On Air Now

Listen Now

Weather

cloudy-day
73°
Partly Cloudy
H 92° L 71°
  • cloudy-day
    73°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 92° L 71°
  • cloudy-day
    92°
    Today
    Partly Cloudy. H 92° L 71°
  • partly-cloudy-tstorms-day
    90°
    Tomorrow
    Chance of T-storms. H 90° L 72°
Listen
Pause
Error

News on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

Traffic on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

Listen
Pause
Error

Weather on-demand

00:00 | 00:00

National
Man charged in first wife’s brutal 1982 ax murder in upstate New York CB
Close

Man charged in first wife’s brutal 1982 ax murder in upstate New York CB

Man charged 37 years after his wife’s brutal ax murder

Man charged in first wife’s brutal 1982 ax murder in upstate New York CB

Sara Krauseneck was 3 years old the day her mother was found dead with an ax blade embedded in her skull.

Now 41, Sara Krauseneck stood by her father’s side Friday as he walked into an upstate New York courtroom to face charges that he killed Cathleen Schlosser Krauseneck and left their then-toddler daughter to spend the day alone with her mother’s dead body.

James Krauseneck Jr., 67, of Peoria, Arizona, is charged with second-degree murder in Cathleen Krauseneck’s Feb. 19, 1982, slaying. The 29-year-old wife and mother was found slain in the bedroom of the couple’s Brighton, New York, home.

Cathleen Krauseneck’s sister, Annet Schlosser, told MSN via phone on Friday that the charges against her former brother-in-law were long-awaited by her family.

“My family will see justice for Cathy, we hope,” Schlosser said. “We still have a way to go yet with the trial, but this is a huge step forward.”

James Krauseneck pleaded not guilty during his arraignment Friday. He was released on $100,000 bail and was ordered to surrender his passport.

“This is one of the worst outcomes of domestic violence that this agency has investigated,” Brighton Police Chief David Catholdi said at a news conference Tuesday morning. “And this was domestic violence.”

>> Read more trending news

Catholdi was surrounded by local, state and federal law enforcement officers, both active and retired, who worked on the 37-year-old homicide case.

“Hundreds, if not thousands, of investigative hours went into this case over the last few decades,” Catholdi said.

Ultimately, it was the assistance of renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden that led to the murder charge against James Krauseneck, who claimed he was at work when his wife was killed.

Baden conducted a thorough review of the timeline of Cathleen Krauseneck’s death, the police chief said.

“We believe in examining the timeline of events, speaking with witnesses and James’ timeline -- that he provided -- along with all other evidence, we will establish that James Krauseneck Jr. was home at the time of the murder,” Catholdi said.

Close

Man charged in first wife’s brutal 1982 ax murder in upstate New York CB

Baden, who briefly served as chief medical examiner for the City of New York in the late 1970s, chaired the forensic pathology panel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, which probed both the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the 1968 assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In the decades since then, he has testified in numerous high-profile cases -- often for the defense -- including the murder trials of former football great O.J. Simpson and record producer Phil Spector.

Now a private forensic pathologist, Baden most recently spurred controversy for disputing the official claim that disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein hanged himself in his jail cell Aug. 10. Baden said multiple broken bones in Epstein’s neck pointed instead to manual strangulation.

Jeremy Bell, a special agent with the FBI, said he hopes Friday’s charge against James Krauseneck brings some closure to the victim’s family, but also that it puts other suspected criminals on edge.

“I hope it puts criminals everywhere on notice: Just because the years go by doesn’t mean you can stop looking over your shoulder,” Bell said. “We’re coming.”

Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley thanked the Brighton officers in a Facebook statement for never giving up on solving the Krauseneck case. 

“I want to thank the Brighton Police Department, who has worked with the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office since 1982, for never giving up on finding justice for Cathleen Krauseneck,” Doorley wrote. “We look forward to bringing this case through the criminal justice system and finally bringing justice to Cathleen, her friends and family.”

A shocking crime 

Catholdi said police officers responded to the Krauseneck home at 33 Del Rio Drive in Brighton around 5 p.m. Feb. 19, 1982, after a neighbor called 911. The officers were ultimately led into the master bedroom of the family’s home, where they found a grisly scene.

Cathleen Krauseneck was dead, the victim of a single blow to the head with an ax.

The blade of the wood-cutting tool, which was taken from the couple’s unlocked garage, was still embedded in her forehead.

The handle of the ax had been wiped clean, testing would later show.

Close

Man charged in first wife’s brutal 1982 ax murder in upstate New York CB

“What followed was an extensive investigation that led Brighton police officers, Brighton investigators and Brighton chiefs of police across the United States to Mount Clemens, Michigan; Fort Collins, Colorado; Lynchburg, Virginia; Gig Harbor, Washington; and Houston, Texas,” Catholdi said.

The Democrat & Chronicle in Rochester reported that James Krauseneck told police he found his wife dead when he came home from his job as an economist at Eastman Kodak Co.

At the time, Cathleen Krauseneck’s estimated time of death could not be pinpointed to before or after 6:30 a.m., when James Krauseneck said he left for work. Krauseneck said his wife was asleep, but alive, when he left their home that morning, the Democrat & Chronicle reported.

Investigators, who found a window broken from the outside, initially theorized that Cathleen Krauseneck was killed during a botched burglary, but nothing was reported stolen from the home. Along with the ax, a maul used for splitting wood was taken from the garage and, investigators theorized, was used to smash the window.

Their investigation shifted, however, to the possibility of a domestic situation that turned deadly.

The couple had been married since 1974, Catholdi said Tuesday. The News Tribune in Tacoma, Washington, reported that the couple attended high school together but began dating as students at Western Michigan University.

According to Cathleen Krauseneck’s family, the couple lived in Colorado and Virginia before settling in their home in Brighton, the News Tribune reported.

The victim’s family told the newspaper the couple began having problems in Brighton after James Krauseneck, then 30 years old, was accused at work of lying about having earned a doctorate. He also reportedly told administrators at Lynchburg College, where he was an assistant professor of economics, that he had a doctorate, the Democrat & Chronicle reported in 2016.

Cathleen Krauseneck had confronted her husband about the alleged lies, her family told authorities.

Neighbors and friends also indicated there may have been domestic abuse in the couple’s relationship, according to police officials.

Close

Man charged in first wife’s brutal 1982 ax murder in upstate New York CB

The Democrat & Chronicle reported in 2017, when the former Krauseneck home went on the market, that Cathleen Krauseneck was not the first resident of the house to die there. In 1977, five years before the killing, homeowners Dr. Anthony Schifino and his wife, Estelle, died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The newspaper reported that the couple accidentally left their car running in the garage. 

Authorities said James Krauseneck participated in a police interview the night his wife was found dead but failed to show up for a follow-up interview the next day. Investigators learned he had taken his daughter and moved to his Michigan hometown of Mount Clemens.

Investigators went to Michigan to speak to James Krauseneck. The News Tribune reported that, although he agreed to have a child psychologist talk to his young daughter about what she may have witnessed, that appointment never took place.

According to the Press & Sun-Bulletin in Binghamton, New York, Sara Krauseneck initially told police she saw a “bad man” in the room with her mother and said the man had a hammer. She was not allowed to speak to authorities again, however. 

James Krauseneck also stopped cooperating with police, as did his family, authorities said.

“They’re all reluctant to offer information,” a Brighton detective told The Macomb Daily in a 1985 article, according to the News Tribune. “It’s like Cathleen was murdered, taken off the face of the Earth, and no one wants to help.”

James Krauseneck later moved to Gig Harbor, just outside of Tacoma. Investigators from Brighton spoke to him there in April 2016, the News Tribune reported.

He retained attorneys in both Washington and New York at that time.

Two days after detectives left Washington, James Krauseneck and his wife -- his fourth at that point -- put their home up for sale, the newspaper reported. The couple moved to Arizona after he retired as vice-president from what his attorneys described in a statement as a Fortune 500 company.

James Krauseneck’s wife, Sharon Krauseneck, was also in court with him Friday.

Watch the entire Brighton Police Department news conference below. 

‘Not a proverbial smoking gun’ 

Retired Brighton Police Chief Mark Henderson began taking a fresh look at the Krauseneck homicide case in 2015, Catholdi said Tuesday. Agents with the FBI’s Cold Case Working Group digitized the boxes of handwritten case notes and other evidence.

“In 1982, there were not computers,” Henderson said Tuesday. “Our files, our paperwork was not digitized. One of the first things that the FBI did was to convert everything from handwritten paper to digital, searchable files.”

Investigators had a theory, an “idea which way to go,” Henderson said. They met with Doorley, the district attorney, whose own investigators began looking into the case.

“This path was over a number of years,” Henderson said. “When I heard that there was an arrest made, an indictment that was going to be unsealed on Friday, I knew that it would lead to the husband of the individual.”

No one piece of evidence has led investigators to charge James Krauseneck, Catholdi said.

“I understand people want a singular piece of evidence that can directly point to James Krauseneck Jr.,” Catholdi said. “This is not one of those cases.”

The chief said the “totality of the circumstances,” along with the evidence and the timeline of events led to James Krauseneck’s arrest. FBI testing showed no DNA from anyone but James Krauseneck on any of the evidence gathered 37 years ago.

“DNA, fingerprints, or the lack thereof, can speak volumes,” Catholdi said. “James lived at 33 Del Rio Drive, and one would suspect his DNA would be in his house.

“It is telling no other physical evidence at the scene, to include DNA, points to anyone other than James Krauseneck Jr.”

Catholdi said Baden’s timeline will be crucial to the case when it comes up for trial.

“There’s not a proverbial smoking gun,” he said. “What really cinched the case was the fresh look at it.”

Close

Man charged in first wife’s brutal 1982 ax murder in upstate New York CB

James Krauseneck’s attorneys, Michael Wolford and William Easton, dispute there is any evidence linking their client to Cathleen Krauseneck’s murder.

“Jim’s innocence was clear 37 years ago. It’s clear today,” the attorneys said in a written statement. “At the end of the case, I have no doubt Jim will be vindicated.”

Wolford and Easton said James Krauseneck was cooperative with the investigation, “repeatedly giving statements to the police, consenting to the search of his home and his car.”

Wolford, who represented Krauseneck at the time of the killing, said he placed “reasonable conditions” on further questioning once he realized his client was the target of the investigation.

William Gargan, who heads the domestic violence unit for the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, countered the attorneys’ claims that their client cooperated with police.

“I think the word ‘cooperation’ may have a different meaning for Mr. Wolford than it does for me and the Brighton Police Department,” Gargan said Tuesday.

Gargan also disputed Wolford and Easton’s description of the prosecution, which they called “misguided” in their written statement.

“I can tell you that there has been only one thing that DA Doorley, the Brighton Police Department and the town of Brighton have sought to do. And that is to seek the truth, wherever the facts, wherever the evidence may lead them,” Gargan said.

‘To have her die like that is so unfair’ 

Catholdi said Tuesday that following James Krauseneck’s arraignment, he, Henderson and other members of the investigative team called the victim’s family to tell them of the arrest.

“They were grateful for our efforts and plan to attend the upcoming trial next year,” Catholdi said.

Catholdi closed his comments with a statement that now-deceased Brighton Police Chief Eugene Shaw made to a newspaper in February 1983, days before the first anniversary of Cathleen Krauseneck’s death.

“I’m not known to be a pessimist, so I’d say optimistically, hopefully, yes,” Shaw said when asked if the case would end in a successful prosecution.

Catholdi expressed his own optimism about the outcome of a trial, which is tentatively slated for next summer.

“Please know that the police across this region will never forget our victims,” Catholdi said. “These cases stay with us forever.

“We know we are the only ones able to speak for victims. We will investigate cases like this as long as it takes, and we will use all of our investigative abilities to bring justice for victims and their families.”

Henderson said Tuesday that the crime had a significant impact on the community, the Police Department and Shaw, who was never able to forget the unsolved case.

“I know that the inability to bring this case forward really weighed heavily on Chief Shaw,” Henderson said.

Henderson said he did not “reopen” the case in 2015 because it was never closed. Tips and prospective leads came in through the years and each was investigated, he said.

In 2015, an FBI agent approached investigators about the FBI’s Cold Case Working Group, offering its services on any unsolved cases the department might have, Henderson said. Henderson said the department decided to start from “ground zero” on the case, working in conjunction with the FBI group.

The retired chief said he met with the Schlosser family in 2015 at their home in Michigan.

“I talked about the commitment that the town of Brighton was going to make to a fresh look at this case,” Henderson said.

He and Brighton police Detective Mark Liberatore, the lead investigator on the case, sat across the dining room table from Cathleen Krauseneck’s parents, Robert and Theresa Schlosser. Theresa Schlosser has since died but Robert Schlosser, now 92, has lived to see an arrest made in his daughter’s killing. 

“I assured them that we would be looking at this case, that we would commit every resource that we had in 2015 and 2016 … and that justice would be served for their daughter Cathleen,” Henderson said.

Annet Schlosser watched the news conference Tuesday from her home in Warren, Michigan. She told the Press & Sun-Bulletin that her family initially thought James Krauseneck incapable of killing her older sister. His lack of cooperation with investigators made them think twice.

“Why would a man ... not try to seek justice for his wife?” Schlosser said. “That never made sense to us.

“It’s been 37 years. I would say that it was at least 20 years ago that we started to think he did it.”

Schlosser told the newspaper James Krauseneck turned her niece against the Schlosser family, whose members have gone years without seeing Sara Krauseneck -- or her two children. 

“They’re no longer part of our life, and that’s devastating to us,” she said.

In 2016, Schlosser described her sister for the Democrat & Chronicle as her best friend, despite a 10-year age difference.

“She was the most genuine, intelligent, loving person,” Schlosser said. “There isn’t a bad word that you can think about when describing my sister, and to have her die like that is so unfair.”

Read More

News

  • A North Alabama police officer said he was placed on administrative leave following complaints about two social media posts, including one that mocks the late George Floyd. Ross Greenwood, an officer with the Mentone Police Department, said he was put on leave pending the outcome of a termination hearing, AL.com reported. Greenwood said he was not told who complained about his posts, but Mentone Mayor Rob Hammond confirmed the administrative leave to the Fort Payne Times-Journal. Greenwood said he shared two posts that received complaints. One, posted June 14, noted that the “Treasury Department will honor George Floyd by placing his portrait on the $20 counterfeit bill.” The second post, made on June 19 read, “Breaking News: Quaker Oats officially changes name to Shaquille O’atmeal.” Floyd is the Minneapolis man who died May 25 after a police officer put his knee into the man’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Greenwood said he left the posts on his Facebook page because he wanted to be transparent, the Times-Journal reported. He said he does not believe he did anything wrong, and said he “absolutely” enforces the law equally. Hammond said Mentone Police Chief Gene McKee met with town attorney Pat Tate to discuss his investigation, the Times-Journal reported. “It is the Town’s contention that these postings are a violation of the Mentone Police Department’s code of conduct,” Hammond told the newspaper, adding a termination hearing would be held “within the next 10 days.” Greenwood, who has been with the Mentone Police Department, previously was the chief of police in nearby Sylvania. “In my opinion, (Floyd) was a criminal. He’s sure made a name for himself,” Greenwood told the Times-Journal, adding he was unhappy with the news of several products changing their branding because they play off racial stereotypes. “A lot of this has gotten way out of hand,” Greenwood told the newspaper. “What’s the standard of what we can share on social media? I’ve never targeted or threatened to kill anyone.” “If some radical Christian shot up a church, I’d share a story about that as much as I would if a radical Muslim did,” Greenwood told the Times-Journal. “I’m prejudiced against people who do stupid things. I can’t help what race you are when you mess up. I do post a lot of stuff about minorities and may post some stuff that looks racist, but there’s got to be some standard. Innocent people are getting killed.” Greenwood said he had asked for a copy of the police department’s social media policy but never received it, AL.com reported. He also said he never signed any papers documenting that he agreed to any department social media policy. “There’s something on Facebook that’s going to offend somebody,” Greenwood told AL.com. “There’s posts going around of police officers getting their throats cut. That offends me. But I don’t get out of shape. I just think, ‘Wow, that’s pretty rough.’”
  • A Black family has sued Hilton and a North Carolina Hampton Inn franchisee, alleging discrimination after a white clerk called police regarding a billing dispute. Dolores and Alvin Corbett, along with their two teenagers, checked in to The Hampton Inn & Suites on Nov. 23, 2018, in Wilson, North Carolina, along with some extended family. According to a news release provided by attorney Jason Kafoury, the family was there to “celebrate the life” of Alvin Corbett’s mother, Fannie Corbett, who died in 2019 and was declared a “civil rights pioneer” in North Carolina, The News & Observer reported. The following morning, the suit alleges, the unidentified clerk loudly and repeatedly told Dolores Corbett that her credit card had been declined. Corbett tried to explain that she had prepaid for the $145-per-night room using her Hilton Honors account points, but when she asked to speak to a supervisor, the clerk shouted, “Get off my property” and alerted police. Dolores Corbett told USA Today the humiliation and degradation suffered warranted the lawsuit, but the clerk’s summoning of police “put our family in imminent danger.” The family checked out immediately and told officers they had done nothing wrong when they arrived. And even though the clerk conceded to the responding officers that the billing question had been resolved, the suit alleges the officers escorted the Corbett family from the premises and circles their car in a restaurant parking lot while they waited for their extended family to join them, USA Today reported. Meanwhile, the Corbetts’ attorneys shared with the publication an email from the hotel’s general manager, Phil Ronaghan, dated one day after the 2018 incident, offering his “sincerest apologies” and calling the clerk’s actions “unprofessional and unwarranted.” Ronaghan also said in the email the unnamed clerk told them she called police because she felt threatened, but he did not feel the situation rose to “anywhere near that level of dispute” and noted that she had been reassigned pending an internal review of the incident, USA Today reported. In response, Hilton spokesman Nigel Glennie told the newspaper, “Hilton’s records show that our guest assistance team worked to resolve this complaint in 2018. We believe that our Hilton team engaged with sensitivity to understand, listen and address concerns about the guest’s experience.” According to The News & Observer, the suit seeks damages to compensate for the plaintiffs’ “economic loss, humiliation, embarrassment and emotional distress” as well as punitive damages that would punish the defendants’ alleged “willful, wanton, and reckless conduct” to prevent similar incidents in the future.
  • Deputies in an Oregon county were in the right place at the right time this week, saving two lives in the same spot on two different days. Shortly after 11 p.m. on Monday, Washington County deputies received a call that a 16-year-old girl was at the top of a parking structure across the street from the Sheriff’s Office in HIllsboro, KATU-TV reported. Deputies were able to coax the girl, who was allegedly preparing to jump, away from the outside railing, the television station reported. “There’s a lot of grief associated with the loss of normalcy with what youth are doing right now and the connections to their peers,” Emily Moser, director of the non-profit YouthLine, told KGW. Moser’s job has taught her a lot about how teens are trying to make sense of a world that doesn’t make much sense right now. “The uncertainty that they’re feeling is very much in the here and now,” she said. On Tuesday, deputies responded to the same area, as a woman in her 30s was standing on the top of the parking structure, KGW reported. “I received a phone call from a coworker who was driving home and she told me there was a subject on the top level of a local structure that was outside the barrier,” Commander Caprice Massey told the television station. When Massey arrived, she tried to engage with the woman by talking to her. “She starting signing in American Sign Language and she preferred to communicate that way, and as luck has it, I know sign language,” Massey told KGW. Massey was able to talk the woman back over the barrier without saying a word. “I asked the young lady if she would sit with me and we sat pretty close to each other,” Massey told KGW. “Just take the time to check in with people and when you ask ‘How are you?’ wait for the answer.”
  • Two Oklahoma police officers have been charged with second-degree murder nearly one year after the death of a naked Wilson man last Fourth of July weekend. According to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, Jared Lakey, 28, died July 6, 2019, after officers Joshua Taylor and Brandon Dingman discharged their stun guns on him more than 50 times, WXII reported. The incident occurred just before midnight on the Fourth of July after Taylor, 25, and Dingman, 34, responded to a call of a naked man running down a Wilson street screaming. “The two Wilson police officers were trying to take Lakey into custody, and he was not cooperating. He was not complying with their requests,” OSBI public information officer Brook Arbeitman said, according to the arrest affidavit. According to court documents, an OSBI agent reviewed dash and body camera footage of the arrest, The Ardmoreite reported. “The footage reveals numerous instances of both officers using their X26P tasers to send electrical shocks through (the victim’s) body in an apparent attempt to persuade him to put his hands behind his back as he lay on the ground,” the agent stated in an affidavit. Court documents indicate Dingman discharged his stun gun 23 times for a total of 114 seconds over the course of nine minutes, while Taylor deployed his stun gun 30 times for a total of 122 seconds. Despite sustaining nearly four minutes of electrical jolts, court documents state Lakey never struck, grabbed or made any aggressive attempts toward either officer during the nine-minute confrontation, WXII reported. The affidavit also states neither officer attempted to restrain Lakey during those nine minutes, despite several opportunities and the fact that Lakey was not fully conscious. “(The victim) is tased numerous times while merely lying naked in the ditch, presumably for not rolling onto his stomach and complying with the officers’ commands to ‘Put your hands behind your back’,” the affidavit states. Court records state Lakey died of “complications of myocardial infarction (clinical) in the setting of cardiomegaly and critical coronary atherosclerosis and law enforcement use of electrical weapon and restraint,” The Ardmoreite reported. The arrest warrants for Dingman and Taylor were issued Wednesday, and both officers surrendered to the Carter County Sheriff’s Office Thursday morning, WXII reported. Both men face 10 years to life in prison if convicted, and both were granted $250,000 bond.
  • What is more important -- global health policy, or where to display a unicorn drawing? That was the pointed issue confronting a BBC broadcaster on Monday, who was interviewing Clare Wenham, an assistant professor at the London School of Economics. Of course, the unicorn won out Wenham, speaking virtually with Christian Fraser, was about to answer a question about the United Kingdom’s response to the coronavirus pandemic when her daughter, Scarlett, entered the picture, The New York Times reported. The young girl can be seen walking back and forth in the room, trying to decide where to put her drawing. When Wenham finished her answer, Fraser asked, “What is your daughter called?” “She’s called Scarlett,” Wenham said. “Scarlett, I think it looks better on the lower shelf,” Fraser said. “And it’s a lovely unicorn.” As Fraser started to ask another question, Scarlett interrupted. “Say, what’s his name?” the child asked. “What’s his name, Mummy?” Fraser had a good laugh and quipped, “This is the most informative interview I’ve done all day.” Wenham told the BBC it was ironic that her interview had been crashed. She said she recently wrote an article for the British Medical Journal on that topic. Wenham conceded, however, that she never thought that scenario would happen to her. Reaction was mostly positive, with Twitter users complimenting both Wenham and Fraser. “Wonderful to see the realities of homeworking for parents,” Heather de Gruyther wrote. “And thank you to the presenter for making it OK and for talking to the child too.” The interview was similar to a 2017 clip that went viral when Robert Kelly, a political-science professor at Pusan National University in South Korea, was interrupted by his children and wife during his interview with the BBC, the Times reported.
  • A naked man was rescued from a sewer in downtown Duluth on Thursday, officials said. Officials in the northern Minnesota city said first responders pulled the man to safety around 5:10 p.m., KBJR reported. It was not clear why the man was naked, or why he was in the sewer. The rescue comes after authorities received a report about a man who had entered a manhole Wednesday afternoon, the television station reported. The man’s clothes were found near the manhole, city officials said. After ending their search Wednesday, first responders returned Thursday after receiving a report about a man yelling for help from under a manhole cover, the Duluth News Tribune reported. Firefighters lifted the manhole and found a man “visibly in distress,” according to a news release from the city of Duluth. Firefighters placed a ladder down the manhole. The man, who has not been identified, was able to climb out, the News Tribune reported. He was taken to an area hospital, where he was treated for hypothermia, the newspaper reported.