Scott County in Iowa
Davenport in Scott County
Margaret B. Treese
Margaret B. Treese
“The Tattoo Murder Case”
Credit Island Park
September 30, 1947
On Tuesday morning, September 30, 1947, two men on their way to work at Credit Island Park in southwest Davenport discovered a woman’s body near the park’s main entrance. The victim was later identified as 34-year-old Margaret B. Treese of Davenport.
Davenport park employees Howard Whitlock and Orville Crow found Treese’s nude and badly mutilated body at 7:48 a.m. She lay face up with pieces of her clothing scattered about the scene. A battered photo of a young child lay near her body.
According to the coroner’s report, Treese suffered 15 stab wounds to the chest and her body was run over repeatedly by a car or some vehicle. Numerous tattoos on Treese’s body led to her case being dubbed “The Tattoo Murder Case.”
Over the years, police questioned dozens of individuals in the slaying, and though more than a dozen people confessed to her murder, none of the confessions was considered valid.
Officials traced Treese’s whereabouts on the night of her death to several skid row taverns. According to an article published October 13, 1958 in the Estherville Daily News, Treese had been drinking heavily that night and was known to frequent a Davenport neighborhood called “skid row.”
Treese was last seen around 12:30 a.m. drinking with three men in one of the row’s taverns. One witness told police he saw her get into a car with the three men, none of whom he could identify.
If you have any information about Margaret Treese’s unsolved Murder, please contact the Davenport Police Department at 563-326-7979 or Iowa Cold Cases via our Contact form.
- “Davenport’s Unsolved Homicides,” The Quad-City Times, June 25, 2011
- “Five Iowa Murders Are Still Unsolved,” The Estherville Daily News, October 13, 1958
- “Find Mutilated Body of Nude Woman in Davenport Park,” The Waterloo Daily Courier, September 30, 1947
- “Nude and Mutilated Body of Woman is Found in Davenport,” The Mason City Globe-Gazette, September 30, 1947
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