Unveiling the Mystery: The True Story of the Icebox Murders

By Sarah Norman | May 1, 2024

The brutal murder of Fred and Edwina Rogers shocked Houston to the core

During the 1960s, Houston was a bustling city, just coming into its own as the center of America's nascent space industry. With thousands of new jobs available, the economy was booming, the population was growing, and the mood was optimistic. Which is perhaps why Houston, a city that is no stranger to crime, never forgot about the Icebox Murders.

Part of the city's urban mythology, the gruesome killings of Fred and Edwina Rogers are still talked about today, and the mystery of what happened to Charles Rogers still holds an enduring fascination for Houstonians. 

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Over the years, numerous theories have been floated as to why Charles Rogers murdered his parents and how he managed to disappear so completely. Official investigators and amateur crime buffs generally agree that Charles must have fled to Central America where he had long-standing ties to local mining interests. However, rumors have long circulated that the story is more complicated than a simple family murder. From Charles' supposed involvement in the JFK assassination to his secret ties to the CIA, read on to learn more about the fascinating and enigmatic tale of Charles Rogers, a man whose true story may never be fully told. 

Houston Police were used to responding to routine welfare checks on elderly residents

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It was the evening of June 23, 1965. Marvin Ivor was used to hearing from his aunt Edwina several times a week, so when she stopped answering or returning his calls, he began to worry. After three uneasy days, Marvin called local police, requesting a welfare check. It was a quiet evening, so station Captain Charles Bullock answered the call himself, along with his partner, Officer L. M. Barta. When they pulled up to 1815 Driscoll Street, the house was quiet, and nothing seemed out of place. Bullock and Barta expected it to be a quick, routine visit. The visit would be anything but routine.