Police Officer John Stephens, 32, and Paul Rayer, 51, were shot and killed Tuesday, Dec. 5, 1967, during a robbery of Club 64, an upscale steakhouse about a half-mile east of Council Bluffs’ city limits where Stephens moonlighted as a plain-clothes security guard.
Robbery appeared to be the motive. Stephens was to accompany Rayer, the restaurant’s manager, to the Council Bluffs Savings Bank about 2 a.m. after the business closed and daily receipts were counted. Both men’s bodies, each shot multiple times, were found in the restaurant’s office about five hours later when a club employee arrived for regular cleanup work.
Evidence indicated there were two shooters in what police called a “gangland-style slaying.” About $1,500 was missing. There were no witnesses, and officers found no signs of forced entry. It was believed both men were shot to prevent their identification of the robbers, and authorities theorized Stephens may have recognized the gunmen.