Lotter and Nissen

Lotter and Nissen were both what might be appropriately classified as classic ne'er-do-wells, both from broken homes, both ex-convicts, neither employed, and both used alcohol to the excess.

In March, 1987, Lotter was charged in Buffalo County, Nebraska, with escape, theft by unlawful taking and operating a motor vehicle to avoid arrest. He spent some time in prison. In March, 1990, he was then charged in Richardson County, with Class III felony escape, a habitual criminal charge, and virtually attempted to escape from jail while wearing an orange jumpsuit and shackles while visiting with his attorney. He was immediately subdued and taken back to jail. In April, 1993, Lotter was charged with flight to avoid arrest and resisting arrest when he tried to outrun a Missouri state highway patrolman. He was returned to Richardson County and in June, 1993, was incarcerated in Richardson County. That same month, Sheriff Charles Laux, took him to Lincoln for safe-keeping because he didn't want to keep him in the Richardson County jail while he was out of town, when the sole guard would be a female jailer. In other words, he was well aware that Lotter was extraordinarily dangerous and did not trust him to be alone even in jail with a female jailer unless he was there.

In May, 1992, Nissen was charged with escape and sentenced to a year for burglary and arson in Richardson County. In June, 1992, a temporary protection order was entered in Richardson County against Nissen by a family that he threatened to harm. In September, 1992, Nissen was sentenced to prison for three years by the district judge in Richardson County

In short, in December, 1993, the authorities of Richardson County were well aware of both Lotter and Nissen and knew that they were both dangerous.