Cedar Falls re-examines 1974 unsolved murder - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls re-examines 1974 unsolved murder

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) - 35 years ago, 23 year old Dennis Clougherty was shot to death on a roadside in Cedar Falls.

More than three decades later, detectives are now re-examining the cold case.

Police know many of the details of what happened that night but still don't know who killed Clougherty or why.

No-one is still on the force from when the murder happened but police now on the case say people noticed Clougherty because he had a big backpack and a white motorcycle helmet.

The graduate student at the University of Wisconsin was hitchhiking from Madison to Wyoming to pick up a motorcycle when he took his final ride from Waterloo to Cedar Falls.

A marker remains on the site where Dennis Clougherty lost his life.

It says, "may you find justice."

Police say Clougherty was shot 5 times on the side of Union Rd. just off then-Highway 20.

Since then, all the leads turned up dry.

Police think the passage of time may free up a potential witness to come forward.

"We're hoping there's somebody out there who's known about this the whole time who'd also like to see closure to this and we're hoping folks come forward," said Cedar Falls Police Lt. Michael McCallum.

Police say they know Clougherty stopped at the then-Rush Park Cafe in Independence for dinner around 8:15 p.m.

He left around 9:15 and made his way to Waterloo.

He was picked up around the Kentucky Fried Chicken on Broadway St. around 10:30 by two men in their 20's in a brownish/gold 1962-64 Chevrolet with a beige interior.

He died 30 to 45 minutes later along Union Rd.

Workers found his body the next morning.

Police say nothing was stolen.

They don't know a motive.

"It is kind of frustrating that this one has not been solved but it would be nice to get this solved for the family so they have closure. There are still relatives living and we'd like to do that for them," said McCallum.

With the passage of time, new technology could help make a difference in the case but police say they need new information to help point them in the right direction.

If you can help, call Cedar Falls Police at 319-273-8612.

For more information, click here.

Online Reporter:  Bob Waters

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