Who is responsible for the 'Ice Box Murders?'

It's one of Houston's most notorious crimes, and 50 years later, people are still puzzled by the Ice Box Murders.

It's one of Houston's most notorious crimes, and 50 years later, people are still puzzled by the Ice Box Murders.

A husband and wife were found cut up in a refrigerator, but there was never an arrest.

"It was a perfect crime. He got away," said Hugh Gardenier, author of "The Ice Box Murders." "It's become somewhat of the urban folklore."

It's the kind of story that sent chills across the city.

"This was such a bad, bad case people were scared all over Houston," Gardenier said.

In a Montrose home, on June 23, 1965, police found the bodies of Fred and Edwina Rogers chopped up in their ice box.

"As he's closing the door, he looks down in the vegetable crisper and there's Edwina starring back at him," Gardenier said.

Hugh and Martha Gardenier are accountants by trade, but true crime authors by passion.

"There was a massive amount of bleach that was used," said Gardenier, describing the crime scene.

The Gardeniers fell in love working on the murder mystery. Date nights were spent at the library trying to answer the question, who did it? Their prime suspect was Charles Rogers, the couple's son.

There's been a lot of theories surrounding Charles, from links to the C.I.A. and the J.F.K. assassination. Some people thought he killed his parents because they knew too much.

"I mean, he was very, very good at what he did," Gardenier said.

However, after all their research, the Gardeniers debunked the C.I.A. theory. They have their own idea.

"It's the same thing that happens in a lot of cases, where parents are murdered it goes back to child abuse," Martha Gardenier said.

The Gardeniers believe Charles died. They traced him to Honduras, where they claim he met a gruesome death, too, pickaxed to death when a business venture went south.

The authors reached out to relatives of the Rogers, but were surprised by the reaction they received.

"They really didn't have anything against Charles for doing this," Martha Gardenier said. "They could honestly see why it happened."

If the victims and the suspect are all dead, what's the fascination?

"The city of Houston tore it down because it was an eyesore," said Hugh Gardenier, showing us where the original house once stood at 1815 Driscoll Street.

The stories among neighbors still remain.

"On the anniversary, people would come by and just look at the lot," said Tom Oxford, who lives next door.

"What we've seen, it's like a fresh case," Hugh Gardenier said. "There are so many millions of people that have moved into this area since 1965."

Giving a whole new generation the chance to solve one of Houston's most gruesome murders.

"People don't think it's possible, they don't think it actually happened, but it did," Hugh Gardenier said.

(© 2016 KHOU)


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