Charles Rogers (murder suspect)

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Charles Frederick Rogers, (born December 30, 1921[citation needed] - disappeared June 1965, declared legally dead July 1975[1][2]) was a United States geologist, pilot, and suspected murderer.

Rogers studied nuclear physics at the University of Houston and was a pilot in the United States Navy.[1] Fluent in Spanish, he was a geologist/seismologist/geophysicist who worked overseas for oil companies.[1][2][3]

Rogers lived with his elderly parents, Fred C. and Edwina Rogers, in the Montrose neighborhood of Houston.[1][2] Described as "reclusive",[1][4] he was reported to have communicated with his parents by way of notes under the door and neighbors did not know that he lived there.[2] On June 23, 1965, police forced their way into the Rogers' home after a relative or relatives reported that repeated calls to them over a period of a few days went unanswered.[1][2] There they found his father beaten to death with a hammer and his mother dead from a gunshot wound to the head.[1][2] Both had been dismembered.[2] In the refrigerator, their limbs and torsos were found neatly stacked as well as their heads in a vegetable bin.[1][2] Organs removed from the bodies were found in a nearby sewer and other remains were never found.[1][1] A bloody saw was found in Rogers bedroom.[1] A warrant was issued for Rogers' as a material witness to the crime but he was never found.[1] In 1975, he was declared legally dead by a local judge.[2]

Rogers' life was documented in the 1992 book The Man on the Grassy Knoll by John R. Craig and Philip A. Rogers.[1][4] According to this work, Rogers was a CIA agent who likely impersonated Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico City and, along with Charles Harrelson, was one of two shooters involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.[1][2][4][5] The authors allege that Rogers, Harrelson, and Chauncey Holt were the "three tramps" arrested in Dealey Plaza after the assassination and that Rogers murdered his parents because his mother was tracking his many telephone calls.[1][4][5] In this account, Rogers' fled to Guatemala.[3] Publishers Weekly reviewed the book stating: "The authors do a workmanlike job with their thesis, but the degree of poetic license, in terms of reconstructed dialogue and attributed thought, seems excessive here, and sourcing is virtually nonexistent. Assassination buffs, however, will welcome the book for its novelty value and its easy readability."[4]

In October 2003, Redbud Publishing released The Ice Box Murders, a novel about the double-murder by forensic accountants Hugh and Martha Gardenier's novel.[6] The Gardeniers' account state that Rogers' actions were provoked by abuse and illegal activities on the part of his parents and that he first fled to Mexico and then Honduras.[3] According to a review in the Houston Press: "The Ice Box Murders is written as fact-based fiction and supposition. There are many unnamed characters in the book: various politicians and attorneys as well as the eyewitness who said he saw Rogers in Honduras after 1965."[3] Publishers Weekly also referred to the novel as "fact-based fiction".[6]

Rogers is featured in two fictional novels by James Ellroy, American Tabloid and The Cold Six Thousand.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Rufcah, Sarah (January 8, 2012). "Houston's crime rate is at a low, but its history is dark: The city's five most notorious murders". CultureMapHouston. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Lomax, John Nova (August 6, 2009). "Houston 101: A Notorious Montrose Murder's (Alleged) Connection To The Deaths of JFK and MLK". Houston Press. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d Gustin, Marene (December 19, 2002). "Murder, They Wrote; A Houston couple links up for a novel look at gory leftovers in the fridge". Houston Press. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Publishers Weekly (November 2, 1992). "The Man on the Grassy Knoll". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Kroth, Jerome A. (2003). Conspiracy in Camelot: The Complete History of the Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Algora Publishing. p. 197. ISBN 0-87586-247-0. 
  6. ^ a b Publishers Weekly (August 18, 2003). "First Fiction at the Regionals; Several debut novels have diverse connections to the trade-show regions". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved June 12, 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Craig, John R.; Rogers, Philip A. (1992). The Man on the Grassy Knoll. Avon Books. ISBN 978-0-380-77127-1. 
  • Gardenier, Hugh; Gardenier, Martha (2003). The Ice Box Murders. Redbud Publishing. ISBN 9780972029315.