Case Summary compiled by Jody Ewing
On Saturday, September 21, 2002, Martavious “Tay” DeShaun Robinson, 20, of Waterloo, and Calvin Maurice Rash, 29, of Chicago, were shot as they left the home of an acquaintance at 408 Thompson Ave. in Waterloo.
Rash died that same evening. Robinson died the following Tuesday, September 24, at Allen Hospital.
By March, Waterloo police announced they were mounting simultaneous, coordinated investigations to crack two unsolved murder cases in the previous six months that left four people and a near-term unborn child dead, in addition to a March 6, 2003 shooting that left two men critically injured.
“We are looking at all leads, and all connections. There’s a special investigation on each of these cases,” Waterloo Police Chief Thomas Jennings said in a March 7, 2003 article published in the Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. “We’re looking at any and all avenues and all directions for any possible leads and possible clues. We have all our resources devoted to locating these people and holding them accountable for their actions.”
The Courier reported that a connection among the three incidents had neither been confirmed nor ruled out.
“Any time you have incidents of violence like this, you always look at, is there a connection,” Jennings said.
In addition to Robinson and Rash’s unsolved murders, police were also investigating the January 3 slayings of Alonzo Quinn and his girlfriend, Rhiannon Olsen of Cedar Falls, who was nine months pregnant at the time she and Quinn were slain. The unborn child, a boy the couple planned to name Jalen, didn’t survive.
The March 6 shooting involved Samuel Lavar Landfair, 23, of 116 Harrison St., and Jimmie Junior Walker, 22, of 2723 E. Fourth St. in Waterloo. Both were shot several times in a nightclub parking lot at Edwards Street and old Logan Avenue. Each was in critical condition at Allen Hospital but survived.
Waterloo police acknowledged that at least two of the three incidents apparently involved drugs or occurred in areas of apparent drug activity, but said the incidents didn’t necessarily signal an increase in overall drug activity in the community.
Jennings said the police department was utilizing neighborhood associations, its street crimes unit, the Tri-County Drug Task Force and criminalistics laboratories. In addition, he said local police were working very closely with the Cedar Falls Police Department and the county sheriff’s office, and were asking for the public’s help with the unsolved shootings.
“These are acts being done against specific individuals,” he told the Courier, stressing that the incidents were not random.
Making the Connections
Officials haven’t confirmed whether or not Robinson and Rash’s murders were somehow connected to Anthony Marcellus Cole of Waterloo and Cole’s September 2002 trip to Chicago, though the Courier identified many connections in an article published May 23, 2004. It started, the Courier reported, when Chicago police found a suitcase full of cash in the car Cole was driving on September 20, 2002.
The Courier reported the following findings:
- A dog detected the scent of drugs on the money, which totaled $63,805. Officers seized both the cash and the car.
- Cole, 31, took the bus back to Waterloo. A man who accompanied him on the return trip was later shot to death, according to statements prosecutors and defense attorneys would later make in open court.
- Over the next several months, Cole and people he knew were kidnapped, tortured and, in some cases, killed.
- Records obtained by the Courier shed light on the trip made by Cole, who escaped from masked captors in October 2002 and months later shot and seriously wounded two men outside a Waterloo nightclub.
- Bartender and clothing store salesman David Errol Willock of Iowa City was convicted of kidnapping Cole, but authorities said others were involved.
- Public details about Cole’s September 2002 trip to Chicago and the money first came out in February when Cole was put on trial for the March 2003 nightclub shooting of Samuel Landfair and Jimmie Walker.
- Robinson and Rash were shot one day after Chicago police stopped Cole.
- Court records showed authorities had information that Rash was making arrangements to bring a shipment of marijuana and ecstasy to Waterloo the same week as Cole’s Chicago trip.
- Brooke Krantz, an investigator with the Cedar Falls Police Department, testified during the nightclub shooting trial that Cole told officers he believed there was a “hit” out for him and suspected his attackers were associated with the Goodfellaz store.
- The assistant county attorney theorized to jurors that Willock knew Cole and his acquaintances, who included Lamont Horton and the now-deceased Alonzo Quinn and appeared to be well-off drug dealers from their visits to the faltering Goodfellaz clothing store in Coralville where Willock worked.
- Officers from Waterloo and Cedar Falls jointly investigated Cole’s abduction along with two other home invasion cases because the crimes appeared to be connected. These included the Oct. 5, 2002, home invasion robbery at Rhiannon Olsen’s Cedar Falls apartment and the Oct. 16, 2002, home invasion at a Waterloo townhouse where Horton’s ex-girlfriend lived. Olsen was six months pregnant with Quinn’s child when she was bound with duct tape by men who were searching for something.
- Witnesses during Willock’s trial described Horton and Quinn as acquaintances of Cole who were involved in drug trafficking.
- Both Quinn and Olsen were later murdered in Quinn’s home on Jan. 3, 2003 when Olsen was nine months pregnant.
Cole was eventually convicted of attempted murder and other charges and sentenced to 50 years in prison.
In addition to the Robinson and Rash double slaying, Quinn and Olsen’s murders also remain unsolved.
About the Victims
Calvin Maurice Rash was born December 16, 1972. (In different reports, the Social Security Death Index lists Rash’s date of birth as both 1972 and 1973. Most records indicate 1972.)
Martavious Robinson was born July 23, 1982 in Iowa City to Faye Robinson and Cliff Amborse Jr. He was buried in Fairview Cemetery in Waterloo.
Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers is offering a $1,500.00 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Waterloo Police Department at 319-291-4340 ext. 3 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.
Anonymous tips may be sent through the Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers Confidential Web Tip Information System.
- Waterloo Police Department
- Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers
- “Peace Walk, somber remembrance of homicide victims kicks off Juneteenth festivities,” by Andrew Wind, WCF Courier, June 23, 2018
- Cedar Valley Crime Stoppers is offering $1,000.00 reward for information — Cedar Valley Crimestoppers | Facebook, September 22, 2013
- Find a Grave Memorial for Martavious Robinson
- Find a Grave Memorial for Calvin Rash
- Social Security Death Master File for persons born 16 December 1972
- Person Details for Calvin M. Rash, “United States Social Security Death Index” — FamilySearch.org
- Person Details for Calvin Maurice Rash, “United States Public Records, 1970-2009” — FamilySearch.org
- Person Details for Martavious Robinson, “United States Social Security Death Index” — FamilySearch.org
- Person Details for Martavious D. Robinson, “United States Public Records, 1970-2009” — FamilySearch.org
- Person Details for Martavious Deshawn Robinson, “United States Public Records, 1970-2009” — FamilySearch.org
- “Six sentenced in Waterloo heroin ring,” WCF Courier, June 2, 2013
- “One arrest made, other deaths unsolved,” by Jeff Reinitz, WCF Courier, May 22, 2005
- “Man shot outside tavern,” WCF Courier, June 7, 2004
- “Suitcase of cash may link unsolved crimes,” by Jeff Reinitz, WCF Courier, May 23, 2004
- “Attempted murder trial to start today,” WCF Courier, January 28, 2004
- “Police press to crack shooting cases,” WCF Courier, March 7, 2003
- “Murder case still unsolved,” The Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier
- “Obituaries September 2002,” The Charter-Pierce Memorial Internet Genealogical Society & Library
- “Second man dies in shooting outside home,” The Cedar Rapids Gazette, September 25, 2002
- “Police investigate Waterloo shooting,” Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier