January 10, 1923
Warren Lincoln kills his wife Lina and her brother, Byron Shoup, dismembers their bodies, burns their headless corpses in a furnace (pictured), buries their heads in cement, and fakes his own death
Lincoln, after he was apprehended, claimed he found his wife nude in bed with her brother and in a fit of rage shot both to death before disposing of their bodies. Police highly this explanation, believing instead Lincoln killed the two to get access to Shoup’s estate.
Regardless of the reasoning, Lincoln disposed of the bodies to hide the evidence of the murder, sealing the heads in a block of concrete which was then used as a support for his porch. He claimed he burned the headless remains in his greenhouse furnace but then also admitted he may not have. It was speculated he may have hidden additional body parts in the various concrete blocks on his property, but no further evidence of the bodies, either cremated remains or encased limbs, were discovered.
After the murder, the Chicago Daily Tribune (Jan. 27, 1924) reported Lincoln faked his own murder in hopes that he could both vanish into thin air and that police would look for two living suspects away from his home. Lincoln kept this ruse for a year before returning. He wove a story involving kidnapping and a drug ring but in actuality he had run out of money.
When police became suspicious, Lincoln was questioned, and his lies began to unravel until he confessed to the murders and showed police proof in the form of the heads in cement. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, dying behind bars in 1941 at the age of 62.
The furnace used to destroy the headless bodies of Lincoln’s wife and brother-in-law.
Aurora Police Chief Frank Michels (second from left) and Warren Lincoln (third from left) next to the furnaces used to incinerate the bodies.
The Lincoln’s home (right) where the heads were used as a porch support and the greenhouse (left) where the bodies were burned.
From The Chicago Daily Tribune (Jan. 27, 1924) showing the cement block which housed the victims’ heads.