Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Two found dead at Faribault Chamber December 23, 2016

UPDATE, 6:55 p.m. Friday: Faribault police have identified the two individuals found shot to death as Richard “Dick” Larson, 61, and his ex-wife, Barbara Larson, 59. Richard Larson apparently shot Barbara and then himself. Richard Larson was a retired Faribault police officer. I remember him. A harassment restraining order was served on him earlier this week.

Their identity does not surprise me as I quickly connected the dots.

About a week ago, Barb Larson was interviewed by local KDHL radio station personality Gordy Kosfeld about Chamber activities. You can view that interview by clicking here.

I am deeply saddened by this act of domestic violence. A restraining order is no guarantee of protection. Something has to change.


This afternoon, a man and a woman were found dead behind a desk at the Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism office in an apparent murder-suicide, according to police.

I am still trying to comprehend this violent tragedy, the second such in just 12 days. On December 11, a 33-year-old man and an 8-year-old girl died of gunshot wounds in a murder-suicide in a residential neighborhood of Faribault.

At this point, just hours after the bodies were found, information is limited to early media reports and a news release from the Faribault Police Department. That release states officers found a firearm at the scene and that the public is not at risk.

Additionally, the release states that “No other Chamber employees were present or injured.” That leads me to conclude that at least one of the deceased is a Chamber employee.  With a population of around 23,000, Faribault is a small enough city that our Chamber/tourism people are highly-visible and well-known.

I listened to a police audio on mnpoliceclips.com, which suggests the possible identities of the deceased.

I am sad, just incredibly sad. I have no other words than to advise all of you to hold close those you love.

© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


15 Responses to “Two found dead at Faribault Chamber”

  1. Oh my goodness. Horrifying. Praying for you and your city…

  2. Don Says:

    How tragic and what a sad day for the community! Words cannot adequately express what the pain of such an event brings to all. Prayers to everyone!

  3. For most of us this is the season of love, joy and peace. However, sadly it may be a time of great despair and depression for some who are at a critical juncture in life and the joyousness of the season cannot dissuade their demons from their actions!

  4. Bella Says:

    my goodness what a terrible tragedy one never knows what drives some people to these horrific acts. Certainly despair and depression must be so overwhelming for someone to commit this senseless act.

  5. treadlemusic Says:

    And for many with psychological/power abuse there are no external marks visible to substantiate the situation until an event occurs that is the consequence of this desperation. Both bad and sad……..at any time of the year but especially now.

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