You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.


  • Editor's integrity shone at points both high, low
    Former Washington Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee, who died this week at 93, is rightly being remembered for his journalistic triumphs.Defying unjustified government secrecy to publish the Pentagon Papers.
  • The flu: An epidemic we can all fight
    The Ebola crisis is tragic and frightening, and public and media focus on the problem is entirely appropriate.
  • Universal misconceptions set right
    Maybe it’s his celebrity from Fox’s remake of the “Cosmos” series or his fame from receiving NASA’s highest citizen honors.

A five-decade old murder mystery

Mother Jones magazine has unearthed a fascinating story about a 50-year-old murder case. According to the magazine:

In 1963, a 17-year-old soldier home on leave was arrested and charged with shooting a woman to death in her South Bend home.

Police said the teen admitted killing the woman, who was the mother of his girlfriend, and also admitted shooting and wounding a pawnshop owner during a holdup the same night as the murder.

He even took police to a local cemetery and dug up the .45-caliber revolver that he said he used.

The young man, who protested his innocence at his trial, was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life at the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City.

But there was evidence the police subjected the young soldier, who had been born in a concentration camp after World War II, to a long, improper interrogation. In 1968, the Indiana Supreme Court overturned the conviction, ruling that police had improperly coerced the suspect into confessing and leading them to the gun.

He was released from prison and never brought to trial again. The charges were eventually dropped and the murder of Anna Marie Yocum remained an open case. The soldier returned to Army service and eventually earned a law degree.

Why would a left-leaning national magazine be interested in this 50-year-old South Bend case?

Because, according to Mother Jones, the young man was Robert J. Dowlut, today the general counsel for the National Rifle Association, and one of the architects of the NRA's aggressive campaign against gun restrictions.