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YOUTH CONVICTED OF-Gary Fergison 1931


Posted By: Cheryl Locher Moonen (email)
Date: 3/4/2017 at 19:19:16

Dubuque Telegraph Herald - November 2, 1931


Judge to Pronounce
Sentence on Nov. 14.

Knoxville, Ia. Nov. 2. - (UP) A tragedy, disclosed when a naked body of a spinster farm woman was found in her lonely farm home, that culminated today in the conviction of 20 year old Gary Fergison on second degree murder charge.

Mary Volkers, 44, had lived for years in an isolated farm house with her half-brother, Dick, winter, summer, year in and year out, Dick Volkers had come from the field d the farm yard to eat the food that Mary prepared him.

A month ago he returned from the labors in the field, entered the door of his home, and gazed, horrified, on Mary's body. Her throat had been slashed. Her head had been beaten. She was nude.

Criminal experts of county and state went to work. Fergison was arrested and authorities said they obtained from him a confession. But at his trial he maintained innocence and sought to incriminate Volkers. Defense attorneys sought a motive for the crime in the fact that Dick and Mary Volkers shared ownership on the farm in which they lived. By disposing of Mary, Dick would be sole owner, they said. But refutation came in the form of testimony that Mary's share of the farm had been long since deeded to her half brother.

Reports were that the jury found it difficult to agree. When they filed in with a verdict yesterday they had been deliberating 24 hours and it was reported that the vote had changed from 9 to 3 for acquittal until all agreed on conviction of second degree murder.

Fergison will be sentenced by Judge E. W. Dingwell on Nov 14.


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