Discover more from The Wausonian
Cindy Schulz-Juedes died in prison after being sentenced last year for the 2006 killing of her husband Kenneth Juedes
Despite what some might say to the contrary, it’s not every day when a murder arrest comes up in the court docket in Marathon County.
It’s even more rare when the arrest is for a murder that happened in 2006.
So many in attendance were understandably befuddled on a chilly November 2019 afternoon when Cindy Schulz-Juedes was led into the courtroom and charged with the 2006 murder of Ken Juedes.
What changed? Many in attendance wondered, and frankly, didn’t find out that day.
It turned out, in fact, nothing much had changed. Sheriff’s Office investigators didn’t find new evidence, really. It had more to do with having a prosecutor (Theresa Wetzsteon) with guts enough to pursue the case that was far from a slam dunk, as the new lead investigator told The Wausonian two years ago:
Blaser is clear with me about one thing: there is no direct, smoking gun evidence to tie Cindy Juedes-Schulz to the crime. Nothing of that kind was discovered in the initial investigation, nor was it upon Det. Blaser’s complete re-investigation of the case. Even with new DNA techniques far more advanced since 2006 when the crime occurred, nothing new turned up. And since a shotgun was used (and never found), there’s no way to match bullets to the gun like you could with a handgun.
On the night of the murder, Juedes-Schulz had been sleeping in her camper on their property, and she believed Kenneth to be at work, according to her story (which, Blaser points out, has changed several times during the various interviews of her).
The basic story she told is that she came in to the house in the morning (she claims to have heard a dog barking but not any of the gunshots that killed Kenneth). In her version, Cindy found clues her husband hadn’t gone to work, and she searched for more clues to determine if in fact he’d gone to work. Only after walking through most of the house, in her version, did she finally check the bedroom and find Kenneth in bed naked, covered in blood.
She then went to a neighbor’s house to have them call 911 (she claimed her phone didn’t work, but had a cell phone she had admitted did work in parts of the house). She relayed comments through the neighbor. She described Kenneth’s condition but in neither that or a later 911 call at another neighbor did she ever seek help. She left to a friend’s house. At no point did she seek help for Kenneth or check on his condition.
“I’m sorry, if something happened to my wife and child, you’re not going to keep me away from there,” Blaser told The Wausonian. He explains that he’s taken courses in how to analyze 911 calls, and there are certain behaviors people exhibit. When someone seems more interested in setting up their alibi and describing the scene rather than seeking help, that’s nearly universally a sign of deception. It’s not admissible in court, he explains, but is one piece of evidence. (The law enforcement interrogation experts on The Behavior Panel explained 911 calls in almost the same way; her behavior matched that of other 911 calls they analyzed of suspects who were found guilty of their crimes.)
Cindy stood to inherit a large amount of insurance money and land; land she’d tried to get Kenneth to sell. Kenneth refused; the hunting land had been in his family for some time.
Schulz-Juedes’ attorney had an interesting theory:
The defense, led by Earl Gray, put together an alternative explanation for the jury to ponder: That people Kenneth was involved with in a car race track partnership had committed fraud against Kenneth, and they don’t have solid alibis. Blaser explains there was no evidence that either confirms they weren’t, or were, at the crime scene. Some lived within six miles.
And Kenneth was concerned about them. According to Blaser, he’d installed a video security system on the property. And, according to all interviewed, he always locked the doors at night.
On this particular night, the door was unlocked, the surveillance system had been turned off days ago, and Cindy was sleeping in a camper. And, it was a rare instance in which none of the foster children were home.
That’s simply too big of a coincidence for someone without knowledge of the house’s inner workings, Blaser explains, and for Kenneth to have gone against so many of his habits. And anyone without familiarity of the house wouldn’t have known that exact day to come.
Unless they were tipped off. I ran a theory by Blaser: What if she didn’t kill Kenneth, but was the one who left the door unlocked and turned off the surveillance equipment? But these men came and killed Kenneth? That’s when Blaser told me that there wasn’t any evidence to either place them at the crime scene, or that they weren’t at the crime scene.
For 13 years Schulz-Juedes remained free following the murder, and spent a total of under four years behind bars (she remained jailed since being indicted in November 2019).
Schulz-Juedes died in Taycheedah Correctional Institution, a woman’s prison, on Wednesday, according to Department of Corrections online records. She died a little more than a year after being sent there.
There are two more cold case murders left unsolved — Jospeh Kargol, who was killed outside a tavern in Mosinee in 1973, and Brian Jehn, found dead in with woods outside of Mosinee in 1988. Both were in their 30s. Both were beaten to death. Neither was solved.
But this third case, as far as anyone can see, is now laid to rest.