In the Big Muddy: Murder of Sherman Casper 1935

Murder Victim

Sherman G. Casper
36-year-old Farmhand
WWI Veteran
Cause of Death: Beaten
Motive: Robbery

Murder Scene and Date

Sioux City, Iowa
Woodbury County
Body found in Missouri River
Thurston County, Nebraska
April 20, 1935


By Nancy Bowers
Written August 2011

from the Mason City Globe-Gazette

On Saturday, April 20, 1935, two men fishing along the Missouri River in Thurston County, Nebraska, found a man’s body in the water.

The victim was identified as 36-year-old Sioux City resident Sherman G. Casper.

A fractured skull, an injured right jaw, and extensive bruises indicated that Casper was severely beaten before being thrown in the river at Sioux City.

Robbery was believed to be the motive.

Law enforcement in both Sioux City and Thurston County, Nebraska, worked the case; but it remains unsolved.

☛ Sherman Casper’s Life ☚

photo by Jayne Palmer

Sherman G. Casper was born in September 1898 in Stanley County, South Dakota, to Iowan Nellie Cooper and Austrian-born farmer Frank Casper. He had three siblings — Hazel Casper, Charles Casper, and step-brother, Raymond Francis “Frank” Casper.

The Casper family lived in South Dakota until 1914, when they moved to Monona County, Iowa. In 1915, Sherman Casper was working as a farmhand in Cooper Township.

Casper served in the American Army in WWI.

In 1920, he lived with his brother Raymond in Sioux City and was a laborer in an alfalfa mill; in 1930 — by then married with a family — he was employed at a local meat packing plant.

Sherman Casper was buried in Graceland Park Cemetery in Sioux City. He was survived by his wife Alma, 9-year-old son Eugene, and 6-year-old daughter Hazel.


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



  • ☛ “9 Iowans Meet Violent Death Over Weekend,” Ames Daily Tribune-Times, April 22, 1935.
  • ☛ “Authorities Report No Clews Found in Sioux City Murder,” Mason City Globe-Gazette, April 24, 1935.
  • ☛ Mason City Globe-Gazette, April 25, 1935.
  • ☛ Oelwein Daily Register, April 25, 1935.
  • ☛ “Police Have Few Clues Leading To Murder Solution,” Carroll Daily Herald, April 22, 1935.
  • ☛  U.S. Census.

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