GONE COLD: Exploring Iowa’s unsolved murders
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.
GLORIA FAY SLUMP | AGE: 24 | DIED: MARCH 3, 1967
Hometown: Council Bluffs
On Monday, March 6, 1967, Burlington Railroad employees found the frozen body of 24-year-old Gloria Fay Slump under a trestle over Pony Creek three miles south of Council Bluffs. A trail of blood showed she was dragged to the site from a county road 150 yards away. Officials estimated Slump died three days earlier on March 3. Slump had told friends she was going to spend the weekend with her parents, who lived in Stanton.
The Omaha brokerage house worker had been beaten, stabbed 14 times in the throat with a dull knife or an instrument similar to a beer can opener, and left under the trestle to bleed to death. There were no signs of sexual assault.
One day before Slump’s body was found, an Iowa State Highway patrolman discovered an abandoned car 150 yards east of the Pony Creek railroad bridge. Officials told the media it belonged to 24-year-old Jerry E. Neve of Omaha, who had been seen with the victim before she disappeared. Neve voluntarily submitted to a polygraph and was later released from the sheriff’s custody, though results of the polygraph showed deception when asked whether Neve knew Slump or had any information about her death. The FBI conducted tests on a piece of clothing discovered in Neve’s car, and later confirmed the clothing had belonged to Slump.
Neve used a shotgun to commit suicide on March 11, 1967. Neve’s stepfather, Cecil Fellows, said his stepson told him he didn’t murder Slump, but was just being a good fellow and that he was so involved he didn’t know what to do.
On June 10, 1967, Omaha Police – acting on a tip – found the victim’s coat in a hotel room once registered to Jerry Neve and Herschell Gitchell. At the time, Gitchell was awaiting trial on burglary charges.
If you have any information regarding Gloria Slump’s unsolved murder please contact Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Darrell Simmons at (712) 322-1585 or the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Division at (712) 890-2200. If you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Pottawattamie County Crime Stoppers at 712-328-STOP (7867).
Find out more about this and other unsolved homicides at “http://www.IowaColdCases.org”>www.IowaColdCases.org.