The Green Bay Northwoods Killings — Ch 3
Chapter Three: A Trend Emerges
This is a story about the murder of David Schuldes and Ellen Matheys in 1976, and whether that killer may be responsible for other heinous acts in the years until they finally caught him in 2019. I point that out because it’s a sprawling story, and easy to get lost in the details.
Let’s review. In the interest of shedding some light on his personal background, in the last chapter I recounted several stories from the Wisconsin Press that detailed trouble with the law for our suspect’s older brother, going all the way back to 1948.
(I haven’t named the killer yet, to avoid tabloid-style distractions. Patience, please.)
By 1957, our suspect, the man who would later murder David and Ellen, was old enough to show up in the police blotter himself.
On November 4th, 1957, the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported an attack on a 17-year-old girl in Suamico, Wisconsin, in the area near Suamico Cemetery and Vickery Park.
On Saturday, November 2nd, 1957, the suspect struck. The Press-Gazette described the attack:
[The man] attacked her as she was walking home with three other girls. The girl said [he] struck her on the back, shoulder and face, but did not attempt to rape her. The other girls supported the victim's version of the assault.
The attacker fled and the girl gave a detailed description of the car he was driving.
Just hours later, another assault was reported by a teenage girl who said she bailed out of the suspect’s car while it was moving, in Howard, near Memorial Drive and Duck Creek. There had been a violent struggle in the car and she was able to tear a piece of the suspect’s shirt loose. Her report, coupled with the vehicle details in the first attack, led them to the suspect. The man was 20 years old, a husband, and father of a young child.
I think it’s relevant to point out, although the suspect would later use his given first name, at this time he was using his middle name as his first.
Assistant District Attorney Alexander Grant was very concerned about what could have been:
"This was an unprovoked attack and I am very sorry the facts do not substantiate filing a more serious charge. The District Attorney’s Office, however, wishes to make it crystal clear it can never condone this type of conduct. Anything, including sexual assault, could have happened in this case if the girl had been alone."
The future killer’s excuse, in hindsight, was surprisingly truthful.
“I was just trying to scare the girls,” he said at sentencing.
It shouldn’t go unnoticed that our suspect’s motives seemed decidedly evil. Where his big brother’s reported crimes were centered on money, our suspect’s interests seemed to lie in violence.
The Judge gave the suspect a stern talking-to:
Municipal Judge Donald W. Gleason said before imposing sentence that "it is very difficult for the court to comprehend your explanation in this case. As a matter of fact you have given no explanation at all. The court will ask you what you would think if something like this had happened to your child."
The man was found guilty of battery and given a six-month sentence in the County Jail and a $200 fine. He also got another 6 month sentence for driving with a suspended license, to run concurrently with the first.
In 1976, he would murder David and Ellen, but way back in 1957, he was off to a not-so-successful start in his career as a criminal.
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. Subscribe to the Until Night Falls Newsletter on Substack and follow Troy on Medium. Reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org
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