WILLMAR — The process of extraditing Algene Vossen, 79, for the 1974 killing of Mabel "Mae" Herman, aged 73, is in the works, according to Kandiyohi County Attorney Shane Baker.
Vossen is currently being held in the Minnehaha County Jail in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he was arrested last week for the fatal stabbing of Herman in January of 1974.
“We initiate the process by gathering various documents including certified copies of the complaint from the court to send on to the Governor’s Office in Minnesota,” Baker wrote via email. “We are in touch with the Attorney General’s Office and the Secretary of State’s Office in this process too.”
Baker wrote that his office has been working this week on getting the information needed and will forward it to Gov. Tim Walz’s office, who will then forward it to South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.
According to Baker, Noem’s office has until Oct. 21, 2020, to sign off and complete the process.
Vossen has the option to waive this process but, as of now, has declined to do so. A public defender listed for Vossen did not return a request for comment.
“I’m incredibly proud of the Willmar Police Department for never giving up and obviously doing excellent work at the crime scene, preserving that evidence for all those years,” Andrew Herman, grandson of Mae Herman, said. ”That something like that could even happen, to me, it’s very impressive.”
Mae Herman was killed a year before her grandson was born and his sister was about 2 at the time.
Andrew Herman said he wasn’t aware of what had happened to his grandmother until his dad sat him and his sister down for a talk prior to an unsolved crime TV show coming out when he was about 10.
“So we pretty much grew up without a grandmother,” he said.
Andrew said his dad didn’t didn’t talk about Mae that much but what he had heard was that she was a kind person and that she had meant a lot to his father, who was an only child.
“After he had told us (that she was killed), it kind of made sense,” Andrew said., adding that he was sure it was still traumatic for his father even years later to have lost his mother like that. “I think it was hard for him to talk about his mother.”
Andrew is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force and is currently stationed in Japan. He said he plans to follow the case, but it would be hard for him to take leave to come to Willmar to be present in the courtroom for a trial.
“Normally, in a non-COVID world, that would happen, with COVID, it’s difficult to leave and come back into Japan,” Andrew said.
When a potential trial date could be set in Kandiyohi County is up in the air pending the extradition process, which could continue for months.