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Late Friday night, May 21, 1993, Chad William White, 21, was shot to death in the Corning, Iowa home he shared with his fiancée, Dixie Kinser.
Dixie, whose bridal shower was scheduled for the following day, survived the attack. Chad’s younger brother, Jason White, 18, was set to graduate from Corning High School on Sunday, May 23.
In correspondence sent to Iowa Cold Cases in April 2011, Jason White said he and his brother grew up in a series of tiny Iowa towns and were quite close.
During school months, the boys stayed with their mother and stepfather, but spent summers in Illinois with their father. They were forced to be independent, Jason White said, and always looked out for one another.
Jason described to Iowa Cold Cases what he remembered from the night of his brother’s murder.
“It was around 11:00 p.m. and I had to take my girlfriend home. She lived on the same side of town as my brother, so we started in that general direction.
As we were driving, one of the town of Corning’s officers flew by us with his lights on. As we came over the hill to Chad’s house, I noticed the cop stopped in front of his house. I pulled up behind the officer and got out. He ran out of the house with his gun drawn and around to the back.
As I walked into the yard, I noticed Dixie lying on the ground in front . . . . I knelt down next to her. She was face-down, having trouble breathing; and I saw a big tear down the back of her jacket.
It’s kind of a blur, but I remember the ambulance showed; and I turned to the house and started up the stairs to the front door. One of the neighbors was in the doorway and wouldn’t let me in. I think I knew right then that my brother was dead.
I came back down the stairs and found the police officer. I asked him what happened and all he would tell me was that they had been shot. He wouldn’t tell me whether my brother was dead or not. I watched the ambulance take Dixie away, and I noticed that they didn’t take my brother.”
Jason said he took his girlfriend home and then went to an aunt’s home to call his mother and father. He then drove back to his brother’s home to await his family’s arrival.
“My mother and stepfather arrived and the officer told them my brother was dead,” Jason said. “I lost it for a little while and cried harder than I have ever cried. My father showed up to find out that his first son had been murdered.”
Jason described his brother as a “good guy” who was a mechanic by trade and a motor-head for life. He loved cars, his motorcycle, chewing tobacco, Dixie, AC/DC, and “going fast,” Jason said.
In the small town of Corning, Iowa, people didn’t lock their doors, Jason said. The night of the murder, Chad and Dixie had gone out riding on Jason’s motorcycle. At some point while they were gone, Jason said someone entered their home and waited in the bedroom with a 20-gauge shotgun.
Jason told Iowa Cold Cases:
When they got home, the person came out of their bedroom and shot Chad in the head while he stood at the kitchen sink. Dixie screamed and turned and ran for the door. The person shot again but missed and hit the door frame. As Dixie was running out the door, he shot again and hit her in the back. She flew out and landed on the front lawn. The shooter came out the front door and ran off.”
Family members had arrived in town for Dixie’s bridal shower and Jason’s graduation ceremony, but Jason said he spent his graduation asking people to be pallbearers at his brother’s funeral.
Things went from bad to worse after Chad’s murder.
Jason said he occasionally “smoked weed,” was questioned in his brother’s murder, and ended up spending a year on probation. One year and one week after Chad’s murder, the boys’ father hung himself.
No one seemed to know whether Chad and Dixie were targeted specifically or whether the murderer simply went to the wrong address.
“I spent a good part of my life scared to walk in my front door after that,” Jason said. “I didn’t know if one day the same person would come after me or not for whatever reason.”
Determined to honor his older brother’s memory, Jason said he cleaned up his own life and moved to Denver, Colo. He says he has a house, a wife, a dog, a good family and a good life.
“It’s been hard to deal with a lot of times, and life goes on,” he said, “but Chad’s death will haunt me forever.”
Chad William White was born June 14, 1971.
Anyone with information about Chad William White’s unsolved murder is asked to contact the Adams County Sheriff’s Office at 641-322-4444.