Community Reacts to Charge in Hibbing Homicide

Benjamin Lundquist has been charged with second degree murder for the death of Joel Gangness.

David Lundquist of Grand Rapids has been charged with murder in the second degree for the death of Joel Gangness. This murder is just the latest in a string of violent acts to take over the Iron Range since other homicides in May and June of 2015.

“I’ve been here long enough to know that it’s not the type of area that you have to deal with this type of stuff on a regular basis,” said Grant Licari, a longtime Hibbing resident.

According to the criminal complaint, police were asked to conduct a welfare check on the victim, Joel Gangness, after he didn’t show up for his job delivering papers. Police found blood smeared on his door and his body was found with fifteen stab wounds and that DVDs and a disposable camera were placed on his back as a “message” according to suspect Benjamin Lundquist.

“It makes you wonder what people think, what possesses someone to do something like that,” said Licari.

Investigators tied Lundquist to the scene after a camera at the neighboring gas station caught him there for several hours. Lundquist allegedly told investigators that he was compelled by the number twelve, knocked on Gangness’ door and later had an argument with him. Lundquist later allegedly hit Gangness with a VCR, picked up a knife, and stabbed him repeatedly. Lundquist claimed that Jesus compelled him to do the attack.

“Definitely don’t think it’s any worse, but I definitely do think it’s kind of alarming to some of the people around here to see,” said Licari.

Lundquist’s bail has been set at $1 million. Police are looking for the driver of a minivan that dropped off Lundquist off at the Lucky Seven gas station to the apartment on Monday night.


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