Polk County in Iowa
Polk County in Iowa
Des Moines in Polk CountyDes Moines in Polk County

Ross Reynold McConnell


Ross Reynold McConnell
47 YOA
1604 Tichenor St.
Des Moines, IA
Polk County
Case # 71-29236
June 26, 1971

Early Saturday morning, June 26, 1971, Ross R. McConnell, 47, awoke at 1:30 a.m. in his Des Moines home and discovered he was on fire. He ran to a neighbor’s house to summon help.

McConnell, who suffered second-degree burns over 60 percent of his body, died later that day after being transported to Broadlawns Polk County Hospital.

Police and fire investigators both said the odor of gasoline was present at McConnell’s home, and that there were unusual burned patches in McConnell’s yard. The case — cited as arson — expanded to include homicide after McConnell died.

Officials said witnesses provided descriptions of two automobiles seen in the area shortly before the fire, but no one was ever held accountable for the crime.

Ross McConnell gravestoneCourtesy photo Pamela Schisel, findagrave.com
Ross Reynold McConnell is buried in the Laurel Hill Cemetery in Des Moines.
About Ross McConnell

Ross Reynold McConnell was born November 21, 1923, and served as a private with the U.S. Army during World War II.

Services for McConnell were held at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 10, at the Dahlstrom Funeral Home with interment in Laurel Hill Cemetery.

* The Des Moines Police Department lists McConnell’s date of death as June 26, 1971. It is unknown why his gravestone bears the date July 7.

Information Needed

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

  • Des Moines Police Department, personal correspondence to Iowa Cold Cases, July 10, 2009
  • Find a Grave Memorial
  • “Funeral Services,” The Des Moines Register, July 10, 1971
  • “D.M. Man Burned Severely in Fire,” The Des Moines Register, June 27, 1971


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6 Responses to Ross McConnell

  1. Thanks for sharing, Cynde!

  2. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    Not a lot of investigative details for some reason. I guess the police don’t have or found anything of use. I guess he was loved by the whole world.

    We don’t know if he worked, was extremely wealthy. Was he was married or divorced. I guess they closed the case, since he is deceased.

    Maybe, the police are holding back some details to prevent someone claiming they killed him, while not being involved. I guess after 46 years you have to prevent that from happening.

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