Boyd Novinger

Boyd George Novinger
(Courtesy Christy Novinger Taylor)

Boyd George Novinger


Boyd George Novinger
77 YOA
Bedford, IA
Taylor County
DCI Case # 97-13903
December 27, 1997


Case Summary compiled by Jody Ewing

Boyd George Novinger, 77, was killed in his Bedford, Iowa home on Saturday, December 27, 1997.

Novinger’s son-in-law and business partner, H. Keith Taylor, was first on scene and told officials he found his father-in-law’s body the following Sunday afternoon.

An autopsy concluded Novinger died from gunshot wounds to the chest.

Taylor County in Iowa

Taylor County in Iowa

Novinger, a funeral director with the Novinger-Taylor Funeral Home in Bedford, had worked in the family-operated funeral home business for the past 50 years. Formerly known as the Shum-Novinger Funeral Home, Novinger worked at Novinger-Taylor with his daughter, Christy, and her husband Keith.

Law enforcement officials working the case included agents from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and the Taylor County Sheriff’s Department.

Boyd and Wilma Novinger

Boyd Novinger with his wife, Wilma. Wilma passed away in 1983.
(Courtesy photo Christy Novinger Taylor)

In an email to Iowa Cold Cases dated June 8, 2012, Novinger’s daughter Christy said she still had many questions. Four different death certificates, she said, were issued in the six months following her father’s murder.

A $2,500 reward the family offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case went unclaimed.

Novinger’s murder makes DCI’s new “Cold Case Unit” list

When the Iowa DCI established a Cold Case Unit in 2009, Boyd Novinger’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.

Although federal grant funding for the DCI Cold Case Unit was exhausted in December 2011, the DCI continues to assign agents to investigate cold cases as new leads develop or as technological advances allow for additional forensic testing of original evidence.

The DCI remains committed to the resolution of Iowa’s cold cases and will continue to work diligently with local law enforcement partners to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice for the victims and their families.

Boyd Novinger with daughter Christy

Boyd Novinger with his daughter, Christy
(Courtesy photo Christy Novinger Taylor)

About Boyd Novinger

Boyd George Novinger, son of Fred Schultz Novinger and Sylvia Belle Bloom Novinger, was born at New Market, Iowa, on November 19, 1920.

He attended the New Market public schools, and in 1941 enlisted with the U.S. Navy, serving aboard the U.S.S. Honolulu in the South Pacific and also receiving the Navy Unit Commendation Medal.

He married Wilma Doris Shum on March 17, 1944, and the two made their home in San Diego, California. Following his 1947 departure from the Navy, the couple returned to Bedford where he joined her parents in the funeral business.

Boyd and Wilma Novinger had one child — daughter Christy Lu, who married Keith Taylor. Christy and Keith had three biological sons, Boyd Keith (B.K.), Mark James and Samuel Lee, and adopted 28-year-old Bruce Kevin Ebrecht in 1997.

Boyd Novinger served the community of Bedford as a funeral director for 50 years.

Boyd Novinger headstone inscription (Courtesy Julia Anderson)

Boyd Novinger served aboard the U.S.S. Honolulu in the South Pacific.
(Courtesy photo Julia Johnson)

He was a member of John F. Hardin Post 164, Bedford American Legion, Taylor Lodge #156 AF & AM, VFW Post 11443, and the Bedford United Methodist Church.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and one grandson, Benjamin Lee.

Survivors included his daughter Christy and her husband Keith of Bedford; grandchildren B.K., Mark, Sam, and Kevin; six great-grandchildren; brother Gordon and wife Mary of San Bernardino, CA; sister, Shirley Mitchiner of San Bernardino, CA; one aunt, Nora Bloom Morris of Bedford; four nephews and numerous cousins.

Boyd Novinger headstone (Courtesy Julia Johnson)

Boyd Novinger served as a funeral director for 50 years.
(Courtesy photo Julia Johnson)

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 31, 1997 at the Novinger-Taylor Funeral Home in Bedford. Burial was at Fairview Cemetery. The family established a memorial in Novinger’s name.

Novinger’s son-in-law, H. Keith Taylor, passed away in October 2001 at age 58.

Information Needed

If you have any information about Boyd Novinger’s unsolved murder, please contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010 or email



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

25 Responses to Boyd Novinger

  1. Rhonda Clark says:

    Under what circumstances could someone legally adopt a 28 year old at the time this happened?

  2. Tyann says:

    Such a wonderful man

  3. Judy Alioth says:

    I had always heard rumors that the son In law had something to do with Boyd’s death. Rumors are just that though. Wasn’t there talk of an adoption happening at that same time involving the son in law? Murder weapon could have easily been hidden in a casket. Such a sad story and crazy that it was never solved.

    • Sonia Smith says:

      Judy, yes, Boyd’s son-in-law, Keith, adopted 28 year old, Kevin and that adoption was finalized just a few weeks before Boyd was killed! Kevin lived right next door to Boyd and taunted him by hollering “Hi, grandpa” whenever he seen him outside! Boyd told me this happened a few times in the few weeks before he was murdered! Boyd couldn’t figure out “why” anyone would adopt a 28 year old man….he was very suspicious of Keith and Kevin and felt they were up to no good just before he was killed! Boyd was such a kind soul, he is very missed!

  4. Sonia Smith says:

    Mike Byrne, I believe Keith Taylor (son-n-law) died of a heart attack.

    • Mike Byrne says:

      Ok,thanks Sonia Smith.I wonder why they made a point to say he died.Was he a suspect in his father-n-laws murder?

      • Sonia Smith says:

        I would hope he was considered a suspect; for a lot of very close friends of Boyd’s were sure he was involved in the murder somehow!!! He was really the only one who had anything to gain from Boyd’s death and Boyd was definitely NOT fond of him!!!

  5. Mike Byrne says:

    How did the son-in-law die?

  6. Re Boyd’s case, I’d also contacted the DCI and Taylor County Sheriff’s Office on May 31, 2014, re an email I’d received from an individual whose family had been longtime friends with the Novingers. It concerned a statement heard (at the funeral home, before Boyd’s death) about the perfect hiding place for a weapon. The individual who wrote wondered if there might be a gun hidden in the casket of whomever was a client at the time of Boyd’s death. It would be near impossible, however, for officials to follow up on this theory b/c of the # of disinterments that may be required to search for a weapon that may or may not have been hidden in a casket. Boyd’s son-in-law/business partner, H. Keith Taylor, died in October 2001.

  7. Jordi Faber and Jack Toomey, neither ICC nor Boyd’s daughter, Christy, were told why four death certificates were issued in her father’s death. It’s one of the questions she still has. I contacted the DCI about this in Feb. 2014 but did not receive a response. I learned of the multiple death certificates through Christy, and it’s just one of many unanswered questions she has in her father’s death.

  8. I knew Boyd and he was a really nice guy!

  9. Daniel King says:

    Sounds like someone was trying to collect on some life insurance…

  10. Jack Toomey says:

    I would be interested in knowing why four death certificates were issued

  11. Jordan Faber says:

    Why were 4 different certificates issued?

  12. Sonia Smith says:

    Mary, I’m so sorry for your loss; I knew Joe (took EMT training with him and worked on the ambulance crew with him years ago) and I didn’t believe for one minute that he committed suicide when he passed! I always believed there was “more to the story”. It is very sad that justice has not prevailed for him and Boyd!!!! :(

  13. Mary Riley says:

    I know for a fact that Larry Joseph Riley did not commit sucide any one that knew Joe knows that also Mary RILEY JOES MOTHER FOUND OUT SOMETHING PLEASE SO HE CAN REST IN PEACE

  14. Kaye ware says:

    You want to get away with murder, commit it in Taylor County. Shameful.

  15. Chris McCart says:

    In the small town of Bedford, what would be the motive?

  16. Sonia S. Smith says:

    I would love to see justice for you and your family, and especially for Boyd! Can’t think of anyone more deserving! Hugs to you Christy!

Comment Policy

We encourage thoughtful discussion here but ask that comments remain civilized and constructive … i.e. without personal attacks or name-calling. Be respectful of others and remember that victims' family members visit these pages, too. If you'd like to provide us with information regarding a suspect or have other sensitive details to relay, please email us directly. Thank you in advance.

Share Your Thoughts