Correctional Officer Robert McFarland and Nurse Lorena Schulte were assaulted and beaten to death by two inmates in the Anamosa State Penitentiary infirmary during an escape attempt.
The inmates had developed a ruse to gain access to the infirmary by claiming to be there as part of the prison repair program. Once inside they attacked Officer McFarland and Nurse Schulte with hammers, inflicting fatal skull fractures on both. Another inmate inside the infirmary attempted to protect Officer McFarland and Nurse Schulte but was also attacked and suffered a skull fracture.
The two inmates then attempted to use a grinder to break through the exterior window and protective bars but were unsuccessful. They briefly took another nurse hostage before fleeing back into the prison where they were subdued. The two inmates had been serving lengthy sentences for robbery convictions. Both were subsequently charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, and abduction.
Officer McFarland had served with the Iowa Department of Corrections for 13 years and also served with the Ely Volunteer Fire Department.
Nurse Schulte had served with the Iowa Department of Corrections for 14 years.