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Ewald Bandixen (aka Ewalt Bandixen) was found dead on Monday, October 28, 1974, at the Folletts, Iowa, service station he’d owned and operated since 1931. A customer discovered Bandixen’s body — lying behind the service station’s counter — at approximately 11:30 a.m.
The 70-year-old lifelong bachelor had been shot in the head.
Clinton County coroner A.A. Young estimated time of death as sometime between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m.
Clinton County Sheriff Gary Mulholland said there were no signs of a struggle inside the station. The cash register had been placed on the countertop — its cash drawer still open — and though it appeared an armed robbery had taken place, a few checks and some cash remained inside the register’s drawer. Officials also found cash inside Bandixen’s pants pockets.
In addition to the Iowa Highway Patrol, the Iowa Bureau of Criminal Investigation was also called in to assist with the investigation.
Bandixen and his brother Johannes — also a bachelor — shared a nearby apartment and had no known enemies. According to family members, Ewald and Johannes — two of seven brothers — raised chickens and grew their own produce, which they’d give freely to neighbors and anyone in need.
Johannes passed away four months prior to Ewald’s murder; another brother, August, died just two months before Ewald.
The day before Ewald’s slaying, family members said he’d made about $500 in sales at the service station.
When the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) established a Cold Case Unit in 2009, Ewald Bandixen’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 resolving 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.
Ewald Emil Bandixen was born January 4, 1904, in Clinton County to Iowa native Ella Hinrichs and Ewald Bandixen, a German immigrant.
He had two sisters — Elsie and Rosetta — and six brothers: Johannes, George, August, John (died as infant), Benjamin, and Walter.
He served in the Army Air Forces during World War II.
Memorial services were held October 31 in Dewitt, Iowa, and Bandixen was buried at the Shaffton Cemetery in Clinton County, Iowa.
If you have any information about Ewald Bandixen’s unsolved murder, please contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office at (563) 242-9211.