Former Utahn Jerrylu Ogden Hansen was home in Arizona with three of her children Friday evening when a stranger came to her door and asked to use the telephone.
She and her husband, Doug, had built their home in the desert 30 miles west of Phoenix. Their nearest neighbors were four miles away, but that was fine. Growing up in Utah, the Hansens had learned to be hard-working, self-sufficient people.So, though her husband was away on a hunting trip with their 9-year-old son, Jerrylu Hansen let the stranger in.
After he used the phone, the man walked back to the arroyo where he had apparently left a 12-gauge shotgun in his car. He grabbed the gun and walked back to the house.
According to Maricopa County Sheriff's Department spokesman Duane Brady, the stranger apparently found Hansen in the carport and shot her dead.
He then went into the house, where he brutalized the children. After tearing the telephone from its moorings, he pocketed some cash and credit cards, then drove away in the Hansen's 1986 Blazer with the phone and two of Doug Hansen's guns, one of which was a semi-automatic rifle.
The stranger returned to his car, rented for a three-day period in Tennessee on Aug. 3, and blasted it with four or five rounds from the rifle. He then drove by the Hansen home, where he sprayed 24 more rounds into the side of the house.
The three children - ages 12, 5 and 2 - turned off the lights and drew the blinds against the unspeakable horror of the night. At dawn, they hiked two miles across the desert to I-10, where they flagged down a motorist who used her car phone to call 911.
Authorities had to track Doug Hansen in the outback of Gila County to tell him what had happened.
Jerrylu Ogden Hansen will be buried Wednesday in Richfield.
"She was the nicest, most caring person in the world," said Sandy resident Paula Taylor, Jerrylu Hansen's best friend from childhood. "She was first runner-up for homecoming queen, on student council, very talented. Everyone just loved her.
"She was also a very careful person. Very cautious," Taylor said. "So this guy must have been very sly."
Brady said authorities arrested a 26-year-old man at his rented home in North Phoenix Sunday morning after discovering the Hansens' Blazer parked in the carport. Laurence Scott Jackson, whose hometown is unknown, is being held on suspicion of first-degree homicide, child molestation, burglary and kidnapping. The investigation is continuing, Brady said.
Services for Mrs. Hansen will be at 1 p.m. in the Richfield 9th Ward of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Burial will be in the Richfield Cemetery. Friends may call at the ward from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the chapel.
She is survived by her husband, Doug, and four children - Lacey, Nicholes, Sunni Jean and Cody Scott; her mother, LuJeanne Christensen Ogden of Richfield; and two sisters in Lehi and Orem.
The couple, married in Richfield in 1975, met at Utah State University after Jerrylu Ogden's 1972 graduation from Richfield High School. They lived in Minnesota and Utah until Doug Hansen decided in 1984 to take a job in Buckeye, Ariz., where Jerrylu Hansen was serving as Primary president, first for her ward and then for her stake.