Winner Airport Daybefore Robert Kennedy murdered

Winner Airport Daybefore Robert Kennedy murdered
John and Freya Simpson, Senator Kennedy at Winner sirport -June 1968 primary

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Unsolved Murder of Lawrence Steiger and Renea June Uithoven

On a cold winters night in Winner South Dakota in February of 1975 two residents of Winner South Dakota were brutally murdered in their trailer park home and depite the fact that there was sufficient evidence to arrest “Sony” Peck of Pierre and Harold  South Dakota the case was never prosecuted and justice was never done .
Stan Whirring now a recognized excellent trial attorney in Winner, South Dakota was deputy States attorney at the time and relates the following recollection of the events and subsequent dismissal of all charges against the lone suspect, “Sonny” Peck .The facts are his all opinions are mine.

Peck, 37, and Rene June Uithoven, 36. Had been lovers and it was reported that Peck repeatedly abused and threatened her and that she sought refuge with Lawrence Steiger.671, who had operated a   beer and pool hall in Kennebec, South Dakota.

Peck had threatened to Kill Renea if she ever left him.

Steiger gave her that chance she had wanted. He provided a safe haven for Renae June Uithoven. It is unimportant whiter the 71 year old Steiger and the 36 year old Renea  Uithoven  were lovers and many said they were not  and that he was just providing  a safe place to be free of the abusive “Sonny” Peck. Peck ‘s reputation in his  abusive treatment of Renea was manifest. Whiting , a young deputy States Attorney at the time investigated the case . His recollection of events discloses that the investigation revolved around statements from witnesses that Peck  had in fact come to Winner on the night of the Murder and asked person at Winners all night Westside CafĂ© where Lawrence Steiger lived. Ironically he also asked directions from the police as to where Steiger lived. The investigation also revealed that Peck had abused Uithoven and had threatened to kill her if she left him.

What seems impossible to believe in view of the dismissal of the case by States Attorney Tommy Drake Tobin and Attorney General Bill Janklow was the fact that the local police investigation had turned up the fact that Peck had been seen entering the Steiger trailer on the night of the murder and that he had entered the trailer carrying an object  that was wrapped in such a manner that the witness could not tell if in fact he was carrying a rifle. Based on those facts the young deputy States attorney, has an arrest warrant issued for Francis. “Sonny” Peck for the double murder.

What was to follow borders on the bizarre Peck was arrested and brought before Judge Marvin S. Talbot and bond was set at $1000,000.00 and Peck was placed in the Tripp County Jail. While Whiting was gathering his evidence to present the case for preliminary g hearing or present the fact to a grand jury, along came his boss Tommy  Drake Tobin and Attorney General Bill Janklow , who Tobin allowed to take control of the case. Tobin and Janklow decided to dismiss all charges against Francis “Sonny” Peck. Why, you might ask. They has no plausible answer except that if Peck would be released  he would get drunk sometime and brag about the murder and he would be then found out about by the agents of the Attorney general’s office by such erstwhile investigators as Marc Weber Tobias.


More to come

(Anyone having information about the lefe and times of Renea June Uithoven is asked to contact John J Simpson at 1-605-842-0133 or 32551 2761st Street, Hamill, SD 57534 or












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