‘Defrosting Cold Cases’ highlights three Waverly murders in monthly series

Three unsolved Waverly, Iowa, murders — Valerie Klossowsky, Julie Benning, and Lisa Peak — are featured as November’s “Case of the Month” on the Defrosting Cold Cases blog.

Valerie Klossowsky, Julie Benning and Lisa Peak. (Courtesy Defrosting Cold Cases)

Valerie Klossowsky, Julie Benning and Lisa Peak. (Courtesy Defrosting Cold Cases)

In a guest post, Iowa Cold Cases’ Jody Ewing presents an overview of the three young women’s slayings that took place between 1971 and 1976.

In a monthly series, Defrosting Cold Cases blogger Alice de Sturler spotlights specific cases to get people talking again and ensure the victims are not forgotten.

“Every time we mention the names Lisa Peak, Julie Benning, and Valerie Klossowsky online we enhance their digital footprints,” de Sturler says.

Click here to read the November Case of the Month or visit Defrosting Cold Cases to learn more about the monthly series.

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-6-13-1912Courtesy 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.

Dr. William Hamilton
33 YOA
Liberty Township
Marysville, IA
Marion County
November 26, 1900

Paul Joseph Knockel
Age at Report: 53
Missing From:
Dubuque, IA
Missing Since:
November 26, 1990

Nicholas “Nick” White
20 YOA
1511 29th St.
Des Moines, IA
November 26, 2012
Willie Junior Brocks
49 YOA
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
November 27, 1999

Julie Benning
18 YOA
Waverly, IA
Bremer County
Case # 76-00382
November 28, 1975

George Leonard, 53
Inn Tavern
902 S. 14th Street
Clinton, IA
Case # 81-06936
November 28, 1981
Danny Baker
617 18th Ave. SW
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
November 28, 1983
Dorothy Rose
Dorothy J. Rose
43 YOA
206 12th St. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
November 28, 2006
Larry Murillo
Age at Report: 25
Case # 09-039818
Missing From:
Council Bluffs, IA
Missing Since:
November 28, 2009

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