Lana Anderson

Lana J. Anderson (Courtesy Des Moines Register)

Lana Jane Anderson


Lana J. Anderson
43 YOA
Landmark South apartments
200 Dickman Avenue 
Room 197, Building 204
Des Moines, IA
Polk County
Case # 1991-19466
May 10, 1991


Case Summary compiled by Jody Ewing


Polk County in Iowa
Polk County in Iowa
Des Moines in Polk CountyDes Moines in Polk County

Lana Jane Anderson, a 43-year-old Waukon, Iowa native, was killed by blows to the head on Friday, May 10, 1991, as she worked in her manager’s office at the Landmark Apartments complex on Des Moines’ south side.

A maintenance worker discovered Anderson’s body inside her second-floor office in room # 197 in what was known as Building 204. Des Moines police said there were no signs of a struggle.

State Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Bennett ruled Anderson’s death a homicide caused by blunt force trauma to the head.

Victim was scheduled to testify in murder case

Anderson’s death was similar to the death of Maria Schuler, 41, who was killed in the apartment right next door to Anderson’s office seven months earlier on December 19. Both woman died from blow to the head.

Police had arrested and charged Schuler’s boyfriend, Roger Pegram, in her death, and Anderson had been scheduled as a minor witness in Pegram’s trial, the Des Moines Register reported on May 16, 1991. 

Pegram had a history of violence toward Schuler, and lawyers argued over whether Anderson’s testimony was relevant. She never got the opportunity to testify, and her statements were excluded from the trial. Pegram walked away a free man. 

Lana AndersonCourtesy The Cedar Rapids Gazette
Lana Anderson’s family spoke with the Cedar Rapids Gazette for an article published July 27, 1991.
“No detectives could have tried harder”

Six years after her slaying, Anderson’s brother Ken Krambeer told The Cedar Rapids Gazette he held no grudges in his sister’s unsolved case and felt no detectives could have tried harder [to solve the murder].

“They call us periodically yet today,” Krambeer said in The Gazette story published September 5, 1997. “It’s been six years. And they call. They don’t forget it.”

Julie Bell Davis

The August 28, 1997 murder of Julie Bell Davis in Des Moines prompted Krambeer to leave a voice message for Polk County Attorney John Sarcone.

“I just told him we’re sorry to hear about the young gal (from Marion) that was murdered,” Krambeer is quoted as saying, “And just don’t forget our sister’s murder when you’re down at the police homicide department.”

The 33-year-old Davis — the mother of two young children and the wife of Cedar Rapids firefighter Frank Davis — had a successful career selling trade show displays through her company’s Cedar Rapids and Des Moines offices. She was found inside Skyline Display’s satellite office, stabbed several times, her throat slashed. Des Moines detectives don’t believe the two cases are related.

Krambeer told The Gazette Des Moines police were professional and did everything the family asked them to do, and that [family members] decided early on they needed to put their trust in the detectives.

“You have to trust the detectives. There’s just nobody else,” Krambeer said. “And this family in Marion that lost their mother and wife will have to do the same.”

Krambeer, however, said he doesn’t much believe in rewards. The family posted a $20,000 reward in his sister’s murder; it didn’t elicit a single phone call.

Davis’s murder also remains unsolved.

About Lana Anderson

Lana J. (Krambeer) Anderson was born January 6, 1948 in Monona, Iowa, to Carol Gilson and Burnell Krambeer. Her father passed away when Lana was 5, and her stepfather, Dale Reeder, helped raise her. She grew up in Waukon and moved to Iowa City in 1966.

Lana Anderson headstoneCourtesy photo Erin Pavlis
Lana Anderson was laid to rest in the Oakland Cemetery in Waukon in Allamakee County.

Lana married Warren “Tom” Anderson, and the couple had been married for 25 years at the time of Lana’s death. They had three children: Lisa, Lea, and Lonnie. Lana and Tom had lived in Norwalk, Iowa since 1980.

A memorial service was held at the Hamilton Funeral Home in Des Moines on Monday, May 13, 1991, with funeral services following on Wednesday, May 15 at the First Presbyterian Church in Waukon. Lana was buried in the Oakland Cemetery.

Lana was survived by her husband, Warren of Norwalk; two daughters, Lisa Nicholson of Des Moines and Lea of Norwalk; a son, Lonnie of Norwalk; her mother, Carol Reeder of Waukon; three brothers, Dean Krambeer of Pine Island, Minn., and Ken and Brad Krambeer, both of Waukon; two sisters, Janet Baumgartner of Waukon and Kim Sylvester of Cedar Rapids.

Information Needed

If you have any information regarding Lana Anderson’s unsolved murder please contact the Des Moines Police Department at (515) 283-4864.

Copyright © 2024  Iowa Cold Cases, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


7 Responses to Lana Anderson

  1. G says:

    Have they ever looked into the maintenance worker?

  2. Leif says:

    Paragraph #6 ends with: “Pegram walked away a free man.” Yet the Des Moines Register reported on 24 May 91 that Pegram was convicted in the death of Maria Schuler. ~

  3. C. P. says:

    I remember this. Thought it was so sad and wondered why. The criminal must have been so leave no clues or our police just aren’t like the crimesolvers on TV,

  4. We love you Grandma Lana and think of you always ❤️ ❤️❤️

  5. Kathy Wall says:

    Is that the same complex Marilyn Sheets was beaten to death twenty some years ago?

    • I grew up with her. No, it wasn’t. My first apartment was at Landmark South, which was a really great place to live at the time. I’ve heard it’s really gone downhill.

Comment Policy

We encourage thoughtful discussion here but ask that comments remain civilized and constructive … i.e. without personal attacks or name-calling. Be respectful of others and remember that victims' family members visit these pages, too. If you'd like to provide us with information regarding a suspect or have other sensitive details to relay, please email us directly. Thank you in advance.

Share Your Thoughts