My sister's cold case made another Top Ten List. This is not the kind of fame any young woman ever hoped for.
By chance, I happened across this blog today:
So while you might think of Iowa as just a quiet land of simple folks quietly dotting the rolling farmland, not only do we have pimps and gangsters, but corporate conspiracies and corrupt officials spinning games of deadly intrigue. Hey, we can’t all be Iowa Nice! Joshua Scott Hotchkin
Coincidentally, guess who left town a few months ago, after Julie's Cold Case started heating up. Yes. The 1976 police officer who obfuscated her case, misled witnesses, and tampered with the file. He had become a pastor, well known for being such a "religious" man. He was a missionary in Africa; he worked with homeless men and former felons; he played guitar in church; he quoted from the book "Sons of Grace" by Mark Hughes:
Did this man really repent?
Was this same man involved in my sister's murder before the police department hired him in 1976? My hopes of ever knowing anything have plummeted, especially after watching "Forensics Files" on TV, which shows how scientific evidence is required to get an arrest (not to mention a conviction).
I have a big, fat file full of names I found in my sister's diary. Funny thing. The entire month of November is missing, the last month of her life. Coincidentally, the same police officer had her diary inside his home for more than a month, until my mom went knocking on his door, asking to have it back. He refused to come to the door. After a 45-minute wait, his wife handed off the diary. To this day, my parents have not met this man face to face, though they've spoken with length at other members of the police force.
I have shared these names with so many people,
it's too late to silence me the way my sister was silenced. Too many people know the names of the perps. And yet, too many people are afraid to speak up. Fires of unknown origin have a way of killing those connected with a Cold Case. Just one example: Rich, a friend of Julie's, "knew something," and suddenly he was dead.
Rich Luther | May 30, 1954 - Sep. 9, 1977 |
Meanwhile, fire officials still haven't determined the cause of a fire at a rural Westgate house which took the life of Richard Luther, 23, who was asleep in the house at the time of the fire. That fire occurred early Saturday morning, although the blaze was not noticed until close to 9 a.m. when the alarm was sounded by a passing motorist. The investigation is continuing into that blaze. https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/3687581/
Oddly, the same investigators were quick to pinpoint the cause of another fire that same week. For Rich Luther, no cause was ever reported, and foul play was never mentioned.
The sheer number of homicides and violent crimes is staggering, even in the quaint Midwest.
My family is far from alone. The author of the Top Ten list lost his father:
10 Unbelievable Unsolved Iowa Murders by Joshua Scott Hotchkin February 27, 2018
My own father had died when I was eight years old, and the cause of his death was a mystery to myself, my brothers and even my mother. There were rumors and suggestions of foul play and drug deals gone awry. Fueling these rumors was none other than Terri Supino, the woman who most likely killed her ex-boyfriend (and father of her children).... there has never been enough evidence to convict and the case against her is closed forever.
Drug trafficking. Time and again, silencing someone is the motive for murder.
Sex trafficking too. The news stories I could hyperlink!
It would take hundreds of Steemit posts to even begin to talk about novelist, crusador, and journalist Jody Ewing, the unpaid volunteer who created Iowa Cold Cases website--then lost her beloved stepfather, who has since become a Cold Case. Irony. Yes.
About Jody Ewing | Iowa Cold Cases
Iowa Cold Cases Founder & President, Private Investigator. Jody is an author, cold case journalist and private investigator based in west-central Iowa. ... She launched the Iowa Cold Cases website (originally at iowacoldcases.com) in 2005 after working on a Sioux City cold case series.
Jody has put her own calling as a novelist on hold while she fields thousands of emails every week from the families of Cold Case victims. Telling these stories is important. Some things cannot be told, for fear of lawsuits or worse (how about another house fire, honey?). And so Jody and I agree:
The truth is best told in the guise of fiction.
And we promise each other we will make time to write these stories.