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  1. #1
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    IA - Rose Burkert, 22, & Roger Atkison, 32, Williamsburg, 12 Sept 1980

    I cannot believe this cold case is not on Websleuths yet. It is a fascinating "Who done it" double homicide from 1980 with a string of suspects.

    Let's see how well you sleuths can come up with a solution to this "Who done it" double homicide.

    Read the link and the story below and start sleuthing.

    https://iowacoldcases.org/case-summa...roger-atkison/

    Below is a very informative article from 2009, and all of the suspects sound really good if, in fact, the article is factual. ex-boyfriend, Charles Hatcher, bartender, Raymundo Esparza, hired farm hand, Roger's telephone crew (although I wouldn't know what any of them would have anything against him), cultist groups (not really my pick); they're all pretty good suspects. First of all, what is your honest opinion on a suspect? What were they Rose and Roger REALLY like? Was the killer/s a stranger or known to the victims? From the article below, it really sounds like Rose had been stalked by almost more than one person. With so many good suspects it is hard to pinpoint the best one. Read the article below

    Rumors Surround 1980 Killings 2 Found Brutally Murdered 29 Years Ago Sep 20, 2009 (0) The crickets chirp among themselves, while wind whispers through the trees down this rural Andrew County road. ADVERTISING The gravel gave way to pavement awhile back. A few years ago, someone demolished that one-story, white house to make way for the Oakmont Hills subdivision and its pastoral homes and painted wood fences. With each passing year, life sweeps away a little more of the scene 22-year-old Rose Burkert left for a romantic getaway in a hotel in Amana, Iowa, 29 years ago. In its place remains only the murmur of rumors. Kathy Roarke's phone still rings every so often with another bit of gossip masquerading as hope. She has waited nearly three decades for an explanation of what happened to her sister. Or, more accurately, who happened to Rose. The what was appallingly apparent to the maid unfortunate enough to check on Rose and Roger Atkison at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 13, 1980. It was splattered across the wall, headboard and carpet of Room 260 at the Amana Holiday Inn. "It was pretty gruesome," said Howard Judd, a captain for the Buchanan County Sheriff's Department who worked the case for the St. Joseph Police Department. "It was overkill." Rose and Roger, 32, were laying face down on the bed, their heads severed open from multiple blows from an ax or hatchet. While a few of Roger's fingers were severed from trying to protect himself, the room showed no signs of forced entry or struggle. Two chairs actually sat next to the bed, indicating the killer(s) had a conversation with Rose and Roger before the murder. It appears the killer, most likely a male, even put his feet up on the desk at some point. He carved a piece of soap, writing a partial message on the bathroom mirror that read "This" before leaving the room, the television still on.Stacey Howell told the News-Press in a Sept. 15, 1980, article as information (real and other) about the murders filtered into the public. Two days later, the News-Press reported that secrecy by Iowa authorities resulted in "swarms of rumors." There was the rumor about the ex-boyfriend. Rose supposedly kicked him out of her house because of his drug use some time earlier. In the weeks preceding the murder, he stalked her, sitting outside her house in his van, according to Ms. Roarke. Rose filed a complaint with the Andrew County Sheriff's Department, telling them if she ended up dead it would be because of her ex. She got a dog for protection, but someone butchered it and hung it up in front of her house as a warning.

    (modsnip)

    http://www.newspressnow.com/news/rum...8d82bb11a.html
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    Last edited by Coldpizza; 05-24-2017 at 08:57 AM. Reason: To comply with copyright rule/ add link.

  2. #2
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    I'm happy to see this case is now here. I wondered why it wasn't earlier too.

    I do want to say that I've been researching this case for almost 3 years, have talked to someone close to it, and have a pretty good idea of what happened from some inside information that I've gotten. If I'm right, and I think I am, two people were there that night. One died in 84. One died this year. A third person who was not there, but who knows the truth and is somewhat behind it, is still alive. The target was Roger--not Rose.

    If anyone wants to hash out some details in this case, let me know. I will be looking into this case until it's officially solved or I die--whichever comes first. I've corresponded with the best friend of Rose and a few others close to this case for a couple years and am willing to answer questions you may not find anywhere else.

    I took an interest in this case because it happened a year before I was born, near where I live, on the date of my wedding. It caught my eye and I've been pretty consumed with it since. It's what brought me here, though until now, I couldn't find a mention of it.

    Truly intriguing case with some crazy details.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcbrainder View Post
    I'm happy to see this case is now here. I wondered why it wasn't earlier too.

    I do want to say that I've been researching this case for almost 3 years, have talked to someone close to it, and have a pretty good idea of what happened from some inside information that I've gotten. If I'm right, and I think I am, two people were there that night. One died in 84. One died this year. A third person who was not there, but who knows the truth and is somewhat behind it, is still alive. The target was Roger--not Rose.

    If anyone wants to hash out some details in this case, let me know. I will be looking into this case until it's officially solved or I die--whichever comes first. I've corresponded with the best friend of Rose and a few others close to this case for a couple years and am willing to answer questions you may not find anywhere else.

    I took an interest in this case because it happened a year before I was born, near where I live, on the date of my wedding. It caught my eye and I've been pretty consumed with it since. It's what brought me here, though until now, I couldn't find a mention of it.

    Truly intriguing case with some crazy details.
    I know who you're referring to, CRH and his brother, and I too believe they are the best suspects. For a long time I believed it was Rose's ex, until I started reading more about the case and chatting with someone very close to the case about it, and now started looking at it from a different perspective. Although, until you have proof, you want to keep an open mind and don't want to get tunnel vision. But yes, CRH and brother are my favorite suspects too.

  4. #4
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    Good to talk to someone interested in this. CRH was discounted and with good reason, but after doing some digging, I found that the alibi doesn't necessarily hold up. I was trying to find an exact date of a certain event and though police said it was after the murder, I found one source that shows before. I tried contacting the facility, but of course they can't release information.

    Rose had a lot of very legitimate suspects in her life, but Roger led a certain lifestyle and was connected to a few of the wrong people. The fact that he wasn't fully dressed with no forced entry leads me to believe there was a confrontation and I think I know exactly what that confrontation was about. I don't believe Roger and Rose believed they were necessarily in danger in the beginning.

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    I want to add that there is one person who benefitted greatly by their deaths, in more than one way. This person was not there, but I believe was the reason for all of it and at the very least, knew there would be a confrontation. I've never decided on whether or not I believe this person knew what the confrontation would turn into.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcbrainder View Post
    Good to talk to someone interested in this. CRH was discounted and with good reason, but after doing some digging, I found that the alibi doesn't necessarily hold up. I was trying to find an exact date of a certain event and though police said it was after the murder, I found one source that shows before. I tried contacting the facility, but of course they can't release information.

    Rose had a lot of very legitimate suspects in her life, but Roger led a certain lifestyle and was connected to a few of the wrong people. The fact that he wasn't fully dressed with no forced entry leads me to believe there was a confrontation and I think I know exactly what that confrontation was about. I don't believe Roger and Rose believed they were necessarily in danger in the beginning.
    I'm glad to talk to someone interested in this case also. And if you're a sleuth like all people on this website, I don't know how you cannot be interested in this case, it's really a fascinating case with lots of possible theories.

    I guess my question is...If CRH did escape from the facility, I don't see any reason why that facility wouldn't know the EXACT day he left and would have forwarded that information on to law enforcement. Unless he wasn't watched closely, they should know exactly the day he left. It just doesn't make any sense, that shouldn't have been hard to determine that.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcbrainder View Post
    I want to add that there is one person who benefitted greatly by their deaths, in more than one way. This person was not there, but I believe was the reason for all of it and at the very least, knew there would be a confrontation. I've never decided on whether or not I believe this person knew what the confrontation would turn into.
    I can probably guess who you are talking about, someone very close to Roger?

  8. #8
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    CRH was dismissed because, according to the article, he escaped after the murders. It's hard to find any exact details on his escape, but I did find a source that stated the exact date as September 6th, which was shortly before the murders. In addition, CRH confessed to killing 16 people, but he's only been tied to 5 or 6.

    I emailed the facility but received a response stating that due to HIPPA laws, they can't confirm or deny he was ever there. Well...I already know he was there. There's no secret to that. I just wanted to know the exact date of escape and whether or not he had visitors shortly before. It's my belief that his brother may have helped in escape in exchange for a favor--to help get rid of/or scare, Roger. Maybe the point was just confrontation, and it escalated. I think the whole thing was planned spur of the moment when it was learned that Roger was leaving town with another woman. That said, they would have had to have been followed. I found one article that states that a gas station attendant said they saw another man following them. Another said they saw a man who they thought was with them.

    I've also heard that two people who were scared of person 3 (who wasn't there), said she was acting strange the day of and changed her story the day of. Person 3 also broke down in tears the day before because of Roger's cheating.

    According to her, CRH and his brother had no contact, but I don't believe that considering CRH always returned to St. Joseph, MO when in and out of facilities. He may have even been staying with his brother. About a year after the murders, he was next reported to have gotten into some trouble in Des Moines. Put it all on the map and he would have been in the area.

    If I could find out what day CRH escaped the facility and confirm it was before the murders, my mind would be set on the brother theory.

  9. #9
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    Knowing what kind of family Roger married into, you would have thought he would have gone to great lengths to keep his affairs private. I wonder how they found out about the weekend getaway with Rose in the first place. I mean, someone had to do some close spying on them or maybe someone Roger (or even Rose) trusted may have leaked it out. Someone had to know they were planning a getaway. It sounds like poor Roger just married into the wrong family and had just one too many affairs.

    Now, either the killer/s knew where they were going or yes, they followed them there. I heard that Roger was working that day in Kahoka, MO, and them him and Rose took off from there to Amana after he was done. Well, that means the killer had to have been watching him in Kahoka. Another question, did Rose go to work with him that day since they may have left from Kahoka?

    When I heard about Kahoka just recently, I couldn’t believe it. You see, I graduated from high school in Kahoka and lived near there most of my life. I now live close to the border in Iowa. I was in high school then, and more than likely was in Kahoka on that day, which is really weird when you think about it. It’s even possible I could have seen Roger, Rose or even his stalker/s (not realizing the consequences) on that day since Kahoka is such s small town, who knows.

    I will get into the following scenario later on. I need to go now.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcbrainder View Post
    I want to add that there is one person who benefitted greatly by their deaths, in more than one way. This person was not there, but I believe was the reason for all of it and at the very least, knew there would be a confrontation. I've never decided on whether or not I believe this person knew what the confrontation would turn into.
    I read somewhere long ago that the murders were unintentional because the killer thought ohter people were staying in that room at the time. Remember that Burkert and Atkinson got the room in the last minute because of a vacancy occurrency. Nevertheless I am as baffled as the person who posted this that this case wasn't discussed yet in this forum.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mysterymike View Post
    Knowing what kind of family Roger married into, you would have thought he would have gone to great lengths to keep his affairs private. I wonder how they found out about the weekend getaway with Rose in the first place. I mean, someone had to do some close spying on them or maybe someone Roger (or even Rose) trusted may have leaked it out. Someone had to know they were planning a getaway. It sounds like poor Roger just married into the wrong family and had just one too many affairs.

    Now, either the killer/s knew where they were going or yes, they followed them there. I heard that Roger was working that day in Kahoka, MO, and them him and Rose took off from there to Amana after he was done. Well, that means the killer had to have been watching him in Kahoka. Another question, did Rose go to work with him that day since they may have left from Kahoka?

    When I heard about Kahoka just recently, I couldn’t believe it. You see, I graduated from high school in Kahoka and lived near there most of my life. I now live close to the border in Iowa. I was in high school then, and more than likely was in Kahoka on that day, which is really weird when you think about it. It’s even possible I could have seen Roger, Rose or even his stalker/s (not realizing the consequences) on that day since Kahoka is such s small town, who knows.

    I will get into the following scenario later on. I need to go now.
    I'd agree that the fact that Roger was unfaithful was definitely a fatal problem in that family. I don't know exactly how they found out about that weekend getaway, but I believe his affairs weren't a big secret and he'd been busted before. Whether or not he'd been confronted, I don't know. I do know that he was expected to be out of town for work and I doubt anyone knew for certain he was leaving with Rose, but my thought is that maybe he was followed for that very reason: To get busted.

    Rose met him at work that day. She left her car at his workplace and they left together.

    That's crazy that you were in the area that day. Do you remember this in the news shortly after?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CursSleuth View Post
    I read somewhere long ago that the murders were unintentional because the killer thought ohter people were staying in that room at the time. Remember that Burkert and Atkinson got the room in the last minute because of a vacancy occurrency. Nevertheless I am as baffled as the person who posted this that this case wasn't discussed yet in this forum.
    I've seen this theory tossed out, but I don't think it's ever been given much credibility. For one thing, if someone showed up looking for someone else, why murder the wrong people once you established they're the wrong people?

    The problem with this case, especially when I first started looking into it, was that there was a long list of suspects. Rose's ex appears to be the guy if you read the articles, but he was cleared and working the night of. There was talk about the morticians and a farmhand, etc. The list is long. Admittedly, I thought there was no way CRH was involved in the beginning and the second person wasn't even on my radar. I believed this was connected to Rose, but later learned it was more likely Roger as the intended victim.

    I also believe Rose died first and they made Roger watch her die, as she was facing him. Roger had some fingers severed from holding his hands over his head defensively, no doubt, knowing what was about to happen.

    After some extensive research and talking to people close to the case, I've drawn certain conclusions that it looks like another here has drawn. These are also the same conclusions as someone who worked the case, but he could not prove.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcbrainder View Post
    For one thing, if someone showed up looking for someone else, why murder the wrong people once you established they're the wrong people?
    If he was hidding in the closet, sure he could have murdered them. Nevertheless I do not fix to that argument as well.
    But any thoughts on the word "This" written in the bathroom mirror?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by CursSleuth View Post
    If he was hidding in the closet, sure he could have murdered them. Nevertheless I do not fix to that argument as well.
    But any thoughts on the word "This" written in the bathroom mirror?
    Maybe in response to something said by one of the victims? "What are you gonna do about it?" and whomever it was, who had been sitting with his feet up on the desk carving the soap, writes "THIS" on the mirror, either before or after? Kind of a little too horror movie unrealistic maybe.

    Or maybe he (or she) meant to write a message but got spooked and took off? Or writing in soap wasn't as easy as they'd thought and gave up because it was a PITA. Those are my three totally no reason behind them guesses. This is a fascinated case. Thank you for posting this MysteryMike.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CursSleuth View Post
    If he was hidding in the closet, sure he could have murdered them. Nevertheless I do not fix to that argument as well.
    But any thoughts on the word "This" written in the bathroom mirror?
    I have two theories...both are just guesswork here, so don't anchor yourself to this.

    1) Message by the brothers to the person they did it for. Almost like a response to the question "What are you going to do about it?"

    2) (this is the one I like more but is purely a guess) The word "This" in the mirror is slightly misleading. What the mirror really showed was a full message, but most was scribbled out with soap and only the word "This" remained. News stories liked to say the killers wrote the message. My opinion is that Rose or Roger wrote it and the killers wiped it out. My thought was that someone let them in and saw the danger and hid in the bathroom....maybe wrote a message on the mirror. In the bathroom, there was also toothpaste squeezed out into the tub and sink. I think someone may have been leaving a message. Now, if I'm wrong on this, I don't know why the killers would write something and wipe it out. Boredom while they waited maybe? Toothpaste can also be used to get blood out of clothes, which makes sense because there was blood everywhere. There would have to have been some on the killers as well.

    The third option is that the killers really did write something and cross it out. If that's the case, it could have been a message. It could have been CRH writing something (he was a serial killer) and his brother crossing it out to avoid leaving clues. It could have been a number of things. My belief has always been that someone knew they were in danger and wrote it on the mirror and it was found by the killers. I've played out this night in my head many times and the many ways it could have gone down. My belief is that the four of them were in the room for a long time and that Rose and Roger were alive for a good period of time--long enough for a conversation between Roger and the killers and I think as time passed, it became increasingly more obvious of what was going to happen.

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