When you look at the criminal history in the USA, mass murderers were usually dispatched by the gallows or the chair. Yet, incredibly, on April 22nd 1920, in North Dakota, Henry Layer went on a killing rampage, slaughtering eight people, for what would have been a ridiculous reason. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. He was extremely upset with Jacob Wolf, because Wolf`s dog had bitten one of his cows! He confronted Jacob Wolf but Wolf held his shotgun to him and told Layer to leave his property. Layer grabbed at the gun and in the struggle, it fired twice, killing two people stood close by; Mrs Wolf and a young neighbour, Jacob Hofer, aged 13. Wolf ran but Layer went into their house and discovered more shells. He found Jacob Wolf and shot him dead.
Now Layer was in a kill mode. He searched the barn and house and killed five more people. The Wolf children, whose ages ran from 13 down to 3. There was a baby aged 8 months but she was found alive. The slaughter was discovered two days later by a neighbour, John Kraft. He called the Police, but they were perplexed by just who could have carried out such a murderous attack. He hung around the farm whilst the local Sheriff was investigating, then brought great suspicion, then arrest, upon himself at the funeral. It was attended by more than two thousand people, but Layer insisted on opening all the coffins, and gazing at the bodies. On May 11th, he confessed to all the murders, saying he used the shotgun and a hatchet. He received a life sentence, and died in prison five years later, in 1925.