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  1. #1

    WI - Janet Raasch, 20, Plover, 11 Oct 1984


    Janet Marie Raasch, 20 years old, was a third year business major at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point in 1984. She worked at the Debot Dining Center on campus. Her case is still unsolved after 32 years.

    She had traded shifts with a coworker on Thursday, October 11, 1984 so she could go visit her family in Merrill, Wisconsin. A friend had dropped her off at the intersection of State Highway 54 and County Highway JJ in Plover, Wisconsin. State Highway JJ is also known as Old Amish Road. She was planning on hitchhiking home. She was carrying a duffle bag. October 11 was the last day she was seen by people who knew her.

    Her friends reported her missing on Monday, October 15, 1984.

    Her decomposed and partially-clad body was found by hunters on Saturday, November 17, 1984 about 300 feet into the woods two miles east of State Highway 54 and County Highway JJ in the Town of Buena Vista. The coroner said she had been dead a week to ten days before she was found. A forensic pathologist said it appeared that she had been strangled.

    Since the coroner said she had been dead only a week to ten days before she was found (which would be approximately November 8 through November 11, it's obvious she was held against her will for almost a month before she was murdered.

    Portage County Sheriff's deputies say they have a strong suspect in the murder.
    Bernadette Smith, a neighbor of Michael Roy Larsen, who both lived in the neighborhood of where Raasch went missing and was found, says she was awakened late one night (exact date unknown to me around November 8) by uncontrollable sobbing and crying of a female on Michael Larsen's property. She yelled out the window as to what was going on out there. She then stated that she heard Larsen's vehicle start up and start moving and then heard a thud which was when the crying suddenly stopped. Other witnesses have made statements against him in which he alluded to being involved in the murders and in which he himself stated he had picked Janet Raasch up hitchhiking but had dropped her off somewhere else. Whether Raasch's body showed signs of being hit or run over by a motor vehicle has not been released by LE.

    Interestingly enough, when I did a USsearch on him (which is where you can do an online search on people and see where they've worked, who their family members are, etc.) it listed a previous wife of his living right across the street from the B-Bar 10 in Amherst, WI, another close relative who worked at Ore-Ida Foods in Plover, which is where another unsolved murder victim, Dorothy Raczkowski, had worked and who had been murdered in Adams County, WI. USsearch also shows another close family member working at Churney Cheese in Waupaca County, WI, where yet another unsolved murder victim, Tonya Togstad, had worked before her death. All coincidences, I'm sure. B-Bar 10 is a clothing store in Amherst, WI, which was searched several times in relation to 5 homicide victims; three of who are still missing and the other two being Tonya Togstad and Timothy Mumbrue, who were found murdered.

    A Google map viewer showing the points of interest in the Raasch murder.


    Another University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point student, 23-year-old Christine Lindsay Walters disappeared during a trip to the west coast in early November, 2009. She was last seen in California and was reported missing November 17, 2009.

    There are quite a few unsolved cases of missing and murdered women here in North Central Wisconsin spanning several decades. Either there are a whole lot of individual murderers running around or there are several serial killers responsible for their deaths.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Letter writer may help solve 1984 homicide case

    From 2014: Authorities investigating a 1984 homicide case in Portage County, Wis. are looking for the anonymous author of a letter they say could help solve the case.


  3. #3

    Tue, 06/16/2015 - 09:14 Waushara1
    Michael Roy Larsen, 63, resident of Hancock, passed away on the evening of June 11, 2015, at the Tomah Department of Veterans Affairs.
    Michael was born on June 10, 1952, in Chicago, IL, the son of Sharlene (Thill) and Roy Larsen. He was married to Terri Jansen in Stevens Point. He was Alumni of Tri-County High school, graduating class of 1970, Plainfield.
    After high school, Michael proudly joined and served his country in the United States Marine Corps. He was a Vietnam War Veteran. After his service, he enjoyed a lifetime as an Automotive Specialist. Michael also travelled to Nashville, TN, to pursue and achieve his dream of being a celebrated songwriter. Michael was a unique individual dedicated to treating everyone that crossed his path with love and respect. He will be greatly missed by all that knew and loved him.
    He is survived by: his ex-wife: Terri Jansen, Baraboo; daughter: Michelle Larsen, Baraboo; son: Mick Larsen, Baraboo; grandson: Brennan Durst, Baraboo; as well as four brothers and one sister: Alan Larsen, Edgemere, MD, Tina (Michael) Luedtke, Germantown, Alfred (Lisa) Larsen, Wautoma, Edward (Brenda) Larsen, Conowingo, MD, Martin (Carrie) Larsen, Almond.
    Michael is further survived by 22 nieces and nephews as well as other relatives and friends.
    He is preceded in death by: his parents: Roy and Sharlene Larsen; nephews: Adam Schmaus and Ben Larsen; and niece: Kirsten Larsen.
    A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 20 at the Hancock Cemetery, with Military Honors.
    A Celebration of Life will follow the service at Budda’s Bar & Grill, N6333 5th Ave, Plainfield, from 12:30-2:30 p.m.
    The Sonnenburg Family Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to www.sonnenburgfamilyfh.com.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Here's a recent and thorough article that goes over the timeline of the case and the investigation.

    Janet Raasch's murder mystery endures for decades


    Janet's death is the only unsolved homicide left to be investigated by the Portage County Sheriff's Office. The detectives who have worked on the case — and there have been many — feel like they've gotten close. They've interviewed hundreds of people. They've had suspects, but have never made an arrest. Janet's body was exhumed in search of new evidence decades after her death, but still the investigation dragged on. The most recent development in the case came a few years ago when detectives received an anonymous letter with enough information to convince them the writer knew something about what happened to Janet. The years continued to pass and Janet's family was left to hope that whoever wrote the letter would still come forward and talk to police.
    Pete Thrun, a detective with the Portage County Sheriff’s Office, was already working overtime when a body — Janet’s body — was found. Thrun met two hunters, a 33-year-old Union Grove man and a 40-year-old Almond man, shortly before 1 p.m. Nov. 17, 1984, on State 54, just east of Portage County J, according to an investigation report he wrote two days later.

    Thrun was reluctant to discuss much about the investigation because certain details might only be known by the perpetrator. Thrun, who would later be elected Portage County sheriff, was the first detective to spend a significant amount of time working on the case. At one point, Thrun had a suspect.

    “They didn’t let me go pursue the situation any further because he was out of state,” he said. “We did later, but I wish I could have gone immediately when I found out where he was.”

    Thrun, frustrated by the situation and the decisions made by his superiors at the time, still wonders what might have changed had he been allowed to go after his suspect.

    “I can speculate that it would have helped,” he said.
    Schweers was in charge on June 5, 2002, when Janet’s body was exhumed at St. Paul's Cemetery in Hamburg, a town in rural Marathon County about 15 miles from Merrill. The operation was the result of a tip and involved officers from both the Portage County Sheriff’s Office and the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

    The chances of finding something helpful to the investigation seemed small, even at the time, Schweers said.

    “But it’s a homicide,” he said. “You do it.”

    The goal was to look for something specific about Janet’s body, but Schweers wouldn’t say exactly what was checked. The evidence collected that day was sent to a crime lab, but the results of those tests have never been released to the public.
    Nancy hasn’t seen the letter. She doesn’t know what it says. But Nancy, now 54, desperately needs whoever wrote the letter — anonymously written a few years ago, but still of great interest to detectives working her sister’s case — to come forward.

    The letter may have inspired a bit of hope, Nancy said, but might not be helpful without more information from the writer.

    “Somebody needs to be held accountable,” she said.

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