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In the early morning hours on Wednesday, July 12, 1978, Francis Frederick Jordon Sr. was killed after two men knocked on his door saying they had car trouble and asking him for help.
Jordon, 42, resided with his family in a cabin near Cliffland Park in Ottumwa, and the men had to pass by several other cabins before arriving at Jordon’s home. Jordon, a United States Army veteran, agreed to help the two men and left with them.
When Jordon didn’t return, his son and a friend went looking for him. They found Jordon’s dead body thrown over the bank beside the Des Moines River.
Jordon had clearly been targeted for murder. The attack was so brutal in nature that clumps of hair and scalp had been ripped from Jordon’s head.
The two men who lured Jordon from his home were believed to be brothers.
Family members who wished to remain anonymous said Jordon’s wife was allegedly involved in setting up her husband’s murder, with money as the motive. Apparently the young woman’s father learned of her alleged involvement and cut off ties with her.
Four and one-half years after Jordon’s murder, the nearly decapitated body of 55-year-old Melvin “Mez” Adams would be found in a nearby cabin.
Both men’s murders remain unsolved.
Francis Jordon was born March 12, 1936, in Lansing, Iowa, in Allamakee County to Michael James and Lucille (Edwards) Jordon.
He was a beloved son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather.
He was survived by his wife, Ruth F. (Hanson) Jordon; five children, Debra (Tom) Weiss and Francis Jordon Jr. and friend Angie McLaughlin, all of Ottumwa, Gwen (Richard) Brainard, John Jordon and George Jordon.
Ruth Jordon passed away on January 12, 2012.
Francis Jordon Sr. was buried in the Eldon Cemetery in Wapello County, Iowa.
If you have any information regarding Francis Jordon’s unsolved murder, please contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office at (641) 684-4350.