September 1, 2016

AGE: 22 | DIED: SEPT. 7, 1992

Location: Williamstown/New Hampton

Rhonda Knutson was killed in the early morning hours of Monday, Sept. 7, 1992 – Labor Day – while working at the Phillips 66 convenience store in Williamstown, just north of the intersection of highways 18, 63 and 346 in Chickasaw County. She was found at 4:45 a.m. by the store owner. Autopsy results determined Knutson was beaten to death and there were no signs of sexual assault.

According to the Chickasaw County Sheriff’s Office, Knutson suffered severe traumatic head injuries from a beating with a blunt object. Robbery was not considered a motive in the slaying.

The investigation into her death included hundreds of interviews by deputies and agents from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), along with employing a private investigator and several psychics.

Two truckers whom witnesses allegedly saw in the convenience store the morning Knutson was killed were sought for questioning, but never found. Both men were described as heavy-set Caucasians with dark hair, and between the ages of 35 and 45. Witnesses described the first suspect as having a beard and mustache, and pulling a white and silver trailer behind a conventional tractor. They described the second suspect as clean-shaven, though couldn’t link him to any specific vehicle.

Authorities printed and mailed out news bulletins about the case to truck stops throughout the US in efforts to generate more leads but the case remains unsolved.