SPECIAL REPORT: Dubuque Cold Case- A Sister's Story - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SPECIAL REPORT: Dubuque Cold Case- A Sister's Story

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

It was a brutal murder that affected the entire city of Dubuque back in the 70's.

21-year-old Jackie Shireman, a beautiful waitress and newlywed, was found stabbed to death inside a diner with a pair of scissors. Decades later, the case remains unsolved, but her sister refuses to give up hope that one day her sister's killer will be found. 

Jackie's sister Debra Husemann says, "It's probably someone who did know her or had something against her, I don't know, but to be stabbed 27 times with a pair of scissors... you had to have some anger there."

It was 1975,  what's now a playground was the popular Marino's Meal on a Bun diner. Husemann was just 17 years old, but she still remembers the call.

Husemann said, "My father got the phone call and I have never seen my father so upset as he was that night, it was unbelievable."

Jackie was a newly-wed, married to the man Husemann described as the love of her sister's life.

She said, "Oh yeah, they had gone out a long time together."

Jackie was working at Marino's but Saturday night wasn't her normal shift.

Husemann said, "She was filling in for someone else that night."

It was a night that forever changed the family; Husemann says her mother was never the same.

"She would end up in the hospital every time an anniversary came up. It hurt her every single time, she just never got over it," she said. 

It's a case that still has the police department asking questions.

Dubuque Police Chief Mark Dalsing said, "We still had murder in the 70's and we still had serious crime, but it was a shock to the system because it wasn't an every day thing and there wasn't a lot of information about it."

A witness did come forward saying she saw two men leaving the diner around the time of the murder. Two years later,  21-year-old Steven Moore was arrested.

Husemann said, "I know that Jackie knew him from school, but that's about it."

When it came time for court though, the witness backed out of giving testimony. Moore was found not guilty.

Chief Dalsing said , "The county attorney at the time was 100 % sure the right man was prosecuted. Our county attorney right now also went through the case and he's confident the correct man was prosecuted in this case."

But to this day, Husemann believes her sister's killer is still out there.

"I'm not saying Moore didn't know something about it, but I can't truly say in my heart that he's the one who did it," she said. 

Until that person comes forward, Husemann will continue to share her sister's story.

"I have dreams about her, dreams that she sits up in her casket and goes to tell me who did it ...and I wake up every time," she said. 

Sadly, Jackie's husband, James, died just six months after her. Police say he drowned while swimming in the Mississippi with friends. His death was ruled an accident. 

Chief Dalsing says anniversaries and media attention tend to generate a fresh wave of people who call in with tips, even 43 years later. If you have any information, please give them a call.

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