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Homeless Iowa man who murdered his former apartment manager dies in prison

CORALVILLE – A homeless Iowa man who murdered his former apartment manager died in prison.

Norman Charles Wadsworth was pronounced dead due to natural causes at 10:27 PM on Thursday, May 19, 2022 while in hospice at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center where he had been housed due to chronic illness. Wadsworth was 82 years old at the time of his death.

Wadsworth had been serving a 50-year maximum term for the crime of Murder 2nd Degree from Polk County. His sentence began on October 26, 2016.

According to court records, Norman Wadsworth suffered from schizophrenia for decades and received no treatment. He had a contentious relationship with the manager at his apartment complex, Darlene Crook, who he believed was part of a government conspiracy to kill him. Eventually, Wadsworth was evicted from his apartment. After being homeless for several months, Wadsworth tried to take a bus to a motel. He boarded the wrong bus and ended up just three blocks from his old apartment complex. He walked to Crook’s office andattacked her with a knife. Crook died of blood loss from the seventy-one distinct wounds inflicted by Wadsworth. A resident of the apartment complex heard the commotion and restrained Wadsworth until police could respond. Speaking with police officers, Wadsworth admitted he knew he was killing Crook, had contemplated doing so for some time, and entered the apartment complex for that reason. Wadsworth said competing voices inside his head were telling him to either stab or not stab Crook. He believed Crook could hear the voices, too. The State charged Wadsworth with first-degree murder.

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