In a press conference next Tuesday, Oct. 3, the Nebraska Attorney General’s office will be announcing resolution of a famous Boone County murder case that remained unsolved for 80 years.
The shootings of Sheriff Lawrence Smoyer and Constable William Wathen occurred June 17, 1937, in a pasture north of Akron at the county’s western edge. Smoyer died at the scene, but Wathen survived for nearly four months before he passed away as a result of his wounds.
The crime remained unsolved until recently, when investigators were aided by a family member of one of the two primary suspects in the case. William W. Black, chief investigator with the Attorney General’s office, said this assistance, combined with all other evidence, gave prosecutors enough certainty that they would prosecute the case under today’s standards.
The press conference is scheduled for Oct. 3, 2017, because that date marks the 80th anniversary of Constable Wathen’s death in 1937.
The conference will be held at 1 p.m. outside the north entrance of the courthouse.