Johnson County, Iowa ~ April 6, 1968
Was she running to something or from something? At the heart of this case, this seems to be the most pertinent question because the day Geraldine disappeared she was seen with a suitcase.
Here is the history of Geraldine Maggert’s murder:
It was Friday, March, 22 1968 when Geraldine’s parents picked up their granddaughter early in the morning for a scheduled visit to their farm. As far as anyone knew Geraldine was heading to work for the day but had not scheduled a trip out of town.
Geraldine did not show up to work, in fact she telephoned in to say that she was ill and would not be reporting to work that day. It was just before noon when she went to her local bank to withdraw funds suitcase in hand.
Geraldine did not report to work the following week so her co-workers called her parents naturally, her parents as I stated earlier were not aware of any scheduled trip their daughter planned to take suggesting perhaps that Geraldine had taken a trip to see her ex, her daughter’s father?
Her car was found by coworkers at the Cedar Rapids airport, leaving them to think that Geraldine had in fact taken a trip. It was Geraldine’s mother however who felt something was not right. She drove herself to the Cedar Rapids police department and reported her daughter missing.
During the investigation, the police did not note any signs of a struggle let alone murder in Geraldine’s apartment. They did note that her suitcase was missing just as they had heard it was by witnesses.
At age 25, Geraldine’s almost completely nude body was found April 6, 1968 at a popular picnic spot in Johnson County Iowa. The spot was affectionately called “The Rock,” by locals. She had been beaten and left for dead, the autopsy showed she died from both being beaten and exposure. She was also 3 months pregnant at the time of her murder.
Since her body had been found on Federal land, the Feds lead the investigation and even after an extensive search by land, air and water the Fed’s could not locate Geraldine’s clothing. They also could not locate a single suspect after having interviewed her ex. Her ex was ruled out as a suspect for a couple of reasons, he passed a lie detector and happened to be in another state a the time of her murder.
Who was Geraldine?
Born March 13, 1943 in Elkader, Iowa, those who knew her described her as smart yet very shy. More or less an introvert. She married Richard Maggert and together they had a little girl. They did divorce and it is unclear as to who had gotten Geraldine pregnant at the time of her death.
She worked as a secretary and was last seen alive on March 22, 1968.
What was she running to or from? That could mean many things, for instance she packed a bag expecting a weekend getaway with a secret lover, a job prospect perhaps, or she was going to have an abortion and expected to have to stay overnight at the facility she was having the abortion in or, she planned to run away from everything.
Running from something or to something in this case is much more important to understand than one may realize. That information and that alone will lead investigators to her killer. The killer wanted her to suffer but for what reason? It was not entirely a crime of passion, that much is clear. Her killer was angry, angry enough to beat her but not angry enough to ensure the beating caused death, overall it seems as if the killer inadvertently went overboard. Meaning simply that he did not intend for things to end up the way that the did. He may have wanted her dead all along but not in the way it happened. Her clothing was taken however for reasons that are unknown. It was either to throw investigators, to cover up something or as a trophy.
Initially the investigators believed the case might be tied to the murder of Sheila Jean Collins whose partially nude body was found January 28 near Colo, Iowa. Investigators have since said they are 99% certain the two case are not related.
This case is solvable, even without the benefit of DNA once we understand more about where Geraldine was planning to go that weekend. Was she going for fun or was she going in an effort to run from something? That is the key that will unlock the door as to who her killer was.
Cristal M Clark
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