Laura Jean Cuchera (1975-1995)

Laura Jean Cuchera (1975-1995)

Laura Jean Kucera, named “Giz”, was born to David and Mary (Bierman) Kucera, two sisters Sabrina and Dorothy, and five brothers Joseph, Mathew, Charles, Benjamin and Patrick. Laura was shot twice in the head and once in the shoulder, and was killed by her then-22-year-old ex-boyfriend Brian Anderson. Bryan kidnapped Laura on October 1, 1994, just days after serving a prison sentence. He left Laura dead in a ditch until he reconsidered and took the authorities to where he left her. Laura’s spirit was strong, and she survived the freezing temperatures (with only a shirt and shorts) for four days until she was rescued. In May 1995, during a trial in Ponca, Nebraska, Judge Maurice J Redmond called Anderson a “bully” and a “coward” and sentenced him to 55 years in prison. After spending 51 days in hospital and relearning how to walk – despite difficulties – she died in a car crash in September 1995, nearly a year after the initial attack. Laura was on her way to visit her grandmother when she rolled over and ran down the gravel road into the ditch. Laura is survived by seven siblings and her parents: father David, mother Mary, sisters Sabrina and Dorothy, brother Joseph Matthew, Charles, Benjamin and Patrick. On January 15, 2019, Netflix added a movie called “Only Mine” to its lineup. It’s (very) loosely based on Laura Kucera’s story. In the movie, her boyfriend is a cop (in real life, he’s not), and he’s portrayed as much older than Laura (Julie in the movie). The film also doesn’t tell the story of Laura’s brave and difficult recovery and the accident that ended in her death within a year of the attack. The film ends with this dedication: “In 1995, Laura Cuchera was kidnapped, shot in the head, and left to fend for herself. She lived. Her attackers are still in prison. To Laura, to victims of abuse around the world.” A copy of her obituary and newspaper articles from the trial are below.

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