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Devils Lake Journal - Devils Lake, ND
  • Van Note pleads not guilty to father's murder

  • Attorneys allege Susan Van Note shot her father, then forged a Power of Attorney to deny him life sustaining medical treatment
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  • Susan Elizabeth Van Note, 44, pled not guilty in an arraignment hearing Monday afternoon in Boone County. Van Note was taken into custody Friday on charges of forgery and first degree murder of her father William Van Note.
    William B. Van Note, 67 and Sharon L. Dickson, 59 died after suffering from gunshot wounds they received inside of a Sunrise Beach residence in October 2010. Dickson was pronounced dead at the scene. Van Note was transported to a hospital and underwent treatment for his injuries.
    Despite multiple gunshot wounds that would claim his life three days later, when William B. Van Note struggled to make a 911 call to report he and his companion has just been shot at his Sunrise Beach home, he was described as calm by investigators who have listened to the tapes trying to piece together the events of Oct. 2 that left two people dead and no witnesses.
    The 911 call led Camden County deputies to Van Note's home on the lake's westside shortly after 11 p.m. on Saturday night. When deputies arrived, they secured the area in case the shooter might still be in the house or nearby. Investigators have declined to say what Van Note may have said on the phone or what evidence deputies found to lead them to that conclusion.
    The body of Sharon L. Dickson was found in the home's upstairs master suite. Van Note was found nearby, and it was evident he had been trying to offer aid to Dickson, according to CCSD Capt. Gary Bowling, who is also the public information officer for the Lake Area Major Case Squad, which has been called in to help with the investigation.
    The couple had been seen returning home around 5 p.m. earlier that evening. No one in the neighborhood reported hearing anything that evening prior to be awakened by sirens and dogs barking.
    There was evidence that the couple had planned to leave for Florida on Sunday. Neighbors described them as snow birds who generally left the lake area during the winter months, Bowling said.
    During the days after the incident, 20 investigators tracked down as many as 100 leads, interviewing people who knew Van Note and Dickson, canvassing the neighborhood and processing the home and its contents. Earlier that week, divers had been asked to search the area in front of the home near the 9-mile mark. Bowlings said that is standard procedure.
    By Thursday, Bowling said, investigators had completed their work at the home and had released it. The home in the Sunrise Beach area is one of three Van Note is believed to have owned. Van Note was an accountant from the Kansas City area. Dickson had owned a flower shop before retiring. Van Note and Dickson had apparently been companions for several decades.
    Page 2 of 2 - According to court documents, Susan Van Note is being charged with allegedly committing forgery. The court is claiming that on or about October 4, 2010, in Boone County, Van Note "with purpose to defraud, transferred with knowledge or belief that it would be used as genuine a writing, namely a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care of Williams B. Van Note, knowing that it had been authenticated so that it purported to have been made by authority of one who did not give such authority."
    Documents also allege that Van Note either acted alone or with others to commit murder in the first degree by "shooting him and by transferring a forged Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care of Williams B. Van Note purported to have been signed and executed by William B. Van Note to deny him life sustaining medical treatment."
    Susan Van Note is an attorney in the Kansas City area. Two accomplices, Desre and Stacey Dory, of Johnson County, were also arrested and charged with second degree murder and forgery. The Dorys were referred to as friends of Susan Van Note. Charges have not been made in connection with Dickson's murder at this time.

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