Mamie Sime

Mamie Sime (Courtesy The Rolfe Arrow)

Mamie Sime


Mamie Sime
74 YOA
Broad Street-extended
Rolfe, IA
Pocahontas County
DCI Case # 81-01956
March 31, 1981


Case summary compiled by Jody Ewing

Shortly after 4 a.m. on Tuesday, March 31, 1981, a fire broke out in the home of Mamie Sime on the outskirts of Rolfe, Iowa. Firemen answered the alarm at 4:30 a.m., and arrived to find the house fully engulfed in flames.

Pocahontas County in Iowa
Pocahontas County in Iowa
Rolfe in Pocahontas CountyRolfe in Pocahontas County

Firefighters later discovered Sime’s body, and Pocahontas County Medical Examiner Dr. John Rhodes Jr., pronounced her dead at the scene. Sime, 74, had lived alone in the house since her husband, Telmer, passed away in 1973.

Authorities first believed the petite 5-foot-2 Sime had died in the fire. An autopsy, however, concluded Sime had been raped, beaten, and stabbed numerous times, and officers said it appeared the fire was deliberately set in an effort to destroy the evidence.

Officials involved in investigating the suspicious fire included the state Fire Marshal’s Office, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Pocahontas County Sheriff’s Office, and the assistant county attorney.

Investigators ruled the fire as arson and Mamie Sime’s death a homicide.

“No More” to Adopted Daughter

Mamie and Telmer Sime wanted to have a family, and on June 3, 1934, Mamie gave birth to a son, Julian Paul, at the Fort Dodge Lutheran Hospital, but the infant lived only a short while. Another son, Marvin LeRoy, was born and died in 1935.

The Simes later adopted a daughter, Judith, who would be the only child they would raise. They welcomed the birth of their grandson, Tony.

According to Sime’s closest friends, Mamie doted on Tony, though Judy “was the type of person you were scared of…very tall, large, and mean, and prone to fits of anger.”

Mamie allegedly had given her adult daughter money on a regular basis, but the week before her death, Mamie had finally told Judith “no more,” and refused to give her any more money.

The [then] Pocahontas County sheriff and the county attorney both had attended high school with “Judy.”

Officials who investigated Mamie’s murder said robbery did not appear to be a motive, as Sime had many valuable antiques in her home and none were reported missing. There was no forced entry into the home.

Although Sime had a sister and brother-in-law who lived nearby, sources said Mamie had “never given either of them a key to her home.”

According to one source who asked that her identity not be shared with anyone except law enforcement officials, the only known individual who had a key to Sime’s home was her adopted daughter, Judith.

Sime’s grandson Tony was never considered a suspect in her death, which remains unsolved.

About Mamie Sime

Mamie (Pederson) Sime was born June 9, 1906, in Story County, Iowa, to Norwegian immigrants Annie Martens and Paul F. Pederson. She had two siblings, Obid M. Pederson and Pearl I. Pederson Bielefeldt.

mamie-sime-gravestone-ia-gpCourtesy photo Iowa Gravestone Project
Mamie Sime is buried in Clinton Garfield Cemetery.

Mamie was active in her community and previously served on the Board of Parish Education for St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

Telmer preceded Mamie in death in 1973. The couple are buried in Clinton Garfield Cemetery in Pocahontas County.

Mamie’s sister and brother-in-law, Pearl and Cecil Bielefeldt, worked tirelessly to keep Mamie’s memory alive and pressed law enforcement for answers in her murder until their deaths.

Acquaintances of Mamie and citizens of Rolfe, Iowa, have since taken up the cause to help solve this brutal murder.

When the DCI established a Cold Case Unit in 2009, Mamie Sime’s murder was one of approximately 150 cases listed on the Cold Case Unit’s new website as those the DCI hoped to solve using latest advancements in DNA technology.

Although federal grant funding for the DCI Cold Case Unit was exhausted in December 2011, the DCI continues to assign agents to investigate cold cases as new leads develop or as technological advances allow for additional forensic testing of original evidence.

The DCI remains committed to the resolution of Iowa’s cold cases and will continue to work diligently with local law enforcement partners to bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice for the victims and their families.

Information Needed

If you have any information about Mamie Sime’s unsolved murder please contact the FBI at (712) 258-1920 or the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010.



Copyright © 2024  Iowa Cold Cases, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

29 Responses to Mamie Sime

  1. X38 says:

    They should get Tim McKnight’s DNA cross reference it with evidence. He is hiding out west somewhere in Oregon…

    • Patrick Kerrigan says:

      X38, it would be nice if you elaborate on why we should get his DNA, in connection with this homicide. The first question would be does he know the victim. Secondly is he from the area. Does he have a criminal record related to what happened to her. Also, has he made any comments that suggests that he was connected to this case.

      I am sure the police would appreciate some more details such as his description to include his age, date of birth, height, weight, hair and eye color as a start. Plus answers to the questions, I posed above, as a minimum.

  2. Cindy Williams says:

    Wow…just came across this story…Is Kline Goeders the same one who is involved with Leader Dogs for the Blind? Unbelievable no one has done anything with this case if the involved persons are known! Prayers for Mamie’s family…I remember hearing this story about her growing up in Laurens, Iowa

    • Cindy Williams says:

      Shared this story …let’s find justice for Mamie’s family! Please share!

      • C.M. says:

        Why doesn’t someone contact the Governor or the media. I’d like to see this solved. There is cold case justice with Kelly Siegler or 20/20, dateline, forensic files many sources.

  3. Irish says:

    Still nothing. Worthless officials. No one cares about small town Iowa or old women. Even this website is of no value, probably here to fool the public into false hopes. The bad and unfair story remains here when investigators know it is not correct. Pity the people of Iowa effected by the failure.

    • Mystery addict says:

      That hardly a fair statement. The responsibility lies on law enforcement. The responsibility to enforce law enforcement lies on the voters contacting thier politicians in order from local to federal until you get results. You could be writing demand letters and courtesy copying them to the media. You could start and promote a website where people have a fair chance to respond. But this website is of great value to many. If nothing else, it allows you the opportunity to vent. That has some value.
      I understand your frustrations but they are misguided.

      • Tony Lanus says:

        First let me state, I am Mamies grandson and none of the comments made in here by this person naming himself tony were made by me. Dana, thankyou for your kind words. I still keep in contact with the authorities and push to get this solved, but by reading these comments it seems you people know more than I do about my grandmothers case. I am so tired of speculations and rumors. If anyone has facts please contact the authorities or even myself and I will make sure you get pointed in the right direction.

        • Kim Murphy says:

          Hi Tony. We went to high school together. I’m so sorry that you are still having to deal with all this. Your grandma was a sweet lady.
          Peace. Kim (Farley) Murphy

        • B says:

          Do they still have Dna from the rape? Please say yes.

  4. That daughter was evil

    • Tony says:

      She may have been evil but she is not the killer. Your county prosecutor knows who the two killers/rapists/arsonists are. There is in fact an admittance to the event by both of them. They each claim the other one did it all as a burglary gone bad. One is in jail for a different murder committed later but the other is still on the street. His name is McKnight, he lives in Oregon. To see the face of a killer/rapist you can look him up on facebook, he is there. The cold case squad is worthless. The citizens of Rolfe should be outraged. The Pocahontas County assistant attorney is from Rolfe. His office is on the main street. Anyone of true concern should go into his office and ask when McKnight and Kline Geoders are going to be indicted. By the way, they are responsible for other murders as well. The answer is simple….Iowa is not capable. Accept that as a fact until you demand action and do not take no as an answer.

    • Tony says:

      Do you think she raped Mamie? That is and always was crazy crackhead nonsense. The house was broken into, in fact more than once and things were stolen. The info listed here for this case is bogus based on decades of false beliefs by ignorant investigators. Citizens of Rolfe need to stand up and demand the truth. Go to facebook and look up Timothy L. Hunter McKnight , print his picture and take it to the prosecutor. His partner in the burglary admitted being there when it happened. When confronted, McKnight admitted he was there but claims his partner, Geoders, did it. They are both guilty of burglary/assault/rape/murder/arson/theft. Here is another embarrassing fact, both of these killers worked for the state O.E.O. They winterized her house. She served them snacks and drinks in her home.

    • Dana (Murray) Heun says:

      Did you know Judy, Mamie or Tony? I knew all three. My mom was one of Judy’s best friends. She would have never killed her mother. Judy was at our house th day after it happened-totally distraught.
      I also knew Kline G. He was never anything but kind to my mother and I. I will never believe he was involved till it comes out and is proved.

    • L says:

      I wondered the same thing.
      This poor old women!
      Praying for justice!!

    • tony says:

      you are correct, Timothy McKnight is a monster. He stabbed an old woman to death in her own home and burned the house down to hide evidence. His x-wife took police to the place they hid stolen antiques, some were still there 25 years later. Old town Rolfe. A monster may be an understatement. They beat her and raped her. For years the dumbass cops blamed and harassed family members. Now you know more than the public has ever been told. Keep asking for justice until we get it done.

  5. tony873 says:

    Merry Christmas Mamie. I’m certain the two murdering rapists are enjoying theirs.

  6. Tony says:

    No, he is different. I just happen to know what the current information is. The killers are known, that is a fact. It has been up to Benanke to do the right thing. She makes $$$$$ excuses. Pocahontas County is not doing anyone any justice. I guess it is ok to rape, rob, stab, beat and burn old women in Pocahontas County.

  7. In the Know says:

    If your mother were alive you could tell her it was Tim M. and K.G. that beat, raped, stabbed and burnt her friend. An x-wife has verified this and some antiques were actually recovered. Ask the local pros. if she wants to comment on these names. Mamie is not the only murder these two are involved with. State and local authorities are fully aware of the info. Keep pushing for action.

    • Jim john says:

      Smh what would possess anyone to rape an old woman no offense but that’s the most disgusting thing I can think of in my mind sexually what gratification could you get from a wrinkly old lady unless your minds that warped

  8. Ann Danielson says:

    Mamie was my mothers best friend….they roomed together in college and were in the same high school class in Roland. My mother died not knowing who killed her. This needs to be solved. Twice the county sheriff came to talk to my mother about Mamie….2 different people. Nothing got done.

  9. tony says:

    The local prosecutor is not doing her job. Two people are responsible for this. One is in jail and he ratted out the other one. When will they arrest the two guys?

  10. irish says:

    Is there a reward in this case ? How do we get ahold of the family?

  11. irish says:

    Rest assured they now know exactly wo killed Mamie. It is up to the local prosecutor to deal with it. FYI it was NOT Tony.

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