Some Logan County residents may be reliving another brutal murder case with news of the slayings in Beason. In 1976, Michael Drabing, then 21, repeatedly stabbed members of a prominent farm family, killing three, at their home four miles west of Lincoln.
Some Logan County residents may be reliving another brutal murder case with news of the slayings in Beason.
In 1976, Michael Drabing, then 21, repeatedly stabbed members of a prominent farm family, killing three, at their home four miles west of Lincoln.
As the late Peoria Journal Star columnist Rick Baker wrote, "Life jumped the track in the town of Lincoln during the summer of 1976.
"A madman broke into Lloyd Schneider's farmhouse, killed Lloyd, his wife Phyllis, and his teenaged daughter, Terri. A young housepainter named Michael Drabing was later arrested and convicted of the murders. He said he killed the family to start a revolution against rich people..."
Longtime journalist Dan Tackett, who has been with the Lincoln Courier for 41 years and currently serves as editor, was a reporter at the time of the Schneider murders.
The Beason case "absolutely is the worst crime since the Drabing case," Tackett said.
In Journal Star coverage of the murders, it was reported that Drabing stabbed the three 90 times.
The incident happened when Drabing became unruly at a party at the home and was asked to leave by Schneider. The two argued, and Drabing made threats.
Police said Drabing refused offers of money and goods when the Schneider couple returned home and found their daughter, Terri, and a friend, Jeffrey Richardson, 20, bound.
The couple slammed the bedroom door in the killer's face and tried to hold it shut while the two were untied, before Drabing tore the door off the hinges. Richardson freed himself and fled the home with the couple's other daughter, Cheryl, then 16. Phone lines to the house were cut.
The victims were found when police arrived.
In a 1982 column by Baker, who sat down with Drabing at Menard Correctional Center, the convicted murderer said, "I just needed the experience.
"I didn't want to kill them. I felt I had to ... Killing someone is a unique experience. You're so detached from what you're doing, you're like a spectator to the crime. It was an emotionless thing. I felt nothing."
Drabing was sentenced to 75 to 100 years in prison. He remains in prison, with a projected parole date of 2034.
Peoria Journal Star