Stanley Golinsky

Stanley “Michael” Golinsky
(Courtesy RadioIowa)

Stanley Michael Golinsky

Homicide — SOLVED

Stanley Michael Golinsky
56 YOA
SW 1st and Vine St.
Des Moines, IA
Polk County
Investigating Agency: Des Moines Police Department
Case Number: 12-33587
October 24, 2012



UPDATE — Feb. 22, 2023

Polk County Attorney: Inmate sentenced in 2012 cold-case killing

DES MOINES – An inmate at the Anamosa State Penitentiary was sentenced Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023, to 50 years in prison after confessing to Stanley Golinksky’s 2012 murder.

William Rulli, 36, pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder. Police say he had confessed to the killing of Stanley Golinsky, whose beaten and burned body was found under the railway bridge at First and Water streets in Des Moines on Oct. 24, 2012.

Lt. Tim Peak, who led the investigation at the time, said he spent months on the case, visiting camps along the rivers and interviewing dozens of people about Golinsky’s death. “He was well-known and liked in the homeless community,” he said.

On Sept. 20, 2021, Rulli, who is serving a 25-year sentence for first-degree burglary, approached a corrections officer at the prison and asked to speak to detectives about Golinsky’s death. Peak said he provided exact details about the case. He was charged with first-degree murder in October 2021.

Rulli told Peak he was coming up for parole and had nowhere to go, and wanted to continue to live in prison “with no consequences” for his behavior.

Read the full press release from the Polk County Attorney’s press release.

UPDATE — Oct. 26, 2021

Nine-Year Cold Case Solved

After nine years, Des Moines police announced on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, that they’d made an arrest in Stanley Golinksky’s unsolved brutal murder.

William Rulli (Courtesy Des Moines Police)

According to a statement Des Moines police posted to Facebook Tuesday, William “Billy” Rulli, 35, who currently is serving time in a state penitentiary for first-degree burglary, has confessed to the murder.

At first, detectives weren’t sure if Golinsky was killed or whether he had perhaps died by suicide or accident, Law & Crime reported Oct. 26. They soon determined that Golinsky’s death was a homicide based on his injuries, Des Moines CBS affiliate KCCI reported at the time. Police suspected Rulli was the killer early in the investigation but didn’t have enough to move forward with an arrest.

“Learning that this person was homeless and was well-known in the homeless community in Des Moines, that prompted me and other detectives to start seeking out other homeless individuals that might know Stanley to help us piece together the hours leading up to his death,” former homicide detective Lt. Timothy Peak said in a video the police posted online. “When we dialed into Stanley’s lifestyle and those individuals directly with him hours beforehand, we learned that there is one person who harasses the homeless community quite often, and that person became an immediate suspect.”

Full Story at Law & Crime

Des Moines Police Department Press Release, Oct. 26, 2021

Previous Case Summary by Jody Ewing

Stanley “Mike” Golinsky, 56, of Des Moines, was found dead under a downtown railroad bridge on Wednesday, October 24, 2012.

A 911 phone call placed at 4:08 p.m. led Des Moines police officers to the Principal Park area near Vine and Southwest First streets, where they located a body beneath the railroad bridge near a bike trail on the Des Moines River’s west bank.

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

Police said the passer-by who found Golinsky asked a nearby construction worker to contact authorities because his cell phone was dead.

Police released the victim’s identity the following afternoon.

An autopsy was set to determine cause of death, and Des Moines police worked with the Polk County Medical Examiner to determine the nature of the injuries. Officials later ruled Golinsky’s death a homicide.

In an Oct. 25, 2012 story on RadioIowa, Sergeant Chris Scott said investigators had been working the case since discovering the body.

Scott said investigators aren’t speculating how Golinsky died, although it’s clear there’s foul play involved.

“The injuries he had weren’t obvious, which is why it took a period of time to determine how these could have possibly happened,” Scott said. “During that investigation, it became obvious that these (injuries) had to be (caused) by another person.”

stanley-golinsky-crime-scene-kcciCourtesy photo KCCI News Channel 8
Crime scene tape seals off the area where Stanley “Mike” Golinsky’s body was discovered Oct. 24, 2012, under a Des Moines bridge.

Detectives treated the area under the railroad bridge near SW 1st and Vine St. as a crime scene, and have interviewed the person who discovered Golinksy’s body, the construction workers and people in the neighborhood.

Scott said investigators believe Golinsky was killed at the scene, rather than someplace else and then dumped under the bridge.

Police have yet to identify any suspects.

“Our victim was in and out of some homeless shelters, so (detectives) are trying to identify associates in those places and continue with any leads they might have,” Scott said.

Golinsky had most recently been arrested in Des Moines and charged with public intoxication.

About Stanley Michael Golinsky

Stanley Michael Golinsky was born May 30, 1956 in Indiana, Pennsylvania, the son of Joseph and Mary (Bellas) Golinsky.

He moved to the Des Moines area in 2009, and was active in Rockpower Church. He loved to work crossword puzzles hours on end.

Friends described Michael as having a very kind heart who would do anything for anyone if they asked.

Michael was survived by his sister, Janet and husband Rob Dunn of Helena, Montana; brothers, Larry and wife Brenda Golinsky of Homer City, PA and Robert and wife Joyce Golinsky of Lucernmines, PA; several nieces and nephews; and many other extended relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Richard Golinsky.

Memorial services were held at 4 p.m. Sunday, November 4, 2012 at the Rock Power Church, 3119 SW 30th Street, with plans for Golinsky to later be laid to rest with his parents at St. Francis Cemetery in Graceton, PA.

Online condolences may be expressed at

Golinsky’s murder was Des Moines’ sixth homicide of 2012.

Reward Offered for Information

Des Moines Robbery/Homicide detectives continue to follow up on all leads as the case moves forward, and are looking for anyone who might have information or knowledge of events leading up to Golinsky’s death.

Polk County Crime Stoppers has offered a reward up to $1000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

Anyone with information about Stanley Golinsky’s unsolved murder is encouraged to contact the Des Moines Police Department’s Detective Bureau at (515) 283-4869.

You may also submit tips online via the Polk County Crime Stoppers website.



5 Responses to Stanley Golinsky

  1. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    He was active in the church, yet was homeless. He was arrested for public intoxication. Yet, he could spend hours doing crossword puzzles. An interesting character. I would be looking at someone in the homeless community that all of a sudden dropped out of sight. Maybe, his character changed under the influence of alcohol, and he got someone bent out of shape enough to take his life. But, the cause of death took a while to determine.

    I would wonder how he was murdered, that was complicated. It makes me wonder if anyone else was murdered the same way anywhere else.

  2. Diana Wilson says:

    Sad. Let’s solve this crime.

  3. So sad. My heart is torn. Cruel people out there.

Comment Policy

We encourage thoughtful discussion here but ask that comments remain civilized and constructive … i.e. without personal attacks or name-calling. Be respectful of others and remember that victims' family members visit these pages, too. If you'd like to provide us with information regarding a suspect or have other sensitive details to relay, please email us directly. Thank you in advance.

Share Your Thoughts