Gerald Best (Courtesy Mason City Globe Gazette)

Gerald Best (Courtesy Mason City Globe Gazette)

Gerald E. Best


Gerald E. Best
50 YOA
4 N. Madison Ave.
Mason City, IA
Cerro Gordo County
December 30, 1999

Gerald Best was found stabbed to death on Dec. 30, 1999, in his apartment at 4 N. Madison Ave. in Mason City, Iowa.

Medical Examiner David Sloan said the 50-year-old’s throat had been slashed.

The Mason City Police Department and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) interviewed dozens of people, but no arrests have ever been made in the case.

Robert BestCourtesy photo Jeff Heinz / The Globe Gazette
Robert Best stands in front of the apartment house at 4 N. Madison Ave. where his brother, Gerald Best, was slain on December 30, 1999.

In a December 2002 interview with the Mason City Globe Gazette, Best’s brother, Robert Best, said he didn’t feel as if police were doing anything, and didn’t believe there wasn’t enough evidence to make an arrest in the case.

“It looks to me like they’re chasing petty thieves instead of looking for the person who killed my brother,” Robert Best told the Gazette.

Lt. Ron Vande Weerd acknowledged Mason City police weren’t working on the case full-time, but said they still considered it a high priority.
“We’ve interviewed a lot of people and followed up on a lot of leads. And we still get leads,” he said.

Sheriff Kevin Pals
Cerro Gordo County Sheriff Kevin Pals, the lead detective in the Gerald Best case, told the Gazette in 2002 that when one investigates a homicide, it becomes personal.

Lead Detective Kevin Pals, who left the Mason City Police Department in January 2001 after being elected Cerro Gordo county sheriff, told the Gazette he worked closely with DCI investigator Tom Keenan on Gerald Best’s case. Pals said he worked the case continually for several months and would still be working on it had he not changed jurisdiction.

“We have evidence that was left at the scene and the police know things that the public doesn’t know,” said Pals, who remains optimistic the case can still be solved.

Robert Best, who was out of town at the time of his brother’s murder, told the Gazette he’d conducted his own investigation of sorts and said he often shared information with police. Robert Best said his brother was always good to people, and believed his brother’s generosity may have contributed to his death.

Robert Best also admitted that drugs may have been involved, and Vande Weerd said investigators had not ruled out that possibility.

Allegations intertwine Best’s murder with Jodi Huisentruit disappearance

In September 2011, Gerald Best’s murder case became publicly intertwined with the Jodi Huisentruit missing persons case after Mason City police officer Maria Ohl came under investigation by internal affairs on allegations of misconduct. Ohl was fired August 4, 2011, for allegedly mishandling information she’d received regarding the KIMT-TV morning anchor’s 1995 disappearance.

Ohl reportedly received information from a street informant regarding police misconduct in the Huisentruit case, which she had recorded, and failed to immediately submit the recording as evidence. Ohl alleged that Lt. Frank Stearns, Lt. Ron Vande Weerd and former DCI agent Bill Basler were involved in Huisentruit’s disappearance, and also alleged Lt. Logan Wernet was involved in a cover-up in connection with Gerald Best’s murder.

Ohl claimed that the Rev. Shane Philpott — pastor of the Christian Fellowship Church — had received a phone call from Donald Milk of Minnesota regarding police misconduct and the cover-up, including the information that Huisentruit was buried near a sawmill near Forest city. Ohl held onto the information for three years before coming forward.

Ohl is the reverend’s sister-in-law.

Mason City attorney Susan Bernau called Ohl’s allegations “outrageous.” Ohl was put on paid administrative leave and examined by a psychologist who determined Ohl was unfit or capable of being a police officer.

Ohl was terminated for violating several departmental rules including misuse of evidence, withholding information in a criminal case and insubordination. The DCI later issued a news release stating there was no credible evidence linking police officers or DCI agents to the Huisentruit disappearance.

About Gerald Best

Gerald Best was born August 21, 1949, in Mason City to Laurence E. and Marilee K. (Pigman) Best. He had three brothers and three sisters. After graduating from high school in Mason City, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1967. He was deployed to Vietnam shortly before his 18th birthday.

“He went to Vietnam in August [1967],” Robert Best said in a Globe Gazette article dated December 8, 2008. “He was a member of the 173rd Airborne Division. In November, two-thirds of his company got wiped out. Gerald was shot in the hand.”

Gerald Best gravestoneCourtesy photo GeneGraver,
Gerald Best is buried at Elmwood Saint Joseph Cemetery in Mason City.

Best received two Purple Hearts for his service in Vietnam.

Robert Best said his brother finished his time in the service, and after returning home went to Hawkeye Tech in Waterloo.

Best worked as a welder in north Iowa and had four children. He was buried at Elmwood Saint Joseph Cemetery in Mason City.

He was preceded in death by his father.

Gerald’s brother Robert Best died April 24, 2011. His mother passed away August 28, 2013.

Information Needed

If you have any information regarding Gerald Best’s unsolved murder, please contact the Mason City Police Department at 641-421-3636.



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19 Responses to Gerald Best

  1. Beau Allen Smith says:

    I dont see how all these people are connected.

  2. Beau A Smith says:

    Why tied to all these other people?

  3. The one and only BRANDON Page says:


  4. Russ Hook says:

    I just watched the Jodi H case on 48 Hours, and did a little digging online to find, surprise surprise, the piggies were involved in her death. I guess she was asking all the WRONG questions in a 100% satanic system she unknowingly got involved with. (media & jewdicial system).

  5. Marcia Best says:

    My daughter knows someone who has told her things but said she would deny it if anyone was told. Pretty sure plenty of the same group of people know what happened to my brother.

  6. Anonymous says:

    My dad worked/friend with Gerald’ s brother Bob at the cement plant in mason city for over 20 years….. shortly before my dad died he told me Bob had physical evidence on who had commited the murder and tried to relay it to the pigs, and they basically told him to forget about it…… mason city/Cerro Gordo police officers are straight up lazy and fucking worthless

  7. Cody says:

    A special kind of respect must go out to this Vietnam War Veteran. God Bless his Soul, and may his family find peace, and may justice one day be granted for this Great American Hero. The coward responsible for his death pale in comparison to Gerald Best.. Mason City, Iowa, what a black hole of a town. Twin Peaks pales in comparison. Corruption at every turn. Jodi H. never got the chance to uncover it. Does Chicago still hold a footprint? Run as far away from Mason City as possible. That is all.

    • Jody Ewing says:

      Cody, I share your notion that a special kind of respect must be paid to this decorated Vietnam War veteran. These military men did as they were told, and then were shunned when they returned because they’d dared to follow orders in a war they never created or imagined. Your opinion about law enforcement holds water, but the water glass isn’t in the Mason City Police Dept. There are multiple unsolved murders along the Mason City corridor (at least a dozen of them allegedly connected — all the vics are on our site), and I’ve visited (in person) with three “retired” officers from the “real” offending PD, all of whom confirmed who was involved in what case and when. I have corroborating statements from others who knew (but weren’t law enforcement officials) and everything always comes back to the exact half-dozen names.

      The stories are deeply disturbing. They raise the hair on one’s neck. And yet respected (retired) officials within that PD (NOT Mason City), finished several of my sentences before I even finished asking a question. To me, it’s the worst case of police corruption in Iowa, with many of the offenders/killers still hiding in plain sight. Think about what “community leaders” you most trust, and then think again. “Everybody’s best friend.”

      And as charming and cunning as Ted Bundy.

      • Lily White says:

        I just stumbled onto this site and when I came to Mason City and clicked on it I was like Holy Cow look at all the homicides in this little town! Something isn’t right in Mason City!

  8. Elisa Best says:

    When my family will get justice? DAD, Come home from War and stay Alive, 2Purple Heart award did his duty, but his own home town kill him until now No Justice. We are still waiting for that justice.

  9. Ken Lane says:

    Doesn't surprise me at all. Mason shitty never has had a police department. Always a bunch of school girl wannabes. Them pussies don't know the first thing about law. I'll bet everything the allegations of them being involved are 100% fact.

  10. Steve Lane says:

    Crooked cops

  11. Lori says:

    Jody….i think I know what you may be alluding too regarding several different cases intersecting each other. When will you have any info on this? I hope you a whole lot of clues to give to MCPD!

  12. Kristina says:

    When will more information be released, regarding this case?

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