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Warner BLEWETT Convicted of 1st Degree Murder, 1939

BLEWETT, CARTER, ATHERTON, TOLLIVER, MURRAY, SHELTON, LARKIN, KEPLER, MCCARTNEY, SNYDER

Posted By: Sharon R Becker (email)
Date: 9/5/2016 at 07:51:39

The Carroll Daily Herald
Carroll, Iowa
Monday, December 11, 1939, Page 1

Tragic End of High School Romance Disclosed With Discovery of Dead Girl,
Youth Suffering From Poison
_______________

Presidents to Two Colwell High School Clases Were Principals
_______________

They Had Been Keeping Company For Some Time Prior
_______________

CHARLES CITY (AP) -- A love affair involving the presidents of two Colwell, Ia., high school classes ended in tragedy here early today when the wounded and beaten body of Dorothy Carter, 14, was found in an automobile parked in a corn crib near her sweetheart's home.
Warner Blewett, 17, senior class president, who had been keeping company with Dorothy for some time, was found in bed at home suffering from poison.

DOCTOR CALLED

Blewett's father, discovering the youth in pain, called a doctor. The family found the girl's body in the car a short later.

Sheriff E. F. Atherton of Floyd county issued a warrent charging Blewett with murder. Dorothy was president of the Colwell High School freshman class.

The sheriff said the youth would recover.

Floyd county authorities said they pieced together the following story of the tragedy:

The couple went to a movie in Charles City last night. On the way home Blewett stopped the car near Colwell.

The youth was quoted as saying:

"There must be a fire over there," as he motioned toward Colwell.

USED SHOTGUN

As she looked, the sheriff said he was told Blewett took a shotgun from the car and fired at Dorothy.

The charge did not hit her squarely. Atherton continued, and the girl succeeded in getting out of the car. In the ensuring struggle Blewett said he then struck the girl with the gun stock, the sheriff added, the force of the blow splintering the wood in the weapon. Then he drove away.

He returned, however, he told police, picked up the nearly lifeless but still breathing girl and drove to his Chickasaw county home.

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Monday, December 11, 1939, Pages 1 & 2

GIRL, 14, SLAIN IN LOVERS' QUARREL
_______________

FORMER MASON CITY YOUTH IS UNDER ARREST
Dorothy Carter, 14, Is Victim in Tryst at Side of Lonely Road

By David B. Kaupman, State Editor

COLWELL -- Evidently inspired by an insanely jealous fury, 18 year old Warner Blewett early Monday morning shot, then clubbed to death his companion, pretty, blue-eyed Dorothy Carter, 14, in a midnight tryst on a lonely country road two and one-half miles northeast of Colwall.

* * *

Blewett, who later swallowed strychinine, is under close guard in Cedar Valley Hospital at Charles City. His only explanation Monday was: "We had a little trouble on the way home."

* * *

Motive of the crime, which shocked the entire vicinity since both Miss Carter and Blewett were highly respected, and came from well-to-do, respected families, was believed to be jealousy on the part of the handsome, blond Blewett. Sheriff E. F. [Edgar F.] Atherton, of Floyd county, told this reporter he believed the murder [was] due to "insane jealousy."

Mrs. Blewett, her face tear-stained, rung her hands in anguish as she said, "I don't know why it happened. I can't understand it." An immediate relative told me she believed it [was] due to Blewett's love for the younger girl.

Blewett, president of Colwell senior class, took the Carter girl, who is freshman class president, to a movie at Charles City Sunday night. Following the show, they began driving home, and enroute Blewett stopped the car, telling his companion he throught the car had a flat tire.

The youth then was quoted as saying:

"There must be a fire over there: as he motioned toward Colwell.

As she looked, the sheriff said he was told Blewett took a .410 shotgun from the rear seat and fired at Dorothy.

The charge grazed the girl, wounding her only slightly, according to the officers.

She escaped from the car and the two struggled. In the fight, Warner smashed her skull, the blow shattering the stock of his gun.

* * *

Thinking that he saw a car approaching, he rolled the girl into a ditch and drove away. He [Page 2] returned a few minutes later and loaded the girl into the rear seat of his car.

Monday morning he told officers that she was still breathing when he lifted her into the car.

He then drove to his father's home just across the Chickasaw county line, left the car parked in the driveway of the corncrib and went to his bedroom.

A few minutes later the family was awakened by his groans. They found that he had taken poison kept for killing rats. Dr. H. A. Tolliver of Charles City was summoned.

The boy's father investigated and found the girl's body in the car. He notified Sheriff Atherton about 2:15 o'clock Monday morning. Sheriff George Murray of Chickasaw county also was called.

After getting the boy's statement early Monday morning, Sheriff Atherton issued a warrent charging Blewett with the girl's murder.

The boy and girl, social leaders in their high school group, both were good students. There are 45 students in the Colwell high school. Warner has one brother who is a sophomore, while Dorothy had a brother in grade school.

* * *

School authorities said no classes were being held there Monday because of the tragedy, but that many of the students were remaining in the building, amusing themselves as best they could in an effort to forget the tragedy.

Dorothy was the daughter of Hugh Carter, who lives three and one-half miles northeast of Colwell and Warner's father is H. J. Blewett, a farmer living 3 1/2 miles east of Colwell. Mr. Blewett until a year ago was bookkeeper at the First Natonal bank in Mason City, and Mrs. Blewett was formerly employed at the D. M. Lundberg store in Mason City.

* * *

Mrs. Blewett, whom I interviewed Monday morning, sobbed as she murmured: "Why did this happen?"

"No Warner - no Christmas," she exclaimed, then adding, "I wonder how poor Mrs. Carter feels."

She loaned me a picture of Dorothy, a large one which the slain girl had given Warner, and which he had enlarged. The Blewett home was deluged with long-distance telephone calls from various news services Monday, but there was not much information forthcoming. The Blewett family was not in [a] talkative mood.

* * *

At the Carter house the family in its sorrow refused to give any statement concerning the tragedy. Relatives said there is one other child in the family, a son, Roger.

Supt. E. J. Shelton, in telling me of two of his star pupils, he praised the work of each highly - was distraught, his voice often breaking with emotion as he described Dorothy Carter and Warner Blewett.

* * *

"They were fine youngsters," he said, "and this tragedy is something I will never understand. Dorothy was in my algebra class, and I thought much of her. I think I knew both of these 'kids' well and this . . . tragedy . . . well, it just leaves me stunned. Their parents are absolutely among the most respected people in this vicinity. Mr. Blewett is on the school board, and both families are church-going people."

* * *

Blewett played third base on the Colwell baseball team, was on the basketball squad, played clarinet in the band, and sang in a mixed group. Miss Carter sang in the glee club, was immensely popular with her fellow students.

The Blewett family moved to Colwell about a year ago after Mr. Blewett bought a farm there. The family lived in Thornton before comig to Mason City. In Mason City the Blewett family had lived on Third street northeast.

Monday afternoon officers said they believed Blewett would be able to leave the hospital within 24 hours.

He was under constant guard.

As they continued investigations, the deputies located the splintered gunstock of the death weapon, but said the could not find the shotgun barrel. Blewett told them he tossed this from the car before returning for the body.

* * *

Colwell is in the northest corner of Floyd county, northeast of Charles City.

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Tuesday, December 12, 1939, Page 1

WON'T REVEAL CRIME MOTIVE

Blewett Will Be Taken From Hospital to Jail Wednesday

CHARLES CITY -- Calm in the face of the knowledge that he had slain his 14 year old sweetheart, and that first degree murder charges had been filed against him, 17 year old Warner Blewett lay in Charles City's Cedar Valley hospital Tuesday, refusing to elaborate on the reason for his confessed murder of Dorothy Carter early Sunday morning near Colwell.

* * *

The youth was still ill from the effects of poison, which he had taken in an apparent suicide effort, following the slaying. The boy was retching, and hospital attendants advised Sheriff B. F. Atherton of Floyd county not to removed him to the county jail until Wednesday.

* * *

Although Sheriff Atherton had questioned the youth closely in an attempt to ascertain the exact motive of the crime, believed to have been prompted by a fit of jealousy, young Blewett refused to enlighten the officer, merely saying: "We had a little trouble on the way home."

He did tell the sheriff where he threw away the gun barrel after driving away from the scene of the crime. The gun stock had been broken over the girl's head as he clubbed her fatally. Sheriff Atherton found the barrel, where the youth designated, two miles southwest of the scene of the murder, in Chickasaw county.

Funeral services for Miss Carter will be held Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock at the Colwell Congregational church with the Rev. A. Russell officiating. Burial will be in Riverside cemetery, Charles City. Besides her parents, a brother, Dale, survives.

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, December 13, 1939, Page 3

YOUTH, 18, CONFESSES JEALOUSY MOTIVE FOR "SWEETHEART" MURDER
__________________

PLANNED DEATH TWO WEEKS AGO

Blewett Was Enraged Over Girl's Date With Skate Rink Employee

NEW HAMPTON, (AP) -- Warner Blewett, 17 year old senior class president of the Colwell high school, shot and beat his sweetheart, Dorothy Carter, 14, to death because he was jealous of her attention to other boys, Sheriff George C. Murray and Coroner William M. Larkin said Wednesday.

They declared the youth made that statement to them as he lay on a hospital bed in Charles City where he is recovering from self-administered poison.

The pretty high school freshman, who was president of her school class, died early Monday morning, her skull crushed with a gunstock after a shotgun charge fired at her went wide.

The Chickasaw county officers said Blewett told them this story of the school romance:

* * *

Two weeks before the shooting, the girl had accompanied a group of neighbor youths and girls to a Charles City skating rink. Blewett saw the girl talking to a skating rink employe (sic) who later took her home.

It was then that he decided to shoot Dorothy and kill himself.

In the meantime, Dorothy had written notes to him at school, one of which said she had heard a remark about him and that she would tell him all about it.

* * *

They argued about this on the night of the slaying, while going from their farm homes, only a mile and a half apart, to a Charles City movie and on the return trip.

Other students, riding on the same school bus with Warner and Dorothy, had "ribbed" him continously about his "case," Warner said.

* * *

He had several additional shells for his shotgun in the car that night and planned to kill himself with the gun but was unable to do so after he had broken the gunstock in the blow he gave Dorothy.

Dorothy told him, Warner said, that he was "the only one for her," and he considered her his sweetheart.

Young Blewett is facing a first degree murder charge for the slaying and is under guard in the hospital.

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Monday, December 18, 1939, Page 1

CONDITION OF SLAYER "WORSE"

CHARLES CITY - Cedar Valley hospital attendant Monday said the condition of Warner Blewett, who swallowed poison after slaying his 14 year old sweetheart, Dorothy Carter, one week ago, was "much worse."

The youth, who faces first degree murder charges if he recovers, suffered hemorrhages early Monday.

His condition is critical.

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, December 20, 1939, Page 7

CONDITION OF SLAYER SERIOUS

CHARLES CITY - The condition of Warner Blewett, 17 year old slayer of his 14 year old sweetheart, Dorothy Carter, remains serious, according to hospital attendants Wednesday. Blewett, who swallowed poison after he killed his sweetheart, has hovered near death for the past three days.

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Monday, December 25, 1939, Page 3

Warner Blewett Able to Eat Again After Swallowing Poison

CHARLES CITY - Warner Blewett, 17 year old alleged slayer of Dorothy Carter, who has been very ill in the Cedar Vally hospital from self-admininstered poison, was able to eat three meal a day for the first time over the weekend. Attendants say he is slowly improving and as soon as he is able to be moved he will be confined in the Floyd county jail.

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Wednesday, December 27, 1939, Page 1

BLEWETT BOY TAKEN TO JAIL

Youth Charged With Murder of Girl Able to Leave Hospital.

CHARLES CITY, (AP) -- Warner Blewett, 17 year old high school boy charged with the murder of Dorothy Carter, 14 year old Colwell freshman class president, has been removed to the Floyd county jail from a hospital here where he was been recovering from an allegedly self-aministrated doese of poison.

Blewett is charged with fatally beating the girl to death with a gun stock while on their way home in an automobile from a movie two weeks ago when the discharge from the gun failed to strike her squarely.

Jealousy is the alleged reason for the slaying.

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Friday, December 29, 1939, Page 1

"I'm Glad It's Over With," Blewett Says After Sentence

17 Year Old Slayer Is Taken to State Pen by Floyd Sheriff

CHARLES CITY -- Seventeen year old Warner Blewett, who Thursday pleaded guilty to the murder of his 14 year old girl friend, Dorothy Carter, near Colwell on Dec. 11, left Friday in the custody of Sheriff B. F. Atherton of Floyd county for Fort Madison, where the youth was sentenced by Judge M. H. Kepler to life in the state penitentiary.

The youth had only this week recovered from the effects of self-administered poison which he had taken shortly after shooting then fatally clubbing the Colwell farm girl on a lonely country road near the homes of both.

* * *

The young murderer said he intended to "make as good a prisoner as I can . . . study . . . and make the best of things." He showed little remorse for the deed, but officers said that he is not the type to display his emotions. "He would make a good poker player," they commented on his stoicism.

Witnesses who also appeared and corroborated his plea of first degree murder were Coroner Charles Snyder, Dr. Tolliver, Deputy Sheriff Ralph McCartney, Chickasaw Sheriff George C. Murray and Floyd Sheriff B. F. Atherton.

Sentencing of the 17 year old Warner Blewett marked the final chapter in a case which stirred Floyd county.

It was on the early morning of Dec. 11 that he shot, then clubbed to death his pretty companion, blue-eyed Dorothy Carter, 14, also a Colwell high school student. He readily confessed the crime to officers and later admitted that he had been motivated by a fit of jealousy.

* * *

The handsome, blond youth was president of the Colwell senior class. On Sunday night before the tragedy he took the Carter girl, who was president of the freshman class, to a movie at Charles City. They began driving home afterwards and then he stopped the car, stating that he thought it had a flat tire.

Motioning in another direction, Blewett then said, "There mst be a fire over there."

While she looked away, he confessed he took a shotgun from the rear seat and fired at Dorothy.

* * *

The charge grazed the girl's ear, wounding her only slightly. She escaped from the car and the youth then struggled with her, smashing her skul with the shotgun. Fearing a car was approaching, he rolled the body in a ditch, but a few minutes later returned and put the girl in the car. He drove home, left the car parked and went to his bedroom, where he took poison.

* * *

For several days the youth was in a critical condition in the hospital. Then he recovered and was taken to jail. Late Thursday he made the surprise decison to plead guilty.

Before moving to Colwell a year ago, the Blewett family lived in Mason City, where the father, H. J. Blewett, was employed in the First National bank.

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Saturday, December 30, 1939, Page 3

1939 Marred by Violence

TEN BIG NORTH IOWA STORIES OF 1939

Colwell School Girl Slain by Sweetheart

by David B. Kaufman (State Editor)

CHARLES CITY -- On the eve of a second world war which engulfed Europe, . . . Colwell felt the sting of a murder involving two of its best liked youngsters . . .

No. 3 story of North Iowa in 1939 came in December, when 17 year old Warner Blewett shot, then clubbed to death his 14 year old sweetheart, Dorothy Carter, near Colwell early the morning of Dec. 11.

Young Blewett, who later swallowed poison in a sucide effort, told officers he had planned the murder, and had also intended to shoot himself, but was frustrated when he broke the gun stock over the head of his girl. An insane fit of jealousy was believed responsible for the midnight murder, which occurred on a lonely country road near the homes of both. Dorothy was president of her freshman class. Warner headed his senior class.

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
Tuesday, December 31, 1940, Page 14

Story of Murder in North Iowa Is Told in Current Magazine

The story of the North Iowa murder in which Dorothy Carter, 14, of Colwell was slain by Warner Blewett, Colwell, near that town on Dec. 1, 1939, is told in the February issue of Crime Confessions, released for publication Tuesday.

The story, entitled "Case of the Green-Eyed Slayer," is illustrated with pictures concerning the slaying.

Blewett was sentenced to life imprisonment in the state penitentiary at Fort Madison after pleading guilty to the murder.

~ ~ ~ ~

The Globe Gazette
Mason City, Cerro Gordo County, Iowa
February 12, 1951, Page 16

DEATH NOTICES

BLEWETT, Warner, committed suicide at Ft. Madison Saturday afternoon. Funeral services were held Monday afternoon at the Major Memorial chapel, with Doctor Lloyd A. Gustafson, pastor of the First Methodist church, officiating. Bural was in Memorial Park cemetery. The Major funeral home in charge.

[Page 18] Blewett Rites Held at Chapel

Funeral services for Warner Blewett were held Monday afternoon at the Major Memorial chapel, with Doctor Lloyd A. Gustafson, paster of the First Methodist church, officiating.

Blewett committed suicide Saturday afternoon [February 10, 1951] in the Iowa state penitentiary administration building at Ft. Madison. Blewett had worked the last 11 years in the record office of the penitentiary. He was sentenced to life imprisonment from Charles City Jan. 28, 1940, on a murder charge.

Mrs. Roy Servison played obsequial music on the organ.

Pallbearers were Harry Holt, Eugene Holt, George Kiester, and Albert Bonstra. Burial was at Memorial Park cemetery. The Major funeral home in charge.

Blewett was in the penitentiary on a sentence of life imprisonment from Charles City Jan. 28, 1939, for murdering his girl friend, Dorothy Carter, 14. Both lived near Colwell and attended Colwell high school at the time.

Transcriptions by Sharon R. Becker, September of 2016

(More photographs on webpage)

Warner BLEWETT convicted of 1st Degree Murder, 1939
 

Cerro Gordo Documents maintained by Sharon R. Becker.
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