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Husband charged with wife’s murder 37 years after she was found with axe embedded in skull – The Sun

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A SUSPECTED axe murderer has been charged with killing his wife in the US 37 years after she was found with a chopper embedded in her skull.

James Krauseneck, 67, was arrested and charged with killing his 29-year-old wife Cathleen in the family’s home in Brighton, New York in 1982, while their young daughter was in the next room.

 James Krauseneck has been charged 37 years after his wife's murder at their home in New York


James Krauseneck has been charged 37 years after his wife’s murder at their home in New YorkCredit: BRIGHTON POLICE DEPARTMENT
 James and wife Cathleen on their wedding day


James and wife Cathleen on their wedding dayCredit: WHAM

Cathleen was found lifeless and lying in a puddle of blood in her bed with the murder weapon buried in her skull in the horrific murder which has puzzled detectives for decades.

Celebrity medical examiner Michael Baden was brought in to examine the evidence and concluded that Krauseneck “was in the home at the time of the homicide”.

Cops and FBI investigators say they key to cracking the case was the LACK of DNA – after finding absolutely no trace of any strangers in the property.

Authorities tracked Krauseneck down in Gig Harbor, Washington, and attempted to talk to him but he reportedly gave no new information.

Two days after police interviewed Krauseneck, he and his now wife listed their home for sale.

DNA and forensic technology allowed case materials from Cathleen’s death to be digitised and evidence was tested for DNA.

Brighton Police Chief David Catholdi revealed that James Krauseneck’s DNA was found all over the home, as expected.


But no traces of DNA from unknown persons were discovered anywhere in the property.

The top cop added: “There is no boogeyman out there.

“To my knowledge, there has been no DNA evidence recovered from the home or on any piece of evidence that belongs to anybody else

“DNA, fingerprints – or the lack thereof – can speak volumes,” Catholdi said. “You would expect DNA evidence to be in that home. He lived there.

“What we did not find was any DNA that belonged to anybody else that was in that home. I think that speaks volumes.”

Investigators say the handle of the axe was wiped clean of fingerprints while stuck in the young woman’s head.

Her bedroom window had also been smashed from the outside.

The couple’s three year-old daughter was found by cops in the room next door after the discovered the grisly killing.


They suspected burglars were behind Cathleen’s murder but now say Krauseneck was the killer.

The pensioner has been charged and appeared in court where pleaded not guilty to one count of second-degree murder before being released $100,000 bail.

The day after Cathleen’s death, Krauseneck reportedly did not show up for an interview with police. Instead, he took took his three year old daughter and left for Michigan.

The case was renewed with the FBI’s help in 2016, which is when investigator Mark Leberator told the
The News Tribune: “James Krauseneck gave the appearance of wanting to be cooperative.

“But then he got a lawyer, and we never talked to him again for 34 years.”

Krauseneck insists he is innocent and attorney, Michael Wolford, told the Rochester Democrat it was a “further tragedy” that his client was charged.

He added: “Jim’s innocence was clear 37 years ago. It’s clear today.

“At the end of the case I have no doubt Jim will be vindicated.” The trial is set to begin in June.”

 The family home in New York where Cathleen was found dead in her bed


The family home in New York where Cathleen was found dead in her bedCredit: WHAM
 James and Cathleen with daughter Sara as a baby


James and Cathleen with daughter Sara as a baby

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