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Gone Cold: exploring some of Iowa’s unsolved murders

Julie Bell Davis, age 33, died Aug. 28, 1997

January 18, 2016
Estherville News

This is a weekly feature highlighting some of Iowa's unsolved homicides in the hopes that it will lead to new tips and potentially help solve cases. The project is a partnership between this newspaper and other members of the Iowa Newspaper Association.


Hometown: Cedar Rapids

Article Photos

Crime Location: Des Moines

On Thursday, Aug. 28, 1997, Julie Davis was found brutally murdered at her place of employment, Skyline Display's satellite office off East Second Street in Des Moines.

She had been stabbed several times and her throat was slashed.

There were signs Davis put up a struggle, though no signs of sexual abuse. There was no forced entry, and robbery didn't appear to be a motive. Rather, everything pointed to a crime of passion. With the sheer volume of blood present at the scene, officials had hoped to find some type of print, but said they discovered neither finger prints on the windows nor foot prints on the floors. It not only pointed to a crime of passion, but one committed by a pro.

She and her family resided in Cedar Rapids, but she routinely traveled to Des Moines once or twice each week to work at the satellite showroom. Police believe the last contact Davis had with anyone the day of her murder was an afternoon telephone conversation with a fellow Skyline Display employee from the Cedar Rapids office.

Davis's husband was ruled out as a suspect early in the investigation. An acquaintance who was present at the scene when police arrived was also interviewed but not considered a suspect. There were no other successful leads.

Anyone with information regarding Julie Davis' unsolved murder is asked to contact the Des Moines Police Department Detective Bureau at (515) 283-4864.

Find out more about this and other unsolved homicides at



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