The Room 1046 Mystery


Image via All That’s Interesting

Cadynce Harmon, Writer

What happened in January of 1935 in room 1046 of the Hotel President in Kansas City remains a great mystery to this day. A man checked into the hotel under the name “Roland T. Owen.” He carried no luggage except for a hairbrush, a comb, and a tube of toothpaste, so it could have been true that he knew what was coming. 

Owen seemed frightened later that night when a maid went into his hotel room. There were no lights on in the room, except for a small lamp. Upon the maid leaving, he requested for her to leave the door unlocked, explaining that he was expecting someone. Later that night, the maid went into the room again to replace old towels and saw a note on the dresser reading “Don, I will be back in fifteen minutes. Wait.” “Don” is brought up multiple times throughout this case, and this man’s identity is still a huge mystery. 

The next morning, the maid entered the room and was made aware that someone had visited the previous night. “Owen” was sitting in the dark again, as he was the day before. He hurried to answer the phone when it rang, and then he seemed to be arguing with “Don” about the fact that he didn’t want to eat, and that he had eaten breakfast already. 

A man named Robert Lane picked up another man that same day around the location of the Hotel President. During the car ride, the passenger informed Lane that he was going to kill someone the following day. This man was later identified as Roland T. Owen. 

As the maid approached room 1046 that night, the second night of “Owen’s” stay, to provide fresh towels, she was met with the sound of a gruff male voice and was immediately turned away. The room’s phone had been cut off by the next morning, and a bellboy was sent in to check on “Owen.” He was met with the man lying in a pool of his own blood. 

“Owen” had been tortured, however, he refused to reveal the identity of his attacker. He tried to lie and say that the wounds were a result of his own clumsiness and that he had fallen against the bathtub. 

It was later discovered that as police tried to confirm “Owen’s” identity, that a Roland T. Owen’s did not exist. This newly unidentified John Doe died in the hospital, his true identity still masked. A call came in from an anonymous woman requesting to fund the funeral and for it to be postponed. The only thing that was provided for him at his funeral were 13 flowers that were signed, “Love forever – Louise.”

 Eventually, a woman saw the case on television and soon confirmed that the dead man was her missing son, Artemus Ogletree. However, the case wasn’t able to be pursued any further, and it ended there. The mystery of what really happened to this man and how he really died remains. Who was Don, and what significance did he have in “Owen’s” demise, if any?