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.

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Cecil Travis Gaddy
19 YOA
315 E. Shaw St.
Osceola, IA
Clarke County
January 31, 2004

Timothy C. Earney
29 YOA
Albia, IA
Monroe County
Case # 84-00561
February 2, 1984
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Guy Heckle
Age at Report: 11
Missing From:
Cedar Rapids, IA
Missing Since:
February 3, 1973
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Norma M. Maynard
Age at Report: 61
Missing From:
Boone, IA
Missing Since:
February 3, 1979
Bill Douglas
William Douglas, Sr.
Age at Report: 63
Missing From:
Clarke County, IA
Case #: 04-01918
February 4, 2004
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Steven Kirchhoff
Age at Report: 22
Missing From:
Cedar Falls, IA
Missing Since:
February 5, 1978
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Louis Chambers, Jr.
32 YOA
1400 blk 5th Ave SE
Cedar Rapids, IA
Linn County
February 7, 1994
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Darlene Fitchett
608 E. Pleasant View Dr.
Des Moines, IA
Polk County
Case # 1960-1563
February 8, 1960
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Francis J. Rafferty
58 YOA
Dubuque, IA
Dubuque County
Case # 64-00326
February 8, 1964

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