Boxcar Hanging: Murder of Leopold Glatzer 1895

Murder Victim

Leopold Glatzer
Resident of Holstein, Iowa
Age and Occupation Unknown
Cause of Death: Strangulation
Motive Robbery

Murder Scene and Date

Rail Yards
Sioux City, Iowa
Woodbury County
December 19, 1895


By Nancy Bowers
Written July 2014

location of Sioux City, Iowa

location of Sioux City, Iowa

In mid-December of 1895, Holstein resident Leopold Glatzer traveled on a special mission to Sioux City, a distance of nearly 50 miles.

He had heard his brother received money from their native Germany and felt the funds should be split equally between them.

Glatzer was likely successful in negotiations with his brother because he soon was spending money with abandon in the saloons of the city, whereas he was known to possess only $30 when he left Holstein.

On Friday, December 19, Glatzer was heavily intoxicated when another man shoved him on to a streetcar headed for the Sioux City railroad yards at a distance from the city proper.

Just before the streetcar entered the rail area, a man pushed Glatzer out the door and the car’s driver lost visual contact with him.

The next day, Glatzer’s body was found hanging in a boxcar. The scene appeared to be staged — the rope placed around his neck after death to suggest suicide. Robbery was determined to be the motive.

John B. Leiverinicht, who was in Glatzer’s company during the last night of his life, was tracked to Hubbard, Nebraska, and arrested. Charges could not successfully be made against him, however.

The Sioux City Police investigated the murder as thoroughly as they could for several weeks, but were unable to determine who ended Leopold Glatzer’s life.

Five years later in January of 1900, Glatzer’s murder was listed by the Waterloo Semi-Weekly Courier — along with several other Sioux City homicides — as unsolved.

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



  • ☛ “Dark Murder Mysteries,” Waterloo Semi-Weekly Courier, January 12, 1900, p. 4.
  • ☛ “Man Found Hanging In a Box Car [sic] Identified — Was Murdered,” Des Moines Iowa State Register, December 20, 1895, p. 5.
  • ☛ “Told In A Few Words,” Jefferson Souvenir, December 28, 1895, p. 4.

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