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River Drowning- “Serial Killer or Urban Legend”. This presentation will present all the facts and similarities in the 7 cases of College age males who.

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Presentation on theme: "River Drowning- “Serial Killer or Urban Legend”. This presentation will present all the facts and similarities in the 7 cases of College age males who."— Presentation transcript:

1 River Drowning- “Serial Killer or Urban Legend”

2 This presentation will present all the facts and similarities in the 7 cases of College age males who have drowned in the La Crosse Area between 1997-2004

3 General Statistic for Drowning 1)Males account for 92% of drowning victims ages 15-19. 2)Alcohol use is a major factor in adult and adolescent drowning. 3)Incidents of drowning occur 3 times greater in rural areas. 4)In water temperature below 42 degrees life expectancy is less than 5 minutes

4 La Crosse Cases 1)Charles Blatz – Age 28, Missing 09/27/1997, Recovered – 10/03/1997 2)Anthony Skifton- Age 19, Missing 10/05/1997 Recovered –10/10/1997 3)Nathan Kapfer – Age 20, Missing 02/22/1998 Recovered 04/04/1998 4)Jeffrey Geesey-Age 20, Missing 04/10/1999 Recovered May 24, 1999 5)Jarod Dion –Age 21, Missing 04/10/2004 Recovered April, 15, 2004 Two other cases Richard Hlavaty (July 1997), and Patrick Runigen (March 2001).

5 Hlavaty/Runingen Richard Hlavaty- Reported missing following a witnessed altercation downtown, was chased into the river by a group of people along with his brother. Brother made it, Richard drowned. Autopsy was done cause of death drowning/ Manner accident. BAC.27 Patrick Runingen- Reported missing after being seen at the Nut Bush bar, was found in the river by the French Island beach, physical evidence indicated that subject had fallen through the ice. Autopsy was done Cause of death drowning/ no signs of altercation or trauma, Manner of death accident-Bac.240

6 Charles Blatz 1)Missing 09/27/1997- Water Temp 66 degrees 2)Recovered 10/03/1997 (7 th St Boat Landing) 3)Autopsy done Milwaukee County ME Findings: Consistent with drowning No evidence of antemortem trauma Postmortem Injuries Toxicology- Alcohol.31 Cause of Death: Drowning Manner: Accident

7 Anthony Skifton Missing-10/05/1997, Leaving a Party/Case of beer. Water Temp 65 degrees Recovered: Swift Creek, near Hood St bridge Autopsy done MRCO- Dr Lindsey Thomas Findings: Apparent Drowning No injuries or other causes of death Toxicology: Alcohol.23 Cause of Death: Drowning Manner: Accident

8 Nathan Kapfer 1)Reported Missing- 02/22/1998, Water Temp 37 degrees 2)Recovered- Mississippi River, 4/4/1998 3)Autopsy Done-MRCO-Dr. Lindsey Thomas Findings: Pulmonary Congestion Watery gastric contents Mastoid petrous ridge hemorrhage No injuries of Trauma noted Toxicology: Alcohol.22 Cause of death: Drowning Manner: Undetermined

9 Jeffrey Geesey 1)Reported Missing- 4/10/1999, Water Temp 49 Degrees 2)Recovered- Running Slough –5/24/1999 3)Autopsy done-MRCO Hastings, Lindsey Thomas Findings: Probable drowning History of previous suicide attempts scars of left arm from previous attempt Toxicology- Alcohol.42

10 Jared Dion 1)Missing 4/10/2004, Water Temp 47 degrees 2) Recovered 4/15/2004, off riverside park 3)Autopsy done MRCO Lindsey Thomas Findings: Cold water drowning No injuries or trauma 4) Toxicology – Alcohol.27 Cause of death: Drowning Manner: Pending

11 Commonalities Into the Darkness Website 1)All Caucasian males between the ages of 18-27. As stated in a previous slide males account for 92% of all drowning, in the demographic area listed the largest population are Caucasian. 2) Lived in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana or Chicago (the extended area surrounding Lake Michigan from Minneapolis to Lansing Michigan) These areas are all the areas with high population of colleges students, near large bodies of water.

12 Commonalities Continued 3) All but one were students or had recently graduated. Age group of 18-27, statistically the chances of someone being a student or recent graduate would be high. 4) Most were high achieving What is “high achieving”, what are the standards, and how would a “serial killer” know this? 5) Most were in good physical condition or were athletes. Chances are most of us were in “good physical condition” when we were 18-27.

13 Commonalities Continued 6) Last seen out drinking with friends or at a party. This one I will agree with, all the reports I have read states subject was drinking. 7) Were under the influence of Alcohol. Wouldn’t this one be explained by number 6 8) Became separated from friends they started the evening with. This too would be obvious, if they were with their friends they would not have “disappeared”

14 Commonalities Continued 9) All disappeared between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 4 a.m. Wouldn’t these hours correspond with bar times. 10) Were reported missing by friends or family Who else would report you missing 11) The closed cases were all determined to be accidental drowning, or suicide. Not correct out of the 5 in La Crosse, 2 were undetermined and 3 were accident. If there are no signs of any foul play, these cases are not going to be ruled a Homicide, which leaves only accident, suicide or undetermined as manner of death.

15 Commonalities Continued 12) All but two of those found drowned were found in Mississippi river, Red Cedar River, or Lake Michigan. These would be the largest bodies of water located near college communities. 13) All disappeared between the months of September and April. Would this not correlate with when school is in session.

16 Serial Killer 1)There are no physical injuries or trauma to the bodies, cause of death is drowning, autopsy shows that they were alive prior to entering the water. 2)There is no evidence of robbery, sexual assault, no motive. 3)Homicide by drowning is rare (less then 5%) 4)No reported attempts from “victims’ who have escaped even the most prolific serial killer does not have a 100% success rate.

17 Conclusions After completion and review of all these tragic cases it is the opinion of the La Crosse County Medical Examiner, that these deaths are due to several factors, with those being the following: 1)Alcohol use by all the victims, out of these 5 victims, only 2 were of legal drinking age. They all had at least 2 times the legal limit, with one being 4 times the limit. 2)Depression in at least 2 cases 3)Poor or unsafe design of the levy, allowing unsafe access to the river. 4)Lack of enforcement of existing ordinances

18 Personal Solutions 1)Personal Responsibility 2)Avoid excessive alcohol consumption 3)Stay with your friends 4) Be familiar with your surroundings

19 Other Solutions 1)Fence along Levy to prevent someone from falling in. 2)Cameras in the park for monitoring activity 3)Enforcement of park hours (closed from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.) 4)Enforcement of all liquor laws

20 Is There a “Serial Killer” Yes I believe all the evidence suggests that there is a KILLER amongst us.. And these men are dying at the Killer hands along with Thousands of other victims every year, and that Killer has a Name, his name is Al Cohol. Thank you for your time and consideration.


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