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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    central Georgia, USA

    IA - Leota Mae Hodges Camp, 25, Des Moines - 10 July 1967 -mother of three murdered

    I happened across this very sad and mysterious case while I was doing some reading about presumed serial killer James Mitchell "Mike" Debardeleben; there is a commenter on the linked site who feels strongly that Leota's murder was Debardeleben's doing. He/she makes a pretty good argument, and, to me, the sketch does somewhat resemble MD -- but I am certainly not "convinced". Interesting, though.

    At any rate -- I checked and didn't see Leota's case in Cold Cases here at WS.

    My heart goes out to her then-very-young two oldest children, who found their mother bound and stabbed on her bed while their infant sister sucked on a freshly-prepared bottle nearby.


    One detail about this case reminds me of another case I've seen -- on WS, I'm pretty sure -- but I can't remember the victim/state. Leota had just hung out some laundry on the clothesline, then returned to the house, where she was soon attacked. In the other case I'm thinking of, the wife/mother also had been hanging clothes -- but in that case, as I recall, she disappeared, possibly abducted, and was never found. I remember that in that other case, there was something about a large withdrawal from a banking account ... leading some to speculate that the woman left of her own free will, I believe, and perhaps also leading some to suspect her husband. I didn't get either of those feelings, myself, IIRC. (Anyhow, thinking that if by chance Mike Debardeleben WAS involved in Leota's murder, it might be interesting to look back at this other case I'm speaking of...considering MD's penchant at times for extortion, banking scams, etc. Can anybody point me to that other case?)

    ETA: I found the missing person case I was thinking of -- it's here:

    Going to review it.
    Last edited by Backwoods; 01-25-2015 at 04:11 AM. Reason: ETA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Another poster on the ICC website states that the rumor was that the perpetrator was known to police but the state didn't want to bring him back for trial, as possibly he was doing a long stretch in another state. It has been known to happen.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    48 years later, memory of a mother's brutal death lingers

    It was a typical summer day in 1967. Leota Camp kissed a goodbye to her husband, Ray, as he went off to his job at the Iowa Employment Security Commission.

    Like the many other stay-at-home mothers in the working-class Des Moines neighborhood on Fleming Avenue, a block east of Lower Beaver Road, she had housework to do and children to supervise.

    Brenda, 3, and Kevin, 4, played in the back yard as Camp hung laundry on the line, leaving to check on her 3-month-old, Kristine, inside.

    It was getting close to noon. Brenda and Kevin grew hungry and went inside to ask their mother for lunch.

    What they found was a horror — one that 48 years later, still has no answers.

    Their mother, Leota, was in the front bedroom, lying face down on the bed, her hands tied behind her back and legs tied together at the ankles with men's neckties, while another was used as a gag. A knife protruded from her bloodied back.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    central Georgia, USA
    Thanks for posting this good anniversary article, and the touching video of Leota's daughter. Those poor kids. Sure hope this coverage may bring something to light somehow.

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