Man convicted of two Muscatine County murders dies in prison

The man at the center of a complex double murder case in Muscatine County in February of 1979 has died in prison.

The Iowa Department of Corrections says 69-year-old Bryan Kirby Barrett died after an “unexpected medical emergency” at the Anamosa State Penitentiary. Barrett was serving a life sentence in the shooting deaths of Cindy Walker of Muscatine and Carol Willits of Illinois.

Walker’s body was found in the middle of a county road — and Willits’ body was found nearby in a car. Willits was blindfolded and left what appeared to be a suicide note.

Investigators found a $100,000 insurance policy for Walker with Barrett as the beneficiary — and then convinced a jury he staged the murder-suicide scene involving the two women.

— Radio Iowa