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Laura Jean Kucera (1975 - 1995)

A photo of Laura Jean Kucera
Laura Jean Kucera
1975 - 1995
Born
August 17, 1975
Columbus, Platte County, Nebraska United States 68784
Death
September 13, 1995
Wakefield, Dixon County, Nebraska United States 68784
Other Names
Giz
Summary
Laura Jean Kucera was born on August 17, 1975 in Columbus, Nebraska United States. She is the child of David Kucera and Mary Kucera. She died on September 13, 1995 in Wakefield, Nebraska United States at 20 years of age.
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Updated: February 26, 2022
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Introduction
Laura Jean Kucera, who went by "Giz", was born to David and Mary (Bierman) Kucera, and she had two sisters Sabrina & Dorothy, and five brothers, Joseph, Mathew, Charles, Benjamin and Patrick. Laura was shot twice in the head and once in her shoulder and left for dead by her ex boyfriend Brian Anderson, who was at that time 22 years old. Brian abducted Laura on Oct 1st 1994, just days after finishing jail time. He left Laura for dead in a ditch, until he had second thoughts and led authorities to where he left her. Laura's spirit was strong, as she survived four days in freezing temperatures (in just a t shirt and shorts) until she was rescued. In May of 1995, during the trial in Ponca Nebraska, Judge Maurice J Redmond called Anderson a "bully" and a "coward" in sentencing him to 55 years in prison. After spending 51 days in a hospital and learning how to walk again - although with difficulty - she died in September 1995, almost a year after the initial assault, in a car crash. Laura ran off a gravel road into a ditch, rolling her car, on the way to visiting her grandmother. Laura was survived by 7 brothers and sisters and her parents: Father David, mother Mary, sisters Sabrina and Dorothy, brothers Joseph Mathew, Charles, Benjamin and Patrick. On January 15th, 2019, Netflix added a movie called "Only Mine" to its lineup. It is (very) loosely based on Laura Kucera's story. In the movie, her boyfriend is a policeman (in real life, he wasn't) and he is portrayed as much older than Laura (in the movie, Julie). The movie also doesn't follow Laura's courageous and difficult recovery as well as the accident that ended, within a year of the attack, in her death. At the end of the movie is this dedication: “In 1995, Laura Kucera was kidnapped, shot in the head, and left to die. She lived. Her attacker remains in prison to this day. This film is dedicated to Laura, and to victims of abuse everywhere.” A copy of her obituary and newspapers articles from the trial are below.
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Biography
Laura Jean Kucera
Most commonly known as
Laura Jean Kucera
Full name
Giz
Other names or aliases
Wakefield, Dixon County, Nebraska 68784
Last known residence
Female
Gender
Laura Kucera was born on in Columbus, Platte County, Nebraska United States 68784
Birth
Laura Kucera died on in Wakefield, Dixon County, Nebraska United States 68784
Death
Birth
Death
car accident
Cause of death
Clarkson Catholic Cemetery in Clarkson, Colfax County, Nebraska
Burial / Funeral
Heritage

Ethnicity & Lineage

Caucasian

Nationality & Locations

Born and raised in Nebraska - US citizen.
Childhood

Education

Graduated from Wakefield High School in 1994, and she was a freshman at Wayne State College when she passed away.

Religion

Catholic

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Adulthood

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Obituary

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Families Hope To Move Ahead

The following article appeared in the Sioux City Journal (Sioux City, Iowa) on Friday May 19th 1995 and was written by Bill Zahren: PENDER, Neb, - The families of Brian Anderson and Laura Kucera sat on opposite sides of the Thurston County Courtroom Thursday but shared a common goal - moving on. Thurston County Attorney Matt Samuelson called Thursday the first day of the last 230 in which Anderson, Kucera and their families can start to move forward in the aftermath of Kucera's shooting. "This is not a happy day," said Samuelson, "but I hope it is a day of closure." For Anderson's family, there was resignation. During testimony, an attorney asked Anderson's father, Dan, what he thought of the sentence his son faced. "That's a lot of time, but whatever it's got to be," said a subdued Dan Anderson. After his son was sentenced to at least 42 1/2 years in prison, Anderson said, "I've been just awfully disappointed from the time it happened until now. I think he got a pretty hard sentence." Brian Anderson's pastor, the Rev. Mark Wilms, testified to Anderson's remorse. "Before the incident Brian was highly agitated and centered upon himself," said Wilm. "Since then he has developed a much more even-handed, relaxed, calmer approach to handling his general demeanor and thought processes." Wilms said he believes Anderson is genuinely sorry for his actions. "In my own conversations with Brian there have been times when he has demonstrated the realization of the horror of his acts he is involved in and I feel he has sincerely confronted what he did." Kucera and her family did not testify Thursday. Laura Kucera's father, David Kucera, said he sees Anderson's sentencing as a chance to start healing his family. Two bullets that damaged Kucera's brain have left a lifetime of challenges. "Laura has always been a survivor," Kucera said. "She has always been independent. She's tough. She's going to survive and find her niche in the world and do the best she can. She always does." Smiling and at ease with her parents outside the Thurston County Courthouse, Laura Kucera wore two crosses around her neck and preferred to let her father do most of the talking. For months before the shooting, Anderson stalked and threatened Kucera in the aftermath of their breakup, prosecutors claimed. Kucera said most of all she was relieved the case was finally over and she could stop looking over her shoulder for Brian Anderson.
Daniel Pinna
Daniel Pinna shared
on Nov 21, 2020 8:01 PM

Woman with Gunshot Wound Survives Four Days in Ditch

The following article was written by the Associated Press on October 6th 1994: OMAHA, Neb. (AP) _ A woman who was shot and left for dead survived four days in a ditch before police rescued her with the help of the man who allegedly pulled the trigger, her ex-boyfriend. Laura Kucera, 19, of Wakefield was in critical condition Thursday night with a gunshot wound in her back. She was found unconscious Tuesday night in a remote wooded area in northeast Nebraska. ″We don’t know how she survived other than she must be very strong,″ said her mother, Mary Kucera. Her ex-boyfriend Brian Anderson, 22, of Concord was charged with kidnapping and using a firearm to commit a felony. He was being held on a $250,000 bond. Anderson had a history of stalking and harassing Miss Kucera, police records show. She had obtained a protection order against him on Aug. 15. The couple had dated for several months. Miss Kucera disappeared Saturday night. Anderson had told authorities that he dropped her off outside a restaurant. Four days later, he had second thoughts and led police to a ditch near Macy, about 75 miles north of Omaha. ″He was looking for love and ... he couldn’t handle it, I guess,″ Anderson’s father, Don, said. ″It’s just devastating to us, that something like this could happen.″
Daniel Pinna
Daniel Pinna shared
on Nov 21, 2020 7:52 PM
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Comments

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Veritas Aequitas commented on Jan 19, 2019
Just saw a movie about Laura's courage and bravery. None is dead unless they are forgotten and you will not be forgotten.
Shelly Lynn commented on Jan 21, 2019
I too just watched the movie about Laura's inspiring story. I am so saddened to learn that she only lived a short time longer and passed at such a young age. I am confused about the timeline, however. Above her date of death is listed as September 13th, 1995 but it says that she was abducted on October 1, 1995. I'm just curious which one is wrong.
Reply
Kathy Pinna commented on Jan 21, 2019
Shelly - the abduction year was a typo - it was 1994. It's been fixed. You have sharp eyes! :)
Mary Stephen commented on Feb 20, 2019
Rip Laura. Such a brave young lady
Rochelle Hairston commented on Feb 25, 2019
So heartbreaking to hear this brave strong girl survived such an awful attack to then lose her life shortly after.
Christine. Warnotte commented on Nov 02, 2021
Bravo a ce film qui permet de ne jamais oublier... il doit exister de nombreuses histories de ce genre... je vais faire des recherche sur la legende de la femme qui change, chez les Navajo.
Laura Velazquez commented on Nov 21, 2021
Hola vi la película ayer la verdad que valiente que fue Laura en no rendirse y levantarse una fuerte conexion con su madre , lastima q murio en un acídente. Que descanses en paz en donde quieras que estes 😇😇😇
Kimberly Spinks commented on Dec 06, 2021
Bless her heart. R.I.P. Little Lady

Obituary

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The following obituary appeared in The Schuyler Sun in Schuyler Nebraska on Thursday September 21, 1995: Laura J. Kucera funeral Sept. 16 Laura J. Kucera, 20, Wakefield, died Sept. 13, 1995, following an auto accident 4 miles northeast of Clarkson. Rev. Ronal Battiato officiated at the 10 a.m. funeral service on Sept. 16 at SS. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church in Clarkson. Pallbearers were Ronald Kucera, Donald Kucera, Roger Kucera, John Bierman, Larry Bierman and Fred Bierman. Visitation was held at the Miller Funeral Home on Sept. 15 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. and after 5 p.m. at the church and at the church after 9 a.m. on Sept. 16. Rosary was prayed at 6:30 p.m. at the church on Sept. 15. The daughter of David and Mary (Bierman) Kucera, she was born in Columbus on Aug. 17, 1975. She began her education in Colfax County and completed it in Wakefield, where she graduated from Wakefield High School in 1994. She was a freshman at Wayne State College. Survivors include her parents; two sisters, Sabrina and Dorothy; five brothers, Joseph, Mathew, Charles, Benjamin and Patrick, all of Clarkson; grandmother, Agnes Kucera, Clarkson; aunts and uncles. She was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents and her paternal grandfather. Memorials are suggested to Haven House for Battered Women in Wayne.
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1975 - 1995 World Events

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In 1975, in the year that Laura Jean Kucera was born, on September 5th, Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme tried to assassinate President Ford in Sacramento, California. She failed when her gun wouldn't fire. President Ford escaped a second assassination attempt 17 days later on September 22 when Sarah Jane Moore tried to shoot him in San Francisco. A bystander saw her raise her arm, grabbed it, and the shot went wild.

In 1980, she was merely 5 years old when on April 24th, a rescue attempt was begun in the Iranian Hostage Crisis. The attempt failed and 8 US servicemen were killed. Eight helicopters had been sent for the mission, but only 5 arrived in operating condition., Since the military had advised that the mission be aborted if there were fewer than 6 helicopters, President Carter stopped it. Upon leaving, a helicopter collided with a transport plane and the men were killed.

In 1987, Laura was only 12 years old when was the first time that a criminal in the United States - a serial rapist - was convicted through the use of DNA evidence.

In 1995, in the year of Laura Jean Kucera's passing, on September 3rd, eBay was founded in San Jose California. Beginning as simply a place for Pierre Omidyar's girlfriend (now wife) to share her Pez passion and collection online, the site has become a multibillion-dollar business and operates in 30 countries.

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