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The “Ogletree Murder” Is One Of The Creepiest Unsolved Cases In American History

What happened in room 1046?

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On Wednesday, January 2, 1935, around 1:20 PM, a man calling himself Roland T. Owens checked into The Hotel President in Kansas City. A few days later his body was found badly beaten and tortured in his hotel room. The events surrounding his death caused a lot of speculation:

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She recalled Owens keeping the shades tightly drawn and the lights off with the exception of one dim lamp. He also asked that she not lock the door on her way out because he was expecting company.

The next day Soptic came back to clean the room at around 10:30 AM. She noticed that the door had been locked from the outside, assuming that Owens locked it while leaving. However, Owens was sitting on his bed with the lights off, which meant someone else had locked the door from the outside.


When Soptic came back at around 4 PM to deliver fresh towels she heard two male voices from inside the room. When she knocked on the door she heard a rough voice say, "Who is it?" She then explained she had fresh towels and the mystery man responded with, "we don't need any."


She sent a bellboy to check his room. Despite the door having a “Do Not Disturb” sign, the bellboy knocked a few times and heard a low voice say:

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However, the door was locked and no one was opening it. After knocking repeatedly, the bellboy told Owen to "put the phone back on the hook."

He only used the light from the hallway and noticed that Owens was naked in bed seemingly drunk. He also noticed that the bedding was darkened around Owen, so he placed the phone back on the hook and left.

At approximately 10:30 to 10:45 AM the phone was once again off the hook. The hotel sent another bellboy to resolve the situation. But when he opened the door, he stumbled upon a truly horrific scene.


Owen was discovered with extensive injuries. He had been tied up with a cord around his neck, wrists, and ankles. His skull was fractured, he had been stabbed in the chest several times, and his lung was punctured.


After that brief exchange, he lost consciousness and was taken to the hospital. According to a doctor, his injuries had occurred 6-7 hours prior to him being discovered. Owen died the night of January 5, at the hospital.


His body was placed for viewing at Melody Mcgilley Funeral Home. As the story spread, more and more people reached out to Kansas City authorities to see if their missing loved one could be Owen, but there were no leads

Owens' upcoming burial was announced by the Kansas City Journal Post on March 3rd to be in a Potter's Field. However, the Melody Mcgilley Funeral Home received an anonymous caller who said they would send money necessary for a proper funeral.


About a year and a half later, in 1936 a woman named Ruby Ogletree found an article in the American Weekly about Owens' case. Upon looking at the magazine, Ruby correctly identified Owens as her son, 17-year-old Artemus Ogletree.

Ruby had received three letters from her son in the Spring of 1935. However, the letters were delivered after his death and were typed.


And in the early 2000s, Dr. John Horner, the author of an account of the murder case published by the Kansas City Public Library, received an out of state call about Artemus. The caller claimed to find a box of newspaper articles about the murder. After that, the case would have no other revelations.

The second theory is that the unknown Don didn't act alone. This theory relates back to an observation by Charles Blocher, the elevator operator the night of the murder. The night of murder, Blocher saw a "commercial woman" go to the 10th floor.

Blocher claimed the woman was looking for Room 1026 to meet a man she couldn't find. Could it be possible this woman was looking for Artemus? And accidentally mistaken Room 1026 for Room 1046. This woman was also seen with a man and some speculate the man could have been Don.


The man also explained that "Owen had jilted a girl he was engaged to." And in Room 1046, Owen, a man, and the jilted girl had a "little meeting." Before hanging up he said, "Cheaters usually get what's coming to them."

Other than that, the mysterious death of Artemus Ogletree has been left to collect dust on the shelves of investigators. To this day there is no possible lead on what truly happened in Room 1046 leaving the case...unsolved.