The Cheater – The Murder of Walter Scott


I do not usually post about creepy modern murders, for there are too many and sadly this is not solely a true crime blog.

Today though, I found some photos that lend a bit more to the telling of Walter Notheis, Jr’s murder…aka Walter Scott…aka “The Cheater Murder”.

The Cheater was a hit song by Bob Kuban and the In-Men in 1966. They had sort of a “blue-eyed soul” sound and had even performed on American Bandstand. They are also listed in the RnR Hall of Fame in the One-Hit Wonder section. Walter Scott was their singer:

Walter signing an autograph after their performance on American Bandstand hosted by Dick Clark

Walter Scott during the 1960s.

Walter was murdered on December 27, 1983. He was found wearing a jogging suit, socks and was likely ambushed by Jim Williams as he was found shot in the back. Several theories abound, but most likely he was killed while walking in his house, reading the paper or watching TV during the late evening. Walter’s wife was having an affair with her electrician, Big Jim.

This jealous lover, one Big Jim Williams, also killed his own wife in order to solidify their union. Jim and JoAnn would not live happily ever after. It would take four years to find Walter’s body and another 4 or 5 to bring the case to trial. There were a lot of legal issues and mistakes made by the prosecution and police. Big Jim was an oaf of a man, a rather successful local businessman and had a lot of community support from his friends. In smaller circles, he referred to the handsome Walter as a “Jack Off”. He also told several friends and relatives things like “Walter won’t be coming back”.

Walter’s body was found at Jim Williams’ house, floating in a cistern in the backyard. The cistern had been disguised as a big flowerbed. Author Harry Spiller spins the tale:

Caption from “Murder in the Heartland” by Harry Spiller.

Before his murder in December of 1983, Walter and Bob Kuban had reunited and were rehearsing and playing at the Fox Theatre in their hometown of St. Louis.

Big Jim Williams house, as it looked in 1983.

The house as it looks today. The cistern area in the back has been cemented over with a new patio, as it appears from satellite view.

Jim’s house “A” is five miles from Walter and JoAnn’s house “B” in suburban St. Charles, Missouri.

Walter Scott’s house, present day. After the murder, Walter’s elderly parents would drive by and give Jim the evil eye after he married and moved in with Walter’s widow, JoAnn.

JoAnn and Big Jim told a friend that Jim followed Walter into downtown St. Louis to this fancy high-rise apartment building:

Mansion House Center

However, that could have been just a story, but if not, then Jim may have followed Walter into this garage. Walter may have gone to the apartments to visit a friend. Big Jim was 6’6″ tall, maybe he overpowered Walter and tied him up to abduct and kill him later?

Mansion House main garage entrance

Two months before Walter was murdered, Jim Williams killed his wife Sharon and set it up as a wreck. She was driving this year, model and color of Cadillac.

Her head was on the center floorboard with feet and legs near the passenger door. There was the smell and presence of gasoline but no rupture in the fuel tank. The back of her head showed signs of blunt force trauma.

Site of the “crash”. The rain that night put out the arson car fire.

Check out the HBO Autopsy episode (Warning! Creepy Alert!):

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