The creepy murder in room 1046 - Roland T. Owen

Published on 21 November 2019 at 13:36

 The unsolved creepy murder from room 1046

On January 2nd 1935 around 1:20 pm, a man who called himself Roland T. Owen checked into a hotel in Kansas City. He got room number 1046.  During his stay in the hotel strange things happened and he was murdered. It is a rather complicated plot and I would like to share the details with you...


Witnesses, January 3rd

Witnesses say that the man was 20 to 35 years old, had brown hair, a scar above his ear and a had cauliflower ear.  He was also neatly dressed with a black coat. When a bellboy helped him to his room he noticed that the man only had a comb, toothpaste and a toothbrush in his luggage. This is of course very strange, since you usually bring clothes with you when you go on a trip.


Another employee of the hotel claimed that Owen allowed her to clean the room while he was in the room, which was quite unusual. She was asked not to lock the door on leaving because a friend of his would come by soon. Even more creepy was that Owen was sitting in his room with closed curtains and lights out while she was cleaning. Other employees who entered the room also noticed this strange behavior too.


On January 3rd the cleaning lady came to check if the room needed cleaning at 10:30 in the morning. She noticed that the door was locked from the outside and thought that Owen was gone, but this turned out not to be the case. Owen was inside, still in the dark. This means that someone else closed the door from the outside. According to the cleaning lady Owen got a strange phone call while she was cleaning. He would have talked to a guy named Don.


Another hotel guest staying in number 1048 heard loud voices shouting and cursing, both male and female. But she hadn't reported this because there was also a party going on in another room on the same floor and she thought it came from here.



January 4th

Around 7:00 A.M. a telephone operator from the hotel noticed that Owen's phone had been off the hook for some time without the phone being used for a call.  The Bellboy was sent to Owen to check how he was doing. When he knocked on the door he heard someone say "Come in... Turn on the lights". Instead the bellboy just asked if it could be put on the hook again and walked away.


At 8:30 A.M. the phone was still off the hook which caused another bellboy to go to room 1046 to ask again if the phone could be put on the hook. The bellboy went into the room and found Owen naked in bed and seemed drunk. The bedding around the


Owen's body was colored dark, but he didn't think much of it since the room was dark. The phone was on the floor, so he picked it up and put it back on the hook.


Roland T. Owen. Source: Kansas City Public Library.


The murder

Between 10:30 A.M. and 10:45 A.M. the phone was off the hook again and again a bellboy was sent to Owen. When he came in he saw Owen lying on the floor.. bleeding. His statement to the police: ''When I entered the room this man was within two feet of the door on his knees and elbows holding his head in his hands. I noticed blood on his head. I then turned the light on. I looked around and saw blood on the walls, on the bed, and in the bathroom''.


Owen was seriously injured and appeared to have been tortured and stabbed in the chest. There was a rope around his neck and wrists, his lung was punctured and he had a fractured skull. Owen was miraculously still conscious when the police asked what had happened. Owen indicated that he had fallen with his head against the bathtub and that no one had been with him.


I myself don't believe this and think he or was trying to protect someone or was confused by his injuries. If he had really fallen with his head against the bathtub, there would have been no blood spatter on the ceiling and high on the walls.


 But if it went the way he told it would mean that he bumps his head, rolls on the bed and jumps up and down so that the blood comes on the walls and he let his head hit the ceiling a few times to get the blood there. Plus he should have stabbed himself and tied himself up after that, so not very believable.


There was no weapon found and no stuff that belonged to Owen either. That's why suicide is not the case. Plus that his story sounded unlikely.  A number of fingerprints were found on the phone, including one from a woman. Owen died the day after on January 5th 1935.



At check-in, Owen said he came from Los Angeles, but the police couldn't find a Roland T. Owen here. After Owen's death some strange, quite creepy things happened as well. For example, because he wasn't identified, Owen would be buried in a Potter's field, but the funeral home received an anonymous phone call that money would be transferred for a proper funeral for Owen. The money was delivered in a rolled-up newspaper.  They also anonymously sent a bunch of flowers with a card saying: ''Love forever, Louise''.


An anonymous female caller would also have said to the funeral home: ''Don't bury Owen in a pauper's grave. I want you to bury him in memorial park cemetery. Then he will be near my sister. "I'll send funds to cover the funeral expenses.''


In 1936 someone named Rudy read about the Owen case and as she examined the article she realized that the victim was her son. His real name was Artemus, was only 17 years old and left Birmingham in 1934. Artemus' mother received a total of three letters from him, including in 1935, after his death. The letters were typed, while Artemus did not know how to type.


Roland T. Owen. Source: Kansas City Public Library.


The prime suspect remains "Don", the man who visited "Owen" on the night of the murder. Also, the unknown woman remains a prime suspect because of the fingerprints and her loud screams. The woman was seen by an employee of the elevator and would have been looking for room 1026 to meet a man. She was probably confused with room 1046. The woman was also seen with a man who had a room on the 9th floor. 


The last clue was given to the police when someone anonymously reported that they had found a suitcase with newspaper articles from the murder of "Owen" among the belongings of a deceased family member. The case would also have contained a piece of evidence that was mentioned in the newspapers, but the anonymous caller didn't say what that was. After this, the caller did not contact the police again and the case still remains unsolved.


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