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The Killing Season - Websleuths

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  1. #1
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    WI - Dawn Schnetzer, 17, Menasha, 15 September 1978

    On November 4, 1978 the nude, decomposing body of 17-year-old Dawn Schnetzer was found in in the wooded area off of Willow Road near County Road BB, Calumet County, WI.

    She was last seen on September 15, 1978 when a man she met in a Hortonville tavern gave her a ride to a Menasha neighborhood where it's believed she was going to visit a friend.

    This summer, LE released photos of a plaid shirt linked to the murder.

    Dawn Schnetzer cold case: Flannel shirt could unlock 1978 murder mystery
    Written by Andy Thompson
    Editor/Local Enterprise
    August 6, 2013

    Authorities issued a plea to the public Monday for assistance in finding the owner of the shirt that was discovered a short distance from the remains of Schnetzer, a 17-year-old girl who was killed in 1978.

    Lt. Mark Wiegert of the Calumet County Sheriff’s Department said the State Crime Laboratory has developed a DNA profile from the shirt. Wiegert declined comment when asked if the DNA profile from the shirt failed to produce a match with a DNA databank of known offenders. He said authorities want to know if there is any connection between the person who wore the shirt and the crime scene.
    Authorities seek DNA links to unlock 1978 murder mystery of Menasha teen Dawn Schnetzer
    Written by Andy Thompson
    Gannett Wisconsin Media
    Jul. 12, 2013

    “We’re still actively working the case,” said Steier, who is being assisted by Lt. Ron Bouchard of the Menasha Police Department and Kyra Schallhorn of the state Justice Department’s Division of Criminal Investigation. Steier said suspects are being scrutinized, witnesses are being interviewed and re-interviewed and — perhaps most importantly — evidence from the crime scene is undergoing advanced DNA testing. Investigators are hopeful DNA analysis can provide critical clues about who killed Schnetzer and left her in the woods.

    “There’s still very good leads to follow up on,” Steier said. “There’s been a lot of suspects over the years. Some suspects have been ruled out (and) some haven’t.”
    Investigators hope for break in 1978 case
    DNA profile developed from flannel shirt
    By Ben Krumholz, FOX 11 News
    Updated: Tuesday, August 6, 2013, 8:45 AM CDT
    Published: Monday, August 5, 2013, 2:45 PM CDT

    CHILTON - Detectives are hoping, against all odds, one flannel shirt can help solve a three decades old cold case. Dawn Schnezter disappeared from her Menasha neighborhood in 1978. A month later, her body was found in Calumet County, in a wooded area near County Highway BB, between Sherwood and Hilbert. After 35 years, Calumet County Sheriff's officials still work on the Schnetzer murder case weekly.
    Police take another look at slaying
    November 5,1996
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Eighteen years ago today the body of Dawn Schnetzer was found propped against a log in a wooded area in Calumet County. Either she had been strangled or her throat was cut. A pathologist was unable to determine the exact cause of death because of body decomposition. The 17-year-old Menasha girl was wearing only red and white socks. Her undergarments and T-shirt were found hanging in a nearby tree.
    Have you seen this shirt?

    Investigators ask anyone with information about a flannel shirt found near the remains of murder victim Dawn Schnetzer in 1978 to call Sergeant/Investigator Gary Steier of the Calumet County Sheriff’s Department at 920-849-2361, ext. 791; Calumet County Crimestoppers at 1-877-SOLVE CRIME, or the Menasha Police Department at 920-967-3500.
    http://www.postcrescent.com/apps/pbc...nclick_check=1
    Attached Images Attached Images
    __________________________________
    Muddy water in the street
    ; Muddy water 'round my feet... as sung by the inimitable Bessie Smith, "Muddy Water (A Mississippi Moan)"

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  2. #2
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    Jan 2013
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    Nowheresville, VT.
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    Can any of you read what that tag says? I mean, they're looking for info on the shirt and we can't find out even what the brand is?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    2,284
    I'm not sure if I am 100% right but from what I can read I get Venalo Sealon or Venalo Seaton. I can't make out if that is a t or l. Also not 100% on the e in seaton. Spanish? Latin?

  4. #4
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    Jan 2013
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    Nowheresville, VT.
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    Yeah, there seems to be or have been a Seaton mark. There are some vintage pieces on eBay. I wonder whether there's a little "by" in the lower left corner. Apparently there was one line called "Collegiate by Seaton," for example, but I can't find anything under "Venalo" or "Venato." "Veneto" is another clothing mark. The area around Venice (Venezia) is known as the Veneto, but this isn't a very Italianate shirt. Is it really flannel? Is there a size tag?

    One of the eBay items under this mark is cashmere, so they weren't all rock-bottom inexpensive, presumably. Was the Seaton label manufactured for some particular department store?

    The investigators acknowledge that soliciting info about the shirt is a long-shot. It was found stuffed into a culvert leading into the woods where Dawn Schnetzer's body was found. If there were a DNA match to a known offender, I think we would have heard about it by now. I can't really recall what any of my acquaintances or friends from 1978 wore, much less that they suddenly stopped wearing it.

    Assuming, for the sake of argument, that the killer did ditch the shirt--since there seems to be no blood on it--he probably was concerned he'd been seen with her, or near where she was dropped off, while he had the shirt on. She'd gone out for some Friday night drinks in Hortonville, though she was still 17. Not unusual back then. Her last recorded sighting, it seems, was by the motorcyclist who gave her a ride into Menasha, who passed a polygraph and cooperated with the investigation, early Saturday morning. She's said to have been dropped off a short distance from "where she was staying with a friend." That seems to leave a small window of opportunity for anyone to snatch her off the street. It seems to provide little motive for her to get in a vehicle with someone she knows. Her ride would probably have noticed if some vehicle had followed them from Hortonville, and a stalker would probably not have known where she was spending the night unless she'd mentioned it at the Hortonville bar, or at work that day, or her friend had mentioned it to someone who knew her. So, either a random abduction, or someone who knew her and knew where she was staying who set up in his vehicle to intercept her before she went into her friend's place, and was concerned that someone might have seen him in the vicinity in the shirt. I'm assuming the "friend," whose sex isn't mentioned, would have been questioned and deemed not a suspect.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    http://www.postcrescent.com/story/ne...case/13313765/

    Investigators say credible leads have emerged in the case of Menasha teenager Dawn Schnetzer, who was murdered nearly 36 years ago and dumped in a Calumet County woods.

    "It's a matter of seeing what we can learn about them," Gary Steier, a sergeant investigator with the Calumet County Sheriff's Department, told Post-Crescent Media. "It's a lot of legwork, but some credible (information) has come in."

    Steier cautioned that an arrest is not imminent and stressed that the investigation into the slaying of the 17-year-old Schnetzer is complicated by the age of the case and the unavailability of witnesses who have since moved from the Fox Valley or, in some cases, passed away.

  6. #6
    I wonder what the name of the tavern was? And who knew Schnetzer was being dropped off? And what was a 17 year old doing at a tavern? Was she drinking? Who was the bartender who served her? Was he/she charged with serving a minor? What time exactly was "early the following morning"?

    Schnetzer reported to work on Sept. 15 at the former Hortonville Manufacturing Co. better known as the toy factory to work a shift as a toy painter. After leaving work that night, Schnetzer visited a Hortonville tavern.

    A man gave Schnetzer a ride home on his motorcycle, dropping her off early the following morning in the 600 block of Broad Street, a short distance from where she was staying with a friend. It was the last time Schnetzer was seen alive.
    http://www.postcrescent.com/story/ne...case/13313765/

  7. #7
    Here's a shirt that appears to have a similar pattern to the plaid shirt in post #1 of this thread.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
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    "Menasha police seek help in cracking cold case from 1978 slaying of 17-year-old girl"

    http://www.startribune.com/menasha-p...ger/322017391/

    In the nearly 37 years since Dawn Schnetzer was found dead in Calumet County, authorities have investigated a long list of suspects, submitted numerous items for scientific testing and tracked down hundreds of acquaintances and potential witnesses.

    But an arrest has yet to be made in the slaying of the 17-year-old Menasha girl, and the case isn't likely to be solved anytime soon, investigators say.

    Still, they stress, the case isn't inactive. Detectives are awaiting the results of DNA tests from the FBI and are methodically going through the voluminous case file. Now, they're appealing to the public for help.

  9. #9

    More questions

    Quote Originally Posted by vermontaigne View Post
    Assuming, for the sake of argument, that the killer did ditch the shirt--since there seems to be no blood on it--he probably was concerned he'd been seen with her, or near where she was dropped off, while he had the shirt on.
    It's also possible the plaid shirt was staged, like her undergarments and t-shirt found hanging in a nearby tree. They also could have been staged. Her body propped against a log could have also been staged. It's also possible that, since her outer garments weren't found (or mentioned in the press releases as being found), Schnetzer was made to wear that plaid shirt by the killer(s) and transported to the location while wearing it.

    November 5,1996
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Eighteen years ago today the body of Dawn Schnetzer was found propped against a log in a wooded area in Calumet County. Either she had been strangled or her throat was cut. A pathologist was unable to determine the exact cause of death because of body decomposition. The 17-year-old Menasha girl was wearing only red and white socks. Her undergarments and T-shirt were found hanging in a nearby tree.
    It would be interesting to know what they meant by "found hanging in a nearby tree". Hung neatly or thrown haphazardly?

    They couldn't determine the cause of death but I'm sure they could have determined approximately when she died based on the decomposition of the body and forensic evidence at the scene. Why have they not disclosed the time of death? Or even given a profile of the killer? It would help to know whether they're dealing with a one-time crime of opportunity or a serial killer who has committed similar crimes, such as the July 1, 1972 killing of another Wisconsin 17 year old, Cynthia Jane Allen, six years previously, whose clothes were also found hanging in nearby trees. She was held for 17 days before being killed based on news reports. Based on what forensics show at the crime scene, Dawn may have also been held for a period of time.

    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...e-11-June-1972

    When the person (whoever he was) who found Allen noticed the jacket hanging in a tree, he went over to investigate and found her body (and other clothing on several tree branches)
    A view of 608 Broad St., Menasha, WI, where Dawn Marie Schnetzer was headed to. Hank's 5th Ward Tavern, 600 Broad St., on the corner of Appleton & Broad Streets, can be seen two buildings to the left of 608 Broad St. Was the "short distance away" from 608 Broad St. east or west of 608? If it was west of 608 Broad St., she may have stopped at the bar, if it was open.

    https://goo.gl/maps/grZII

    If she hopped off the bike a short distance before her destination, that would be more logical since Hortonville, WI is west of Menasha WI. That would make the former Hank's 5th Ward Tavern, now DBA Five O'clock Somewhere being where she was last seen.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@44.2019...7i13312!8i6656

    https://goo.gl/maps/1jmcB

    It would be nice if LE would state the exact time she was dropped off. "Early the following morning" doesn't cut it for a timeline, nor does keeping the destination address and the gender of the "friend" hidden from the public, IMO.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    None of the news articles I've read disclosed the approximate date of death. They stated the body was decomposed but not the approximate date of death based on forensics. Does anyone know whether that information was given out?


  11. #11
    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...September-1978

    Another unsolved murder where the victim was found in Calumet County, WI was Dawn Marie Schnetzer. She was found on Willow Road (near the intersection of Cnty Rd BB, only 1.7 miles from where Karen M. Halbach lives/lived at 3550 County Road B, Hilbert, WI. She was strangled or had her throat cut also.

    https://goo.gl/maps/sJuGP1yUgfK2

    Karen Halbach is Teresa Marie Halbach's mother.
    I had made the above post on the Stevens Avery thread and am also posting it here in the event someone might see any connection between the Dawn Marie Schnetzer murder and the Teresa Marie Halbach murder since Schnetzer was found so close to Teresa Marie Halbach's mother's home.

    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...Steven-Avery-3

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by pleasestandby View Post
    I had made the above post on the Stevens Avery thread and am also posting it here in the event someone might see any connection between the Dawn Marie Schnetzer murder and the Teresa Marie Halbach murder since Schnetzer was found so close to Teresa Marie Halbach's mother's home.

    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...Steven-Avery-3
    Though the murders of Teresa Halbach and Dawn Schnetzer are 27 years apart (Dawn Schnetzer was found murdered on Willow Road in the Town of Woodville, Calumet County, WI), I still find it interesting Dawn's body was found only two miles north of Teresa Halbach's house.

    https://goo.gl/maps/nAsqCrsUdut

    Names and addresses of people who live/lived in the area of Teresa Halbach's address at W3637 County Road B, Hilbert, WI and the property on Willow Road where Dawn's body was found.

    http://profilogical.com/wisconsin/54129-932.htm
    Last edited by pleasestandby; 01-24-2016 at 07:17 PM.



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