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Lance Englund

Oneal

Actor Ryan O'Neal depicted Lance in the webseries era
The Basics
First Appearance Chapter Three, Book One
Last Appearance Chapter One, Book Two
Age 34 (deceased)
Cause of Death Stabbed by an unknown assailant
Spouse/Partner Terri Englund


My wife wants me to give her some sympathy, huh? Well, my wife might have a little better shot at getting my sympathy if she acted more like a wife! When’s the last time you slept with me, huh? When’s the last time you did anything besides shoot up your junk and fuck around with that worthless boyfriend of yours? Huh? Huh, Terri? Yeah, I don’t remember either.
 
— Lance Englund, Book One

Lance Henry Englund (July 1, 1932 - July 9, 1966) was the owner of The Chair Emporium, a successful furniture store in Haven Park, Terri's husband and the second murder victim.

Early life:

Lance was the only child of Henry and Hazel Englund, both very prominent figures in town. His parents operated Hazel's Diner until they sold it in 1960, though the name remains the same. At age 28. he married the decade younger Terri Woodward, and quickly went about showing her the finer things in life. He bought her an elaborate home, a beautiful car and kept her well stocked in clothes and anything else she could want. Still, Terri began to grow restless, especially given Lance's workaholic nature and the fact that when she suffered three devastating miscarriages, her husband provided little, if any, moral support.

Though Lance was aware that his wife was growing unhappy, he refused to believe the problem was that big, even after she began to have a not-so-discreet affair with Caleb Hennessy and started to abuse drugs in the process. Lance continued to hold out hope that his wife would come to her senses and realize how wonderful the life he provided her was, but it seemed that every single attempt he made to win her back pushed her further away.

Marital problems:

During book one, Lance and Terri did little more than fight. On the night of the 5th, Lance came home irate that dinner was not prepared and when Terri informed him of her best friend Carol's murder, it did little to distract him from his anger. He tore into his wife for being self-centered, for the fresh track marks on her arm and everything in between. A few days later, Terri went to visit her brother, upset by the turn things had taken and wanting to try one last thing to prove to anyone watching that she really did try to save her marriage. That same day, Lance paid a visit to Caleb, letting him know that he knew precisely what was going on between his wife and the drifter. Caleb affirmed that he'd never intended for it to be any type of secret, infuriating Lance. He made more than one threat of violence toward Caleb, but Caleb remained unintimidated and did not back down. Still, Lance vowed to get him out of Terri's life, once and for all.

A few days later, Terri approached the subject of marriage counseling with Lance, and he initially agreed, until she mentioned that it was her brother Brett that would be doing the counseling. Lance erupted, firing off insults in Brett's direction and telling Terri she could forget about it. What Terri said next surprised them both, "Then you can forget about me!" She told Lance that she would pack her things and leave right now if he didn't go along with it and, under great duress, he agreed, though he found the idea ludicrous. He made sure to make her promise, though, not to make a huge spectacle of things, as he would not tolerate that.

During Carol's wake, Lance attempted to sit with his wife, to avoid any further public scrutiny of their marriage, but Terri rebuffed him, asking why he was so concerned with what people thought of him. From there, she stormed out and Lance was right behind her, tearing into her again for the public spectacle she was making, and for a number of other things. They were interrupted by Caleb, who arrived out of nowhere. Lance again tried to tell Caleb to stay away from his wife, and when that did not work, he punched him. Horrified, Terri attempted to intervene, but was not fast enough to stop Caleb from pulling a knife out on Lance. To prevent any further violence, Terri made the difficult decision to leave with Caleb, despite Lance telling her that if she did, she was not to come back home. Lance made a point to tell Shane about this, but it's unclear if anything came of the report.

A few days later, Lance surprised his wife by showing up at the previously scheduled counseling session at First Baptist. Bitter and angry, Lance appeared ready to blow the lid off Terri's secrets, in the presence of her brother, but held back at the last minute. Instead, he turned his fury on Brett, firing off many insults, before storming out. Terri realized that by holding back, Lance must still love her, and began to reconsider the decisions she'd made.

Murder and possible suspects:

See also: Book Two's Score Chart

Desperate to get away, Lance escaped to his office at The Chair Emporium. There, he was visited by Jeff, who asked for a job. Surprised, Lance reminded Jeff of all of the times he'd scammed him out of money in the past, and vowed that he would not allow himself to be fleeced anymore. Jeff insisted that was not what he was trying to do, but Lance wouldn't hear of it, kicking him while he was down. Jeff's desperation turned to fury quickly, and he called Lance a "smug son of a bitch" and stormed out of the office, but not before offering the cryptic promise, "and you can quit worrying about the damn money I owe you. You'll get it, and you'll get a whole lot more too!"

Lance was never seen alive again. The next morning, a cleaning woman discovered his bloody and battered body, having been brutally stabbed to death overnight. Caleb and Terri took off for Casper on the same night, prompting many to speculate that they might've been responsible for the crime.

Evan Blake also appeared to be a viable suspect, with the way that he disappeared on the night of Lance's murder, and wasn't seen again until morning. When his wife Marnie discovered him in the car, he was also battered, and his clothes were smeared with dried blood, but he refused to tell her where he'd been the night before, or what type of trouble he'd run into.

Another Place and Time:

In part one of the Another Place and Time interlude, taking place in the alternate timeline of 1981, Lance is not shown, but he is mentioned as still being married to Terri. Together, they have two sons, Jack and Ben, and are expecting a third child in January of 1982. It is implied that Lance forgave Terri for her affair with Caleb, though no clues are given as to how happy their marriage is.

Character conception and representation:

Lance

In the original version of the story, Lance was more of a bad guy. He was abusive to his wife, and sleeping around on her with her lover's wife, Kelsey Brady. When he was murdered early in the story, one would be hard pressed to find a single character that actually mourned him.

This version of Lance is well-meaning, but still somewhat controlling. He wanted a perfect marriage, and was not afraid to assert himself in what he wanted out of Terri and others. He had a problem with anger, but was an overall good guy, who was simply married to the wrong person.

During Independence Day's webseries era, actor Ryan O'Neal served as Lance's visual representation.

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