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An aerial photo of the former 3M plant from the 1940s shows the south pond, where a group of Monmouth boys went fishing, and the north pond, where two of them discovered the body of a strangled murder victim. Inset: Tommy Smith (foreground), who first spotted the body of Eldon Belt, and Frank Galusha, who threw rocks at the body, in a 6th-grade class photo.

Innocent fishing trip turned deadly serious

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The body of Eldon Belt, with a rope still around his neck, was photographed at the scene of the discovery on the evening of June 5, 1946.

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Editor and historian for Monmouth College. Avid researcher of western Illinois history for 40 years. FB and Twitter. jrankin@monmouthcollege.edu

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