Judith HaeckerJudith Haecker’s senior high school photo

Judith Anne Haecker


Judith Haecker
18 YOA
202 E. 15th St.
Davenport, IA
Scott County
Case Number: 1971-10031
March 6, 1971


Case summary by Jody Ewing

Judith Anne Haecker, an 18-year-old Palmer Junior College student, was found dead in her Davenport, Iowa, home on Sunday, March 7, 1971.

Scott County Medical Examiner Dr. Rollin M. Perkins determined the teen had been hit in the head with a blunt object and then strangled with enough force to break a small bone in her throat.

Perkins estimated Haecker’s death as sometime during Saturday’s early morning hours.

Scott County in Iowa
Scott County in Iowa
Davenport in Scott CountyDavenport in Scott County

Judith’s parents — who lived just a few blocks away — had dropped her off at her 202 E. 15th St. apartment around 9:30 p.m. on Friday, March 5.

Judith had complained to them earlier about an annoying man who lived in the apartment complex, but when her parents offered to walk her to her door she declined; she said she saw her girlfriend’s car there and would be fine.

Haecker entertained three friends that evening and into Saturday’s early morning hours, and one guest — who admitted to being fairly intoxicated — said he’d left around 1:30 a.m. Another friend told Judith’s mother that Judith had called around 2:00 a.m. looking for [Haecker’s] sister.

Just before 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 7, Mrs. Haecker went by her daughter’s apartment to pick her up for a youth service program at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

Mrs. Haecker found the apartment door locked, but knew Judith kept a spare key hidden in the hallway and used it to let herself in. Once inside, she found her daughter’s body lying face up on the bed. A window shade — likely knocked down during a struggle — lay on the bed near Haecker’s body.

Valuables had been left behind and police quickly ruled out robbery as a motive.

During the initial discovery stages and before Haecker’s body was removed from the apartment, a male friend stopped by to visit and provided police with a statement. Officials believed another visitor called on Haecker some time after her murder, but slipped a note beneath her door and then left when Haecker failed to answer the locked door.

Also discovered at the scene was a love poem Judith had written.

Information Needed

If you have any information about Judith Haecker’s unsolved murder, please contact the Davenport Police Department at 563-326-7979.

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13 Responses to Judith Haecker

  1. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    Audrey, you suggest a connection to the murder of Teresa Sue Hilt. However, in Teresa’s case, she was beaten, raped, strangled, and stabbed. Also, the blood at the crime scene was cleaned up, and her body covered with a sheet.

    In Judith’s case, she died from blunt force trauma. The crime scene was different. The only apparent connection was that they were both college students. But Teresa was working on a graduate degree.

    I disagree with the thought on Teresa’s case, that the offender was a female. This assumption is based on the cleaning of the crime scene and her body covered with the sheet. A good profiler would look at the crime scene, and explain why it most likely was a male offender.

    I wonder if the police ever identified the guy, who was harassing her.

  2. Kelli says:

    any new information would be so greatly appreciated. s Judy’s first cousin, she was such a role model for me, I am 5 years younger and my siblings were all younger. She was my younger brothers’ babysitter, and we would have so much I enjoyed her company so much.I will never get over her murder and live with such sadness thinking how she passed and how I wish I still had her….

  3. My heart and thoughts and prayers to the family. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  4. I wonder if law enforcement in Davenport ever look at this case. Are all cold cases only at a state level? I live in Davenport. I can’t imagine our police here have the time to investigate cold cases with all the crime that we have currently here.

  5. Diana Wilson says:

    I bet the parents wish they’d walked her to the door. They’ll never get over this. God bless them.

  6. Audrey Haverkamp, Tess Hilt’s case (very sad indeed) was the first “Case of the Month” featured on the defrostingcoldcases.com blog at: https://defrostingcoldcases.com/introducing-the-case-of-the-month/

  7. This case has some similarities to the murder of Tess Hilt who was found murdered in her apartment at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Missouri in Aug., 1973, another cold case.

  8. Prayers for the family

  9. Lori says:

    I wonder if any DNA was left behind; And it seems to me there could have been several possible persons of interest. What happened to the annoying man? I wonder if any of them agreed to a polygraph? I wish the police would look at this case again. 42 years is an eternity with no answers.

    • Kelli L Scharff Pachlhofer says:

      Lori, I couldn’t agree more. I have so many questions and wonder what is left of evidence.

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