Tama-Toledo Residents Express More Shock at Double Murder Details

By Dave Franzman, Reporter

TAMA, Iowa - New details have emerged about the man now charged with murdering his parents on the Meskwaki Settlement late Wednesday evening. And having some of the initial rumors confirmed about the crime even shocked some area residents more than they already were.

Police were called to the home of Gordon Lasley, Sr. and his wife Kim after a son found their bodies inside the home at 669 Meskwaki Road. Gordon Lasley, Jr. was arrested sometime after the discovery in his mother's car. Lasley, 25, made an initial appearance Thursday afternoon on two counts of first degree murder. His bond was set at $2-million dollars.

Court documents released very late Thursday evening accused Lasley, Junior of using a machete to kill his mother and father. And the criminal complaint also said arresting officers found Lasley with blood on his clothes and cuts on his hand.

Several residents said they had heard the rumors about a machete as the weapon while investigators processed the scene Thursday. But to have it confirmed that such a gruesome weapon was used was still disconcerting.

Mary Ann Gardner, owner of a downtown Toledo café, said her reaction was probably the same as anyone in the area.

"Absolute shock. People were just shocked and kind of in a daze. Why would a child do that to his parents," Gardner asked.

A day after the details were revealed, some in the community were sharing memories of the victims. Jill Van Dee, manager of a Toledo convenience store, said Lasley senior was an almost daily visitor to her business. She said he liked to call himself "Flash" because his first name was Gordon. Van Dee said employees like to see Lasley senior because he would spend time and tell stories. They liked to hear about his ceremonial dancing in native American pow wow events. Van Dee, like so many others in the area, are still asking why it happened.

"We're all shocked something like this would happen in a small, quiet little town. We all get along for the most part so when something like this happens we're all just flabbergasted," Van Dee said.

School records show Lasley junior attended South Tama High School less than full time in what would have been his freshman, sophomore and junior years. He did not graduate and left in 2005.

Lasley junior's criminal past includes arrests for criminal mischief, intoxication, theft and assault causing bodily injury. His next court appearance on the two murder charges is set for February 14th.
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