Skip to comments.Man Arrested For 1958 Wauwatosa Cold Case Murder, Rape
Posted on 12/11/2003 12:13:10 PM PST by nickcarraway
DNA Evidence May Be Used
MADISON, Wis. -- A Madison man is behind bars in connection with a 45-year-old murder mystery.
Wauwatosa police used DNA evidence to link John Watson, 82, to the rape and murder of Edna Mauch back in 1958. He was charged with her murder in 1960. Police said he raped Mauch and beat her to death with a brick in 1958 while she slept in her home in suburban Wauwatosa, with her husband in the next room. Prosecutors dismissed the case.
Watson is in the Dane County Jail while Milwaukee County authorities decide whether to file a murder charge against him.
Wauwatosa police Det. Lisa Hudson reopened the case a year ago after someone told her about it. Hudson found Mauch's pajamas, bedding and other evidence still wrapped and sealed in the department's evidence storage room.
Investigators found DNA in body fluids on a few of the victim's hairs. That DNA linked the case to the Madison man, a paroled felon, after a court order allowed police to collect genetic material from him, Wauwatosa Police Chief Barry Weber said.
Hudson (pictured, right), along with detective Keith Warner, convinced Weber the case was worth checking out.
"Granted, he may be 82 now, but our concern is what he did in 1958," Warner said.
Watson has a lengthy criminal history that includes other attacks on woman, Weber said.
WISN 12 News talked with Mauch's daughter in Central Wisconsin Wednesday. She broke into to tears and said she was so grateful the Wauwatosa police decided to pursue the case. She said she wants Watson to spend the rest of his life in prison.
If Watson is charged and convicted, it will be the oldest case solved by DNA testing.
Wed 12-10-2003 , 10:45 pm
DNA links Madison man to 1958 murder
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Edna Mauch was raped and beaten to death with a brick 45 years ago while she slept in her home with her husband in the next room. Now police say they have DNA evidence that solves the case. The evidence links the attack to the same Madison man who was charged with the murder in 1960 only to have prosecutors dismiss the case.
Milwaukee County prosecutors are reviewing the new evidence but haven't yet filed new charges against the man, who now is 82, Assistant District Attorney Mark Williams said Wednesday.
The case is the oldest in Wisconsin believed to be solved by DNA evidence and one of the oldest in the nation, said Mike Roberts, administrator for the state Division of Law Enforcement Services.
A Wauwatosa detective reopened the case a year ago after someone told her about it.
Detective Lisa Hudson found Mauch's pajamas, bedding and other evidence still wrapped and sealed in the department's evidence storage room, Chief Barry Weber said.
Investigators found DNA in body fluids on a few of the victim's hairs. That DNA linked the case to the Madison man, a paroled felon, after a court order allowed police to collect genetic material from him, Weber said.
Police took the man into custody Nov. 26 for a possible parole violation. The suspect, who was around 37 at the time of the murder, is being held in Dane County Jail.
He has a lengthy criminal history that includes other attacks on woman, Weber said.
He was charged with the murder in 1959 based on some information provided to police by some jail inmates. Weber wasn't sure what caused the case's dismissal in 1960 and said his investigators can't find those court files.
The evidence and his department's records were 'just put away and left alone' after 1960, he said.
Roberts, of the law enforcement services division, said it is unusual for a police department to still have evidence that old that could still yield a sample of biological material suitable for DNA testing.
Mauch's daughter, Marcia Janke, said she hoped District Attorney E. Michael McCann will take the case to court now that the DNA evidence is available.
'I hope McCann feels that it's important enough that this man take responsibility for what he's done,' said Janke, 74, of Wild Rose in central Wisconsin. 'They pretty well knew when this happened who it was, but somehow this terrible man was released.'
Janke, who was 29 at the time of the murder, said she and her two younger sisters have followed the case closely since they learned police reopened it.
'Living without my mother was terrible for me,' she said. 'She was in her 50s, which isn't that old. She could have had a lot of life yet. I wish I could count the times I wished she were alive.'
Yes, but at 82, the old bugger has already outlived the average U.S. male. Another argument that the good die young....
Husband in next room?
He was either one heck of a heavy sleeper, or he was in on it. Third possibility is he was just a coward. Hard to imagine.
It's not just her husband who was a heavy sleeper. Perhaps this guy beat her to death because she didn't bother to wake up while he raped her.
Completely agreed. This is a good case, and a good use of resources. A PD that shows determintaion is bring their murder and rape solution rates up is a well-run PD.
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