Below Zero: Murder of George Geary 1963

Murder Victim

George H. Geary
40-year-old Attendant
M&H Service Station
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Motive: Robbery

Murder Scene and Date

M&H Service Station
Keosauqua Way & Crocker Street
Des Moines, Iowa
Polk County
January 13, 1963



By Nancy Bowers
Written February 2010

location of Des Moines, Iowa

location of Des Moines, Iowa

A bitter cold gripped Des Moines during the dark, early morning hours of Sunday, January 13, 1963. The temperatures dropped steadily overnight to 13 degrees below zero and the next day promised to be overcast and snowy.

Attendant George H. Geary, 40, was on the night shift at the M&H Service Station at Keosauqua Way and Crocker Street near downtown Des Moines. It was his first week on the job.

George Geary (from the Des Moines Register)

At 1:30 a.m., two young men stopped at the station to buy cigarettes. Inside the attendant’s cubicle, they found Geary’s body. He was shot twice in the head during a robbery.

M&H Service Station manager Al Van Ampting estimated that a little over $252 was stolen from the business’s cash register.

Carroll Daily Times Herald

Shortly afterwards, two men that authorities described as “bandits” were arrested for holding up another service station in the city. They were questioned by Des Moines Police in the Geary murder, but no charges were filed.

The robbery-murder of George H. Geary was never solved.

Please note: Use of information in this article should credit Nancy Bowers as the author and Iowa Unsolved Murders: Historic Cases as the source.



  • ☛ “2 questioned in slaying,” Mason City Globe-Gazette, January 14, 1963.
  • ☛ “Killings go Unsolved,” by Pat Curran, Mason City Globe-Gazette, May 26, 1965.
  • ☛ “Question Two Men in Connection With Slaying,” Estherville Daily News, January 14, 1963.
  • ☛ “Quiz Pair in D.M. Slaying,” Carroll Daily Times Herald, January 14, 1963.
  • ☛ “These Iowa Murders Still Defy Experts,” Waterloo Daily Courier, May 27, 1965.
  • ☛ “Unsolved Slayings Climbing In Iowa,” by Pat Curran, Cedar Rapids Gazette, May 26, 1965.

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