A man convicted of shooting and killing a Moline man in 1988 has now confessed to killing the man’s wife the following day, according to the Moline Police Department.

Paul Anderson was convicted of first-degree murder after he shot Joe Brown in Bettendorf’s Devils Glen Park on March 5, 1988. Brown died of his injuries two days later.

In the early morning hours of March 6, 1988, Brown’s wife, Laura Brown, was found stabbed to death in her home in the 200 block of 5th Avenue in Moline. No one was ever charged with the crime.

Moline Detective Mike Griffin conducted a cold-case review of the Laura Brown case, and Anderson confessed to Laura Brown’s slaying during an interview Tuesday at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison, Iowa, where he is serving his sentence in Joe Brown’s murder.


(15) comments

Family man

Yeah, I'm sure it's super hard to get a confession out of a guy that has been in prison for 25 years and has no chance of getting out. What did they do, offer him a little more time in the yard? Give me a break Sherman.


Dude, you have no idea what you arte talking abou.

Family man

They did not "solve" this case. The guy admitted it. We do not have any real detective work going on in our area, the only reason they ever solve any cases is if they get a confession or pressure people to tell on other people by threatening them with outrageous jail sentences. So lets not give too much credit to the cops here, there are plenty of cases in this area not solved because they have not caught the lucky break they seem to rely on.


Man, you really have no idea how a case is really solved. A confession is the best thing a detective can have, and is much harder to get than you seem to think it is.


Glad to hear. Finally some closure.


Geeze folks, the MPD knew he did this from day one... But there is a BIG difference between what you know and what you can prove. The case in Iowa was a better case, that is why he was tried in Iowa. Iowa was able to prove the necessary elements they had to in order to get a conviction... it's nothing more than that.


You're usually very much in the know, Sherman, but not in this case. There was a good case in Illinois at the time, too.


There were problems with Moline's case... it had to do with both procedures and other investigative issues. It's all I can say in this forum, you will have to trust me on this one.

Either way, the guy is never going to see freedom as an Iowa Governor has never commuted a life sentence for Murder 1 charges.


So, they screwed up a murder case. Well, kudos for this present-day detective for taking an interest in it, but hopefully neither the Moline police department nor the RICo State's Attorney's office isn't going to be taking any bows for it.

Thankfully, Iowa took an interest AND actually put him away before he killed a few more people.


That's what I heard, anyway.


Everybody knew he did it. He was tried and convicted on the Iowa side because the police and prosecutors had more tenacity.


I can't believe it took them 25 years to figure it out ?? They should be ashamed, not bragging about it. I feel so sorry for the family who had to wait 25 years. May your loved ones rest in peace!


I would think that he would have been the first person that police would suspect from the beginning, especially since he was found guilty of killing the husband the day prior. I hope the family finally has some closure. Such a tragedy!


After 25 years, we find out that the person convicted of murdering the husband the day before was in fact the wife's killer. Who would have ever suspected him? And that took 25 years? He must have done a good job of covering his tracks if he didn't get charged in all that time. I haven't lived here that long, but did someone mention him as a possible suspect in all that time? The authorities almost had to know it all along but apparently didn't have proof to charge him.

Always right

Nice job to law enforcement who took the time to open a cold case murder and have it solved. Its nice to see the police go above and beyond the jobs. Thanks for the closure.

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