Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Unit 1012 sends our utmost condolences and heartfelt sympathy to the loved ones and family member of Donna Schnorr. She was killed by Brian Dugan, 30 years ago on July 15, 1984. We will remember her every year on July 15.

We, the comrades of Unit 1012, will pray that Governor Pat Quinn will step down from November 4, 2014. 

Donna Schnorr, a 27-year-old nurse from Geneva.

Beth Bales: Remembering Donna Schnorr

On Friday, it will be 27 years since a young woman living in Geneva was forced off Randall Road, south of here, raped and murdered.

Posted by Beth Bales , July 13, 2011 at 03:03 PM

We passed the roadside cross on Randall Road last Sunday, heading south to Aurora for a family birthday celebration. 

That’s right, I thought. July 15. I pulled the date from my memory bank, somewhat surprised I remembered it so effortlessly. It has, after all, been nearly 30 years.

Early in the morning of July 15, 1984, Donna Schnorr of Geneva, a nurse at what was then Mercy Center in Aurora, was driving home on Randall Road, after being at a party. In those early-morning hours, it was later determined, killer Brian Dugan saw her at a stoplight, followed her, sideswiped her car to run her off the road, raped her and drowned her in a quarry. Her body was discovered later that day. 

Her murder scared the bejeebers out of me. I moved out of my apartment for a few days, scared to be alone.

She was only a year younger than I was. She lived in Geneva. I lived in Geneva. She was traveling alone, late at night. I sometimes did, as did just about all of my friends. I certainly did an early-morning drive, every three weeks, when I filled my rotating shift as night editor for The Beacon-News in Aurora. Presses ran at 2 a.m. That put me on the road back home to Geneva after that. The difference between Donna Schnorr and me was that I always opted for Route 31, over Route 25 which was closer to my East Side apartment, because it was better lit and much more heavily traveled. 

It’s hard to remember today, with Randall Road as developed as it is now, how UNdeveloped it was in 1984. And remember, as well, we didn’t have cell phones. If someone ran us off the road, well, good luck to you. There was no way to call for help. 

I try to point out to my own kids the dangers of this world. When I mention the dangers of driving alone, late at night, the possibility that someone would do them harm, I sometimes get the snappy response of, “yeah, like THAT’S really going to happen.” Well yes, I say. It has. It can again.
Those are hard truths. But the world hasn’t changed since Brian Dugan forced a young woman simply living her life, having fun, working, being footloose and fancy-free, off a deserted road and into hell. 

On Friday, it will be 27 years since that July day. Twenty-seven years—the length of her life. She’d be 54 today if her path hadn’t crossed that of Brian Dugan, who would go on a year later to kill 7-year-old Melissa Ackerman. He’d already murdered 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico of Naperville, the year before. 

The roadside cross reminds us of her life, and her death. 

Her family will certainly remember her Friday. Perhaps a few of us can remember her as well, and wish her and her family, some measure of peace. 


Donna Schnorr, a 27-year-old nurse from Geneva.

Donna Schnorr, a 27-year-old nurse from Geneva. [PHOTO SOURCE: http://geneva.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/beth-bales-remembering-donna-schnorr]

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