Guthrie County in Iowa
Guthrie County in Iowa
Panora in Guthrie CountyPanora in Guthrie County

Floyd William Alborn


Floyd William Alborn
76 YOA
Linden, IA in Dallas County
Near Panora, IA in
Guthrie County
Case # 74-00550
November 8, 1974

Floyd William Alborn, a 76-year-old bachelor, was found shot to death in his rural Panora, Iowa, home on Friday evening, November 8, 1974.

Alborn lived alone at his farm on the Guthrie and Dallas county line one-fourth mile north of Highway 44. His sister and brother-in-law, Freda and Lawrence Mills, discovered his body, the Guthrian reported on Monday, November 25, 1974.

Guthrie County Sheriff Lester Petersen and Deputy Terry Davis made the initial investigation before calling in the Iowa Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).

Petersen said Alborn was shot once through the chest and found lying on the floor when authorities first arrived. Several guns were on the floor around his body, the paper said, and officials initially thought Alborn may have died of a self-inflected gunshot wound.

The BCI assigned three agents and six lab crew members to assist Sheriff Petersen with the investigation, which led to a ruling of foul play.

Robbery did not appear to be a motive, as Alborn had about $300 in his possession at the time of the crime, and his gun collection was not bothered, Petersen said.

News Gazette Feb. 16, 2017, A Glance Into the PastAlborn had been burglarized eight years earlier on February 14, 1967. Charles E. Kurtz, a 19-year-old Grandview College student, was charged and convicted of stealing 15 antique guns from Alborn in that incident. Kurtz, a Des Moines resident, was sentenced to just 30 days in jail for the 1967 burglary.

Investigators discovered 75 guns in Alborn’s home following his murder, though police said it was unknown if there had been more that possibly were stolen.

On December 5, 1974, the Bayard News announced a $2,000 reward for the apprehension and conviction of the person or persons who murdered Alborn. The bullet that caused Alborn’s death had been recovered, but the gun that shot it remained missing, the article said.

Alborn’s murder remains unsolved.

When the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) established a Cold Case Unit in 2009, Alborn’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.

About Floyd Alborn

Floyd William Alborn was born near Perry, Iowa, in Dallas County on May 20, 1898, to Sarah May Knosby and William M. Alborn.

Floyd Alborn headstoneCourtesy photo ZBonnie,
Floyd Alborn is buried at Violet Hill Cemetery in Dallas County.

Memorial services were held at the Merchant Funeral Home in Yale, Iowa, and he was buried with his extended family in Violet Hill Cemetery near Perry in Dallas County.

Survivors included three sisters: Freda Beulah Alborn Mills, Lena Alborn Noack and Henrietta M.F. Alborn Frederickson; and one brother, Harry Henry Alborn.

His parents and two siblings — Laura Mary Alborn Sheets and George J. Alborn — preceded him in death.

Information Needed

If you have any information about Floyd Alborn’s unsolved murder, please contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010, email, or contact the Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office at 641-747-2214.

  • Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, Cold Case Unit, November 24, 2009
  • Guthrie County Sheriff’s Office
  • Floyd William Alborn (1898 – 1974) — Find a Grave Memorial
  • “A Glance Into the Past: From the files of The Bayard News and The Bagley Gazette (now The News Gazette), Photo of Stolen Guns Recovered in 1967,” The News Gazette, Thursday, February 16, 2017, Page 7
  • “United States Social Security Death Index,” database, FamilySearch, Floyd Alborn, Nov 1974; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  • “Sheriff’s Report,” The Bayard News, Thursday, December 5, 1974, Page 5
  • “FOUL PLAY SUSPECTED In Death of Floyd Alborn, Panora,” The Guthrian, Monday, November 25, 1974, Page 1
  • “Suspect Foul Play,” The Muscatine Daily Journal, November 22, 1974
  • “Around the County, PANORA,” The Guthrian, Monday, November 18, 1974, Page 1
  • “Floyd Alborn, 76, Dies of Gunshot,” The Bayard News, Thursday, November 11, 1974, Page 1
  • “Stolen Guns Returned,” The Guthrian, March 13, 1967
  • “Thirty Days for Stolen Gun Count,” The Guthrian, March 6, 1967
  • “Thieves Steal Guns from Panora Farm,” The Bayard News, Thursday, February 9, 1967, Page 1
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3 Responses to Floyd Alborn

  1. Melanie Wood says:

    IMO it was someone he trusted. With 75 weapons around. I can’t see it wasn’t.

  2. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    Maybe Mr. Kurtz, returned and decided to kill Mr. Alborn. It was nice of the criminal justice system, to give him only 30 days for burglary. I wonder if his major was basic burgary, and was working towards an advanced degree in burglary.

    • LakeLife says:

      I thought so too!
      Very odd that he only received 30 days for stealing all those guns!
      Praying for justice!!

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