From the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Sunday, 9/10/1944, p. 21, c. 1
Death Weapon To Be Sought In Basin
Police Still Baffled in Krengel Slaying
Detectives watched the slowly receding waters of the settling basin at the Tredegar Iron Works last night an impatiently waited for the moment when they would begin a minute search for the weapon with which John Ernest Krengel was slain.
They believed the weapon was a .22 caliber revolver, having discarded the theory that the gun was a rifle, because, they reasoned, the killer more than likely carried a weapon which he could conceal without difficulty. Further, they believed the slayer threw the weapon into the waters of the settling basin.
After four days of investigation officers apparently were no nearer to a solution of Richmond’s newest murder mystery. They hoped that the bottom of the settling basin would provide them with a tangible clue.
Krengel, 69, was slain about noon last Tuesday, police believed. His body was found early Wednesday in the supply building of the Tredegar plant. Krengel was employed as a pattern maker and worked in a nearby building.
Robbery Motive Suspected
Detectives have established that Krengel customarily carried large sums of money in his pockets and they believed that robbery was the motive for the murder of Krengel. It is believed that Krengel was robbed of more than $2,000.
A .22 caliber bullet was found in Krengel’s brain, but he also had been beaten on the head with a heavy weapon. The weapon has not been found.
Also still missing is Krengel’s billfold in which he carried his money.
Detective Chief O. D. Garton said he hopes to find the gun and the heavy weapon and perhaps the billfold in the bottom of the settling basin.
Several Hours Required
The basin is 12 feet wide and 25 feet long and, when the draining process was started, held three feet of water. It was estimated several hours would be required to drain the basin. The task was being done by the Department of Public Works, using suction pumps.
No one has been found who saw Krengel enter the supply building and thorough searches of the room and the workshop in which he followed his trade have produced no clue to one of the most baffling mysteries in the city’s recent history.
Krengel was last reported seen Tuesday morning in the office of the plant engineer, which is next to the supply room in which the body was found. Noises made by machines in nearby buildings probably drowned out the noise of the killer’s gun, police said.