Cause of Death: Stabbed
Murder Scene and Date
“Behind a Businessman’s Home”
Sioux City, Iowa
By Nancy Bowers
Despite its brutality, the vicious murder of 28-year-old Sioux City resident John McGill in mid-September 1920 attracted very little attention or even coverage by the media.
Written July 2011
A few Iowa newspapers ran the same meager details as these in the Nashua Reporter:
John “Johnie” McGill was born in Texas in November 1892 to former slaves John and Liza McGill, who farmed in Hopkins. He had four siblings: Maggie, Joel, Mary Hattie, and Ollie McGill.
“John McGill, Negro, of Sioux City, was murdered by unknown persons. His body was found in the rear of a business man’s home when police investigated the source of groans reported by the owner of the residence. McGill had been literally hacked to pieces with a knife, many of the wounds being in the back, indicating he had tried to escape his assailants.”
In 1920, he lived with his 34-year-old wife Ruth at 1211 Grand Street in Sioux City and was a laborer in a garage. The couple had no children.
Please note: Use of information in this article should credit Nancy Bowers as the author and Iowa Unsolved Murders: Historic Cases as the source.
- ☛ “Iowa News – Items of Interest Summarized for Busy Readers,” Nashua Reporter, September 30, 1920.
- ☛ “Iowa News,” Lytton Star, September 16, 1920.
- ☛ U.S. Census.