The Officers assigned to the first case set the example for law enforcement cooperation which continues today.


first investigation:

victim Terry Aldrich, 20 yO Male

The first investigation for the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis occurred in St. Charles, Missouri on September 18, 1965.  Chief Earl Humphrey of St. Charles City PD requested MCS investigate the death of Terry Aldrich.  The following excerpt was taken from State v. Cheek transcripts [413 S.W.2d 231 (1967)]

During the early evening of September 18, 1965, defendant Fred Cheek drove his Ford Mustang automobile from O'Fallon to St. Charles, Missouri. He was accompanied by Lee English, Walter Thomas, Harvey Huber, and Rose Wells, all of whom lived in the O'Fallon area. While en route to St. Charles defendant was stopped by a highway patrolman and was given a ticket for passing a line of cars on a hill. The patrolman testified that while he smelled an odor of alcohol, the defendant was not intoxicated. About 45 minutes later defendant shot Terry Aldrich in front of the Aldrich home in St. Charles.

Rose Wells testified for the State. She stated that at least three of the men had been drinking when she entered the car at about 8 p. m.; that after arriving in St. Charles the men bought a fifth of Bourbon which they mixed with grapefruit juice and that they were all drinking; that defendant then drove his car to a trailer court (Trio Mobile Homes Park); that when they arrived at a point near the Court they saw a Volkswagen on the road with a boy pushing it; they stopped and Walter Thomas asked if they could help by pushing the car but the boy said no, they could do it themselves; that at that point defendant and Huber insisted that they would help anyway and defendant backed his car up and then ran it forward and hit the Volkswagen from the rear; that he backed up again and hit the Volkswagen a second time; that a boy then got out of the Volkswagen and came around to the driver's side of the Mustang and reached in, pulled defendant's shirt, and asked him what he thought he was doing; that defendant and Huber both got out of the car - Huber carrying a .38 caliber revolver in his hand and defendant carrying a .22 caliber Derringer; that she then heard a shot and a girl scream; that the men got back in the car and defendant said, "I shot the guy in the throat"; that they then started back toward O'Fallon and defendant gave the Derringer to Huber, who fired the other shot out the car window, and said he would take it to work the next day and melt it down with a welding torch.

Coleen Skelly testified that on the night in question she had a date with Terry Aldrich and that they were double-dating with Don Campbell and Linda Crosley; that they were all at the home of Terry Aldrich's parents and decided to go play miniature golf; that they started to leave in Don's Volkswagen but the car would not start; that one of the boys was pushing it when some people in a Mustang drove alongside the Volkswagen and asked if we needed help; that Don said "No, we can manage it ourselves," and someone in the Mustang said, "We are going to help you anyway"; and that they backed the car up and drove into the Volkswagen. "Then we all got out of the car" and the Mustang hit it again "real hard"; that she then looked at Terry who was standing in the street and about ten seconds later she saw the flash of a gun in front of him and Terry fell; that Terry was standing still at the time he was shot; that she saw that Terry was bleeding and ran to his home nearby and reported that Terry had been shot.

Somewhat similar testimony was given by Linda Crosley and by Donald Campbell. Donald also testified that Terry may have grabbed defendant's shirt when he walked to the driver's window of the Mustang, and that Terry then walked back towards Huber before the shot was fired but was not moving at the time he was shot.

Terry, a 20-year-old college student, was taken at once to the hospital where he died later that night. According to the testimony of Dr. Roberts who performed an autopsy there were powder burns on deceased's neck, and the bullet punctured the right jugular vein so that blood filled the windpipe and lungs of the deceased. In answer to a hypothetical question Dr. Roberts expressed the opinion that deceased died as a result of the gunshot wound.

Linda Crosley had been able to get a part of the license number on the Mustang before it left the scene and the car was located about midnight in Wentzville, at which time defendant, Huber, and Thomas were arrested. It later developed that Huber had thrown the revolver out of the car at the time of his arrest and it was found at that place early the next morning. An officer testified that defendant denied knowing anything about the shooting at the time of his arrest.

Defendant testified that he had stolen the.38 caliber revolver, which Huber had on the night of the killing, about three weeks before from a man called "Herb"; that he had purchased the Derringer in St. Louis about three years before the shooting; that in 1962 he dropped that gun and broke the pin which held the trigger; that he repaired it by replacing the pin with a small wire braid, and since that time the gun had been "real easy to trigger." He further testified that on the night of the shooting, when the boy refused their offer to push the Volkswagen, someone said, "Let's give them a push anyway"; that he backed the car up and pulled in behind the other car and "let it roll down and bump into" the Volkswagen; that at that time a boy, whom he later learned was Terry Aldrich, came back to his car, grabbed and tore his shirt, spilled his drink, and then said "Are you guys looking for trouble?"; that Huber got out and walked around the back of the car and the boy then let go of him and started back toward Huber; that he then opened his door and went back to where Aldrich was; that before getting out of the car he had obtained the Derringer from between the seat and the transmission; that he then walked toward Aldrich and put his hand on his arm and "I started to say something to him and had the gun in my hand, and when he turned around he bumped into me, turned into me, and when he did the gun went off"; that somebody said, "Let's get in the car"; and "we ran and got in the car and took off."

Defendant further testified that he knew that Huber, who was intoxicated, had the.38 revolver when he got out of the car; that when he first got out of the car he saw that Huber was pointing the gun at Aldrich.

On cross-examination he stated that his Derringer would not go off unless it was "cocked" and that he did not know it was cocked at the time of the shooting.

Both Walter Thomas and Lee English testified for the defendant. They each stated that when defendant got back in the car he said he didn't mean to shoot the boy. English testified that in returning from St. Charles to O'Fallon defendant used country roads and "drove like a maniac."

Defendant Fred Park Cheek received a Felony Conviction - Murder in the First Degree.  Since it was alleged and proven that the defendant had been convicted of two prior felonies the court determined his punishment was fixed at imprisonment in the penitentiary for life.