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Child Slayer’s Friend Held ‘to Prevent New Tragedy’

United Press International

Police said today they arrested a close friend of child-killer Laurie Dann because chilling similarities between their actions showed she posed “a threat to herself, her family and this community.”

Winnetka Police Chief Herbert Timm said Sheri Lynn Taylor, 34, may have conspired in Dann’s bloody crime spree a week ago today, and Taylor was arrested “to prevent another tragedy.”

Taylor, a former model, was held today at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago, where she was involuntarily committed for psychiatric evaluation.

Police arrested her Wednesday night at her $140-a-week motel room in nearby Highwood on charges that she, like Dann, made threatening phone calls to her ex-husband. Found in Taylor’s room was a .357 magnum revolver, the same type as one of the guns used by Dann.

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“The nature of the threats . . . and the similarities that began to surface--we felt that immediate action was absolutely essential,” Timm said.

Dann, a 30-year-old neighborhood baby-sitter, burst into Hubbard Woods Elementary School in Winnetka last Friday and opened fire, killing an 8-year-old boy and wounding five children. She ran from the school and took refuge in a nearby home, where she shot a 20-year-old man and committed suicide.

Just before Taylor’s arrest, Timm said police were checking whether Dann had witting or unwitting accomplices in her crime spree.

“We had identified Sheri Taylor as a close friend. We then received information from her ex-husband that led us to believe that she may be a threat to herself, her family and this community,” Timm said.

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Dann and Taylor apparently met at a wedding, Timm said. The two became close and began going through divorces at about the same time. They also roomed together after their divorces.


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