Episode 104: Percy Smith: A “…Cold, Calculated, Premediated Murder.”

No one had seen Percy Smith since he had gone to buy cattle from a man near Council Bluffs, Iowa. When police were called, their search led to Corliss Bruntlett, a man with a hidden past. They soon discovered that he was concealing an even darker secret that would shock their community.



Haws, Dick. Iowa and the Death Penalty: A Troubled Relationship 1834 – 1965. United States; 2010.

Farmer Held for Questions in Smith Case. Council Bluffs Nonpereil, 12/10/1947

Bruntlett Funds Tied by Injunction. Council Bluffs Nonpereil, 12/12/1947

Claim Bruntlett Not Telling All. Council Bluffs Nonpereil, 12/13/1947

Bruntlett’s Wife Refutes Story Details. Council Bluffs Nonpareil, 12/13/1947

Await Report on Knife in Smith Case. Council Bluffs Nonpereil, 12/14/1947

Bruntlett Confesses Shooting and Burning of Percy Smith; Will Face Murder Charge. Council Bluffs Nonpereil, 12/15/1947

Bruntlett Admits Killing Farmer, Burning Body. Evening World-Herald, 12/15/1947

“Mom and I Gave Up Hope Thursday,” Smith’s Son Says of Slain Father. Evening World-Herald, 12/15/1947

‘Bruntlett Shows No Remorse.’ Evening World-Herald, 12/16/1947

Grand Jury Given Case of Bruntlett. Evening World-Herald, 12/17/1947

FBI Judges Bones Human. Evening World-Herald, 12/18/1947

$9,800 Returned to Smith Family. Council Bluffs Nonpareil, 12/20/1947

Burrows Will Defend Bruntlett. Council Bluffs Nonpareil, 1/28/1948

Bruntlett Makes Plea of Guilty. Council Bluffs Nonpareil, 2/3/1948

Five Testify in Bruntlett Hearing Here. The Council Bluffs Nonpareil, 2/4/2948

Bruntlett Sobs He’s Sorry Now. Morning World-Herald, 2/5/1948

Hanging Fate for Bruntlett. Evening World-Herald, 2/6/1948

Death Edict to Be Appealed. Omaha World-Herald, 2/10/1948

Bruntlett Thinks Death Too Severe Penalty for His Act. Council Bluffs Nonpareil, 2/11/1948

Denies Clemency To Bruntlett, Sets Hanging July 6. Des Moines Tribune, 6/6/1949

Bruntlett Due to Be Hanged on Birthday. Des Moines Register, 7/3/1949

Bruntlett Hanged At Fort Madison. Cedar Rapids Gazette, 7/6/1949

Bruntlett Shouts in Death Cell. The Des Moines Register, 7/6/1949

Bruntlett Dies Calmly. Des Moines Tribune, 7/6/1949

State Historical Society of Iowa; Des Moines, Iowa; Iowa Death Records, 1888-1904

ear: 1940; Census Place: Hardin, Pottawattamie, Iowa; Roll: m-t0627-01198; Page: 3A; Enumeration District: 78-11

Eulalia M “Dolly” Capel Smith. Findagrave.com

Percy J. Smith. Findagrave.com



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