March 9, 2016

AGE: 62

DIED: FEB. 16, 1961

Hometown: Davenport

Clarence Raymond “Ray” Case was found bludgeoned to death inside Ray and Edith’s Travel Inn at 1646 W. Locust Avenue in Davenport on Thursday, Feb. 16, 1961. Case — a World War I veteran — owned and operated the local tavern with his wife, Edith.

A customer discovered Case’s body at 10:30 a.m. after stopping by the bar to visit with Case. He told police he found the back door unlocked, and that when he entered the tavern he found Case sprawled on the floor in a pool of blood. The cause of death was due “to three skull fractures which could have been caused by any instrument with a sharp edge.” It appeared Case had been struck from behind while sitting at a table near the bar’s rear entrance.

The cash register, which had not been closed out from the previous night, displayed a 10-cent sale on the tape. Case normally deposited the day’s sales into the business’s safe, with $50 set aside to use for the next day’s opening. Davenport Police found the safe unlocked and containing only loose change.

Officials discovered blood in a phone booth and latent fingerprints, as well as a toilet seat ripped away from the bowl. The seat had broken into a U-shape and appeared to match the blows to Case’s head. During a neighborhood canvass, officials found a blood-stained pop bottle a few blocks away near a school, and a waitress from a doughnut store told investigators that at approximately 5:45 a.m. she’d heard banging noises coming from the tavern.

A vehicle with big fins was reportedly seen the previous evening in the bar’s back parking lot. A blood-stained piece of clothing found at the scene was sent to the FBI for analysis.

Investigators checked into the minutest details in search of clues to Case’s murderer but were still looking for the last customer known to have been in the tavern about 12:30 a.m. on Feb. 16. All individuals who’d been in the bar that night were photographed and fingerprinted. Ten people also took lie detector tests, but all were cleared.

If you have any information about Clarence Case’s unsolved murder please contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at (515) 725-6010, or contact the Davenport Police Department at (563) 326-7979.