The Bonebreaker Killer /// 512 /// 513

17 comments

  • Deb F.
    Deb F. Wisconsin
    I don't remember this case specifically, but grew up and live 45ish minutes away. Drownings during hunting season, or swimming would give the sheriff's dept experience with drowning. But at this point, an unusual drowning would be notable. This was prior to a notable series of drownings in La Crosse. It would not be unusual for a beer party at this time. Kids would grab some firewood, beer and have a fire and drink in some out of the way place. The sherrif's dept would know this, and be familiar with it. They knew what they were looking for. Small town Wisconsin, if someone was dead from a party, rumors would give away the story fairly quickly. (Which was the case in a case from my high school) if they are not hearing even rumors of an accident, they would have been suspicious of a death even if they didn't have proof of foul play.

    I don't remember this case specifically, but grew up and live 45ish minutes away. Drownings during hunting season, or swimming would give the sheriff's dept experience with drowning. But at this point, an unusual drowning would be notable. This was prior to a notable series of drownings in La Crosse. It would not be unusual for a beer party at this time. Kids would grab some firewood, beer and have a fire and drink in some out of the way place. The sherrif's dept would know this, and be familiar with it. They knew what they were looking for. Small town Wisconsin, if someone was dead from a party, rumors would give away the story fairly quickly. (Which was the case in a case from my high school) if they are not hearing even rumors of an accident, they would have been suspicious of a death even if they didn't have proof of foul play.

  • RACHEL
    RACHEL O-H-I-O
    I lived in Dane County at this time, in a town about 40 mins south of Baraboo. We spent TONS of time in Baraboo in the summers, particularly at Devils Lake State park, which is built around a lake made from a glacier that got trapped there between the bluffs in ancient times. Baraboo is known for it's bluffs, quaint downtown and Ringling Brothers museum, which is still awesome btw and still has a full Big Top circus throughout the summers. This is a beautiful part of the state that is right by the world famous Wisconsin Dells, just to help any readers get a better picture. Anyway, I don't remember this case at all. Which is strange because I've cared about True Crime since Robert Stack and Unsolved Mysteries. I still remember the number: 1-800-876-5353 lol None of this has anything to do with the case, I just think it's strange and chilling to think all of this was happening while I was literally right there. And Steiner is a super common name up there, kind of like Reynolds is to Ohio. Also, every small town has a Kwik Trip. This episode was a major trip down memory lane. One small insight I had into the slit screens was that most homes in Wisconsin have a walk out basement because the state is very, hilly. It is nothing like Ohio's flatlands. So basements are almost always finished and have bedrooms in them with large egressed windows and walk out patios. I dont know if that's what the Steiners house was exactly but I wouldn't be surprised if it was. Someone could easily slip down and into a window without having to hoist themselves up and making a ton of noise. Back in the 90's we were building a house up there and my parents specifically wouldn't let my rebellious older sister have the basement bedroom for this very reason. They were certain she would slip in and out undetected. Anyways, if anyone else likes visuals like I do, hope this info helps :)

    I lived in Dane County at this time, in a town about 40 mins south of Baraboo. We spent TONS of time in Baraboo in the summers, particularly at Devils Lake State park, which is built around a lake made from a glacier that got trapped there between the bluffs in ancient times. Baraboo is known for it's bluffs, quaint downtown and Ringling Brothers museum, which is still awesome btw and still has a full Big Top circus throughout the summers. This is a beautiful part of the state that is right by the world famous Wisconsin Dells, just to help any readers get a better picture. Anyway, I don't remember this case at all. Which is strange because I've cared about True Crime since Robert Stack and Unsolved Mysteries. I still remember the number: 1-800-876-5353 lol None of this has anything to do with the case, I just think it's strange and chilling to think all of this was happening while I was literally right there. And Steiner is a super common name up there, kind of like Reynolds is to Ohio. Also, every small town has a Kwik Trip. This episode was a major trip down memory lane. One small insight I had into the slit screens was that most homes in Wisconsin have a walk out basement because the state is very, hilly. It is nothing like Ohio's flatlands. So basements are almost always finished and have bedrooms in them with large egressed windows and walk out patios. I dont know if that's what the Steiners house was exactly but I wouldn't be surprised if it was. Someone could easily slip down and into a window without having to hoist themselves up and making a ton of noise. Back in the 90's we were building a house up there and my parents specifically wouldn't let my rebellious older sister have the basement bedroom for this very reason. They were certain she would slip in and out undetected. Anyways, if anyone else likes visuals like I do, hope this info helps smile

  • Joe
    Joe NYNY
    What a sick fuck is Joe guy is. So we know if the first victim had any broken bones?

    What a sick fuck is Joe guy is. So we know if the first victim had any broken bones?

  • True Crime Garage
    True Crime Garage
    Hey hey Joe - Yes, I'm uncertain of what was presented at the second trial but yes according to the papers and the "I survived" ep - in the first case both legs were broken. And according to the prosecutor's statement - you don't break your legs like that in the river. I echo what the first poster said (Deb. F.) it's obvious that the Sheriff knew what they were looking for. They were suspicious immediately and this would be from the injuries they found on Chris' body. They were hoping that someone would come forward and say yeah I was hanging out with him that night. Cheers Nic

    Hey hey Joe -
    Yes, I'm uncertain of what was presented at the second trial but yes according to the papers and the "I survived" ep - in the first case both legs were broken.
    And according to the prosecutor's statement - you don't break your legs like that in the river.
    I echo what the first poster said (Deb. F.) it's obvious that the Sheriff knew what they were looking for. They were suspicious immediately and this would be from the injuries they found on Chris' body. They were hoping that someone would come forward and say yeah I was hanging out with him that night.
    Cheers Nic

  • Scott
    Scott CO
    The fact that poor kid managed to drag himself to a telephone with completely shattered legs, dying from internal bleeding... Man, huge respect to that kid. 13 is such an important formative age, I can't imagine suffering something like this at 13, in middle school. But he did it, he beat it, and by doing so a monster was caught for crimes already committed, and preventing him from committing future crimes. By saving his own life, he saved the lives of other children.

    The fact that poor kid managed to drag himself to a telephone with completely shattered legs, dying from internal bleeding... Man, huge respect to that kid.
    13 is such an important formative age, I can't imagine suffering something like this at 13, in middle school.
    But he did it, he beat it, and by doing so a monster was caught for crimes already committed, and preventing him from committing future crimes. By saving his own life, he saved the lives of other children.

  • Slatts McCracker
    Slatts McCracker Syd, Aus
    This bloke has to be one of the worst. Not insane in a way to remove any of his responsibility, but Joe clearly has some sort of mental illness / sickness.

    This bloke has to be one of the worst.

    Not insane in a way to remove any of his responsibility, but Joe clearly has some sort of mental illness / sickness.

  • Amy
    Amy KCMO
    I totally agree w Scott. What a brave kid Thad was!!! Wow!! I really hope he got some therapy after this whole ordeal. Joe's parents and their statements piss me off. Also I don't remember if you mentioned where they were during this? Were Joe's parents out of town or Thad's parents? Either way it's horrible!!! And poor Chris and his family too. Ugh what a sick fucker

    I totally agree w Scott. What a brave kid Thad was!!! Wow!! I really hope he got some therapy after this whole ordeal. Joe's parents and their statements piss me off. Also I don't remember if you mentioned where they were during this? Were Joe's parents out of town or Thad's parents? Either way it's horrible!!! And poor Chris and his family too. Ugh what a sick fucker

  • SuziBeth
    SuziBeth
    Clark mentioned to Thad he had done this to 2 victims prior. Were any other victims besides Chris and Thad ever linked to Clark, or was that just horseshit?

    Clark mentioned to Thad he had done this to 2 victims prior. Were any other victims besides Chris and Thad ever linked to Clark, or was that just horseshit?

  • Kelly B
    Kelly B
    I read several articles on this case, just because I am the curious, true crime junkie type, and nowhere in any of them did it mention the psych evals done on Joe the Schmuck. I'm truly glad he got life + 50 for Chris, plus the sentence for Thad (which was definitely not enough.) I don't understand why the sheriff's department didn't report the broken ankles or leg bones on Chris. I would have thought that would have definitely been noticed by the ME, in a thorough exam. Why was this never released?

    I read several articles on this case, just because I am the curious, true crime junkie type, and nowhere in any of them did it mention the psych evals done on Joe the Schmuck. I'm truly glad he got life + 50 for Chris, plus the sentence for Thad (which was definitely not enough.) I don't understand why the sheriff's department didn't report the broken ankles or leg bones on Chris. I would have thought that would have definitely been noticed by the ME, in a thorough exam. Why was this never released?

  • RustyShackleford
    RustyShackleford FlMansBasement
    Uh wow. This made my stomach turn for some reason. What a weirdo. I really wonder what makes people turn out like this. Makes them want to beat people to death.... a 13yr old at that? Goosebumps.

    Uh wow. This made my stomach turn for some reason. What a weirdo. I really wonder what makes people turn out like this. Makes them want to beat people to death.... a 13yr old at that? Goosebumps.

  • John W
    John W
    Thanks for keeping on with my favorite true crime podcast! You guys are great. So I am from Baraboo and have settled back here, but at the time of this crime I was not living in the state. My wife was in school with joe and my father in law was the dispatcher who took the 911 call from Thad, so we are familiar with this crime. You guys did a great job presenting this in the podcast.

    Thanks for keeping on with my favorite true crime podcast! You guys are great. So I am from Baraboo and have settled back here, but at the time of this crime I was not living in the state. My wife was in school with joe and my father in law was the dispatcher who took the 911 call from Thad, so we are familiar with this crime. You guys did a great job presenting this in the podcast.

  • True Crime Garage
    True Crime Garage
    @ Suzibeth - yes that is just one of the strange things in this case...A possible third victim? It's interesting but it sounds like Thad is saying that Joe told him he had done this "sort of thing" to two other boys. I wonder if he was referencing - injuring, or breaking someones leg or ankle but not murder or letting them die from their injuries. So could there have been some kind of "childhood accident" playing football or rough housing??? Maybe Joe intentionally hurt some other kid while playing around and it was thought because they are kids it was just an accident. And this could have been something he did when he was 10, 11 or whenever. Great question! Cheers Nic

    @ Suzibeth - yes that is just one of the strange things in this case...A possible third victim? It's interesting but it sounds like Thad is saying that Joe told him he had done this "sort of thing" to two other boys. I wonder if he was referencing - injuring, or breaking someones leg or ankle but not murder or letting them die from their injuries. So could there have been some kind of "childhood accident" playing football or rough housing??? Maybe Joe intentionally hurt some other kid while playing around and it was thought because they are kids it was just an accident. And this could have been something he did when he was 10, 11 or whenever. Great question!
    Cheers Nic

  • True Crime Garage
    True Crime Garage
    In regards to the Sheriff's department not reporting the broken legs - you are exactly right... The ME would have caught that and I'm sure that they did. I think the Sheriff knew and withheld this info because I think they knew they were dealing with one of Chris' or several of his peers being responsible. Plus Joe was on their radar off the rip. They thought they could get a and/or some of the kids talking. It didn't work because only one kid Joe knew what happened. They thought several would know and slip up and turn on each other. Cheers Nic

    In regards to the Sheriff's department not reporting the broken legs - you are exactly right... The ME would have caught that and I'm sure that they did. I think the Sheriff knew and withheld this info because I think they knew they were dealing with one of Chris' or several of his peers being responsible. Plus Joe was on their radar off the rip. They thought they could get a and/or some of the kids talking. It didn't work because only one kid Joe knew what happened. They thought several would know and slip up and turn on each other.
    Cheers Nic

  • Cathy S
    Cathy S Boston
    Likely more to the story with Joe's POS parents. In the Escaped show, his mother had provided him with an alibi as he was a prime POI in the Steiner case. He lived in squalor and it looked like his parents had been gone quite a long time. After watching I suspect this monster may have been a result of nurture as well as nature.

    Likely more to the story with Joe's POS parents. In the Escaped show, his mother had provided him with an alibi as he was a prime POI in the Steiner case. He lived in squalor and it looked like his parents had been gone quite a long time. After watching I suspect this monster may have been a result of nurture as well as nature.

  • John W
    John W
    One thing about the Wisconsin River in this area is that there are strong currents and undertows. Not uncommon for someone to jump in and not resurface because they get stuck in trees or roots along the river banks and with the currents if an extremity gets entangled in tree branches or roots the current has been known to really mess a body up and break bones. This is not to say the the ME didn't have suspicions, but could have seen some of this on other drownings

    One thing about the Wisconsin River in this area is that there are strong currents and undertows. Not uncommon for someone to jump in and not resurface because they get stuck in trees or roots along the river banks and with the currents if an extremity gets entangled in tree branches or roots the current has been known to really mess a body up and break bones. This is not to say the the ME didn't have suspicions, but could have seen some of this on other drownings

  • Katrina
    Katrina SC
    Small Town Murder also covered this case. Big fan and long time listener of both podcasts. It was great to get to hear both shows’ perspective on this one.

    Small Town Murder also covered this case. Big fan and long time listener of both podcasts. It was great to get to hear both shows’ perspective on this one.

  • Elizabeth Reynolds
    Elizabeth Reynolds Valdosta Georgia
    I remember seeing this covered on Cold Case Files in the early 2000's and it was just terrifying. I always wanted to know more about this so thank you for this.

    I remember seeing this covered on Cold Case Files in the early 2000's and it was just terrifying. I always wanted to know more about this so thank you for this.

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