History

Houston’s Unsolved Icebox Murders Might Have Ties to JFK Assassination

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A grisly, still unsolved double-murder from 1965 Houston has ties to conspiracy theories surrounding the JFK assassination. The man at the center of this bizarre story was both the son of the murder victims and the sole suspect in their killings. Charles Rogers disappeared shortly before his parents’ dismembered bodies were discovered in their Houston home in June 1965. Some JFK assassination researchers believe Rogers might have played a sinister role at Dealey Plaza on that tragic November day in 1963.

Charles “Chuck” Rogers was an eccentric man. A seismologist and pilot, Rogers spoke seven languages and had a Bachelor of Science degree in nuclear physics from the University of Houston. During WWII, he served in the Office of Naval Intelligence. Following the end of the war, Rogers spent nine years with Shell Oil as a seismologist before quitting his job without explanation in 1957. Rogers was a member of the Civil Air Patrol where he met David Ferrie, a strange character who was also Lee Harvey Oswald’s flight instructor in the same organization. New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison would later name Ferrie as a conspirator in the JFK assassination.

Houston's Unsolved Icebox Murders Might Have Ties to JFK Assassination

Photo: Fred and Edwina Rogers, findagrave.com

Rogers lived with his parents in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston well into his 40s, though most of the neighbors were unaware of his presence because he would depart the home before dawn and not return until after dark. Rogers communicated with his folks through scraps of paper slipped under his door. His father Fred Rogers was a bookie during Charles’ childhood and often indulged in gambling and fraud. Fred is also alleged to have abused Charles mentally as a child and went on to steal large amounts of money from him when Charles became an adult.

Charles Rogers disappeared in June 1965. After Edwina Rogers’ nephew failed to hear from his elderly aunt for several days, he made a worried call to the Houston police. On first entering the house, the cops didn’t notice anything unusual. Then they spotted the cold food still sitting on the dining room table. When an officer opened the refrigerator, he saw what he believed to be cuts of unwrapped meat from a butchered hog in orderly stacks. It was only when the officer started to close the door that he made a horrifying discovery, glimpsing two severed human heads in the vegetable bin.

Houston's Unsolved Icebox Murders Might Have Ties to JFK Assassination

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Fred, 81, and Edwina Rogers, 72, had been brutally murdered and dismembered on Father’s Day, June 20, 1965. Their son was nowhere to be found. Charles Rogers would ultimately be declared dead in absentia in 1975, and he remains the sole suspect in the case. Houston newspapers dubbed the unsolved killings “The Icebox Murders.”

Some conspiracy researchers claim that Charles Rogers was a CIA agent who was one of the pro-shooters alleged to have fired in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It’s contended that Rogers, along with Charles Harrelson (the notorious Texas hitman and father of the actor Woody Harrelson), were two of the “three tramps” arrested in Dealey Plaza following the assassination. Researchers claim the assassination also played a role in the murder of Rogers parents: Edwina Rogers was tracking Charles’ phone calls and perhaps knew too much.

Houston's Unsolved Icebox Murders Might Have Ties to JFK Assassination

Photo: Wikipedia/The Three Tramps

It’s been suggested that Charles Rogers escaped to South America following the murders and died there decades ago. The Houston address where the killings took place was 1815 Driscoll Street, but the house was torn down in the early 1970s. Condominiums were constructed on the lot in 2000. The Icebox Murders remain a horrifying, mysterious part of Texas history.