Former Lake County Official Found Dead

Police investigating death of Harry Dahms as a homicide

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Harry Dahms was found dead on his driveway on Friday. He'd been shot in the head. Jeff Goldblatt reports.

    Several residents in the tiny Lake County town of Russell expressed fear Monday after the weekend death of a former member of the county fair board.

    The body of Harry Dahms, 68, was found Friday on his driveway. He'd been shot in the head.

    "I hope they can find [his killer]. It's scary," said neighbor Dan Barron.

    Dahms was regarded in town as a good-natured guy who pretty much kept to himself. He collected scrap metal and sold it. He lived alone for the last 30 years, officials said.

    "As far as we can tell he hasn't let anybody in his house the last 15 years, including his family," said Lake County Sheriff's Deputy Chief George Manis. "Everything was really dusty in the house. So if something was moved or disturbed, we would have been able to locate it." 

    Dahms was a director on the Lake County Fair Board from 1986 through 2004.

    "[He spent] quite a few years there. It was his life," said Frank Brock, who now serves as the board's director at large. "If you wanted to know where something was buried, you went and talked to Harry because he was the groundsman."

    Sheriff's officials said the crime has them stumped and are looking for the public's help in finding a killer.

    "If we had some further leads to follow up on, we wouldn't be doing this," said Sheriff Mark Curran. "We could use the help."

    Dahms drove a distinctive orange pickup truck and often ate at local truck stops. He was known to frequent Truck Stops of America and Toors Trucks stops in Russell, and the BP gas station in Kenosha, Wis.

    He was last seen at his home at around 10 p.m. Thursday when a friend dropped off hamburgers and hot dogs for him, a sheriff's department official said.

    Anyone with information on the crime is asked to call the Lake County Sheriff's office at 847-377-4250.  Lake County Crime Stoppers is offering a reward up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.