Anna Wiese

Anna Wiese (Courtesy Marshalltown Times Republican)

Anna “Annie” Wiese


NAME: Anna “Annie” Wiese
AGE: 20
CITY: Green Mountain in Vienna Township (now located in Marion Township)
COUNTY: Marshall County
DATE OF DEATH: August 26, 1893


Around 10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26, 1893, someone brutally attacked Anna “Annie” Wiese, 20, of Vienna Township in Marshall County, Iowa, as she walked home on bright moonlight night after having visited a friend.

The killer clubbed Anna about the head, stabbed her repeatedly in the breast and back, and cut her throat from ear to ear.

Suspects included a former boyfriend, a would-be boyfriend Wiese had spurned, and a jealous neighbor who believed “Annie was flirting” with both her husband her son.

Green Mountain in Marshall County, Iowa

Green Mountain in Marshall County, Iowa

Officials exhumed Wiese’s body several times in efforts to find evidence not previously discovered, but never charged anyone with her murder. One page for Anna Wiese states, “A tall, red granite obelisk monument marks Annie’s gravesite in Vienna Cemetery south of Beaman, Iowa.”

Sara Jordan-Heintz of the (Marshalltown) Times Republican wrote about the century-old mystery in an article published May 15, 2016. Her story is below.

Grisly unsolved murder topic of presentation

Part of Third Thursday program, slated for May 19

May 15, 2016
By SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ – Staff Writer (, Times-Republican

The unsolved murder of Anna Wiese, a gruesome death which occurred 123 years ago in Vienna Township, located nine miles northeast of Marshalltown, is still the topic of much speculation, rumor and intrigue. That is why the Historical Society of Marshall County has selected the crime for its History on the Third Thursday presentation, which will be held Thursday, May 19 at 6:30 p.m., at the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office.

ted-kamatchus-marshall-county-sheriffCourtesy The (Marshalltown) Times Republican
Marshall County Sheriff Ted Kamatchus

Ted Kamatchus, who has served as the county’s sheriff for 29 years, will give the presentation, based on research and investigation he conducted in past years along with Paul “Biff” and Marilyn Dysart for a series of Times-Republican articles about the crime, commemorating the 100th anniversary back in 1993. While the case still garners interest, this is the first time in over 20 years Kamatchus will give a public presentation on the details surrounding the young woman’s demise and the circus that followed the investigation.

Wiese, who worked as a housekeeper/maid for the Russie family, was brutally attacked on the evening of Aug. 26, 1893, on her way back to her residence, after a night of socializing with the locals. She was stabbed repeatedly, clubbed and had her throat slashed, believed to be a crime of passion, committed by Emily Bennett with the help of either husband Cyrus or son Arthur. The motive was presented as Emily believing Wiese was “immoral” and having inappropriate relations with her son. After two failed trials, which included jurors developing mysterious digestive pains, Bennett was acquitted.

“The evidence they had back then would probably have convicted Emily, but they didn’t have the science back then,” Kamatchus said.

The circumstances surrounding why Wiese’s body was exhumed repeatedly, and the case of the mysterious clumps of hair, will also be discussed.

“It’s quite the saga and scandal,” said Michelle Roseburrough of the Historical Society.

“This is a popular case, and people still talk about seeing her ghost walking down that dirt road off 130th Street,” Kamatchus said.

The presentation, entitled “A Ghastly Murder at Devil’s Run Slough,” is free and open to the public, with light refreshments served. Seating is first come, first served, limited to 100 people.

© Copyright 2016 Times-Republican. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

About Anna Wiese
anna-wiese-gravestone-findagraveCourtesy “Kari,”
Anna Wiese is buried at the Vienna Cemetery in Beaman in Marshall County, Iowa.

Anna “Annie” Wiese was born in Iowa June 11, 1873, to Henry and Mary Wiese.

She died Saturday, Aug. 26, 1893.

Annie was laid to rest at the Vienna Cemetery in Beaman, in Marshall County, Iowa.

Generous and sympathizing friends had a gravestone erected for her.

Information Needed

If you have any information about this Iowa cold case please contact the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office at 641-754-6380 or email


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