Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

March 27, 2014

AC history by Enfys McMurry


The Daily Iowegian

---- — March 27, 1931: With the arrest of Fred Burke — “Richard F. White” — Centerville was in shock. The people here who’d met him thought him “... a nice, quiet, middle-aged broker taking life easy.” The Rev. Wenzel Bloom of the Lutheran Church who’d married “White” to Bonnie Porter at his home on East Walsh Street, harbored some doubts. “I did not exactly like the man’s appearance when he came to my home ... My chief thought was that he was too old a man to marry the girl ... [and] Burke had the appearance of a man who leads a somewhat loose sort of life [but] he seemed a perfect gentleman. Having no reason for not performing the ceremony and with local acquaintances of the bride acting as witnesses the ceremony was performed.” The acquaintances were Bonnie’s aunt Eliza Stuckey of South Main Street and her neighbor, Ethel Swanson. It was the alert observations of Joe Hunsaker, the 29-year-old gas attendant at Green City’s Shell Gas Station who correctly identified Burke. Others thought him suspicious. Saline Vance, the grandmother of Patsy Bunnell, didn’t like the way he looked around over a crowd. “I think he’s a hoodlum,” she told her family. (366-368)