Explore Iowa’s unsolved homicides by decade or view missing persons where foul play is suspected. If you know of a case not listed here or have information you’d like included with an existing page, please contact us with relevant details and we’ll respond to your inquiry as soon as possible.

29 Responses to Homicides

  1. Alexandra says:

    I’m curious why Bob and Bonnie Swanson aren’t on this list. My (step)grandfather was Bonnie’s father. He was also the sheriff of Des Moines county during that time.. Merritt quick. They were murdered in 1969 and it’s never been solved. Me and my grandpa spent a lot of time looking into it, he’s since passed. I’ve just started getting back into it and if anyone knew the couple or anything about the case that might not be public knowledge I’d really appreciate you reaching out to me!

    My email address is justiceforswanson@gmail.com please don’t hesitate to email!

    • Steph M says:

      This article says they were killed in Missouri.

      Robert and his wife was murdered during their honeymoon 1969.

      From the newspaper September 1969: MISSING IOWA COUPLE FOUND SLAIN IN WOODS, Jackson, Mo. September 1, The bodies of a missing Iowa newlywed couple were found yesterday in thick woods in southeast Missouri. Authorities said they were murdered and dragged to the spot. James W. Kinder, chief deputy sheriff, identified the victims as Bonnie Quick Swanson, 19, daughter of Sheriff Merritt Quick of Des Moines county, Ia, and her husband Robert Conrad Swanson, 19. Kinder said the couple were en route to New Orleans in late March when they were reported missing by their families. The couple had been married in February and were last seen in Burlington, Ia., about March 20 in their blue and white Oldsmobile which had Iowa license plate number 29-19347. Kinder said Mrs. Swanson had been shot in the right temple and that her husband´s skull had been fractured. There bodies were found by a timber buyer who was checking the woods.

      SLAIN COUPLES CAR FOUND AT TRAIN STATION Fort Madison, Ia., september 3. The car in which Bonnie and Robert Swanson, both 19, left for their honeymoon last March was found yesterday at the Santa Fe depot, four days after their bodies has been discovered in the wooded area of southeast Missouri. The slain newlyweds were daughter and son-in-law of Des Moines county Sheriff Merritt Quick. Charley Huck, a reserve Des Moines county officer, was driving to the depot on business when he spotted their abandoned car about 200 yards east of the depot. Local authorities said fishing equipment belonging to Quick, clothing for a man and woman, and a 22-caliber bullet were found in the car, which apparently had been abandoned on the depot parking lot sometimes between May 1 and May 15. The bodies of the newlyweds were discovered Friday in the thick woods four miles north of Oak Ridge, Mo. Mrs. Swanson had been shot in the head and her husband had been beaten about the head, police said. The couple had been killed somewhere else and dragged to the wooded area.

      • Ali Kokjohn says:

        Right.. but it says they were killed and taken to that spot. They were killed in Iowa, I believe Burlington or ft Madison and then they were moved to Missouri. Otherwise the car wouldn’t have just randomly showed up in Iowa at the train depot.

  2. Tonya M LaFarr says:

    I was wondering why my cousin Ameisha Heard’s homicide hasn’t been listed here, She was shot and killed in May 2014. There was a person of interest in her case but because witnesses back out he was let go from jail. I never got to meet Ameisha because at the time of her death I was living in Texas. It’s been 7 years for our family and no justice for Ameisha.

  3. Susy Ketchum says:

    Has anyone ever checked the Doe Network for Johnny Gosch or Jody Huisentruitt? I saw a man from Oregon that looked a lot like an older Johnny.

  4. Frances allsup says:

    Link lade&hook murders in ottumwa ia

  5. Bob says:

    Was the murder of William Saloky ever solved? He was a Palmer student living in Davenport and was shot sometime in 1979.

    • Jody Ewing says:

      Bob, Davenport police arrested University of Iowa student Dwight Heninger in March 1979 and charged him with first-degree murder in connection with William Soloky’s death. Heninger, 20, was a third-year-pre-business student from Bettendorf, and accused of shooting Saloky, 28, in Saloky’s apartment just before midnight on Monday, March 12, 1979, after the two quarreled. So, yes, Davenport police consider this case solved. Jody @ ICC

  6. Maggie says:

    The girl killed in the dry cleaning shop on Fleur was named Linda Boothe, and it happened pretty much how you remember it Nancy. She is not mentioned here and the only info online is an image of the archived newspaper. I hope she is eventually included.
    All of you involved in the creation and maintenance of this site are doing a good, it is important stuff, and these victims deserve justice. Thanks.

    • Jody Ewing says:

      Maggie, thanks so much for your kind words about this site. Linda Boothe is not included here because her case never went cold. She was killed Nov. 20, 1968, and Michael C. Niccum was charged in her death and found guilty during his 1969 trial. All best, Jody @ ICC

  7. Patrick Kerrigan says:

    I find it interesting that the authorities collected DNA evidence in this case back in the 1970’s. Maybe, we need to rethink that since DNA, did not come along until the early 1980’s, and was still not as advanced as it is now. I assume they may have collected blod evidence from the crime scene of Sarah’s murder.

    I hope they still have the evidence and it should be sent for updated forensic testing. Who knows what they might find. Maybe a link to another suspect.

  8. John Burke says:

    Homicide in 1973 – Sarah Ann Ottens. Myself & a 3rd cousin are very interested in this case. How can we find more details, was an autopsy taken. John Burke 817-776-7250

  9. kelly l weeks says:

    There was a young women named Mary Ann Scoval who was murdred in Des Moines in the 1970s. Was her murder ever solved?

    • Jody Ewing says:

      Kelly, Mary Ann Scovel’s murder was not solved. She has a page here on ICC at: https://iowacoldcases.org/case-summaries/mary-ann-scovel/

    • Jody Ewing says:

      Kelly, after reviewing some of the comments on this page, I thought I should clarify something about Mary Ann Scoval’s case. She was killed April 14, 1976, and on April 30, 1976, police did arrest and charge Jeffrey Robert Calvert, 22, in her slaying. A Polk County grand jury indicted Calvert on murder charges May 6, 1976, but the October 1976 trial was over almost as soon as it began and didn’t even reach the jury deliberation stage.

      Calvert’s wife and mother-in-law testified in court that he’d been with them “at church” during the time of Mary Ann’s murder. Things went downhill from there when Asst. Polk County Medical Examiner Dale Grunewald wrapped up his testimony, and admitted during a short recess that he’d changed the time of Scovel’s death after learning she’d telephoned her father about 5 p.m. April 14. Grunewald said he’d also changed the time of death because of the undigested food in the victim’s stomach (eaten 30 to 45 minutes before she died.)

      After the recess, Asst. Polk County Attorney Donald Starr asked District Judge A.B. Crouch to dismiss the murder charge “because of Dr. Grunewald’s testimony concerning the time of Scovel’s death.” Rather than declaring a mistrial, Judge Crouch promptly dismissed the first-degree murder charge against Calvert and sent jury members home. The “dismissal” guaranteed Calvert could never be tried again for Scovel’s murder due to double jeopardy legal guarantees.

      Because the time of death was changed and the case dismissed, it’s possible that new information (DNA or otherwise) might lead to someone else being charged for Mary Ann’s death (which is why she is listed on this site), but even if the DNA or new evidence directly links the murder to Calvert, he still can’t be charged or tried again. Once investigators arrest and charge an individual with murder, LE agencies consider the case closed or cleared even if the suspect is found not guilty after a trial. They are open, however, to following up on any new leads that surface, which could result in the arrest and trial of another alleged perpetrator. Jody @ ICC

  10. Diane McKenzie-Grant says:


    In the mid to late 1960’s, a Des Moines teenager was murdered in a Fleur Drive shop where she was a clerk. The murder weapon, a golf club, was found atop the ceiling tiles.

    Was this murder ever solved?

    • Nancy Holm says:

      I thought I was the only one who recalled this! Thought I dreamed it. Not sure of the year. She was in her teens & I heard at the time-her father was a DSM policeman.I can’t find anything on this at all.Also, it was a dry cleaning shop & in the old Dahls strip. The name of the shop was was either Jack Nicolas or Arnold Palmer. And they had a golfer mannequin in the window with a golf club! Either Arnold or Jack had in-laws who were the dry cleaning business. Now does that sound like a dream or not? But I swear that’s how I recall it. Never heard another word about it after the first report.

      • Jody Ewing says:

        Nancy, the victim was 17-year-old Linda Boothe, and you’re right about the location; she worked at the Arnold Palmer Dry Cleaners shop on Fleur Drive in the Wakonda Shopping Center. She died Nov. 20, 1968 after being beaten to death with a golf club.

        Des Moines police later arrested and charged Michael C. Niccum with her murder, and in 1969 jury members found him guilty of the crime. Jody @ ICC

  11. Dan Dewit says:

    There was a lady named Marry Green that was murdered in the 1970s Or 1980s. At Spring creek moble home park in Oskaloosa iowa, was the case ever solved? I beleave she is related to some of my family members. I am not sure if I spelled her last name right. I was a kid when this happened, please e mail me a follow up Dan Dewit

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