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Murder (Cold Case-1959) - Gallagher, Melvin James (Regan)

posted Jan 7, 2015, 6:49 AM by Rick Smith   [ updated Sep 4, 2017, 4:47 PM by CV Crimestoppers ]

Melvin Gallagher

$1,000.00 Reward for unsolved murder.

In 1959 a gas station clerk died of a shotgun blast to the head at the end of his shift. Although his murderer may be deceased his family still seeks answers.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Waterloo Police Department at 319-291-4340 ext 7 or Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers at 855-300-TIPS (8477). Tips may also be sent with TipSoft or by texting the word CEDAR plus the information to CRIMES (274637). Message and data rates may apply. Text STOP to opt out at any time. Text HELP for more information. Tips can also be left at WWW.CVCRIMESTOP.COM.

Melvin James (Regan) Gallagher


Melvin James (Regan) Gallagher
22 YOA
Clark Super 100 Service Station
210 Falls Ave.
Waterloo, IA
Black Hawk County
January 3, 1959

On January 3, 2011, in Anniversaries, by Jody Ewing
Melvin Gallagher

Melvin Gallagher

His young adult life had started out with a few uncertainties, but 22-year-old Melvin James Gallagher was finding his footing and making plans for what he hoped would be a bright future.

He’d been deeply in love with two different women — Gloria and Patricia — and wanted to settle down with a good job and start raising a family. He’d first been engaged to Patricia, but after much soul searching, realized it was Gloria with whom he wanted to spend his life. He and Patricia broke off their engagement, and a short time after they went their separate ways, Patricia discovered she was pregnant with Gallagher’s child.

Melvin and Gloria became engaged, and were to marry the following year on January 10, 1959. Some time during their engagement, Gloria also became pregnant.

In the interim, Gallagher, who’d recently been discharged after serving with the Army, started working at the Clark Super 100 service station located at 210 Falls Ave. in Waterloo. He submitted an application for employment with the Waterloo Police Department, and also applied for entry to a chiropractic school. Now that that Army vet would have a wife and child, there would be expenses and he’d be leaving his mother and step-father’s home to make one of his own with his new family.

He never got the chance to marry his girl. Never got the opportunity to meet his unborn children. Never got the time to fulfill any of his dreams.

He’d been working at the service station just six month when, on a bitterly cold Saturday morning about 5:15 a.m., he was killed by a shotgun blast to the head as he prepared to end his night-shift. On January 3, 1959, exactly one week before his wedding day, Melvin James Gallagher lay dying on a filling station floor behind frost-covered windows — his left hand still in his pocket — as his life and all he’d ever hoped for ebbed away and vanished.

The following month on February 19, Patricia gave birth to the couple’s son, Michael. Later that year, Gloria delivered their twin daughters.

Melvin Gallagher’s three children are now 51 years old, and despite the half century since their father’s death, all still wait for answers as to who pulled the trigger that cold winter morning and why they had to grow up never getting to know their father.

If you have any information about this crime, please contact the Waterloo Police Department’s Investigations Division at 319-291-4340 or e-mail