By Shereen Siewert
The wife of a man found shot to death in August 2006 in his western Marathon County home is behind bars Monday, facing first degree intentional homicide charges.
Cindy Schulz-Juedes, 65, of Chippewa falls appeared Dec. 2 in Marathon County Circuit Court for a probable cause hearing, where she was ordered held on a $1 million cash bond. Schulz-Juedes was arrested on Nov. 27 and is currently in custody in the Marathon County Jail, accused of fatally shooting her 58-year-old husband, Kenneth E. Juedes, of Unity.
Police first responded at about 8:23 a.m. on Aug. 30, 2006, the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department responded to H3752 Maple Road, in the Marathon County town of Hull, for a report of a man who was deceased. He was later identified as Juedes, who worked as a pharmacist at Memorial Health Center in Medford.
Autopsy results showed Juedes died of two gunshot wounds to the chest, police said. The murder weapon has never been recovered.
Investigators first believed Juedes was killed by someone with whom he had a financial dispute but as the investigation progressed, their suspicions turned closer to home.
Schulz-Juedes told police she found her husband dead in their home on their rural 30-acre property northeast of Unity. She said left the home that night to sleep in a trailer adjacent to the home because of a headache, returned to the home at about 8:20 a.m. and found her husband dead inside. She is the only person involved in the investigation that was officially named a person of interest in the death.
Investigators say a $1 million life insurance policy could have been the motive for Schulz-Juedes to murder her husband.A wrongful death lawsuit filed in 2007 that centered around a $300,000 insurance payout to Schulz-Juedes, which was contested by Juedes’ four children, was resolved in August 2010 before it went to trial. Investigators hoped that the case, had it gone to a jury, would have revealed additional details helpful to their case.
The four children split $212,500 of the $300,000 and Schulz-Juedes received the rest, according to the settlement terms. She was also the beneficiary of an additional estimated $700,000 in a variety of life insurance benefits, according to police records.
It is not yet clear what additional evidence prompted Schulz-Juedes’ arrest last week from her Chippewa Falls home.
Investigators have spent thousands of hours on the case over the years. In a 2013 interview for a Wausau Daily Herald story, Capt. Greg Bean said he would never refer to the Juedes murder as a cold case.
“Ken’s mother deserves to know who killed her son,” Bean said at the time. “I want her to know that someone is paying for this homicide.”
Over the years the case was complicated by new theories and claims, including a so-called “confession” from a man who claimed he drove the getaway car when Butch Patrick, a Hollywood actor who portrayed Eddie Munster in the TV series “The Munsters,” shot Juedes. That story was published in May 2013 by The National Enquirer, though the publication removed the story weeks later. Local police followed up on the confession but quickly ruled Patrick out as a suspect. Patrick knew Juedes because he regularly visited Monster Hall Raceway and Campground in Unity, where Juedes was part-owner.
The Marathon County Sheriff’s Department has been assisted in this investigation by the Marathon County Medical Examiner’s Office, Marathon County District Attorney’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Wisconsin Department of Justice, State Crime Lab, Division of Criminal Investigation and the State Attorney General’s Office.
Official charges have not yet been filed in the case. First degree intentional homicide carries a mandatory penalty of life in prison upon conviction.