Austria Vs. Japan: Iowa Edition

I was made aware of the following story courtesy of our very own Joe Milik. He claims it took place in the building next to the one he is currently squating in while visiting Iowa City. I wasn’t going to post about it, as I figured it would be fairly big news. Not because it’s huge news, but merely because it’s strange. However, after mentioning this to several people and none being aware, I knew I had to do it…

Early Sunday morning in Iowa City, Iowa, two men, David Christian and Michael Steward, were playing chess and drinking heavily. At some point, a fight broke out and Christan proceeded to kill Steward. While a murder over a chess game is enough to get a chuckle at best, it is in the details where it gets interesting.

Christian grabbed Steward’s hands and held them while he placed Steward’s head between his legs, applying pressure to Steward’s neck.

Christian told police he did this again and again until Steward “didn’t look so good,” reports show. Police say they asked Christian to specify, and the defendant asked, “Have you ever see a dead person?”

(Daily Iowan)

Later, it was revealed that the leg lock performed was actually a jiu-jitsu move. However, it gets stranger, as a memorial site has begun to grow.

…friends and neighbors placed beer cans and other seemingly random items – a stick of butter, grapes – outside of Steward’s apartment door, which was emblazoned with: DEAD. The word was written thickly in black ink. Underneath it, a knife was jammed into the door.

(Daily Iowan)

Past enstallments of Austra Vs. Japan:

Part 1: The Reinhard Steinbauer Case

Part 2: 女子高生コンクリート詰め殺人事件 (or Concrete-Encased High School Girl murder)

Part 3: Akibara Massacre and Other Sharp Objects

Part 4: Odds and Ends

Part 5: Iowa Edition


3 responses to “Austria Vs. Japan: Iowa Edition

  1. if you hadn’t put the source links, i woulda just assumed this was one of joe’s stories. it’s the “DEAD” with knife in door that really makes it.

  2. Hey, found your blog while searching for info about the murder. Mike Steward was a friend of mine, and I lived in the Gaslight Village in Iowa City where your friend is squatting. The response from friends doesn’t surprise me, really. The village is a strange community that I am happy to have been a part of. Mike had his demons, mostly related to alcohol. I always had a feeling he’d find his end in the bottom of a bottle, but he didn’t deserve this. He was a smart, kind, gentle, and sweet guy who just never seemed to catch a break in his life. When I moved out of the village this past year, I saw Mike and he was talking about finally moving out of there and going to get his Master’s degree in Library Science. For this to happen to him at the hands of a friend is a bizarre tragedy, and he will be missed greatly by his friends that remain.

  3. Kyle, I appreciate you sharing about Mike Steward and giving some depth to his life. You give an angle that I obviously could not provide and doesn’t always get covered in the media.


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