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The years spanned more than a century — from 1886 to 2013 — but five days this month marked a dozen departures from many loved one’s lives.
On August 3, 1886, prohibitionist preacher George C. Haddock was shot dead in Sioux City, Iowa, after leaving his buggy at a local stable.
Just four years earlier, Iowa voters had passed the “Clark Law” to make liquor illegal in the state, but with over 75 saloons, breweries and gambling houses in the frontier city, many Sioux Cityans weren’t willing to let growing livelihoods go down without a fight.
Several people witnessed the shooting, and the first murder trial for the alleged trigger man, John Arensdorf, ended with a hung jury. Jurors found Arensdorf not guilty in a second trial, and after the acquittal, Arensdorf and jury members celebrated together by going out to drink.
On August 3, 1978, Clara E. Schiele, 90, was mugged and assaulted while climbing the front steps to her Davenport home. Schiele struck her head on the concrete steps and later died from a skull fracture and internal injuries.
When the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) established a Cold Case Unit in 2009, Schiele’s murder was one of approximately 150 cases listed on the Cold Case Unit’s new website as those the DCI hoped to solve using latest advancements in DNA technology.
In the early morning hours on Tuesday, August 3, 1993, someone shot foster care worker Diane Courbat in the head as she walked through the Cedar River Exchange Park in Waterloo.
The 34-year-old mother of two also cared for her young granddaughter, and underwent brain surgery that same day. She died three days later at University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City.
Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of Courbat’s killer.
John Taylor, 54, and his 52-year-old wife, Janet, were found dead in their burning 2223 E. Maple St. Des Moines home on August 3, 1999.
Firefighters found the couple’s bodies about 2:30 a.m.; both had been stabbed to death and the fire set in efforts to cover up the crime.
John Taylor worked as a custodian with the Iowa Department of Transportation in Ames. Janet Taylor had recently retired from her accounts payable position at NationsBank.
John and Janet Taylor’s three children still search for answers in the unsolved double homicide.
Eighty-four-year-old Dale R. Robinson disappeared from Moville on August 3, 2013, after surveillance video showed him at the Argosy Casino on Sioux City’s riverfront.
Robinson, who suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease, didn’t gamble, but would often pick up his wife, Betty, from the riverboat.
A December 13, 2013 Huffington Post video, “Missing in America,” featured Robinson’s case shortly after the Missing Persons of American website ran a December 10 story about the Moville man’s unsolved disappearance.
Family members established a community Facebook page with hopes of finding answers to Robinson’s whereabouts.
Camille Louise Njus, a 20-year-old Grinnell College student and Department of Transportation intern, left a northern Des Moines hair salon on August 4, 1978, and headed for the Greyhound bus station with plans to pay a weekend visit to family members.
She never made it to the bus terminal.
On Wednesday, October 18th — 74 days after her disappearance — a city employee discovered Njus’s partially clad body buried beneath some brush and logs near the Des Moines River in a deserted area known as the Flint Access.
Njus graduated from Grinnell High School in 1976, receiving honors for her scholastic abilities in music, prose, poetry, speech and drama. She played clarinet in the band and held several lead parts in high school musicals.
Around 11:40 p.m. August 5, 2002, Lewis M. Glenn was shot and killed in a Davenport church’s parking lot just five days before his 29th birthday.
In addition to his parents and brothers, Glenn left behind three young sons.
When 25-year-old Lynn Louise Schuller went missing from her Cedar Rapids home August 6, 1972, police suspected murder from the beginning, but, without a body, didn’t feel they had a strong enough case to make an arrest.
Schuller, the mother of a young son at the time she went missing, was barely a teen when she’d met Keith Schuller — six years her senior — while the couple’s families vacationed in northern Minnesota.
A long-distance relationship culminated in Lynn and Keith’s marriage on Sept. 18, 1965, and by all outward appearances seemed like a happy couple until 1971 when Keith announced he wanted a divorce. Lynn refused to break up their new family and refused to grant the divorce.
After Lynn’s highly publicized 1972 disappearance and her husband’s arrest for refusing to help officials search nearby woods (the charge was later dismissed for lack of evidence), Keith Schuller filed for a divorce seven times in Linn County District Court, but each time dropped the divorce petition when it became apparent he’d have to testify about circumstances surrounding his wife’s disappearance.
Keith Schuller finally went to another Iowa county to file divorce papers; a Dubuque County District Court granted his petition in July 1976. Less than two years later, the same court granted Keith Schuller’s petition to have his wife declared legally dead. The decree listed the couple’s toddler as the sole heir of Lynn’s life insurance benefits, with Keith the conservator. Keith left Iowa and went on to become the Payette County (Idaho) coroner.
Dale Webster Strassburger, a 37-year-old machinist who lived with his parents in Davenport, Iowa, while employed at the Rock Island Arsenal in Rock Island, Illinois, was last seen on his way home from work at 12:15 a.m. on August 6, 1982.
He never arrived home and has never been heard from again.
His car was found abandoned on the Le Claire (Iowa) bridge over the Mississippi River on Interstate 80, about 15 miles from his home.
Officials searched the river and its surrounding areas but turned up no signs of Strassburger.
Des Moines police patrolman George Mattern, 27, was shot in the abdomen late Tuesday night, August 7, 1917, while patrolling his beat. He died eight months later from complications caused by the bullet wound.
According to a Des Moines News article dated Wednesday, August 8, 1917, Mattern was shot in a running gun fight with a man who’d attempted to hold up the proprietor of the Temp Bar located at 316 Locust Street. Mattern, a two-year police department veteran, was immediately taken to Mercy Hospital where he underwent surgery. By Wednesday morning officials said he was somewhat improved but still in serious condition.
Officer Mattern passed away on April 12, 1918, from injuries received in the August 7, 1917 shooting.
Terence Dwayne Currington, 20, died Thursday night, August 7, 2003, just six blocks from his Waterloo home after stopping his car to chat with friends.
Currington, who lived at 1019 Adams Street, had stopped in the middle of the 400 block of Adams Street about 11:30 p.m. to visit with 16-year-old Terry Hoskins and one of Hoskins’ friends when another vehicle pulled up alongside Currington’s car. Occupants in the two vehicles shouted at one another before shots rang out.
Currington’s car traveled a short distance down the block before hitting a tree on the parking strip at 415 Adams Street. Currington was the second of three cousins shot and killed within a two-year period.
More information about each victim may be found by clicking on the respective hyperlink or the victim’s photo.