September 12, 1980

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On September 12, 1980, a 32-year-old male and his 22-year-old female companion traveled from their home state of Missouri to Iowa for a weekend getaway. They checked into the Amana Holiday Inn (along Interstate 80, just outside of Williamsburg) that evening and were found deceased the following afternoon by the motel maid. The victims had been stabbed to death, possibly with an axe or hatchet that had a 3 ½ inch blade. The male victim had seven stab wounds to his arms, hands, face, head, and neck/throat (including possible defensive wounds to his hands). The female victim had twelve stab wounds to her face, head, and neck/throat. There were no signs of forced entry into the motel room and no obvious signs of sexual assault. The victims were in bed, face-down, partly under the covers. The male victim was wearing only his underwear and the female victim was fully clothed. The victims’ personal belongings were scattered and approximately $200 was taken. Small pieces of a bar of bath soap were on the floor next to the bed. The word "this" was printed on the bathroom door, possibly using the bar of soap, and toothpaste was squeezed into the bathtub. Investigators have identified two cases with similarities to the instant case: the homicide of a 25-year-old male in Galesburg, Illinois, on June 24,1980 and the homicide of a 23-year-old male in Meridian, Mississippi on October 26, 1970. Like the instant case, the Galesburg and Meridian victims were away from home and staying in a motel room just off a busy Interstate. Additionally, in all three cases, toothpaste was found in an unusual location at the crime scene, the weapon used is believed to be a machete or sort of axe/hatchet, and money was taken. 

If you have information relevant to this investigation, or know of other cases that resemble the details of this homicide (e.g., victim(s) was killed in a motel room near a busy interstate; weapon used was an axe, hatchet, or machete; toothpaste or soap was found in an unusual location at the crime scene; writing or drawings were left at the crime scene), please contact the agency below.  

<p>To provide or request additional information, please contact: Captain Todd Sauerbrei, Iowa County Sheriff’s Office, Iowa, (319) 642-7307, TSauerbrei@iowacosheriff.org - - FBI ViCAP, (800) 634-4097, vicap@fbi.gov 

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