Another drowning in La Crosse, WI - 8th since 1997

Discussion in 'Deaths of Male College Students/The River Killers' started by Ang50, Oct 3, 2006.

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  1. Ang50

    Ang50 New Member

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    Is anyone else keeping up on this?

    21 year old Luke Homan, also a standout athlete, also a UW La Crosse male, attractive, good guy drowns in river after being out at the bars.

    http://www.themilwaukeechannel.com/news/9976647/detail.html

    Jared Dion, also originally from Waukesha County, drowned in 2004. And possibly Matt Kruziki, Waukesha County, was a victim in a different city. I hope that the parents start talking with each other.

    See vanceholmes.com and crimelibrary.com under serial killers for theories.
     
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  3. reb

    reb New Member

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    <I hope that the parents start talking with each other.>

    or...... maybe they should have been talking to their kids about the dangers of alcoholism.
     
  4. Ang50

    Ang50 New Member

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    I'll admit that drinking is a problem, but I don't believe it accounts for the deaths. The campus was wilder in the 80's, and 18 year olds could legally drink, and they didn't have these deaths. Other colleges are on the river, and they don't have these deaths.

    Jsonline.com has a balanced article on the situation today.
     
  5. CyberLaw

    CyberLaw Former Member

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    What about all of the students who go out each night, drink, binge drink, leave the bars very drunk and make it back to their home or dorm.

    8 deaths in 9 years. Look at all of the students who make it home safe.

    Binge drinking, inexperienced drinkers, young age, darkness, not familiar with the area, did I mention extremely intoxicated, staggering around in the darkness, near the lake.........

    Tragic accident, tragic circumstances.........

    I very much doubt that a "serial" killer is "combing" the bars once a year for the last 9 years and targetting "lone" victims.

    Because he/she would have to "know" on that particular night that "a particular" type of person who would fit "their particular" idea for a "victim" would be in that particular bar that particular night and that particular person would "binge" drink and "become lost from "his friends".

    Some how I very much doubt it...........especially when it appears that serial killers take "pride" in the fact that they "personally" kill their victims, as in stabbing, gun, strangulation. It is for "personal satisfaction", not pushing a "drunk" college student into the water........no thrill in that........

    At least the school is "taking" proactive education in regards to "education" and "awareness" in both school and the bars....

    Oh by the way.... a heck of a lot has "changed" in the world in the last 18 years.........a lot........you cannot compare students today in University to students 18 years ago... let me see that was 1986, the internet was not even available......
     
  6. Sherlockmom

    Sherlockmom New Member

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    >I'll admit that drinking is a problem, but I don't believe it accounts for the deaths. The campus was wilder in the 80's, and 18 year olds could legally drink, and they didn't have these deaths. Other colleges are on the river, and they don't have these deaths.

    Jsonline.com has a balanced article on the situation today.<


    Well maybe kids are dumber today than they were back then :( You may have seen some of these taverns on the riverfront. You can very easily stumble into the water.

    What solid evidence do you believe points to foul play besides the numbers of deaths? I don't think autopsy found any indication of foul play on these victims whatsoeveer.

    How many have died driving home from taverns in car accidents? Foul play?

    Sometimes bad things happen when you get drunk. No one to blame but Mr. Stupidity. Sad that a life was wasted this way.

    I would be very surprised that the Milw. Journal had a balanced article on anything but I'll check it out and see what they have to say. I'm open to any theories if they have strong enough evidence.
     
  7. Sherlockmom

    Sherlockmom New Member

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    Well the JS article was pretty good. And most of what I read there led me to believe that indeed, alcohol is to blame for these incidents. Other victims who had fallen in and survived reported that it was alcohol that caused them to be disorientated and fall into the water. Indeed, the funniest part of the story was one guy who thought there was something fishy (no pun intended) to these drownings but admitted that he himself had fallen in.

    One quote from the article:

    >In one drowning, a young man fell through the ice. Another was chased into the river by a crowd. Still another young man hopped three fences, stripped naked, removed his wallet and wound up in the river, he said. <

    When we drink and act stupid bad things can happen.

    Despite the comments that this didn't happen years ago the fact show that

    "Homan is the eighth young man pulled from the dark waters of the Mississippi River since 1997 and the 24th since 1974. "

    I found little to point to foul play. The sanest advice is from the last paragraph of the article :

    "Kondracki said one young man went through the ice on the river and scrambled back to safety, only to blame alcohol. He said he has seen reports of another young woman found by Minnesota police crossing a bridge that spans the river. The woman was so intoxicated, she thought she was going to campus, he said.
    "We need to get past the denial and the anger and come to grips with that," he said.

    I think as a society we've lost the ability to accept death in a reasonable way. There always has to be someone else to blame or someone to sue. Sometimes it's just that someone made a dumb choice and paid a heavy price for it". I can understand how it is hard to accept such a harsh consequence for a bit of youthful folly."
     
  8. reb

    reb New Member

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    MAYBE kids are dumber today than they used to be...??? uh, hello-- america-- they ARE, beyond the shadow of a doubt,, and getting dumber by the day.

    what could account for more deaths recently in this particular situation? think about the other possibilities (besides a serial killer)--
    are there MORE college students than there used to be?? yes.
    are there MORE bars in that area (and in all college towns) than there used to be? yes.
    are all those extra students, who are drinking at more bars, drinking more, and more often? yes.
    so... you're gonna have more deaths. it's hard for me to feel sorry for them- no one put a gun to their head and forced them to be nominated for a darwin award.

    alcoholism is an unbelievable epidemic with college students-- (it's a wonder they ever get any schoolwork done at all... and i guess many of them don't!)
    but, no one seems to notice or care-- everyone thinks it's just a 'normal right of passage' and of course tons of businesses are dependent on these kids & their booze addiction for their profits... so everyone turns a blind eye. but it's very alarming that it seems to be a lifestyle for these pampered kids, killing off their brain cells in record numbers at such a young age... and these are the leaders of tomorrow.......???? scary.

    i wonder if they'd be such boozehounds if they had to actually work and PAY for their OWN college education?

    answer: most likely, no.
     
  9. Sherlockmom

    Sherlockmom New Member

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    >i wonder if they'd be such boozehounds if they had to actually work and PAY for their OWN college education?

    answer: most likely, no.<


    Ding ding ding ding!! Give this gal a prize!

    I believe that you do your kids no favor paying 100% of their way through school.
     
  10. Ang50

    Ang50 New Member

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    Most college kids I know work, and are taking out large student loans as well. This in the face of rising tuition and lower and lower state support for schools while we keep building prisons... WI has a direct relationship, but it's off topic.

    Here's what I know: My parents are both UW-L graduates, and they were dorm parents back in the 70's. I was actually born at Gundersen Lutheran, and my brother is also a graduate of UW-L. So close ties... needless to say.

    Anyone who knows that area knows that, unlike other campuses or towns, the bars are NOT on the river. It's a number of blocks from the bars to the river. Even if someone got turned around, the area is not residential. It would require a walk, and it just seems odd that no one would see these guys. Not to mention, this is not the only WI college town near a body of water, and yet the drownings are generally only happening in LaX. (there was one or two at UWEC - and I think they may be connected anyway...)

    These are young men - but all 21. Not freshmen, and not likely to be totally inexperienced drinkers. And they live in the town, so not unfamiliar with the area.

    What I think causes further investigation is this: Jared Dion's hat was found next to the edge of the river. If my aunt's info is true (a LaX resident) she said that one of the nurses at Gundersen Lutheran stated that Luke's clothes were found folded at the edge of the river.

    I'm not gung ho going for a serial killer theory. What I think is that the situation deserves more than a dismissive theory blaming "irresponsible" kids for getting drunk and dying. It upsets me that the police give the matter short shrift while kids die.
     
  11. Ang50

    Ang50 New Member

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    Should also add my belief is due to anecdotal evidence as well. FWIW - my brother's roommate fit the same profile. (wrestler and football player, 21, out drinking at bars at UW-L, etc.) The guys were all out one night, and in line for the bus (ala Jared Dion) and when they turned around, Roomie wasn't there. Just vanished...

    It turned out that a couple guys had started an altercation with Roomie, and he got separated while he dealt with these guys. His size, being known on campus, being drunk may have all made him a target. In this case, though, he didn't become a victim. He kicked the crap out of the two guys and found his way home.

    However, I think that the outcome could have easily been different. We might have been searching for him and consoling his parents. You just don't know for sure...
     
  12. Sherlockmom

    Sherlockmom New Member

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    >However, I think that the outcome could have easily been different. We might have been searching for him and consoling his parents. You just don't know for sure...<



    But then you would have found bruises or marks on his body if he had been beat up or in an altercation of some type. Yet none of this type of evidence was found on any of the victims. Most guys would fight back if someone was trying to push them into the river.

    The anecdotal evidence about the clothes neatly folded is just that. Anecdotal and hearsay. I haven't heard anything of that sort reported. And perhaps he went for a swim? Drunk people do dumb things. We had a young male relative that had too much to drink and didn't want to drive drunk so decided to try and swim home and drown.

    You must have a very dim view of law enforcement to believe that the police would deliberately ignore evidence of a crime. Why? This is a small town. A serial murderer would be big news and something out of the ordinary for these cops. Something that they would be more likely to be interested in pursuing. not ignoring. What motive do you think there would be for them to do so?
     
  13. AlwaysShocked

    AlwaysShocked Active Member

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    Yes, young drunks do incredibly stupid things at times. At an out-in-the-country home where I used to live the 19 yr. old son of a neighbor had a drinking party while the parents were out of town. For whatever reason this highly intoxicated young man went outside and laid down on the road that ran past the front of the house. Apparently he fell asleep there.

    Another local man was coming home after working the 4-12 shift and ran over and killed the young man.

    This was a terrible tragedy for both families. The man who was driving the car was so upset that he was never the same after that incident.
     
  14. BhamMama

    BhamMama Former Member

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    I agree, I don't think there is anyone hunting anyone else out there either.

    On the other hand, there was internet in 1986 ;-) Life has certainly changed though since then.
     
  15. Ang50

    Ang50 New Member

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    I guess it's just simpler to believe that men in La Crosse are more stupid, more drunk and less balanced than anywhere else in the U.S. rather than to entertain the thought that something sinister could be going on.

    Why don't women fall in? Why aren't accidents prevalent like this near the Landing in St. Louis, or Baltimore's Inner Harbor or Milwaukee's Water Street where the bars are actually ON the water?? Why are an overwhelming number of the young men prominent athletes?

    I just can't think it's acceptable in any community to lose one outstanding young man a year, year after year, and blame him entirely instead of looking further into the problem. It's certainly not acceptable when 1/2 the community is of the opinion that foul play is involved.
     
  16. Sherlockmom

    Sherlockmom New Member

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    >>I guess it's just simpler to believe that men in La Crosse are more stupid, more drunk and less balanced than anywhere else in the U.S. rather than to entertain the thought that something sinister could be going on. <<

    No, but at other campuses young men die after drinking and falling off balconies, getting in cars and driving etc. I haven't checked but I wonder if you look into the statistics at any college campus and do not find at least one alchohol related death in the community a year.

    Wasn't there an incident in Whitewater years ago where there was a party and they left candles burning and burned down the place and students died? It's been awhile so I don't remember all of the details of the story but I thought it was alcohol related.

    I had 3 kids go through college and it seemed just about every year some kid died from alcohol poisoning or some other related alcohol event.

    >>Why don't women fall in? Why aren't accidents prevalent like this near the Landing in St. Louis, or Baltimore's Inner Harbor or Milwaukee's Water Street where the bars are actually ON the water?? Why are an overwhelming number of the young men prominent athletes? <<

    Now these points I do find would warrant further investigation. However keep in mind that binge drinking is more common in young males than females. Males may be more likely to walk home alone than a female. As for the athlete part? That too is curious but two of my daughter's were RA's in college one of them at a dorm that was just for athletes. Believe me, these guys like to drink. More so than let's say a music major. They can be some of the most obnoxious, overbearing entitled students at the college. Many of them are there on scholarships and get the best of everything and get away with alot more than other students would.

    >>I just can't think it's acceptable in any community to lose one outstanding young man a year, year after year, and blame him entirely instead of looking further into the problem. It's certainly not acceptable when 1/2 the community is of the opinion that foul play is involved.<<

    Well our LE shouldn't be driven completely by what 1/2 of the population thinks. Many of them think some pretty outrageous things but aside from that what makes you think that LE hasn't looked further into it and found nothing? Without something solid to go on what else would you have them do? Do you have knowledge that they haven't followed through on leads?

    There is no evidence on the bodies, no leads to follow at all. So, what are they to do? Just start arresting people willy nilly and strong arm someone into confessing so that 1/2 of the population is satisified? Maybe they can have a public lynching and pacify the masses?

    I haven't heard of one shred of evidence that points to anything else but accident. No solid leads whatsoever. They probably interviewed everyone and found nothing to go on.

    Apparantly at least some of these guys aren't worried as they seem to still get pretty drunk regularly and try to walk home. If 1/2 of the population thinks there is foul play by the same river tosser over 20 years then why are more male students not heeding the warning and drinking responsibly and not walking off alone?

    Well there is hope. It takes some strength to toss a big footballer player into a river drunk or not. It's been like what, 24 years now? Let's say the killer was 21 himself when he started hating athletes. Probably something to do with him not making the team or something. But I digress. By now he's 48 years old. No longer the spring chicken he once was. The serial killer is getting older. Sooner or later it will take it's toll on him. He'll pull a muscle, slip a disc or fall and break a hip while trying to play toss the athlete. This will be obvious to the police and they can arrest him. Case closed. Or not. LE will most likely try to cover this up to hide their lack of interest in the case for the past 24 years.
     
  17. Sherlockmom

    Sherlockmom New Member

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  18. reb

    reb New Member

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    OK,, from what i've read of the 'drowning in coincidence' website-- it seems that these deaths are occuring all over the place.

    you're wondering why it's always men, and prominent athletes?? think about it... young men, and prominent athletes are the ones most likely to be drinking themselves to death and doing idiotic things.

    it still seems to me to be alcohol-related and just that. perhaps it's just that young college kids are drinking more and more every year, and finally we are starting to see the results of people turning a blind eye to that.
    it would be one thing if there was a one single shred of evidence that pointed to someone else doing it to them, but there doesn't seem to be. there may be a few 'odd' things, like the one guy being found on his back instead of on his chest- but that still doesn't seem to be evidence of anything to me. i think the parents want to bame someone else-- a boogeyman if you will, because they just can't believe that their own beloved son would take themselves out of the gene pool like that.

    there also could be other things-- trends in drinks or drinking practices-- that are making these young men disoriented quicker. i think until parents, colleges, and society in general takes a good hard look at college drinking excess,, this kind of thing is going to happen. it's really not that unbelievable to me that someone would drink themselves into oblivion, go walking towards the nearby river & end up dead in it. i think what's happening is that it's just becoming more & more common.. as there are more & more kids, more bars, more alcohol, more excess.
     
  19. Ang50

    Ang50 New Member

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    Young women drink too, they drink a lot, particular in WI, and particularly in La Crosse. They get disoriented and separated from friends, too, but in all the years, no drownings. Just men.

    Federal Marshall Bill Kruziki is calling for a federal investigation - his sentiments are mine exactly -

    "I just can't stand to see another incident like this happen and everybody sits back and 'Well, there's just another kid that went out drinking and died,'" Kruziki said.

    Kruziki is the U.S. Marshal in Eastern Wisconsin and the former Waukesha sheriff. After 30 years in law enforcement, he said he sees a pattern in this string of deaths.After months of grieving, he said Homan's death sparked him to act.

    Now, Kruziki is calling for a federal task force to review the entire string of drownings."Something has to be done other than just saying it's an accidental drowning because of alcohol. That's too easy. Something else has to be done," Kruziki said.

    See http://www.themilwaukeechannel.com/news/9982786/detail.html
     
  20. reb

    reb New Member

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    also another reason there have been so many student drownings in lacrosse (24 since 1974) could be: the fact that we are talking about the mississippi river here.. which is extremely deceiving. it looks calm on the outside but those currents can suck you under in a heartbeat... combined with, the area's relative proximity to the river. perhaps the way the roads are located near the bars make it very easy to just take a walk and & then end up in the river. and maybe something about the area where they go in is making them more likely to drown- how the current moves or pulls in that particular location, or it just happens to be very strong or deep in that area.
    i bet a ton of students end up in the water all over the country after binge drinking, but many don't drown because it's not the mississippi.

    btw, here's a question- how many college town drinking areas ARE right on the mississippi? i imagine there are a lot.. but if lacrosse were the only one-- then there's your answer.
     
  21. reb

    reb New Member

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    yes, but you have to remember that men are physcially (in general) able to drink far more than women.
    and from observing young drunk women (while sober), the women are more likely to stay together, or just pass out or go home. it's just something about the way the male brain works-- they're just more likely to go off on their own and do something stupid. whenever you hear of someone getting high on drugs and thinking they can fly, and then jumping off a blacony-- 9 times out of 10, it's a guy. guys are more likely to get crazy, get violent, think they are invincible; more likely to try to do stunts from 'jackass'. it's the testosterone, that makes them do such stupid things, i would imagine.
     
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