Shawn Bentler

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Shawn Bentler
Born (1984-02-05) 5 February 1984 (age 33)
Iowa, United States
Criminal charge Murder
Criminal penalty Five consecutive life sentences
Criminal status Incarcerated
Parent(s) Michael and Sandra Bentler
Motive Inheritance
Conviction(s) Murder
Date October 14, 2006
3:30 a.m.
Country United States
State(s) Iowa
Location(s) Bonaparte
Target(s) Family
Killed 5
Weapons .22 caliber rifle
Imprisoned at Iowa State Prison

Shawn Bentler (born February 5, 1984) is a convicted mass murderer from Bonaparte, Iowa. He murdered his parents and three sisters, it was claimed, to inherit his family's fortune. He was consequently sentenced to four concurrent life sentences and a consecutive life sentence to be served in an Iowa State Prison. Shawn lived in Quincy IL, with 2 other roommates. Shawn and his best friend Keith moved, to Quincy in 2002 to attend JWCC. He was currently working at Neal Colman auto sales at the time. His youngest sister was on the phone with 911 yelling "No Shawn, please don't!" when he shot her.

The crime[edit]

Shawn murdered his parents and three teenage sisters in the early hours of October 14, 2006, with a .22-caliber rifle. Prosecutors claimed his motivation was to inherit the family fortune.

The key piece of evidence in the trial was a 911 call placed by his 14-year-old sister, Shayne. In the 3:30 a.m. call, she told dispatchers her brother was in the home and "going to do something." The phone call ended with a scream.

Shawn Bentler took the stand and said he had stolen from his parents and hated his father, but did not kill his family.[1]


On June 19, 2007, Shawn Bentler was sentenced to four concurrent life sentences and a consecutive life sentence to be served in an Iowa State Prison. The four life sentences that are concurrent are for the murders of the three Bentler girls and their father, Michael Bentler.

Judge Michael Mullins sentenced Bentler to a consecutive sentence for the murder of his mother, Sandra Bentler. Mullins called that death in particular "absolutely merciless."[citation needed]


  1. ^ Jordan, Erin. "Bentler testifies, disputes 911 call". The Des Moines Register. The Des Moines Register. Retrieved 27 February 2015. 

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