Corey Lee Wieneke
Corey Lee Wieneke
West Liberty, IA
Case # 92-08083
October 13, 1992
Corey Wieneke, 22, was found bludgeoned to death in his rural West Liberty home on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 1992. Wieneke’s fiancée, Jody Hotz, also of West Liberty, last saw him alive around 8:15 a.m. that morning and discovered his beaten body in his bedroom at 6 p.m. Tuesday evening.
Muscatine County in Iowa
West Liberty in Muscatine County
An autopsy determined Wieneke’s death was caused by blunt trauma to the body. A blood-stained aluminum softball bat found one mile from Wieneke’s home was taken to the Division of Criminal Investigation’s laboratory for testing, and later confirmed as being the murder weapon.
Wieneke was an employee at Wink’s Tap, a downtown West Liberty tavern owned by his grandmother, Betty Wieneke. Corey Wieneke worked as the late shift bartender.
Muscatine County sheriff’s deputies cordoned off the area around Wieneke’s home while DCI personnel processed the murder scene, located about three miles west of West Liberty.
KCRG-TV Channel 9 news reporter Mike Wagner discovered the softball bat when he couldn’t get his vehicle started so decided to walk up the gravel road to Wieneke’s one-story house. About a mile away, he saw the metal bat on the north edge of the road. Wagner informed law officers, who hurried from the murder scene to see the bat. DCI investigators took photographs and measurements before removing the bat from the scene.
- Courtesy photo Chris Stewart/Cedar Rapids Gazette
- Oct. 15, 1992 — Muscatine County Sheriff Ron Hazen bends down to get a closer look at a bat lifted by Iowa DCI criminologist Robert Harvey. Authorities believe the blood-stained bat, found Wednesday morning, Oct. 14, 1992 along rural West Liberty’s 120th Street, may be the weapon used to kill Corey Wieneke sometime Tuesday.
The bat had white tape around the handle and a blue barrel with Power Flite Heavyweight in white lettering on it. The white lettering appeared to have blood stains on it. The bat also had the bar code still affixed and the corners weren’t worn, which indicated it may have been recently purchased.
In a Cedar Rapids Gazette article dated Oct. 23, 1992, Sgt. Greg Orr, an investigator for the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Department, confirmed that the bat was bought at a Wal-Mart, but didn’t indicate which one. Orr also said bats with that kind of blue color were last shipped to the area a year [prior to the murder]. He stated the bat could have been left over from the previous year’s inventory.
The Power Flite Heavyweight bat had been relatively inexpensive; the murder weapon had a $15 retail price and was bought on sale for $13.
Authorities believed Wieneke knew his killer and said there was no evidence to suggest it was a random killing, and that they believed the person responsible was not from West Liberty and possibly was from Iowa City.
Investigators also said they did not believe the murder was drug-related, and that it could be connected to a relationship Wieneke had with a woman. Wieneke was returning home from Iowa City around 7 a.m. the day of the murder.
Corey Lee Wieneke was born March 25, 1970 in Muscatine, Iowa, the son of James and Susan Winfield Wieneke. He was a 1988 graduate of West Liberty High School, where he played center on the football team that made it to the Class AA semifinals.
Photo courtesy MLC, findagrave.com
He was employed as a bartender at Wink’s Tap in West Liberty for several years.
Friends gathered from 2 – 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, at the West Liberty Chapel of the Barker Funeral Home, where a Christian Wake service was held at 7:30 p.m.
A funeral Mass was held at 10 a.m. Friday morning at St. Joseph Catholic Church in West Liberty with the Rev. Tim Bernamann officiating. Wieneke was buried at Oak Ridge Cemetery in West Liberty.
Survivors included his parents, James and Susan Wieneke, West Liberty; his fiancée, Jody Hotz, West Liberty; a daughter, Megan Lee; grandparents, Betty Wieneke, and Edmund and Luetta Winfield, all of West Liberty; great-grandmother, Helen Janney, West Liberty; and great-grandmother Helen Crossett, Iowa City.
Anyone with information about this case is urged to call the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office at (319) 263-6055 or (800) 369-9635. You may also send information to Iowa Cold Cases via our Contact form.
- Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation
- Muscatine County Sheriff’s Office
- “Police: The hunt doesn’t end,” Muscatine Journal, Feb. 15, 2010
- “JonBenet arrest fills East Iowans with new hope,” Cedar Rapids Gazette, Aug. 19, 2006
- “Iowa City now focus of Wieneke murder: An acquaintance likely committed the brutal killing, say authorities,” Cedar Rapids Gazette, Oct. 13, 1993
- “Rumors not true: Sheriff No new leads in Wieneke murder,” Cedar Rapids Gazette, Oct. 23, 1992
- “Police say victim knew murderer: West Liberty case centers on softball bat,” Cedar Rapids Gazette, Oct. 16, 1992
- “Family ‘numb’ after W. Liberty murder,” Cedar Rapids Gazette, Oct. 15, 1992
- “Bat may hold key to West Liberty murder: Autopsy confirms blunt weapon killed man, 22,” Cedar Rapids Gazette, Oct. 15, 1992
- Quad-City Times Obituary, Oct. 15, 1992
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