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.

Fallen Officer
Pitt McClellan Doxsie
34 YOA
Downtown area
Independence, IA
Buchanan County
October 26, 1897

Laura Van Wyhe
21 YOA
Iowa City, IA
Found along NE Missouri highway
October 26, 1996
elaine-konecne-gravestone-165px
Doris Elaine Konecne
38 YOA
Creston, IA
Union County
October 27, 1973
mahaska-county-165px
Lloyd J. Patrick
85 YOA
Rural Route
Oskaloosa, IA
Mahaska County
Case # 82-05758
October 27, 1982

James W. Morris
58 YOA
203 E. Lincoln Way
Ames, IA
Story County
October 27, 1991
1996-3-14-spencer-dr-hartkemeyer-165px
Karla Hartkemeyer
35 YOA
Rural Route
Warren County
Case # 96-03059
October 27, 1995

Ewald E. Bandixen
70 YOA
Folletts, IA
Clinton County
Case # 74-00523
October 28, 1974
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Marvin Brandland
69 YOA
Fort Dodge, IA
Webster County
Case # 82-05814
October 30, 1982
brian-dietrich-165px
Brian Dietrich
30 YOA
Garnavillo, IA
Clayton County
October 30, 1993

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