Murders in Shawano County

Transcribed by Editor Jim Glasheen & Cathe Ziereis


Shawano Evening Leader

Thursday, Aug. 30, 1951 

Kaufman Formally Charged In Murder, Case Adjourned

Earl Kaufmann, 39, was formally charged this morning in circuit court with the 1st degree murder of his wife.  The District Attorney charge Kaufmann with the slaying of his 33 year old wife Wilma near the “400” Bar, 635 South Main St., Shawano, between 8 and 8:30 Tuesday evening.  Mrs. Kaufmann died after a paring knife entered her upper chest, striking her pulmonary vein and causing internal bleeding.  The court explained to Kaufmann that he is charged with one of the “most serious crimes you can commit.”  Authorities said Kaufmann stabbed his wife in a “Jealous rage.”  The couple was getting a divorce with papers having been served against Kaufmann only last week.  It reportedly was the 2nd divorce attempt, the couple apparently having reconciled after the first action was started.  Mrs. Kaufmann was born June 19, 1912 at Tigerton and attended grade school and high school there.  The family moved from Tigerton 2 years ago.  Services will be held privately on Friday for Mrs. Kaufmann.  She was born 33 years ago as Wilhelmina Johanna Reinhardt, the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Carl Reinhardt, at Split Rock.  She was born Nov. 20, 1917.  She was a member of the Zion Lutheran Church of Shawano.  Survivors include 5 children, Edda May, Mrs. Oti Bohardt, Jr., 15, of Pulaski, and Ronald 13, Rose Ann 8, Raymond 6, and Corrine 3.  Burial will be at Split Rock.

Wed. 15 Apr. 1953 

Raymond Mader Accused In Death Of Emil Desterhoft

A first degree murder charge this afternoon faced Raymond Mader,

44 year-old Town of Red Springs farmer

 Mader was held at the county jail in the rifle slaying of Emil Desterhoft, 50, Gresham tavern keeper.

Witnesses said Mader, a calm and apparently mild-mannered farmer living one-half mile north of Gresham, entered Desterhoft’s tavern last evening and shot Desterhoft through the neck, causing the tavern keeper to die almost instantly.

Dist. Atty. Frederic C Eberlein said at noon today that he plans to charge Mader with murder in the first degree.  First degree murder involves premeditated intent and is punishable in Wisconsin by life imprisonment.

Eberlein, Sheriff Ted Eul, Undersheriff Hugo Baker and Deputy Coroner Harvey Stubenvoll, Jr. were at the scene of the death this morning, investigating and questioning witnesses.

Witnesses corroborated Mader’s own story that “Emil was trying to beat me (Mader) out of my farm.”

The officers said Mader entered the Desterhoft tavern, bringing a .22 rifle in the tavern with him.  Desterhoft pleaded with Mader not to use the rifle; Mader persisted in his talk about Desterhoft “trying to take my farm” and discharged the weapon.

As the story was related by witnesses at the scene last night, this is what happened.

Mader came into the Desterhoft tavern about 7:30 o’clock, carrying the Remington .22 pump rifle by his side.  Mader said he had two beers and witnesses heard him complain “Emil is stealing my farm.”  There was no argument, however.

Mrs. Desterhoft and the two children, who live in the residence in the rear of the tavern, became alarmed and after putting Darlene, 10, and Lawrence, 9, in a car near the building, she ran into the street for an officer.

She saw Robert (Popeye) Mouty, 43, and shouted, “Come here, Popeye.  We need some help.  Peachie’s carrying a gun and he’s in an ugly mood.  He’s going to shoot Emil.”  Peachie is Mader’s nickname.

Mouty said he raced to the tavern in time to see Mader kneeling on the bar, aiming at Desterhoft, who was on his hands and knees behind the bar trying to hide.  After the one shot was fired, Mouty lunged for Mader and threw the killer across the room, at the south interior of the building.

Then John (Hans) Tesch, 55, who also was in the tavern, took the weapon from Mader as Mouty held him down.  Tesch took the gun and set it outside the tavern on the south side of the building.

Mader stayed at the tavern submissively as Mouty called the Sheriff’s office and Deputy Ed Ferg was summoned. 

Mader, unmarried, operates a 153-acre farm in the town of Red Springs.  As officers investigated and scores of townspeople gathered outside the tavern last night, Mader sat impassively wearing a red plaid jacket, overall pants and a hat.  He smoked continuously and responded cooperatively to questions that were of a general nature.

He said he had worked all day on the farm, had a “couple of beers” with Emil just before the shooting, and brought the gun along from home.

To specific questions concerning the shooting, he did not have direct answers.  He told Eul and Baker he would not have shot anyone else, “only Emil.”

Mader admitted to Baker at the tavern scene that he aimed at Desterhoft’s head but hit him from behind in the neck.  He (Mader) said the victim was crawling in a westward direction behind the bar when Mader discharged the .22 rifle.

Deputy Coroner Stubenvoll said Desterhoft died within two or three minutes.

Dr. A J Sebesta was called to examine and question Mader last night at the Sheriff’s office.  The Doctor also examined Desterhoft’s body.  Dr. Sebesta said the rifle’s charge passed through the victim’s neck, entering just below the right ear.

Officers said Desterhoft, after being hit, apparently got to his feet briefly, and then fell over backwards.  He was lying on his back parallel with the bar, his head toward the east.  There were great quantities of blood behind the bar.

At the tavern, amid the confusion, Maders chief concern was his cows, “Nobody can milk those cows but me,” he said.

Mader is 5’ 6’ and weighs 140 pounds.  His farm is located one-half mile north of Gresham in the town of Red Springs.  Officers could not recall that Mader had ever been in trouble before.

Mader was questioned for several hours at the sheriff’s office last night.  This morning he conferred with atty. O Strossenreuther and had a talk with a sister who lives at Madison.  He then spent the rest of the morning in his cell.

He (Mader) and Desterhoft apparently had been friends.  Mrs. Desterhoft said that last year her husband helped “Peachie” with haying and they planned to do some seeding together on Mader’s farm this spring.  Mader said the farm has 14 milk cows and five “young stock.”

The Desterhofts have lived in Gresham for seven years.  A third child, five year-old Janet drowned June 3, 1952 at Gresham.  Mrs. Desterhoft is the former Evelyn Dahse of the town of Grant, Shawano County. 

Desterhoft formerly operated a farm between Gillett and Pulcifer in Oconto County.  He also was a horse dealer.  Before moving to Gresham, he had a tavern at Gillett.

Desterhoft was free on $1,500 bond pending an appearance before Circuit Judge Andrew W. Parnell April 24.  A circuit court jury April 7 convicted him (Continued on page 4, column 3)