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Woman guilty in 1993 high-profile kidnapping is released

SIOUX CITY, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Corrections reported that Wanda Claudette Butler, 52, was paroled into the community Wednesday and is no longer under constant supervision.

Butler has been living at a halfway house after being released from the Iowa Correctional Facility for Women earlier this year.

Butler had been sentenced in 1994 for kidnapping and sexually abusing two young women.

She had been arrested Sept. 19, 1993, near Granite Falls after a high-speed chase with police officers. Her husband, John Peter Butler, 50, had fled the car on foot and was the focus of an extensive two-day manhunt.

He was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the Hawk Creek Lutheran Church in Sacred Heart.

The two were fleeing law officers after warrants were issued for their arrest in Sioux City, Iowa. Authorities in Woodbury County charged that the two had kidnapped two young women from the Twin Cities and sexually abused them.

Wanda Butler offered guilty pleas to amended charges of two counts of kidnapping in the second degree and two counts of sexual abuse in the third degree in Sioux City. She received the maximum sentence on each count: two consecutive sentence of 25 years each for the kidnapping, and two consecutive sentences of 10 years each for the sexual abuse.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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