Report: #104185

Complaint Review: Council Bluffs Iowa Police

  • Submitted: Wed, August 18, 2004
  • Updated: Wed, August 18, 2004
  • Reported By: Council Bluffs Iowa
  • Council Bluffs Iowa Police
    227 South 6th Street
    Council Bluffs, Iowa
  • Phone: 712-328-4715
  • Web:
  • Category: Police

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Council Bluffs Police
Murder Scene Investigation Unit

George Massouris Murder Investigation


Hoden / Deal 11/19/50 10:36 AM

Hoden / Deal / Hi Carter
Otto Gudath / Mat Walsh 11/19/50 10:36 AM
Woodring / Pictures by
Jack Kennedy

Merriman Orchard Road 11/19/50 7:30 PM
L.C.Nelson Roy Jensen

Description by:
Mr. & Mrs. Doug Miller 1/21/50 8:30 PM
Esbeck / Rath
Man standing on Scott & Mynster / 30 to 40 years of age / 5 Ft 2 In tall / wearing a black overcoat and black hat / weight approx. 160 lbs.

Red high heel spike (Mrs Thomas Caples)
Esbeck / Deal 11/21/50 8:30 PM
Esbeck / Rath 11/21/50 11:30 PM
Found on the side of the road, a small lady's high heel spike about inch across and they also heard a man and a woman arguing in a cab when the cab turned around in the yard. These heel prints were seen at the scene where the body was found.

Swassing / Thompson 11/29/50 3:30 PM
Irvin & Ople Eilts
2023 Ave A, CB, IA

(Swassing report)
Stated they were visiting MANDY BEVINGTON on the night of November 21, 1950 who lives with her nephew & niece, Mr. & Mrs. HERMAN & BEVERLY JONES (FOX) at 2429 South 8th Street, CB, IA. The Jones were away for the evening and upon their return they were talking about something they had heard. Herman Jones said they had heard DENA BELLOWS was drunk on the night of November 18, 1950 and was alleged to have made some remarks to a sister-in-law, GLADYS SHARP, concerning the murder prior to Sunday AM when the body was found. It was alleged that Dena had been on a 2 or 3-day drunk and upon arriving at home on the night of November 18, her husband refused her admittance. Dena then went to the Earnest Sharp residence and stayed there the rest of the night. Early Sunday morning she had awakened Gladys Sharp and talked of a cab driver that had been killed. Sharp's first thought it was only a drunken statement but Dena also spoke of their finding a body along Hiway 6. Later Sunday Sharp learned this was true and they worried for fear Dena was mixed up in something awful. Dena also said she rode to the Dude Ranch with George Massouris at about 8:00 PM 11/18/1950.

(Thompson report)
[Later information reveals story not true and Dena worked at the Dude Ranch on the night of November 18, 1950 until midnight and then departed with her husband.] Statement of B.L. (Red) Emmons, reporter for the Omaha World Herald Council Bluffs Bureau reports that waitress LEONA LOTON CARTER (Birdsong) stated during an interview in April of 1992 that Dena came in to the Dude Ranch around 8:00 PM on November 18 and departed around 9:00 PM and never returned. Leona further stated she always thought Dena had something to do with George's murder.

Esbeck / Rath / Thompson
Mandy Bevington 11/29/50 8:20 PM
2429 So. 8th Street, CB, IA
Mandy Bevington stated Herman & Beverly Jones had told her they had learned from Mrs. MARY FOX , mother of Beverly Jones, that Dena Bellows had made some statements about the cab driver's murder before it was known, that Mrs. Fox had talked to Gladys Sharp to whom Dena had made statements that Dena came to the Sharp residence during the early morning hours of Sunday, November 19, that Dena had said things about the cab driver being killed, hadn't found the body yet but they would'. Dena also commented about him having some money.

(Thompson again notes to see report on Earnest Sharp then read B.L. (Red) Emmons report on Dude Ranch waitress Leona Loton Carter.)

Esbeck / Rath / Thompson
Herman & Beverly Jones 11/29/50 9:20 PM2429 So 8th Street, CB, IA
Stated Mrs. Mary Fox, Mrs. Beverly Jones mother, had told them she had heard Gladys Sharp say Dena Bellows might be in some trouble. Supposedly Dena went home about midnight November 18 and was refused admittance by her husband. Dena broke into the house through the window and took a butcher knife and threatened to kill her husband and children. She later left home, went to the Earnest Sharp residence and went to bed. It is reported that Dena woke up around 7:00 AM Sunday morning and told Earnest & Gladys Sharp all about the murder, that the cab driver's body would be found on Hiway 6. She further stated of the cab driver had $34.00 on him.

Esbeck / Rath / Thompson
Earnest & Gladys Sharp 11/29/50 10:00 PM
1304 Ave B, CB, IA
The Sharps told police that Dena came to their home late Saturday night and went straight to bed because she was drunk. Around 7:00 AM Sunday morning she awoke the Sharps and told them of a cab driver that had been murdered out on hiway 6 but not to worry that the body would be found.

(B.L. (Red) Emmons, Omaha World Herald) [Commentary]
Now let me state here that unless you were at the murder scene, how would you know there was a murder committed? This was 2 hours before the body was discovered. They found high heel prints around the body and a woman's high heel spike lying on the side of the road. Does this indicate there was a woman present at the scene of the murder???

Esbeck / Rath / Thompson 11/29/50 10:30 PM
Dena Bellows
1816 8th Ave, CB, IA
Dena told police that she rode down to the Dude Ranch with George Massouris around 8:00 PM on November 18, 1950.

Total investigative hours on 11/29/1950 interviewing witness was 7 hours. At this point in time did they have all the evidence they needed to solve this murder (IF) they wanted to??? For some unknown reason, they choose not to. Why???

Continuing Investigation

News Reports: Article in the Council Bluffs Nonpareil dated Monday, November 20th 1950 states at 8:00 AM Sunday morning another taxicab driver saw the cab still parked on South 7th street. It was taken to the cab office and placed back in service for two hours before police impounded it.

Whoever shot George Massouris, officers added, drove back to Council Bluffs with the taxicab, abandoning it where it was later found.

Police reports and news reports indicated that the cab was found parked on 10th Ave between 7th street and 8th street where it was recovered by the cab company and taken back to the cab company.

In 1950 the towing company that towed for the Council Bluffs Police was PARADY TOWING. The tow truck driver said and if called, will testify that he can identify the cab he towed and from what location he tow it from, that it was towed to the Council Bluffs Police station upon their request.

Statement taken by:
B.L. (Red) Emmons 3/24/93 10:30AM
Art Strietbeck (Tow Truck Driver)
208 West Florence, Crescent, IA

Art Strietbeck stated:
1 Cab was sitting on South 7th Street headed North in front of the Gas Co. bldg.
2 The cab was picked up before 8:00 PM Sunday morning, that he worked from 12:00 midnight to 8:00 AM and that he did not work overtime that day.
3 He towed the cab directly to the police station on South Main and dropped it there. They then pushed the cab into a garage and the police gave an order don't anyone touch it. WAIT!!!!!! How does the police know the cab was involved in a crime? The crime hasn't been reported yet and a body has not yet been found.

According to his statement given on March 24, 1993, Art Strietbeck (Tow Truck Driver) for Parady Towing Services, 125 South Main confirms he towed the cab in from South 7th Street and 10th Avenue. It was sitting in front of the Gas Company bldg facing north. It was before 8:00 AM because Art worked from 12:00 midnight to 8:00 AM and he states he never got any overtime'. He towed the taxicab directly to the Police Station on South Main. He dropped it in the parking lot and then assisted the police in pushing the cab into the garage. After he got the cab in the garage, a police officer made a statement, Don't touch it. It has to be finger printed. Art said his prints were all over it. He had to reach in and put the cab in neutral before he could tow it yet when it was finger printed, police reports indicated only one print was found.

The cab was towed into the station before 8:00 AM. How did the police know the cab should be finger printed. Remember, the crime hasn't been reported yet! Charles Hytrek hasn't found the body yet. Charles discovered the body at 9:30 am. This is this is 1 hours before he discovered the body.

QUESTION: Who in the police department knew there had been a crime committed BEFORE it was ever reported?

In ALL news paper articles and ALL police reports it states that at 8:00 AM Sunday morning November 19, 1950 the cab was seen by another cab driver still parked on 10th Avenue between 7th and 8th Street, that it was taken to the taxi cab office and put back into service. Whoever shot him, officers added, drove back to Council Bluffs with the taxicab, abandoned it where it was later found. The two accounts are contradictory and left without explanation.

Dena Bellows had stated to Earnest and Gladys Sharp 2 hours befor the body was discovered that the cab driver had $34.00 on him, however, the oficial police report states he had only $9.00 on him. (Sounds like a quick 20 dollar bill and a 5 dollar bill were snatched up leaving the odd amount behind.)

The body was first discovered by CHARLES HYTREK at 9:30 AM Sunday morning and reported to authorities by Mrs. THOMAS CAPLE.

Authorities arrived at the murder scene at 9:36 AM. The investigating officers first on the scene were Hoden and Deal. Then Hi Carter, Otto Gudath arrived with Mat Walsh and Woodring. Jack Kennedy took pictures of the crime scene.

Now lets go back to the same question?????????????

Why have the authorities been covering this up for over 50 years? An investigating officer went back to Burt Gulick and Harry Saint and began questioning them and both officers said I DON'T WANT TO GET INVOLVED end of questioning!!! Why???
Was it Officer Harry Saint? He fits the description that the Millers gave to police of the man standing on Scott & Mynster to a tee.

B.L. (Red) Emmons
Independent Investigative Report

I have talked to 175 to 200 people. Everyone that I talked to about the murder after introducing myself would say Oh, you mean in 1960?' No, this happened in 1950. Then after a brief pause, they would say oh yes, I remember now'. When I found Dena Bellows in 1991 and after introducing myself, the first words out of her mouth was Why are you bringing this up after 41 years? Dena Bellows hit the years right on the nail. Now unless you were hiding something, why would you be counting the years? I told her that I just had a few questions to ask her.

The first question was, Is it true that you rode down to the Dude Ranch with George Massouris that Saturday night? She said No, I wasn't even in his cab that night. I never even seen him that night.

The next question was, Is it true that you were refused admittance to your home by your husband because you were drunk? Her reply was, NO, that's a lie. Where are you getting this information?

I told her I got it right off the police report that was taken in 1950. She became very irate and started yelling at me . I said I only have a few more questions to ask.

The next question was, Is it true you stayed with the Sharps that Saturday night? Her answer to that was, I don't even know those people.

At that point in our conversation, I knew I had found the lady with the missing red high heel spike and the prints to go with them that were found around the body. I told her I didn't want to talk to her anymore and I hung up. After about 10 or 15 minuets, I then called her sister TERRIE BURK and told her what Dena had said. All Terrie could say was, You're kidding you're kidding why would she say that? I said I didn't know. Terrie said she was going to talk to her and that was the end of our conversation.

I waited three weeks and placed another called to Dena. After introducing myself again, the first words out of her mouth this time was I told you I don't know any Gladys Sharp! Wait stop the press If she didn't know the Sharps three weeks ago, how did she know Mrs. Sharp's first name was Gladys three weeks later???

Now go back and read the reports from 8 different people who said that Dena knew all about the murder 2 hours before the body was found. Did Officers Esbeck, Rath and Thomas need a Seeing Eye dog to solve this one? The question remains Why wasn't this murder ever solved? Did they know then and do they know today but still won't rat on one of their own? Go back to the description of the man on Scott & Mynster, the one single print they found it has to belong to someone. Does it belong to one of their own? This cover-up could go on forever (IF) someone doesn't do something about it. M y hands are tied. I have no authority to bring in the only person who can tell who it was that pulled the trigger, and when she's gone then the murder will truly be an Unsolved Mystery!

The Council Bluffs Police has had 51 years to bring this cover-up to a close. Now it's my turn!

Council Bluffs, Iowa

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