Frank Carter

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For other people named Frank Carter, see Frank Carter (disambiguation).
Frank Carter
Born 1881 (1881)
County Mayo, Ireland
Died June 24, 1927 (aged 46)
Lincoln, Nebraska
Other names Patrick Murphy
Criminal penalty
Criminal status Executed
Conviction(s) Two counts, First degree murder
Killed 2 (claimed 43)
Weapon(s) .22 pistol

Frank Carter (1881–1927) was a notorious sniper murderer in Omaha, Nebraska. Tried for two murders, Carter claimed to have murdered forty-three victims. He was known as the Omaha Sniper, Phantom Sniper, and the Sniper Bandit.


Carter was born in County Mayo, Ireland as Patrick Murphy. At the beginning of February 1926 a mechanic was murdered with a .22 caliber pistol with a silencer attached. Soon after a doctor was murdered, and then a railroad detective was shot six times in neighboring Council Bluffs, Iowa.[1] On February 15 Omaha's newspapers recommended the city blackout all lights after an expose on previous murders showed the victims were standing in their windows at home when they were shot.[2] During daylight hours, the sniper shot another in the face and fired through more than a dozen lighted windows. Businesses in Omaha came to a standstill, streets emptied and the city's entertainment venues emptied for more than a week.[3] Other crimes included shooting indiscriminately into a Downtown Omaha drug store.[4][5]

More than two weeks after his first murder Carter was captured in Iowa, 30 miles south of Council Bluffs at Bartlett in Fremont County, Iowa. After readily admitting his crimes,[6] he was convicted on two charges of murder, one for killing mechanic William McDevitt and the other for killing Dr. A.D. Searles.[7] After his conviction Carter admitted to being a parole breaker. He was released from the Iowa State Penitentiary in 1925 after serving time for killing cattle.[8]

After a month-long trial where Carter's lawyers plead insanity,[9] Carter was found guilty. He was executed by electrocution on June 24, 1927 at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln, Nebraska. Carter was quoted as saying, "Let the juice flow" just before he died.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Sniper Shoots Council Bluffs Detective; Terror of People Hits Omaha's Business", The New York Times. February 20, 1926. Retrieved 5/30/08.
  2. ^ "Omaha Darkens Houses in Fear of Sniper Who Fires Through Windows; Has Slain Two", The New York Times. February 18, 2008. Retrieved 5/30/08.
  3. ^ "Terror of sniper wears Omaha folk", The New York Times. February 20, 1926. Retrieved 5/30/08.
  4. ^ (2007) "History at a glance". Douglas County Historical Society. p 85. Retrieved 5/30/08.
  5. ^ "In Omaha", Time magazine. December 3, 1928. Retrieved 5/30/08.
  6. ^ "Omaha gets sniper", The New York Times. February 23, 1926. Retrieved 5/30/08.
  7. ^ "'Sniper' to be tried in Omaha Monday", The New York Times. February 26, 1926. Retrieved 5/30/08.
  8. ^ "Omaha 'sniper' a parole breaker", The New York Times. February 25, 1926. Retrieved 5/30/08.
  9. ^ "Omaha's sniper bandit is sentenced to death", The New York Times. March 21, 1926. Retrieved 5/30/08.