Cold Cases in Ottumwa, Iowa
James Lewis Chamberlain
Beneath Wabash Railroad Trestle
May 25, 1893
On Thursday, May 25, 1893, James Chamberlain, a carpenter who lived on Ottumwa’s south side, was struck by a blow to the head and found lying in mud and water beneath the Wabash Railroad trestle in the city’s old Richmond section. He died four days later on May 29.
Billy Lee Clark
August 1, 1975
Sometime on Friday, August 1, 1975, Billy Lee Clark of Ottumwa, Iowa, was shot in the back in a rural Wapello County pasture. The 43-year-old’s body, found lying next to his pick-up truck, was discovered the following day at approximately 2:23 p.m. on a farm owned by Martin Bergland, about seven miles west of Ottumwa on Route 4.
John Robert Hill
Case # 76-00925
November 22, 1976
On Monday, November 22, 1976, two young men found John Robert Hill, 51, lying face down at the Ottumwa Launderette that Hill owned and operated. Hill was stabbed 21 times and shot.
Francis F. Jordon, Sr.
July 12, 1978
In the early morning hours on Wednesday, July 12, 1978, Francis Jordon was killed after two men knocked on his door saying they had car trouble and needed help. Jordon’s son later found his father’s body thrown over the bank beside the Des Moines River out across Cliffland Park. The 42-year-old Jordon had been brutally beaten to death.