Boyd Novinger

BEDFORD—The death of a longtime funeral director nearly two decades ago remains one of Iowa’s unsolved murder cases.

Boyd George Novinger, 77, was killed in his home on Saturday, Dec. 27, 1997, in Bedford in southeast Iowa.

His son-in-law and business partner, Howard “Keith” Taylor, was first on scene and told officials he found his father-in-law’s body the following Sunday afternoon.

An autopsy concluded Novinger died from gunshot wounds to the chest.

Novinger was a funeral director with the Novinger-Taylor Funeral Home in Bedford. He had worked in the family-operated funeral home business for 50 years.

Novinger also worked with his daughter, Christy Taylor. Novinger’s son-in-law and Christy’s husband, Keith, died in Oct. 8, 2001. He was 58.

In an e-mail to Iowa Cold Cases dated June 8, 2012, Christy Taylor said she still had many questions. Four different death certificates, she said, were issued in the six months following her father’s murder.

A $2,500 reward the family offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case went unclaimed.


Who: Boyd George Novinger

What happened: The 77-year-old funeral home director was shot and killed in his Bedford home on Dec. 27, 1997.

How you can help: Contact the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation at 515-725-6010 or e-mail


“Gone Cold: Exploring Iowa’s unsolved murders” is a yearlong collaborative effort by Iowa news organizations to revisit some of the most brutal and mystifying homicides in the state’s history. The N’West Iowa REVIEW is presenting some of the unsolved homicides in the hope that it will lead to new tips and potentially help solve cases.