From the Richmond News Leader, 9/9/1944, p. 3, c. 7

Settling Basin To Be Drained in Krengel Case Clue Hunt
Police Hopeful of Finding Murder Weapon And Pocketbook of Slain Pattern Maker

Detective Chief Garton today ordered drained a settling basin located near the pattern building at the Tredegar Iron Works, where John Ernest Krengel, 69-year-old pattern maker, was found murdered and robbed in a search for the murder weapon and possibly the pocketbook.

Chief Garton said that there is a possibility that both the murder weapon and Mr. Krengel’s pockbook were thrown into a stream of water which runs near by the pattern building, and empties into the settling basin.

The pool of water is three feet deep, 12 feet wide and 25 feet long, and will require a few hours to drain by use of suction pumps.

The Department of Public Works will send the suction pumps to the iron works and it is expected the basin will be drained this afternoon.


Chief Garton said it has been determined that the bullet found lodged in Mr. Krengel’s brain was shot from a .22 caliber firearm, but it is not known whether a pistol or rifle was used to fire the bullet. No trace of the instrument used to beat the aged pattern maker over the head has been discovered.

Mr Krengel was last seen on Tuesday, the day he was killed, in the office of the plant engineer, which is located next to the pattern building in which the man was found murdered. It is thought that Mr. Krengel carried between $2,000 and $3,000 in his billfold, which was missing when the body was discovered.

Chief Garton said if the murder weapon and the billfold are recovered police will then have a better line to follow in apprehending the murderer.


The Krengel slaying, as yet unsolved, is one of two crimes committed in Richmond this year, in which the perpetrator has not been arrested.

Still under investigation was the brutal raping of a 37-year-old woman, employed in a boarding-house in the 1000 block West Franklin St. The woman, mother of a daughter who graduated last June from high school, was slashed about her head and lower abdomen as she was raped and beaten in her room in the boarding-house in which she worked. The woman has recovered from the wounds she received the night of her assault and has been released from the hospital, where more than 25 stitches were taken in her breast and abdomen as a result of the slashes she received.


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