Jones County

Jones County in Iowa

Monticello in Jones County

Cold Cases in Monticello, Iowa





Cathy Jo Bohlken

Cathy Jo (Cox) Bohlken
22 YOA
912 South Haven Dr.
Monticello, IA
Jones County
December 26, 1993

Cathy Jo Bohlken, age 22, of Monticello, Iowa was found stabbed to death the day after Christmas in her Monticello duplex located at 912 Southhaven Drive. Cathy Jo’s father, Dean Cox, discovered his daughter’s body about 9:30 a.m. December 26 after she failed to show up for work at the family business, Karde’s Convenience Store. She’d been bound with yards of duct tape and stabbed more than 50 times.

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2 Responses to Monticello

  1. Charlie Becker says:

    This case was solved. Very similar to the O.J. Simpson case. Travis Jamieson was found not guilty in the criminal case and was later found guilty in the civil case. DNA was a match. I don’t think there is any question in anyone’s mind that followed the case closely.

    • Jody Ewing says:

      Thanks so much for writing, Charlie. I have the newspaper archives and understand exactly where you’re coming from, so wanted to explain why Cathy Jo is listed on the site. (It basically boils down to some of the differences b/w criminal and civil law.)

      In a criminal trial, the burden of proof is always on the state. To convict someone in a criminal trial, all 12 jurors must be convinced “beyond a reasonable doubt” of the defendant’s guilt. In Jamieson’s criminal trial, the jurors said they were bothered by the lack of physical evidence “and” by the reliability of the DNA tests. (Despite Mr. Bohlken’s belief the testing was accurate.)

      In a civil trial — which focuses purely on punitive damages rather than punishment/incarceration and/or the death penalty — there are only 8 jurors and the burden of proof is “initially” on the plaintiff, but can shift to the defendant when it comes to refuting or rebutting the plaintiff’s evidence. Still, a plaintiff can easily win a case if the preponderance of evidence favors them; the jury has to believe there is more than a 50% probability of the defendant’s negligence.

      Obviously, it’s *much* more complicated than those two short skeletal paragraphs, but it basically (in its most simplistic terms) boils down to 100% of jurors being “100% convinced” of one’s guilt VS. a lesser number of jurors being only 51% convinced (or more) that the defendant probably “played some role” in the victim’s fate. Also, a “civil” verdict often can (unfortunately) amount to nothing more than a “public statement” in cases where the defendant has no assets to forfeit or knows how to “hide them well.”

      It’s sad, really. (I’m sure there’s good reason the press compared the case to the O.J. trial(s).) It’s also unfortunate that it leaves Cathy Jo’s case to take its place in history alongside countless other cases where officials know (or knew) who was responsible, but for one reason or another (double jeopardy, suspect died, etc.) will never be able to “clear.” These types of cases remain “unsolved” pretty much in name only and are not actively still being investigated. We still list those cases here because the victims (and families) never received the justice they deserved, and we feel these individuals deserve to be remembered.

      I’d meant to include the civil trial info on Cathy Jo’s page, and will try to get it added as soon as possible. Thank you again for your interest in the case, and please let me know if you have any further questions.

      All best,

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