. There, he began teaching middle school students– leading a 25-year career as an educator.

Pogo reportedly became a fan favorite among Keith’s pupils. But, one of his former students detailed how the science teacher was bizarrely obsessed with death.

“Although he was our science teacher, all I remember him talking about was deadly diseases (the hantavirus was a favorite of his), deadly animals (he had a pet Gila monster), and deadly gasses (he talked about carbon monoxide poisoning a lot),” the student recalled.

During his tenure as a teacher, Keith would also sometimes invite students over to his home– which was located next door to the school– to feed Pogo.

Following the end of his education career, Keith then became the Payette County coroner– further fueling rumors about his fascination with death.

And to this day, suspicions regarding his involvement in his ex-wife’s disappearance have continued to follow him.

At the time of her disappearance, Lynn was just 25 years old, five foot five, and weighed 120 pounds. She had red hair and would be 76 years old today.

If you have any information regarding Lynn’s case, you are urged to contact the Linn County Sheriff’s Department at (319) 892-6100.

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