The Ice Box Murders/Charles Rogers

The Ice Box Murders/Charles Rogers

The Ice Box Murders is an unsolved murder case involving the Rogers family. Fred Rogers and his wife Edwina were both found dismembered and put into the refrigerator. Their son, Charles, was the main suspect, but he fled and was never found, leading this crime to remain unsolved and eventually Charles was declared dead after not being found for years.

Charles Rogers in 1942 enrolled at Texas A&M University but he later dropped out and then enrolled at the University of Houston where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in nuclear physics. During WWII, he was a pilot in the United States Navy and also worked in the Office of Naval Intelligence. After the war, he worked as a seismologist for Shell Oil for nine years, but then in 1957 he abruptly quit his job with no explanation. Friends and associates of Rogers would later say that he was extremely intelligent and had a talent for finding gas, oil, and gold for the companies he worked for. He spoke several languages and had an interest in ham radios. In the mid-1950s he joined the Civil Air Patrol where he met David Ferrie (Ferrie was later named a conspirator in the assassination of JFK by New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison).

By the year 1965 Rogers was unemployed and living with his elderly parents in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston. Rogers was described as reclusive and would often communicate with his parents by slipping notes under the door. Neighbors weren’t really aware that he was living there since he would leave home before dawn and return after dark.

On June 23rd, 1965, two Houston police officers entered the Rogers’ home by force when Edwina’s nephew Marvin became concerned when his calls to his aunt went unanswered for several days. When they got inside, police didn’t find anything out of the ordinary but did notice food sitting on the dining room table. One officer opened the fridge and found what was thought to be numerous cuts of washed and unwrapped meat neatly stacked on the shelves. He thought it was the meat of a butchered pig, but as he was closing the door he noticed two human heads in the vegetable bin. Upon further inspection, he discovered it was the heads of Fred and Edwina Rogers. What the officer thought was hog meat in the fridge was actually the cut up body parts of the elderly couple. Police later discovered the organs were removed from both victims, cut up and flushed down the toilet while other remains were never found. It was determined that the couple was killed on June 20th. An autopsy showed Fred Rogers was killed by multiple blows to the head with a claw hammer. His eyes had been gouged out and his genitalia removed. Edwina Rogers was beaten and shot, execution style. Police said that the bodies were dismembered in the upstairs bathroom by someone with “some knowledge of anatomy”. There was little blood in the house and the only amount that was found led to Charles Rogers’ bedroom. In it, police found a keyhole saw but no trace as to where Rogers was. A search for Rogers was launched with a warrant saying he was a material witness to the murder but he was never found.

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