Welcome to Iowa Cold Cases

Thank you for taking time to visit Iowa Cold Cases, the state’s first and foremost repository of Iowa’s unsolved murders and persons missing under mysterious circumstances.

Founded in 2005, our goal is to provide case summaries for each victim while encouraging those with information to contact appropriate law enforcement officials with any known details about the crime.

Villisca Review, June 13, 1912Courtesy photo The Villisca Review
This Villisca Review article, published June 13, 1912, told the story of what eventually became Iowa’s most notorious unsolved murder case.

Here you’ll find victims’ stories and summaries compiled by data from police departments, county sheriffs’ offices, Crime Stoppers, newspaper archives, victims’ family members and friends, and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s former Cold Case Unit. Cases are cross-referenced by name, year, decade, city, and county to make them more easily accessible to fellow writers and researchers or those who wish to learn more about a specific case.

Case summaries for decades-old cases would not exist if not for the countless journalists who doggedly pursued investigators for details, tracked down public records by shoe-leather reporting, and published their findings in newspapers long preceding today’s Internet search engines.

Though no statewide database summarizing all Iowa’s known unsolved murders existed online before ICC, we would be remiss in not thanking the hundreds of journalists and law enforcement officials whose dedication to profiling yesteryear’s victims made it possible to provide solid source information for the very cases we feature yet today.


We Remember: Upcoming Cold Case Anniversaries

Listed below are upcoming cold case anniversaries and, where noted, birthdays the victims would have celebrated.

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James “Bill” Wood
79 YOA
2698 Hwy R-63
Norwalk, IA
Warren County
July 30-31, 2011
Kay Wood
Kaidena “Kay” Wood, 72
2698 Hwy R-63
Norwalk, IA
Warren County
Case # 2011-044536
July 30-31, 2011
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Rafael Robinson
926 Oak Ridge
Des Moines, IA
Polk County
Case # 1996-32331
July 31, 1996

Elizabeth Collins
Age at Report: 8
Evansdale, IA
Died: July 13, 2012
Would have celebrated 12th birthday July 31
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Ruthie Pohlmeier, 37
3839 E. 14th
Des Moines, IA
Died: April 25, 2004
Would have celebrated 49th birthday Aug. 1
Billy Lee Clark gravestone
Billy Lee Clark
43 YOA
Route 4
Ottumwa, IA
Wapello County
August 1, 1975
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Charles Hines
46 YOA
11 S. Delaware Ave.
Mason City, IA
Cerro Gordo County
August 2, 1975

Amos Jellison
74 YOA
306 Prospect St. NE
Blairstown, IA
Benton County
August 2, 1981
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Cordell Kirby
46 YOA
1400 E. 18th
Des Moines, IA
Case # 1999-28964
August 2, 1999

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