A Guest Post by: Matt C. Abbott
Father Alfred Kunz
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Father Alfred Kunz, a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin.
Father Kunz, 67, was murdered; his throat was cut. His body was found the morning of March 4, 1998 in the hallway of the school adjoined to St. Michael Catholic Church, located in rural Dane, Wisconsin. A longtime pastor of the parish, Father Kunz was known for celebrating the Traditional Latin Mass.
The murder remains unsolved, but in March 2018, the Dane County Sheriff’s Office conducted a social media campaign – on Facebook and Twitter — in an effort to generate additional tips that could lead to a break in the case, which has involved one of the most extensive and expensive criminal investigations in the county’s history.
There have been various theories put forth as to the killer’s motive — some more plausible than others.
The late Catholic author Malachi Martin publicly claimed that Satanists were involved (Father Kunz was said to be involved with exorcisms on a sporadic basis). Also, not long before he was murdered, Father Kunz discreetly advised a now-defunct Illinois-based Catholic group that was working to expose clergy corruption.
Investigators seem to believe the motive was a more “common” one, but the manner by which Father Kunz was murdered indicates the killer had a personal motive and was filled with rage.
Profiles of the killer were put together in the days and weeks following the murder, but it’s not clear if investigators are strictly following those profiles any longer. The Sheriff’s Office reportedly is monitoring a few persons of interest, at least one of whom has a criminal record.
I asked Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Elise Schaffer the following question: Do the persons of interest know each other, and could they be collectively covering up the crime? She responded: “Our detectives say the persons of interest do not generally move in the same circles.”
Is it possible that any of the persons of interest might kill again at some point? “Anyone’s guess. Anything is possible,” Ms. Schaffer responded.
Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact the Dane County Sheriff’s Office at 608-284-6900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matt C. Abbott is a columnist at RenewAmerica.