[ Return to Index ] [ Read Prev Msg ] [ Read Next Msg ]

MARK, Leslie Wayne 1950-1975

MARK, DURHAM, COLTHURST

Posted By: K.L. Kittleson
Date: 3/24/2013 at 17:05:08

#1:

Leslie Mark family

CEDAR FALLS, IOWA — Services for the four slain members of the Leslie Mark family are scheduled tentatively for 2 p.m. Tuesday, at Trinity United Methodist Church.

Leslie Mark, 25, his wife, Jorjean, 23, and their children, Julie, 5, and Jeff, 2, were found dead. Saturday morning at their farm home northwest of Cedar Falls home. Authorities said they were victims of gunshot wounds.

A memorial fund has been established in the family's name at the church.

Richardson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

[Waterloo Courier, Sunday, November 2, 1975, Waterloo, Iowa]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#2:

Leslie Mark family

CEDAR FALLS - Services for the Leslie Mark family, who were killed early Saturday at their farm home in rural Cedar Falls will be 2 p.m. Tuesday at Trinity United Methodist Church. Burial will be in the Gerholdt Cemetery.

Leslie Mark, 25, his wife, Jorjean, 25, and their two children, Julie, 5, and Jeff, 2, were the victims of a gunshot slaying at their farm home.

Leslie Wayne Mark was born in Cedar Falls, April 15, 1950, the son of Wayne and Dorothy Durham Mark. He married Jorjean Colthurst, March 21, 1970, in Ainsworth.

He had been a director of the Black Hawk County Farm Bureau and was on the county extension council.

He is survived by his parents, 7147 Pioneer Dr., three brothers: Richard C. of Winnipeg. Canada, Jerry, of Berkeley, California, and Thomas C. of 611½ Sycamore Street, Waterloo; and his paternal grandmother, Mrs. Emma Mark of Duarte, California.

Jorjean Marie Mark was born in Washington, July 3, 1950 the daughter of George and Margaret Wilson Colthurst.

She is survived by her parents, of Ainsworth; two brothers, Ralph A. Colthurst of Crawfordsville, and Thomas A. Colthurst of Germany, and maternal grandmother, Mrs, Gladys Wilson of Mason City.

Julie Julane Mark was born in Cedar Falls, October 2. 1970

Jeffrey Wayne Mark was born in Cedar Falls, January 20. 1974.

Survivors include maternal grandparents. Mr. and Mrs. George Colthurst of Ainsworth; and paternal grandparents Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Mark of 7147 Pioneer Drive.

A memorial fund has been established at the church for the bell choir in memory of the family. Friends may call at the Richardson Funeral Home until 9 a.m. Monday.

[Waterloo Courier, Monday, November 3, 1975, Waterloo, Iowa]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#3:

Four killed at Rural
Cedar Falls Home

CEDAR FALLS, IOWA — Investigators said Saturday night they have no suspects and established no motive for the gunshot slayings of four members of a rural Cedar Falls family.

The victims, Leslie W. Mark, 25, his 23-year-old wife, Jorjean, and two children, Julie, 5, and Jeff, 2, were found about 8 a.m Saturday

Authorities said they were shot to death in their bedrooms in the large, two-story farmhouse at 5828 Union Rd, about five miles northwest of Cedar Falls.

While investigators said they had no substantial leads, they believed the murders occurred following a break-in,

They said a glass pane in the side door of the house was broken and a grandfather clock on the first floor was damaged. The circuit breakers in the basement were found open and the electric clocks had stopped at 5.

The bodies of the two children were found in their beds in separate bedrooms. Sheriff Wendell Christensen said both children had apparently been shot with a rifle or handgun at close range, Julie in the chest and Jeff in the head.

The bodies of their parents were found in a downstairs bedroom, the sheriff said. Christensen said some of the furnishings appeared to have been damaged but he said the house was "not in great disarray."

The bodies were discovered about 8 a.m. by a neighboring farmer, Clark Renner, and Mark's mother, Mrs. Wayne Mark, who lives in the area. She summoned sheriffs deputies. The area was cordoned off and deputies began an exhaustive search for clues in the house and surrounding area outside.

Shortly after noon, the bodies of the murder victims were taken to St. Francis Hospital for examination by County Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Edward Ceilley.

For a time, authorities considered a murder-suicide theory but that theory was dismissed after investigators failed to turn up a murder weapon in the house.

Some members of the sheriffs reserve were then called in to aid deputies in combing the area for the weapon and clues. But a search of all the buildings on the farm and fields and roadside ditches near the farm failed to turn up anything. Most of the sheriffs reserve had left the area by mid afternoon.

A small contingent of regular deputies remained at the scene while others talked with neighbors and followed up leads.

Shortly after 3 p.m., a National Guard helicopter was dispatched from Waterloo to assist in the search and to take film footage of the area to be used in the investigation later.

It was learned that deputies questioned a man late Saturday afternoon who said he picked up a hitchhiker on Union Road near the farm about 1:30 a.m.

Christensen said every available man in the department would be used in the investigation. "I can assure you," he emphasized, "we will leave no stone unturned."

The sheriff said investigators would be talking to immediate family members and neighbors to determine the events leading up to the incident and in an attempt to establish a motive.

"There are no suspects at the present time," Christensen said Saturday night.

Also at the murder scene Saturday were Black Hawk County Attorney David Dutton, investigators with the Waterloo police department's criminalists lab, and Cedar Falls detectives.

[Waterloo Courier, Sunday, November 2, 1975, Waterloo, Iowa]
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#4:

The following is a small portion of a document found on findlaw.com at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-8th-circuit/1206869.html

An Iowa jury convicted Jerry Mark (“Mark”) on four counts of first-degree murder in 1976.   Following unsuccessful state appeals and postconviction proceedings, Mark filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254.   After denying Mark's motion to expand the record, the district court granted his petition for writ of habeas corpus.   Warden John Ault appeals the district court's grant of Mark's petition, and Mark cross-appeals its denial of his motion to expand the record.   For the reasons that follow, we affirm the district court's denial of Mark's motion to expand the record and reverse its grant of his petition for writ of habeas corpus.

BACKGROUND--

On November 1, 1975, between 1:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m., four persons were shot to death in their home at the Leslie Mark farm in Black Hawk County, Iowa. The four victims, all of whom were related to Mark, were Leslie Mark, Mark's brother, Leslie's wife Jorjean, their five-year-old daughter Julie and eighteen-month-old son Jeffery.

Mark was charged with four counts of first-degree murder and tried in Iowa District Court for Woodbury County.   After a jury trial in which Mark did not testify, he was convicted on all four counts and subsequently received a sentence of life imprisonment.

On direct appeal, the Iowa Supreme Court concluded that the jury could have determined that the following events occurred:

On October 3, 1975, [Mark] purchased a white helmet and a used 450cc Honda motorcycle somewhere near his residence in Berkeley, California.   The motorcycle was dark brown in color, had a windshield and leg protectors and a luggage box on the back.

[Mark] also owned an Iowa registered 100cc Honda motorcycle.   At sometime prior to November 1, 1975, he removed the Iowa license plate from his 100cc Honda and put the plate on the 450cc Honda.

On October 20 [Mark] purchased one box of fifty .38 caliber Winchester Western Long Colt bullets manufactured in 1975, using his Iowa driver's license for identification, from Ken's Sport Shop in Paso Robles, California.   He had access to a pistol capable of firing these bullets.

On October 28 [Mark] bought a black Belstaff riding suit and a pair of motorcycle gloves from a Honda dealership in Berkeley, California.

Jerry Mark left his apartment in Berkeley on the morning of October 29 on his 450cc motorcycle.   He traveled through Lovelock, Nevada, on Interstate 80.   He proceeded on Interstate 80 through Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Chappell, Nebraska, arriving there on the morning of October 31.  [Mark] continued east toward Iowa stopping at a Stuckeys Pecan Shoppe in Brady, Nebraska.   He left Brady and traveled to Atlantic, Iowa, stopping at the Shamrock Cafe. Mark then proceeded to Newton, where he was observed at another Stuckeys Pecan Shoppe.   After leaving Newton, [Mark] traveled north to Ackley, stopping at a Holiday gas station at approximately 8:00 p.m. on October 31.   Ackley is only 36 miles from the Leslie Mark farm, which is located just west of Cedar Falls, Iowa, on Union Road.

Jerry Mark left Ackley after getting gas and later was at the Leslie Mark farm in the early morning hours of November 1. He cut the wires in the telephone terminal box located across the road from the Leslie Mark farmhouse.   In the process he dropped two .38 caliber Long Colt bullets on the ground.   He then walked up the driveway to the Mark residence.   He walked past the house to a camper, in which Leslie occasionally slept after unloading corn into his storage bin.   He returned to the house and using the key that normally hung by the back door, entered the house.   At sometime he went to the basement, turned off the power and while there smoked two Marlboro cigarettes.

Jerry Mark proceeded to Leslie's and Jorjean's bedroom, located on the main floor of the house.   He shot each of them, Leslie five times, four times in the head and once in the stomach, and Jorjean four times, twice in the head and once in the back, with another shot simply grazing her skin.   The wounds were fatal to each.

[Mark] also made his way upstairs to Julie Mark's bedroom.   He fatally shot Julie twice, once through the heart and once through her right eye.   While in her room, he smoked another Marlboro cigarette.

[Mark] also went to Jeffery Mark's bedroom and shot the infant two times, once in the left chest and once above the right eye, killing him.

Jerry Mark left the farm and was next observed in Williams, Iowa, sixty-six miles west of the Mark farmhouse, at approximately 5:00 a.m. on November 1. At 7:30 a.m. he was seen in Stuart, Iowa, and between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. he called his residence in California from Alda, Nebraska.

State v. Mark, 286 N.W.2d 396, 401 (Iowa 1979).1  On direct appeal, Mark claimed that the State suppressed numerous pieces of material exculpatory evidence in violation of his due process rights.   See Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 83 S.Ct. 1194, 10 L.Ed.2d 215 (1963).   The Iowa Supreme Court affirmed Mark's conviction and sentence.  Mark, 286 N.W.2d at 414.

Receiving no relief on direct appeal, Mark filed a petition for postconviction relief (“PCR”) in the Iowa District Court for Black Hawk County based on his claim that the State suppressed material exculpatory evidence in violation of his due process rights.   The district court denied Mark's PCR petition, holding that “[a]fter considering the many claims that exculpatory evidence was wrongly withheld, both individually and collectively, this court is satisfied that there is no reasonable probability that the results of the trial would have been different had the material been disclosed.”

Mark v. State, No. PCCV069121, slip op. at 50 (Iowa D. Ct. Black Hawk County, Feb. 3, 1995).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
#5:

Four killed at rural Cedar Falls home

NO SUSPECTS IN FAMILY'S SLAYING

By DAN DUNDON
Courier Staff Writer

CEDAR FALLS, IOWA — Investigators said Saturday night they have no suspects and established no motive for the gunshot slayings of four members of a rural Cedar Falls family.

The victims, Leslie W. Mark, 25, his 23-year-old wife, Jorjean, and their two children, Julie, 5, and Jeff, 2, were found about 8 a.m Saturday Authorities said they were shot to death in their bedrooms in the large, two-story farmhouse at 5828 Union Rd , about five miles northwest of Cedar Falls. While investigators said they had no substantial leads, they believed The me murders occurred following a break-in.

They said a glass pane in the side door of the house was broken and a grandfather clock on the first floor was damaged. The circuit breakers in the basement were found open and the electric clocks had stopped at 5. The bodies of the two children were found in their beds in separate bedrooms.

Sheriff Wendell Christensen said both children had apparently been shot with a rifle or handgun at close range, Julie in the chest and Jeff in the head.

The bodies of their parents were found in a downstairs bedroom, the sheriff said. Christensen said some of the furnishings appeared to have been damaged but he said the house was "not in great disarray." The bodies were discovered about 8 a.m. by a neighboring farmer, Clark Renner, and Mark's mother, Mrs. Wayne Mark, who lives in the area. She summoned sheriffs deputies.

The area was cordoned off and deputies began an exhaustive search for clues in the house and surrounding area outside.

Shortly after noon, the bodies of the murder victims were taken to St. Francis Hospital for examination by County Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Edward Ceilley.

For a time, authorities considered a murder-suicide theory but that theory was dismissed after investigators failed to turn up a murder weapon in the house.

Some 25 members of the sheriffs reserve were then called in to aid deputies in combing the area for the weapon and clues. But a search of all the buildings on the farm and fields and roadside ditches near the farm failed to turn up anything. Most of the sheriffs reserve had left the area by mid afternoon.

A small contingent of regular deputies remained at the scene while others talked with neighbors and followed up leads.

Shortly after 3 p.m., a National Guard helicopter was dispatched from Waterloo to assist in the search and to take film footage of the area to be used in the investigation later. It was learned that deputies questioned a man late Saturday afternoon who said he picked up a hitchhiker on Union Road near the farm about 1:30 a.m.

Christensen said every available man in the department would be used in the investigation. "I can assure you," he emphasized, "we will leave no stone unturned."

The sheriff said investigators would be talking to immediate family members and neighbors to determine the events leading up to the incident and in an attempt to establish a motive. "There are no suspects at the present time," Christensen said Saturday night.

Also at the murder scene Saturday were Black Hawk County Attorney David Dutton, investigators with the Waterloo police department's criminalistics lab, and Cedar Falls detectives.

Source: Waterloo Courier, Sunday, Nov. 2, 1975, page 1

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NOTES:
See an Iowa Public Radio program regarding this incident:
http://news.iowapublicradio.org/post/scott-caweltis-brothers-blood


 

Black Hawk Obituaries maintained by Connie Bouhaik.
WebBBS 4.33 Genealogy Modification Package by WebJourneymen

[ Return to Index ] [ Read Prev Msg ] [ Read Next Msg ]