Geralyn Kean

Geralyn “Gigi” Kean (Courtesy Rick Peloquin)

Geralyn “Gigi” Jean Kean


Geralyn Jean Kean
17 YOA
Case # 1975-26584
446 SE Hart St.
Des Moines, IA
Polk County
July 29, 1975


Case summary compiled by Jody Ewing

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.


Courtesy Des Moines Register, July 30, 1975

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.

1975-7-30-dmr-geralyn-kean-homeDes Moines Register photo by Larry Neibergall
The 446 S.E. Hart St. residence in Des Moines where Geralyn “Gigi” Kean, 17, was found July 29, 1975. Her husband said he found the body when he came home from work.

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.

About Geralyn “Gigi” Kean

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.

Geralyn "Gigi" Kean gravestoneCourtesy Katie Lou,
Geralyn “Gigi” Kean is buried at the Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines.

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.

Information Needed

If you have any information about Geralyn Kean’s unsolved murder, please contact the Des Moines Police Department at (515) 283-4864.



23 Responses to Geralyn Kean

  1. Maria says:

    I’m guessing the waterbed had bullet holes in it?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Geez, 17 years old married 8 months to a 21 year old?

  3. upinomaha says:

    Just throwing this out there but did anyone consider it a revenge killing in association to her fathers practice? Lawyers make a lot of enemies. Especially good ones.

  4. anon says:

    The person identified as deceased by advancedbackgroundchecks dot com was actually the father of the main suspect

    It definitely appears that this is the facebook profile shared by the main suspect and his wife:

  5. anon says:

    advancedbackgroundchecks dot com says that the Lawrence Albert McCoy (the alleged perp) died 1-23-1998. However, that is not always reliable.

    So who was the other person who was arrested but then released in Ms. Keane’s murder?

  6. anon says:

    From the Wisconsin State Journal, May 1, 1978 (regarding the main suspect in Ms. Kean’s death):

    Man is convicted of murder
    LA CROSSE (AP) — A circuit court jury convicted Lawrence McCoy during the weekend of second degree murder in the death of Michael Bentzen.

    McCoy had been charged with first degree murder in the May 31, 1977, death of Bentzen, 24. The six-woman, six-man jury received the case Friday night and deliberated all day before returning the verdict Saturday night.

    A pathologist said Bentzen had been shot twice, immobilizing a leg and an arm, and died of drowning. The shooting occurred after an incident at a bar in which Bentzen allegedly
    made a racial slur.

    A pre-sentence investigation was ordered for McCoy and a court appearance was set for May 8

  7. anon says:

    OK, I identified the wrong Lawrence Albert McCoy in the comment above regarding the obituary. The guy in the obit is not the Lawrence Albert McCoy who was the suspect. The real main suspect is still alive, and living in Milwaukee, as far as I can tell from advancedbackgroundchecks dot com.

  8. anon says:

    I may have identified the wrong Lawrence Albert McCoy in the comment above regarding the obituary. I am trying to track down the correct Lawrence Albert McCoy

  9. anon says:

    So can anyone else find out who the other of the two suspects is?

  10. anon says:

    And here is a link to the prime suspect’s obituary:

    Lawrence Albert McCoy
    Age 60 Of St. Paul Passed away May 7, 2012 after a brave but brief battle with illness.Larry was born on April 26, 1952 in St Paul, MN. He was a hard working business owner with 35+ years in furniture repair; Larry was loved by many and will be greatly missed. Preceded in death by father, William W. McCoy. He is survived by his wife, Maria McCoy and stepsons, Anton and Nicholas (Christine) Butler; daughter, LaTayo (Darrin) Talton, and her sister Selina McCoy; sons, Larry McCoy Jr. and Julian Hassel; Also survived by his two sisters, Anita Robinson, and Billie McCoy; brother, Charles McCoy; 7 grandchildren; numerous nephews, nieces, cousins and friends. Mass of Christian Burial, Monday, 10AM at the Church of St. Peter Claver, 375 Oxford St. N., St. Paul. Visitation Sunday 3-7PM at Willwerscheid Funeral Home, 1167 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-228-1006 and at church 1 hour before the Mass. In lieu of flowers, family requests donation to Our Lady of Peace Home, 2076 St. Anthony Ave, St. Paul, MN 55104, the hospice where Larry spent his final peaceful days.

  11. anon says:

    This link discusses a possibly related Wisconsin homicide:

    The perp’s name is/was Lawrence Albert McCoy Jr. In 1978, he was age 24 and living in Minneapolis.

    In part, the article says:

    “In testimony at McCoy’s trial at LaCrosse, Edward Warren, 25, of LaCrosse who was granted immunity from a first-degree murder charge testified for the prosecution that he was with McCoy when McCoy shot Bentzen. He also said he helped McCoy dump Bentzen into the Mississippi River from a bridge near LaCrosse. Dr. Ruth Dalton, a pathologist, testified that Bentzen died from drowning but that his ability to swim to safety was impaired by shotgun wounds and that he could have died from loss of blood since two vital blood vessels were punctured. McCoy admitted firing three shots at Bentzen with a .410 shotgun, but he claimed Warren tossed Bentzen over the bridge rail.”

    “Michael Kean, who discovered his wife’s body in the bedroom of their home, had known McCoy as a fellow worker at Union Carbide Corp. here. What piqued renewed interest in McCoy by the Keans and Des Moines police was testimony by Warren, the state’s key witness at LaCrosse, that he had seen a .38-caliber pistol in the trunk of McCoy’s car sometime after the Bentzen shooting. The pistol had nothing to do with Bentzen’s death, but investigators now are trying to find McCoy’s car, which was burned mysteriously in Minneapolis before McCoy’s arrest last June 29 in connection with Bentzen’s slaying. The long-shot hope of investigators is that the remains of the burned car are impounded or sitting in a junkyard somewhere and that the pistol Warren says he saw may still be in the trunk of the car. In Des Moines, Kean said he went to McCoy’s trial at LaCrosse because “I just wanted to see him face to face, but I was told I couldn’t talk to him.” Kean recalled that on the day of his wife’s death someone had called him at work and asked if he (Kean) was going home for lunch. When Kean said he wasn’t, the caller hung up. Mrs. Kean, who had attended summer school classes at Lincoln High until about 12:30 p.m. the day of her death, is believed to have died during the noon hour. McCoy, then living at the Oakridge Apartments at 926 Oakridge Drive, was arrested by Des Moines police shortly after Mrs. Kean’s death. He was held for several days on an intoxication charge, but no charges were filed in connection with the Kean slaying. Mrs. Kean was the daughter of Nadine Wilson of Des Moines and Don Wilson, a West Des Moines attorney who died in March 1973 of injuries received in an auto accident McCoy’s sentencing on the second-degree murder conviction is scheduled for June 14. He could be sentenced to 5 to 25 years in prison. Officials say McCoy could be eligible for parole in 20 months if be is sentenced to a minirrum term and is given credit for 10 months in jail while awaiting trial. when his body was tossed over a bridge railing, witnesses testified. The unsolved Des Moines slaying is that of Geralyn Jean “Gigi” Kean. Kean, a Lincoln High School senior, was found dead at her home at 446 S.E. Hart St. about 2:30 p.m. on July 29, 1975. She had been shot five times in the face, back and side with a .38-caliber handgun. McCoy, an acquaintance of Kean’s husband of eight months, is considered a “top suspect” In the Kean slaying, says Des Moines Police Lt. Ed Harlan. Harlan said Kean had been pistol-whipped and the trigger guard of the weapon had broken off and was found near her body. “We have never been able to find the gun, though generous rewards have been offered,” Harlan said. Harlan said police are looking for a five-shot, blue steel .38-caliber Iver Johnson revolver with serial number 641832, which had been registered to McCoy.”

  12. Herb Hunter says:

    Gigi and Diane both went to Lincoln High School. Diane’s mother didn’t live far from Gigi (within two miles). Both live near the Drake Observatory. One was found shot with a .38 like Karen Streed, and one was found shoeless in the truck of a car, strangled like the Waverly Three.

    I bet Gigi’s shoes were also missing.

  13. Her brother and I were grade-school classmates at the time. Their father had died just a year or so before. :( That family went through more than anyone should have to endure in a lifetime.

  14. Mary Novak Whitehead: I agree with everything you say. I just wanted to add that there are just SO many times that if a prosecuting attorney takes to trial the person or persons who everyone in law enforcement is positive is the guilty party, and they lose that case because of lack of physical evidence, that case can never be brought back up for trial due to the Double Jeopardy law. Someone who is tried and found innocent of homicide charges can’t be accused again and hauled back into court. That leaves us just hanging our heads sometimes when it seems obvious that a person is guilty but the evidence is completely circumstantial, witnesses are dead or have changed stories, no shred of physical evidence is available, etc. Many times the full contents of law enforcement case files CAN’T be released because they contain information never released just in case someone comes forward with that information that s/he couldn’t have heard anywhere. They would have had to be at the scene of the crime to know that information. Every case is different, of course, but I wanted to add these notes in sympathy of your frustration and the frustration of nearly everyone who will read this. Thank you so much for taking the time to post!! Take care and be safe, Kerry at ICC

  15. In each of these cases there are people who have the information needed to end the pain that families are suffering, for whatever reason be it guilt or fear they choose not to speak up. Many times law enforcement has the answers but are lacking the proof that a court requires. There comes a point when families should be allowed access to case files which would bring them some peace, but that is not often done.

    • Twyla Johnson says:

      My sister is Diane Scofield who was found in the trunk of her car, two weeks before this happened, how frustrating, that these two girls were killed and no one has ever been held accountable, I do not understand and I guess I never will

  16. Amen to that. How can people be so mean.

  17. Beth McFall says:

    It’s just so frustrating to read about these and want to solve them but how?

  18. 38 years, but someone knows.

  19. BEN.VEACH says:


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