You couldn’t beat Saturday’s March weather: winds were calm, skies were blue, temps were in the mid-60s. I decided to take advantage of it. I spent some time at Salem Cemetery, then made a quick pass through Dutchtown, and updated my old pictures of the Allenville railroad bridge. You’ll see those later.
By the time I got through with the bridge, the sun was about to dip below the horizon and the temps were dipping just about as fast. I stuck my camera in the car and was just getting in when I looked up, probably to keep from bumping my folically-challenged head on the doorframe.
These utility lines caught my eye. I was going to keep getting into the car, then my old rule kicked in: shoot it when you see it.
A view down Hwy N
This is what you saw if you looked down Hwy N instead of up in the air. Around that curve, headed to Delta, is where one of Southeast Missouri’s unsolved murders occurred.
On July 3, 1954, Bonnie Huffman’s 1938 Ford was found parked in the middle of this road. Sixty hours later, the body of the pretty, young schoolteacher was found in a ditch nearby. Her neck was broken, and the 100-plus-degree summer temperatures had caused advanced decomposition.
Over the years, countless theories have been advanced, leads followed and suspects interviewed, all to no avail. John Blue, a reporter at the time, covered the story from the start and became obsessed with the case. When he was editor of The Missourian, he kept the story alive.
Missourian front page
This is the original story on the July 6, 1954, front page. The timing of the story was unfortunate for the paper: July 4 was a Sunday, when the paper didn’t publish, and Monday was a holiday. That meant the story didn’t break until Tuesday.
5 Replies to “March Weather and Murder”
I am Bonnie Huffman’s great-neice. Thank you so so much for posting this article! We greatly appreciate any help we can get. She was someone’s daughter, sister, aunt, friend. We still want justice given to her that she deserves. She was not just a bag of trash to be thrown out & be dismissed of. She was a human being that was & still is loved & missed by her family. Thank you from the Huffman family
Hello !!!! it wasnt in March it was in July. I am now 87 & was very young when this happened ,but remember it well. I knew Bonnie when i seen her but not close to her . Only knew her throug Norma Jean Leggett.
You’re right. The body was discovered July 3, 1954, but it was March of 2016 when I happened to be on that stretch of road and realized where I was in relationship to the murder.
I am Bonnie’s first cousin, once removed. My mother was Mary Lou Bollinger. I am working on a project on Bonnie Huffman to fulfill a promise I made to my late mother. I think I have most of the factual information, but a lot of the articles refer to family feuds and town rumors, how the investigation affected people’s lives. Yearbook pictures of her or pictures of her with her friends and family. You can respond here or send me a message on facebook… I will give you my email address as well. Carlysmagic79@gmail.com…Would love to hear from any of you! Thanks in advance. Carol Roberson.
Good luck with your project. Please update us from time to time.