Barbara K. Brim

Barbara K. Brim

Barbara Kay Brim


Barbara Kay “Barb” Brim
53 YOA
Route 3
Webster City, IA
Hamilton County (jurisdiction)
April 25, 2001


Case Summary compiled by Jody Ewing

On Wednesday afternoon, April 25, 2001, Barbara Kay Brim, 53, was shot in her rural Hamilton County, Iowa home.

Brim’s husband, Robert “Larry” Brim, told officials he found his wife at the bottom of the basement stairs in their home near Webster City after spending the afternoon moving farm equipment. He said his wife was fine when the two had shared lunch just hours earlier.

Hamilton County in Iowa
Hamilton County in Iowa
Webster City in Hamilton CountyWebster City in Hamilton County

Larry Brim said that when he came back to the house to get a drink of water, he found his wife at the bottom of the inside (basement) stairs. He told sheriff’s deputies he believed she’d just fallen down the steps. He called for help, and though Brim was still alive when medics arrived, she was unable to provide any useful information about the killer or killers.

After being transported to a Webster City hospital, medical personnel notified law enforcement that Brim had been shot in the head and neck. She was airlifted to Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines, where she died the following day.

Deputy State Medical Examiner Dennis Klein performed an autopsy Saturday, which confirmed Brim died from a gunshot wound.

[Then] Hamilton County Sheriff Scott Anderson said officials were not treating Larry Brim as a suspect in his wife’s murder.

No explanation has been provided to date as to why Mr. Brim was allegedly ruled out as a suspect; two witnesses stated they saw a local man’s work truck parked at the Brim resident just before the Hamilton County dispatch received the call from Larry Brim to report his wife’s alleged fall. The witnesses described the decals on the work truck and both said they knew the truck belonged to a local man — a man who’d been married many times, had a history of violence and was “good friends” with the allegedly equally abusive Larry Brim.

This same man allegedly came into a substantial amount of money immediately following Barbara Brim’s murder and opened up his own business.

Larry Brim remarried only months after Barbara’s slaying.

One longtime Webster City resident said Barbara Brim’s murder was quickly ruled an “isolated incident” of a burglary gone wrong and never fully investigated. The remote location of the Brims’ home — about 15 miles northeast of Webster City — made it a prime target for burglars, the press reported after Larry Brim told the sheriff’s office he’d found some items missing from the couple’s home, including his wallet.

Larry Brim did not provide information to the sheriff’s office about the pick-up truck two other individuals spotted at the Brim home shortly before Mr. Brim placed the call to authorities.

Barbara and Larry Brim’s three young sons still lived at home but were at school when the murder took place.

Barbara Brim, a former high school Physical Education teacher, had given up her teaching position to care for her two stepsons and the three children she had with Brim. Former student Cindi Hoveland described Barbara as “a sweet person,” and a “great mother to her boys.”

The two older sons from Larry Brim’s previous marriage had already graduated high school and no longer lived with the couple; the eldest, Mark, lived in Indiana, and Peter and his wife lived in Ankeny.

County officials offered a $30,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the homicide, hoping it would lead to clues in solving Brim’s murder, but the funds went unclaimed.

Barbara Brim’s homicide remains unsolved, though Iowa Cold Cases has been told it’s one of those cases where “everybody in town knows exactly who was involved in Barb’s murder.”

“They fear for their lives,” said one individual who asked to not be identified.

Names of those with specific details about Barbara’s unsolved case are on file with Iowa Cold Cases and will be made available to active investigators within the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation.

About Barbara Brim

Barbara Kay (Pantekoek) Brim was born February 14, 1948, in Pipestone, Minnesota, to Donna Moore and Edward Pantekoek. She graduated from Pipestone High School in 1966 and attended South Dakota State University.

She taught physical education classes at Webster City High School from 1970 to 1976, and from 1976 through 1982 served as Director of Physical Development and Recreation at Handicap Village, a private, nonprofit facility for adults with disabilities.

She married Robert “Larry” Brim in Pipestone, Minn., on January 2, 1982, and the couple farmed northeast of Webster City.

Those who knew Barbara best said she loved being a mother and was actively involved in her sons’ lives.

Barbara was a member of the Congregational-United Church of Christ, Haystack Circle, and Hamilton County Hospice/Respite. She also volunteered with Compeer and Pleasant View School and was active in many church organizations.

Memorial services were held April 30 at the Congregational-United Church of Christ in Webster City with Pastor Jim Buffington officiating.

In addition to her husband and mother, Barbara’s survivors included sons Kevin, Mark, Peter, Andrew, and Nicholas; her brothers Dick and Allen Pantekoek, and numerous other relatives.

Information Needed

Anyone with information about Barbara Brim’s unsolved murder is urged to contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010.

  • Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office
  • Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation
  • Phone call made to Iowa Cold Cases on Thursday, April 27, 2017
  • Personal correspondence sent to Iowa Cold Cases from Cindi Hoveland, April 5, 2011
  • “Police check links between deaths in Iowa, other states,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, July 16, 2001
  • “Reward offered in Hamilton County murder case,” Radio Iowa, May 30, 2001
  • “Mystery of Hamilton County shooting death raises anxiety,” The Carroll Daily Times-Herald, May 29, 2001
  • “Autopsy: Woman died of gunshot wound,” The Carroll Daily Times-Herald, April 30, 2001
  • Barbara Kay (Pantekoek) Brim (1948 – 2001) — Find a Grave Memorial
  • “Obituaries: Barbara Brim,” The Daily Freeman-Journal, April 2001
  • “Webster City death caused by gunshot,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, April 30, 2001
  • “Robbery one of many possibilities in Brim murder,” by Lori Nilles, The Daily Freeman-Journal, Friday, April 27, 2001, Page 1


Copyright © 2024  Iowa Cold Cases, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

18 Responses to Barbara Brim

  1. Alicia M says:

    My good friend Billy worthen was wrongfully accused and treated so poorly sorry for barb and her family but also sorry for the wrongfully accused as well

  2. Chris Parmenter says:

    Was it ever mentioned how the local man whose truck was seen at the house came upon a good amount of money shortly after? Was he ever ruled out, or as a suspect?

  3. Lisa says:

    I have said it before, I don’t understand how anyone can take a life and just never feel any remorse for what they did! As one commenter said, who ever has done this will have no other choice than to answer to God in the end.
    May this family one day have the answers to 2ho committed this awful crime!

  4. Kim says:

    This article has said that 2 boys from Illinois killed her years ago…Now it doesn’t even mention them… people and investigators need to make their own judgements based on facts and not rumors

    • Alicia says:

      Yeah my good friend Billy worthen was arrested and wrongfully accused for this. So sad and tragic but wrong of the law enforcement officials to wrongfully accuse and treat a man so poorly..

  5. N/a says:

    They need to look into this death one more last time and really find out who killed her

  6. C. McCoy says:

    I can’t believe this is unsolved! Should be investigated again using the technology available and resources other than local authorities. I do not believe this was a random act.

  7. Jacob Brim any relation?

  8. Please someone come forward. I know her husband and he did not do it. Someone has to have seen something they did not look at way back then

  9. I don’t remember this,, why was the husband ruled out.

    • mark brim says:

      because he did not do it and was cleared. he was not home at the time… i am her son and do not appreciate your accusations. find who did it or mind your own business. one thing i have learned over the last 16 years is people are full of accusations and ideas when it isnt their family. make it theirs and then they want privacy and compassion.. think before you speak. do not you think that angle was investigated ?

      • C says:

        I think the husband had something to do with it. Maybe a murder for hire. It said that one guy came into a substantial amount of money shortly after the murder. Husband may not have physically done the crime but I’d bet he had something to do with it.

      • Fred Schminke says:

        why don’t you take your welfare checks and move on, seems you came out of the deal ok, and Scott Anderson was one of the more crooked sheriffs in Iowa at the time

  10. Susan Fields says:

    I remember this. So sad

  11. Kim Russell says:

    I remember this so well. I use to live by them

  12. Betty Flickinger says:

    It’s a cold case, now. but why can’t someone come up why she died. Or the person who took her way from us.. Barb was a wonderful person… She is missed, buy so many….

  13. You know whoever did this really thinks they are getting by with this crime but reality is, some day you are going to meet your maker and you will pay for for this, Rot in Hell!!! Barb was a beautiful lady.

  14. This is very sad and heart breaking. Someone please come forward.

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