Dubuque County in Iowa

Dubuque County in Iowa

Dubuque, IA

Dubuque in Dubuque County

Cold Cases in Dubuque, Iowa





Francis Rafferty

Francis Rafferty

Francis J. Rafferty
58 YOA
Dubuque, IA (Dubuque County)
Case # 64-00326
February 8, 1964

Shortly after midnight on Saturday, February 8, 1964, Gretta Rafferty returned home from work and found the body of her brother, Francis John Rafferty, 58, in the apartment they shared in Dubuque, Iowa. His hands, feet, and legs were bound with telephone wire ripped from the wall and his mouth and nose were covered with electrical tape. He had choked on regurgitated food and died of asphyxiation.


Sherrie and Victoria Martin Double Homicide
Sherrie Lee Martin and
Victoria Lynne Martin

Dubuque, IA (Dubuque County)
Case # 65-00461
March 6, 1965

On March 6, 1965, Janet Martin and Donald Martin escaped from their burning house but were unable to save their two daughters, Sherrie Lee and Victoria Lynne. It was later determined that the house fire was deliberately set and deemed arson.


Kenneth Bouzard

Kenneth Marvin Bouzard
53 YOA
Case Number: 71-00481
Dubuque, Iowa (Dubuque County)
April 23, 1971

On Friday April 23, 1971, the badly battered and crushed body of Kenneth Bouzard was found beneath a boxcar on railroad tracks in Dubuque, Iowa. Police believed Bouzard had been assaulted and struck in the head with a piece of railroad equipment while sitting or lying near the tracks.


Jackie Shireman

Jackie Shireman

Jackie Shireman
21 YOA
Marino’s Meal on a Bun
1296 Central Ave.
Dubuque, IA (Dubuque County)
January 4, 1975

On Saturday, Jan. 4, 1975, at approximately 7:45 p.m., a customer at Dubuque’s “Marino’s Meal on a Bun” found waitress Jackie Shireman lying in a pool of blood in the walk-in cooler. The 21-year-old newlywed and Sunday School teacher had been stabbed approximately 30 times with a pair of scissors. A trial returned no homicide conviction, and the case remains open.


Theodore Hoerstman

Theodore Hoerstman

Missing Person
Theodore Anthony Hoerstman
Missing From: Dubuque, IA
Dubuque County
Age at Report: 45
Date Reported Missing: December 6, 1982

Theodore Hoerstman was reported missing to the Dubuque Police Department in Dubuque, Iowa, on December 6, 1982. Hoerstman is a disabled adult and has a 1-inch appendectomy scar and a scar on his right calf. The name “Sharon” is tattooed on his lower right arm.


Kenny Joe Johnson

Kenny Joe Johnson

Kenny Joe Johnson
14 YOA
Maus Park
Dubuque, IA (Dubuque County)
Home Residence: New Liberty, IA
Local Case # 87-21572
DCI Case # 87-05013
October 10, 1987

Around 9 a.m. on Oct. 10, 1987, an elderly fisherman discovered 14-year-old Kenny Joe Johnson’s body near a floodgate in Dubuque’s isolated Maus Park. He was rolled in a 5-foot-by-9-foot piece of yellow-orange nylon carpet that had been dumped at the park, and an autopsy revealed he had been strangled by hand and sexually assaulted.


Paul Knockel

Paul Knockel

Missing Person
Paul Joseph Knockel
Age at Report: 53
Missing From: Dubuque, IA
Dubuque County
Missing Since: November 26, 1990

Paul Knockel was last seen in Dubuque, Iowa on November 26, 1990, and has never been heard from again. When Knockel didn’t show up for Thanksgiving dinner, family members became concerned and went to check on him. They believe he may have been abducted at his home and murdered.


Crystal Arensdorf

Crystal Arensdorf

Missing Person
Crystal Ann Arensdorf
Age at Report: 20
Missing From: Dubuque, IA
Dubuque County
Missing Since: July 4, 2001

Crystal Arensdorf of Dubuque, Iowa, was last seen at approximately 2:00 a.m. on July 4, 2001 at Knicker’s Saloon, 2186 Central Avenue in Dubuque. Arensdorf — a minor at the time of her visit to the bar — was there with friends and trying to get a ride to East Dubuque, Illinois.


Marlon Barber Jr.

Marlon Barber Jr.

Marlon Terrell Barber, Jr.
15 YOA
2000 block of Jackson St.
Dubuque, IA
Dubuque County
October 20, 2012

On Oct. 20, 2012, Marlon Barber, Jr., a 15-year-old Dubuque teen, was shot in the chest and stomach as he and his friends walked away from a party. He died soon after in the hospital. Another teen was hit by gunfire but treated at a hospital and released.


37 Responses to Dubuque

  1. Spencer Hendron says:

    Anybody know the disposition of the death of one Kenneth J. Krakow ca 1970 or 1980?

  2. Anon says:

    The Dubuque PD knows that Arnsdorf is dead. The brothers she was seen with had their car compacted at a friend’s junkyard in central IL a few days after her disappearance, police couldn’t get a warrant. She’s in the trunk of that car.

  3. Yoda says:

    First, the cops don’t let anybody go on bond or bail. Judges do that. The cops do not decide who to prosecute. The county attorney does that. If some commenters think it is easy being a cop, then apply for a job doing it. Oh, wait, you can’t you say because you have a record? Any idiot can blame cops in a uniform and a marked police car. They are an easy target. Try spreading the blame to the “suits” that make decisions over which the cops have no control. That also means juries, and the people that try anything to get out of jury duty. Law enforcement is a reflection of the community they serve. If you want change, stop letting the media fail to print the names of judges in cases they hear, and vote no on them on being retained in office on your election ballot if you don’ like their decisions and sentencing habits. Too many of these people think they do not have a door on their chambers, but instead a stone that rolls away. The difference between too many of them and Jesus Christ is Christ does not walk down the street thinking he is a judge.

  4. Dee says:

    I grew up in Dubuque Iowa and it’s said to say we have a lot of great history here. Some of these murders have to be solved I’m friends with 1 of the victims this is injustice for the families. Let them have some closure

  5. sam sam says:

    Kenny Joe Johnson rip, i grew up at this time in Dubuque i remember this like yesterday everyone at that time new damn well dave soppie did this, the guy was a perv drove a icecream truck around and always tried to pick kids up including me and my little brother. he was seen with this kids by people and police were told but fucked it all up

  6. Yoda says:

    Can any of the critics of the police identify the county attorney, and all the assistants, on the street? Can the critics identify the district judges on the street? But the police drive around in marked cars, and in uniform, easily identified, so they are the target of all the blame. Here is an idea for the critics. Apply for a job as an officer, and see how the other half lives. And when you kiss your spouse and kids goodbye for work, you will be wearing a gun, and it could be your last goodbye. Or, next time you are assaulted, or are the victim of some crime, don’ t call the
    police. Call the ACLU, and tell them to work the case, or intervene in the bar fight!
    F. Lee Bailey when asked if O.J. was guilty, said ” It matters not whether he is innocent or guilty, all that matters is what the State can prove in court.” Rumor, innuendo, here say, and speculation are laughed out of court. FACTS are what are needed to convince
    A jury to convict, or not. So before people blame the police for everything, they should really stop and consider how our system works. A lot of times people who hate the police have their own history with the police, and have a record. And by the way, stop trying to get out of jury duty.

    • Anon says:

      You need to keep your opinions about rape and assault in your fucking brain or someone is gonna teach you a lesson

  7. Marcie says:

    It amazes me that everyone here is so quick to judge. I also grew up in Dubuque, I always loved this town and it still has a spot in my heart. Yes there are cold cases, which is very unfortunate, but if you compare our list to other cities it is quite short. So in that aspect I believe our police are doing a fairly good job. It does so suck for the loved ones of these cases because they do not get their closure or justice. That doesn’t mean that these will still never be solved. As in any case, you have to trust that our officers and investigators are doing the best they can with the evidence provided. I know in a lot of cases officers may know beyond doubt who did what, but without the evidence to prove it they can’t proceed. I am not in any way saying that the people lost in these cases should be forgotten or the cases no longer worked, but more to the people commenting on here and making such judgments about the police and other people they believe to be guilty, if you think you can do a better job at solving these cases or you have such facts as to who the guilty party is then prove it and pony up on the evidence needed to solve these cases. Otherwise, shut up. This site is more for remembering the ones lost in these cases. So if you can’t do the same thing the police weren’t able to do, respect the families of the lost and offer up prayer and condolences instead of worthless judgments and false accusations.

  8. v says:

    where is collin brown?

    • Kim says:

      There were arrests made in connection to Collin Brown’s murder, including several people who were charged with first degree murder:


      Some of the suspects have already taken plea deals on lesser charges in exchange for their testimony against the killer/s. One of the men, Imere Hall, has already been found guilty of first degree murder, while two others still await trial on their first degree murder charges:


      Since there were arrests made in Brown’s case and one person already convicted of first degree murder in his death, his case is considered solved at this point.

      • PanamaRed says:

        I’ve got good reason to believe there’s a lot more connected to Collins case than they have let on. These dumbasses in court is just the tip.
        Collin was one of my roommates for more than a few occasions.
        People in his immediate vicinity or circle keep changing stories. And believe me the shit that has been admitted since is completely fucked.
        Law enforcement knocked off my friend and replaced him with more submissive people when he wanted to get out of that shit.
        Where is the justice when we get to pay for their rent and for them to be protected for the rest of their lives? When my friend is laying in the fucking ground!
        His memory has been constantly disrespected and tarnished since the goddamn funeral and now there’s a bunch of assholes set loose by the Dubuque cops thinking they can do whatever the fuck they want and poison the community, drive the good people down into the ground, and perpetuate all this misery and pain

        • DSC says:

          Panamared- I’m extremely sorry and sad that you lost your friend and truly hope that life is getting better for everyone that knew and loved Collin.

          You won’t want to read this because it only adds to the wounds: You should know that Collin was not an innocent individual, albeit, his life should not have ended nor should the robbery have taken place to begin with, but Collin was involved with the drug world(you being his friend should know about this to the “T”) and surrounded himself with many shady people, It is 100% nonsensical for people and his family/friends to continually hide and ignore that fact or try to justify it by other means due to his very unfortunate death.

          Anyway, I thought I “knew” the killer/planner(s) of the robbery very well, as my sister had a child with
          him, but could never have imagined in my wildest dreams that he would some day commit a homicide, none of us did. You need to know, as you already should, that there’s many sides to this extremely sad case. Noone should have died, but when drugs are involved, and when someone sells those bad batches of drugs(Collin) causing other people to get sick, or in one situation causing overdose that lead to death which couldn’t fully be pinpointed back to a certain person, but everyone knew due to close relations and sales contacts.. Well… You clearly know what happened after that…..

          Then there were cover-ups, the media coverage, the hearings, the lies, and many stories that simply didn’t add up to the big picture, and to throw salt on the wound, Collin’s child will be raised without a father and his family and friends are at a complete loss; on top of that, my sister and family are dealing with Tacari’s aftermath as well, not only does she get his bad reputation that she couldn’t control, but now she has to raise a toddler alone because her father was involved in the drug life and committed this disgustingly heinous crime leading to a life behind bars. And…. not just Collin’s case, but 1000s of cases throughout the U.S. have occured in similar fashion due to very similar situations which can and should be avoided by staying away from drugs.

          My advice, stay away from drugs and anyone that’s involved with such practices.

      • Panama Rojo says:

        Collins case was horseshit and cops replaced my friend knocked him off and replaced him rather with more submissive people. People outside the case have admitted shit and stories keep changing
        They think I don’t keep track of what these bastards say when they forget he was my roomate more than a few occasions
        Let’s just keep perpetuating the shit thatll eventually drive all of dubtown into the ground. Assholes set loose by the cops thinking they can do whatever the hell they want poisoning the community.
        Kharma is very unforgiving v

        • Rick says:

          So, wait. You’re saying that the police killed Collin Brown, in order to “replace” him, and then pinned it on others? Am I getting that right?

          How about in the future you refrain from making such ridiculous accusations, especially considering the authorities did an excellent job in closing that case. Crackpot theories and false rumors are a huge reason that a lot of these cases remain unsolved. They only serve to muddy the waters, and take up valuable time and resources to investigate.

    • Emma says:

      They’ve Caught Everyone Involved With Collins Murder….

      But What About My Friend Jimmy Richardson Who Was Shot & Killed On Rhomberg ? Where’s His Justice ?

      • Panama Rojo says:

        Or Brandon O’Rourke. I graduated with that man.
        Bottom line is there is no justice when we get to pay these fuckers’ rent for the rest of their lives
        As they sit and smile in court and even at our friends funerals.
        Rest in peace Dubuque.
        My friends memories have been lost tarnished forgotten thrown away starting at their own goddamn funerals!
        What? So some assholes can make more money off of our blood and tears as concern is pushed aside for the “growth” of Dubuque into a fucking tumor
        They were just kids and I won’t forget. And kharma hurts real fucking bad
        Like how bad it hurts seeing my friends being put to rest into the fucking dirt every time. People don’t learn unless it’s the hard way because guess what
        Human beings are the only creatures to claim a good, but we are the only ones who also act like we ain’t got no one to answer to in the end

        • Angelpreze says:

          brandon commited suicide

        • Charles Albert Brown says:

          This is Collin Browns dad. Collin was into drugs and selling, tho he did not deserve to die, he still did wrong. We are fighting a spiritual battle that we can’t win alone. When the men who killed my son were convicted, I forgave them at their sentencing. You see unless we all accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we will all end up in hell. So you think that those who killed Collin are getting away your wrong they still have to pay eternally, unless they accept Jesus and ask for forgiveness. So I am asking you all to repent of your sins and ask Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior.

      • DSC says:

        ShelJo- is that you?

    • DSC says:

      Why would you ask that? He’s R.I.P. and his killers are in prison for life.

  9. Stacy says:

    This really is crazy I was born and raised here and I only new about the 3. OK I understand the cops are busy (not) but really these are peoples loves ones. No answers dont have a clue were there at. Get your asses out there and do your jobs you can’t till me there’s no desk cop that would love a cold case. If theses were my loves ones my butt would be down at the police station every single day till I died. To theses family ?

  10. Miracle says:

    It’s been how many years & the cops still don’t know who Marlons killers are he was a good kid no one need to die at a young age he had is whole life ahead of him ?? Rip Marlons

  11. Patsy Meyer says:

    just an added thought to my earlier posted comment, in reality the action of local law enforcement constitutes at its least an extreme case of obstruction of justice and at its best or more accurately, being accomplices to murder after the fact

    • Rick says:

      If you think the police intentionally and willfully let a murderer go free to break up a meth ring, you are deluded at best. People like you need to keep your hair brained theories to yourselves.

      • Patsy says:

        No I will not keep my reply to myself. Only a delusional person would believe that cops are all good guys that commit no criminal offenses. You on the other hand are the problem that helps keep stupidity alive and kicking obviously you don’t care who killed her or you would consider the possibility of what I am saying you would make a horrible detective and by the way staying anonymous is the only way you will post your ridiculous thoughts get out of the box that you live in and smell the rotten worms that are eating the walls of justice do you not recall the Jo Davies incidence when the robberies that were occurring at a phenomenal rate later became attributed to the police that were supposed to be investigating the crimes? Your a fool and I can’t fix stupidity

  12. Patsy Meyer says:

    It is my honest belief that in the case of Crystal Arensdorf, if one looks at all the facts it is very easy to determine that the police here in Dubuque, DO know directly who is responsible for her untimely death.This observation is not made with delusional idea or irrational thought, rather it is made by carefully examining the facts surrounding her disappearance. iIf you will recall, in 2001 the investigation and subsequent conviction of methamphetamine related crime was of the utmost importance to the DLEC. I know enough about this case personally that I can safely tell you that pursing Crystals death strongly impeded several meth mfg. charges. To simplify, the two overlapped each other and since she was dead, the police justified their actions by telling themselves she was dead and nothing could be done anyway. they know EXACTLY what happened. Too bad her poor parents don’t share their sentiments.

    • Adrianna williams says:

      I think your right on I believe investigators witnessed Crystal walk into the residence which was under surveillance by DTF and never came back out of alive. Its my understanding she had started using meth and recently become an IV user and overdosed. The people present panicked and instead of taking her to the hospital they let her die and disposed her body. So ultimately yes the police would be responsible because they sat outside the residence. She went in to and never came out of. Do you think Dubuque Police Department is going to take responsibility for her death. No instead they let her family search for her everywhere for years not owning their bullshit, not saying a word and continued to search and try to find her knowing she’d never be found. A number of people involved have died. One person was thrown off an over pass. 2 others died of heart attacks in prison. Another has some what recently died of heart failure. I have already personally spoke with her mother. I hope the family has been able to find some closure. Please pray for her family and have respect for her family when posting.

  13. Jody Ewing says:

    Kim, while I agree that many of these cases don’t make sense (most murders are, after all, senseless), I must clarify that the Iowa Cold Cases website is *not* run by any local, state, or federal law enforcement agency. We are a state-registered Iowa nonprofit organization whose goal is to provide case summary information on Iowa’s unsolved crimes (homicides, as well as missing persons cases where foul play is suspected), in efforts to remind the general public that these cases have not yet been solved.

    We are not law enforcement investigators or detectives. We research and write summaries so these victims are not forgotten, communicate with victims’ family members, pass along tips to respective LE agencies, oversee our sister Facebook page, and also work with organizations like Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers to ensure our case information is as inclusive as possible.

    We receive no local, state, or federal funding (or grants), and invest full-time unpaid hours in regularly updating case summaries with hopes that someone with knowledge about any one of these cases will contact the appropriate authorities with a long-awaited missing puzzle piece.

    Your question about why these cases can’t or haven’t been solved is a good one. The best answer, perhaps, is a recent statement by Assistant Dubuque Police Chief Terry Tobin, who said: “It’s one thing to potentially know the facts of the case or what happened. It’s another thing to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.”

    As Tobin also said, there are people out there that have information. The problem is getting them to talk. It’s one of the reasons we encourage comments and discussion on the case summary pages and the ICC Facebook page.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.

    • Lisa Ousley says:

      Compare the cold cases in Cedar Rapids compared to Dubuque. The Dubuque Police are genius’s. Maybe Cedar Rapids should spend less on new rec centers, bike trails, useless downtown parks and more on their Police Department.

      • K says:

        Another issue might be that a lot of times the CRPD processes homicide scenes in-house with their own crime scene unit, rather than calling in the state DCI to process. The DCI is probably better equipped and better trained to handle crime scenes because it’s something they do on a fairly regular basis, plus the techs are specifically trained in how to process scenes. The police dept. in my town doesn’t hesitate to call in the DCI on homicide or suspicious death scenes, even though they also have their own in-house crime scene unit. The few murders we’ve had have been solved. Even the Linn Co. Sheriff calls the DCI in on homicides or susp. deaths. Not sure why CR doesn’t…you’d think they’d want to utilize all available resources in hopes of solving the case.

  14. Kim says:

    I was a resident in Dubuque (grown and raised) I mean you have a few cold cases that don’t make sense to me. Why can’t you solve them? Let’s start off with this Francis Rafferty guy? (never even heard of this person) looked on line. Never even known this person existed. I would have been a small child at the time My Dad worked for Carr/Adams at the time.And how about this Kenny kid,heard about him and last but not least this Gal that was at Knickers. Do you have any clues to has been? You are not doing such a great job but would like to help you as well as these families.

    • Jack Frost says:

      Dubuque cops are lazy and dumb. It’s really that simple. I’ve been here a long time, and if I was a criminal I could have a field day. Cops here are clueless.

      • andreadole2 says:

        I agree, Jack. I’ve owned a couple rentals in Dubuque and at times have had to call law enforcement and I am astounded at how truly dumb, ignorant, and uneducated some of them are.

    • the Knickers kid says:

      Arnsdorf is a runaway it’s obvious

      • April says:

        Yeah and your a retarded. Crystal did not runaway the peacock boys killed her and Dubuque police fucked up the investigation.

        • Carrie Tucker says:

          That is an untrue statmemt!! The peacock men had nothing to do with this terrible situation..they were ran thru the mud …

    • the Knickers kid says:

      Arnsdorf ran away, She probably had plastic surgery and changed her name

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