Killer Leaves Clues in Blood: John Robert Hill

On November 21, 2010, in Anniversaries, by Jody Ewing
Laundromat where John Hill killed

The location of the Ottumwa Launderette where John
Robert Hill was murdered November 22, 1976.

It’s been 34 years since two young men found John Robert Hill, 51, lying face down in a small room at the Ottumwa Launderette Hill owned and operated on East Main Street in Ottumwa.

Authorities said Hill had been stabbed 21 times and also had been shot. A .25-caliber pistol was on the floor near Hill’s right hand. Police said it had been fired five times and found five bullet holes near the front door, but only four bullets could be found in the building. Police think Hill died fighting.

Hill’s pockets had been turned inside-out, and he was believed to have been robbed of several hundred dollars.

Someone also had written two words in his blood. One was either “black” or “lack.” The other was “older.”

Two suspects emerged, but what happened and why is the case still cold?

Read Jody’s case summary on John Robert Hill.

If you have any information about John Hill’s unsolved murder, please contact the Ottumwa Police Department at 641-684-5555.

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