The Green Bay Northwoods Killings — Ch 5
Chapter Five: David and Ellen's Murder Case Goes Cold
It was the day before Halloween, 1977, a little more than a year after the murders of Ellen and David, and the story in the Green Bay Press-Gazette served as a scary reminder in the spirit of the season — “McClintock Murders Unsolved.”
"Definitely. a psychopath," said Chief Deputy Robert Kohlman of the Marinette County Sheriff's Department. "It's hard to believe, if he murdered, raped and murdered, that he would not do it again. The pattern is to keep repeating until he gets caught."
As a local resident, it would have been great to know the authorities were keeping the case alive. It had been fifteen months with no meaningful progress. Unfortunately, the case was about to go completely cold.
Chief Deputy Robert Kohlman of the Marinette County Sheriff's Department expressed frustration when he said:
"We've done everything possible to solve the case. We're still investigating it. We dismissed any triangle situation. It was just the two of them. They had been going together for approximately four years. They planned to be married in a month.” he said.
"They were just there. They either stumbled onto him or he stumbled onto them."
According to my research, the press published very little, if anything, about the case in 1978, and in the years following, there just weren’t any developments to report.
Ten Years and No Answers
In July, 1986, the Press-Gazette recognized the 10-year anniversary of the still-unsolved crime with details the public had not heard, and reminders on what was already known.
Schuldes was killed first with a shot from a 30.6 or .308-caliber rifle, the type commonly used in deer hunting.
Another eyewitness had even come forward. According to the Press-Gazette the killer was seen:
by a Brown County oﬃcer two nights before Schuldes and Matheys died. He and a fellow oﬃcer and their wives were camping in the same area. As the couples sat around a campﬁre, the oﬃcer noticed a man watching them from the woods. The oﬃcer retrieved his revolver from their camper, but by the time he returned, the man was gone.
Former Marinette County Sheriff, Earl Wagner, confessed to losing sleep over the case, even after retirement.
"A lot of nights I think and think, 'What the hell should we do next?' That's one murder I sure wish we'd solve," Wagner said.
The Wisconsin Northwoods concealed an evil secret. Within millions of acres of brilliant lakes, and forests of Red and Jack pines, a predator made his home.
There are those, locals mainly, who insist the Wisconsin Northwoods extend no further than the counties of Forest, Vilas, Langlade, Lincoln, and Oneida, in northern Wisconsin, and the locals have the right to define a place. However, the Wisconsin Northwoods are just a part of a great northern forest that includes Minnesota in the west and Michigan’s upper peninsula to the north and east. Once you’re in it, you realize the boundaries are only visible on maps.
It can be dark, forbidding territory. People meet their fate in the Northwoods every season. Falling through ice. Getting lost on an excursion. Perhaps a wild animal attack.
The animal who stalked Ellen Matheys and David Schuldes and murdered them both in heartless fashion walked free in the Northwoods for decades.
But not forever.
In the next chapter, I’ll tell you our killer’s name.
Troy Larson is a harbinger of things that go bump in the night; a true crime writer, researcher, and digital content producer with hundreds of podcast and broadcast credits to his name. Follow Troy on Medium. Reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org
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