Mayhem: Murder of W.A. Davies 1925

Murder Victim

W.A. Davies
46-year-old Laborer
Cause of Death: Gunshot
Motive: Unknown

Murder Scene and Date

Intersection of 11th and Pearl Streets
Sioux City, Iowa
Woodbury County
Shot: May 5, 1925
Died: May 7, 1925


By Nancy Bowers
Written October 2014

location of Sioux City, Iowa

location of Sioux City, Iowa

In 1925, Sioux City was seized by lawlessness; violence, robberies, and killings were rampant.

Fearful and angry citizens pointed fingers at the police for not keeping them safe and for failing to solve crimes and, in so doing, allowing criminals to create further mayhem.

It appeared to many that corruption was at the heart of the law’s inaction.

Especially worrisome were the unsolved murders. On March 16, the body of an unknown baby was found in a railroad boxcar; Benjamin “Barney” Kaplan was shot during a robbery of his grocery store on April 15; another murdered baby was found in the Missouri River on June 23; on July 10, sisters Josephine Goodwin and Elizabeth Anthony were gassed to death in the home they shared; and Harry H. Jones and William Laugeson were shot and killed during a hardware store robbery on August 27.

from the  Le Mars Globe Post

from the Le Mars Globe Post

In addition to these homicides, there was the murder of 46-year-old W.A. Davies, who lived at the Wirick Apartments at 400 14th Street.

On the evening of Tuesday, May 5, Davies was shot in the stomach while parking his car in a garage at the intersection of 11th and Pearl streets a few blocks from his home.

Davies died in a hospital of his injuries 33 hours later.

The Waterloo Evening Courier wrote of the homicide investigation:

“The police have grilled a number of persons, but apparently have failed to make any progress in solving the crime.”

Davies’s murder became one more grim statistic in that era’s catalog of Sioux City Police inefficiency.


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



  • ☛ “Many Crimes Unsolved In Sioux City,” Sioux City Journal, August 23, 1925.
  • ☛ “Murder Still Mystery,” Waterloo Evening Courier, May 8, 1925, p. 1.
  • ☛ “Sioux City Police Scored As Rankly Inefficient,” Le Mars Globe Post, August 27, 1925, p. 11.
  • ☛ “State Briefs,” Waterloo Evening Courier, May 11, 1925, p. 2.

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