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Vern's corpse.

Vern Thurman is a recurring character in Fargo Season 1. He was the Chief of Police of Bemidji, Minnesota before his death. After which, he was succeeded by Bill Oswalt.


Vern is first seen arriving at a crime scene that police deputy Molly Solverson had been investigating. It turns out to be the car that Lorne Malvo had crashed the other night. Vern finds blood on the steering wheel, as well as a deer that had been hit and placed in the trunk of the car. They both follow a trail into the woods to find a man that had frozen to death sitting by a tree.

Vern later returns home to his pregnant wife Ida Thurman, who is unable to decide what color to paint the nursery. The two of them sit down for dinner and discuss the frozen man from the car wreck, and deduces that he crashed the car and continued on foot, but got lost in the woods and froze to death. Ida tells Vern he's a good man, and that her sister told her she was crazy to marry him, to which he jokingly replies that her sister is crazy. Later in the middle of the night, Vern is called out of bed to investigate the murder of Sam Hess at The Lucky Penny. There, he along with Molly and deputy Bill Oswalt, investigate the crime scene. Molly wonders if Sam was connected to a crime synidcate in Fargo, North Dakota, Vern tells her there has never been any proof.

The next morning, he visits Molly at Lou's Coffee Shop to further investigate the case. As Molly begins making some really clever deductions, Vern tells her that she will make a good Chief of Police one day. Vern and Molly then visit the Hess residence to talk to Gina Hess, Sam's wife, about the murder as well as his possible connection to the criminal underworld. Back at the police department, Vern gets a call from Ida, who tells him she has decided to paint the nursery white, but now can't decide which shade of white. He tells her he will stop by the hardware store and pick up some paint and they can decide later that evening.

On the way out of the hardware store, he gets a call from Molly, who has investigated further and found a connection between Lester Nygaard and the murder of Sam Hess. Vern volunteers to talk to Lester, saying that he knows him. Once Vern arrives at the Nygaard residence, he quickly learns that Lester has killed his wife, and begins to arrest Lester and call for back-up. Before he can do anything else, Lorne arrives and shoots him with Lester's shotgun. Later, Vern's body is covered up, and Molly goes to tell Ida the bad news (The Crocodile's Dilemma).

Episode appearances

Season 1


  • According to his grave, Vern was born on September 28, 1961 and died on January 20, 2006.

Season 1 characters
Main Lorne MalvoMolly SolversonGus GrimlyLester Nygaard
Recurring Ben SchmidtBill BudgeBill OswaltBo MunkBurt CantonChaz NygaardDon Chumph
Gina HessGrady NumbersGreta GrimlyIda ThurmanJemma StaloneKitty NygaardKnudsen
Linda ParkLou SolversonMax GoldPearl NygaardStavros MilosVern Thurman
Wally SemenchkoWebb PepperWes Wrench
All characters