Dubuque, IA

Dubuque in Dubuque County

Dubuque County in Iowa

Cold Cases in Dubuque, Iowa





Francis Rafferty

Francis J. Rafferty
58 YOA
Dubuque, IA (Dubuque County)
Case # 64-00326
February 8, 1964

Shortly after midnight on Saturday, February 8, 1964, Gretta Rafferty returned home from work and found the body of her brother, Francis John Rafferty, 58, in the apartment they shared in Dubuque, Iowa. His hands, feet, and legs were bound with telephone wire ripped from the wall and his mouth and nose were covered with electrical tape. He had choked on regurgitated food and died of asphyxiation.


Sherrie Lee Martin and
Victoria Lynne Martin

Dubuque, IA (Dubuque County)
Case # 65-00461
March 6, 1965

On March 6, 1965, Janet Martin and Donald Martin escaped from their burning house but were unable to save their two daughters, Sherrie Lee and Victoria Lynne. It was later determined that the house fire was deliberately set and deemed arson.


Kenneth Bouzard

Kenneth Marvin Bouzard
53 YOA
Case Number: 71-00481
Dubuque, Iowa (Dubuque County)
April 23, 1971

On Friday April 23, 1971, the badly battered and crushed body of Kenneth Bouzard was found beneath a boxcar on railroad tracks in Dubuque, Iowa. Police believed Bouzard had been assaulted and struck in the head with a piece of railroad equipment while sitting or lying near the tracks.


Jackie Shireman

Jackie Shireman

Jackie Shireman
21 YOA
Marino’s Meal on a Bun
1296 Central Ave.
Dubuque, IA (Dubuque County)
January 4, 1975

On Saturday, Jan. 4, 1975, at approximately 7:45 p.m., a customer at Dubuque’s “Marino’s Meal on a Bun” found waitress Jackie Shireman lying in a pool of blood in the walk-in cooler. The 21-year-old newlywed and Sunday School teacher had been stabbed approximately 30 times with a pair of scissors. A trial returned no homicide conviction, and the case remains open.


Theodore Hoerstman

Missing Person:
Theodore Anthony Hoerstman
Missing From: Dubuque, IA (Dubuque County)
Age at Report: 45
Date Reported Missing: December 6, 1982

Theodore Hoerstman was reported missing to the Dubuque Police Department in Dubuque, Iowa, on December 6, 1982. Hoerstman is a disabled adult and has a 1-inch appendectomy scar and a scar on his right calf. The name “Sharon” is tattooed on his lower right arm.


Kenny Joe Johnson

Kenny Joe Johnson
14 YOA
Maus Park
Dubuque, IA (Dubuque County)
Home Residence: New Liberty, IA
Local Case # 87-21572
DCI Case # 87-05013
October 10, 1987

Around 9 a.m. on Oct. 10, 1987, an elderly fisherman discovered 14-year-old Kenny Joe Johnson’s body near a floodgate in Dubuque’s isolated Maus Park. He was rolled in a 5-foot-by-9-foot piece of yellow-orange nylon carpet that had been dumped at the park, and an autopsy revealed he had been strangled by hand and sexually assaulted.


Paul Knockel

Paul Knockel

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

Paul Knockel was last seen in Dubuque, Iowa on November 26, 1990, and has never been heard from again. When Knockel didn’t show up for Thanksgiving dinner, family members became concerned and went to check on him. They believe he may have been abducted at his home and murdered.


Crystal Arensdorf

Missing Person
Crystal Ann Arensdorf
Age at Report: 20
Missing From: Dubuque, IA (Dubuque County)
Missing Since: July 4, 2001

Crystal Arensdorf of Dubuque, Iowa, was last seen at approximately 2:00 a.m. on July 4, 2001 at Knicker’s Saloon, 2186 Central Avenue in Dubuque. Arensdorf — a minor at the time of her visit to the bar — was there with friends and trying to get a ride to East Dubuque, Illinois.


Missing Person
Amy K. Luce
Age at Report: 41
Weight: Unknown
Height: Unknown
Race: Asian or Pacific Islander
Hair: Unknown or Completely Bald
Eyes: Brown
Sex: Female
Incident Type: Endangered / Physical
Missing From: Dubuque, IA
Dubuque County
Missing Since: July 16, 2012

Amy Luce was reported missing to the Dubuque Police Department in Dubuque, Iowa, on July 16, 2012. She wears glasses. She may have been headed to Seattle, WA.


Marlon Barber Jr.

Marlon Barber Jr.

Marlon Terrell Barber, Jr.
15 YOA
2000 block of Jackson St.
Dubuque, IA
Dubuque County
October 20, 2012

On Oct. 20, 2012, Marlon Barber, Jr., a 15-year-old Dubuque teen, was shot in the chest and stomach as he and his friends walked away from a party. He died soon after in the hospital. Another teen was hit by gunfire but treated at a hospital and released.


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2 Responses to Dubuque

  1. Kim says:

    I was a resident in Dubuque (grown and raised) I mean you have a few cold cases that don’t make sense to me. Why can’t you solve them? Let’s start off with this Francis Rafferty guy? (never even heard of this person) looked on line. Never even known this person existed. I would have been a small child at the time My Dad worked for Carr/Adams at the time.And how about this Kenny kid,heard about him and last but not least this Gal that was at Knickers. Do you have any clues to has been? You are not doing such a great job but would like to help you as well as these families.

  2. Jody Ewing says:

    Kim, while I agree that many of these cases don’t make sense (most murders are, after all, senseless), I must clarify that the Iowa Cold Cases website is *not* run by any local, state, or federal law enforcement agency. We are a state-registered Iowa nonprofit organization whose goal is to provide case summary information on Iowa’s unsolved crimes (homicides, as well as missing persons cases where foul play is suspected), in efforts to remind the general public that these cases have not yet been solved.

    We are not law enforcement investigators or detectives. We (my co-admin, Kerry Connolly, and I) research and write summaries so these victims are not forgotten. We communicate with victims’ family members, pass along tips to respective LE agencies, oversee our sister Facebook page, and also work with organizations like Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers to ensure our case information is as inclusive as possible.

    We receive no local, state, or federal funding (or grants), and invest full-time unpaid hours toward ongoing updates to cases with hopes that someone with knowledge about any one of these cases will contact the appropriate authorities with a long-awaited missing puzzle piece.

    Your question about why these cases can’t or haven’t been solved is a good one. The best answer, perhaps, is a recent statement by Assistant Dubuque Police Chief Terry Tobin, who said: “It’s one thing to potentially know the facts of the case or what happened. It’s another thing to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    As Tobin also said, there are people out there that have information. The problem is getting them to talk. It’s one of the reasons we encourage comments and discussion on the case summary pages and the ICC Facebook page.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.

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