Cold cases land in spotlight - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cold cases land in spotlight


They are the cases authorities continue to look at, even decades later.

In 1995, Angela Buck was shot in her chest. Her body was found south of Dunkerton in a wooded area.

In 1977, Ronald Butler was stabbed to death in the bathroom of his home in Waterloo.

In 1974, Dennis Clougherty died of five gunshot wounds. His body found near Union Road in Cedar Falls.

These are just some of the cases haunting investigators.

"In fact, I've got retired officers that still think about cases they haven't been able to crack," said Black Hawk County Sheriff, Tony Thompson.

Thompson says many of these cold cases lack evidence or witnesses. However, some cases have suspects, but usually there isn't enough evidence to prosecute.

"In one of our cold cases we know in our hearts that we've got the suspect, we just can't prove the suspect and the suspect has been in trouble in many other things and gone to prison for many other things," said Thompson.

"We have numerous cold cases and for the ones that occurred within the past 40 or 50 years we still have the evidence we still have the reports," said Director of Safety Services, Dan Trelka.

The Waterloo Police Department has a room called the homicide room. It's filled with boxes and files from unsolved cases. Trelka says the developments of this cold case are encouraging.

"It gives us hope that we can always bring these cold cases to a conclusion but it also gives the remaining family members closure. At least they have some answers now, which is very important," said Trelka.

As for Thompson, it's all about getting the bad guy.

"It's a matter of pride to keep it open and keep working it."

Sheriff Thompson says they do regular audits to see where they are, in the investigation of a cold case. Also the FBI occasionally inquires about a cold case to see if there is any new information.

The State of Iowa's largest cold case is the Villisca Axe Murders, which happened June 10th, 1912.  An intruder killed eight people, including six children.

If you would like to learn more about cold cases in Iowa you can go to the nonprofit website at The creators of this nonprofit website work independently of law enforcement to bring awareness of cold cases throughout the state of Iowa.


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