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On Tuesday, July 29, 1975, 17-year-old Geralyn Jean Kean’s nude and bullet-ridden body was found lying face down on a waterbed in her Des Moines home.
Kean’s husband, Michael, 21, found his wife’s body in their bedroom when he returned home from work about 2:45 p.m. from his job with the Union Carbide Corp. in Des Moines.
Gunshots had punctured the waterbed.
Police said Mrs. Kean was shot five times in the face, back and side with a .38 caliber handgun.
In an Ames Daily Tribune article published July 30, 1975, Assistant Police Chief Thomas Teale, Jr., said no murder weapon was recovered at the crime scene nor had any motive been established.
Dr. R.C. Wooters, Polk County medical examiner, conducted an autopsy the following day and said there was no laboratory evidence of sexual assault in the case and no other “obvious” marks on Mrs. Kean’s body other than the gunshot wounds.
Wooters said the autopsy indicated Kean died around noon — “an hour one way or the other” — on Tuesday, July 29, and that some of the shots may have been fired at extremely close range.
By the following day, two unidentified men were being held and questioned by Des Moines police, but no charges were filed, according to a Des Moines Register article published July 30, 1975.
Police said Mrs. Kean, a housewife and part-time student at Des Moines Lincoln High School, apparently was last seen alive by her husband about 8 a.m. Tuesday before he left home for work.
News articles published in the days following the murder said authorities would not confirm a report that a neighbor had seen a suspicious man in the vicinity of the Kean home about 10 a.m. that morning.
The Keans had been married about eight months and had lived at the 446 SE Hart Street address during that time.
Police said nothing appeared to be missing from the home and that robbery wasn’t believed to have been a motive. The house was not ransacked and there were no signs of a struggle.
In a Register article dated January 25, 1976, reporter Nick Lamberto wrote that there were unconfirmed reports that Kean’s murder and that of Diane Schofield, 21, were drug related.
Schofield’s body was found in the trunk of a tan 1966 Rambler in a parking lot near the Des Moines airport on July 10, 1975. Her murder also remains unsolved.
Geralyn “Gigi” (Wilson) Kean was born in 1957 to Donald J. and Nadine Wilson. Don Wilson, a prominent West Des Moines attorney, died in March 1973 of injuries suffered in a West Des Moines auto accident.
Gigi was a part-time student at Des Moines Lincoln High School, and had been married to Michael L. Kean just eight months at the time of her death.
Survivors included her husband, Michael, and her mother, Mrs. Nadine Wilson of 1414 McKinley Avenue.
Geralyn (Wilson) Kean was laid to rest at the Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines.
If you have any information about Geralyn Kean’s unsolved murder, please contact the Des Moines Police Department at (515) 283-4864.