UPDATE: John Oldson Found Guilty of Second Degree Murder

By: Megan Johnson Email
By: Megan Johnson Email

"...he told me he still had Cathy's
picture on his desk and I
knew that they were not
going to give up."

Click the links below
for our complete coverage:


Day 1: Jury Selection
Day 2: Opening Statements
Day 3: Finding Remains
Day 4: Small Town Events
Day 5: Bones Yield Answers
Day 6: Diaries Considered

Day 7: Journals, Recordings
Day 8: Who Killed Beard?
Day 9: Deliberation Begins



"We're all here for one reason and that's justice for Cathy Beard," says Valley County Sheriff Casey Hurlburt.

The trial took 10 days, but law enforcement and Cathy Beard's family have been searching for answers for more than two decades.

Three of her siblings came to see the jury's verdict.

"We felt this trial was less about John Oldson and more about Cathy," says Bill Beard. "She was our sister and she went through a terrible, terrible ordeal that no one should."

Cathy Beard was last seen on May 31, 1989 leaving the Someplace Else Tavern in Ord with John Oldson.

Her body was found three years later buried in a pasture outside Ord. The defense argued that no physical evidence tied Oldson to her murder.

Oldson had no reaction when a Howard County jury found him guilty of murder in the second degree.

Bill Beard says they're grateful investigators kept working on the case for more than 20 years.

"Years later I talked to [NSP Investigator Larry Karschner] and he told me he still had Cathy's picture on his desk and I knew that they were not going to give up," he says.

Hurlburt, who helped renew the search for answers several years ago, says the verdict is overwhelming for those involved.

"There was a lot of officers that put their heart and soul into this and that's why we're here today," he says. "It's not about us, it's not about me, it's about Cathy and that's what we're all here for. It's justice for Cathy, and it gives everybody closure."

The Beard family agrees.

"It will help us greatly to put closure to this entire years long journey," says Bill.

Oldson will remain in the custody of the Valley County Sheriff until he is sentenced. The sentence for second degree murder is 20 years to life in prison, but does not carry the death penalty.

His sentencing is set for April 1 in Howard County.


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