Former professional clown accused of murdering his daughter’s 30-year-old cold case

Milwaukee County Prison

Milwaukee County Prison

A man known as a “stupid clown” in southeastern Wisconsin was charged with murdering his newborn daughter 30 years ago. Ronald Schroeder, 52, was detained this week and charged with one reckless murder and two child abuse charges for the death of Catherine Schroeder’s baby in August 1991.

Infants less than two months old at the time were taken to the hospital with what the doctor had determined to be shaken child syndrome. According to local media reports, she suffered from enough force to cause rib fractures, contusions to the brain, and retinal detachment, resulting in “blood behind the eyes.”

Just hours before doctors recorded all these injuries and declared the baby girl dead, Schroeder went on stage at a local restaurant and acted as a “stupid clown” in a room full of elementary school students. .. Milwaukee magazine.. He was said to have been loved by the audience for his balloon sculptures and high-pitched clown voice, and was praised by the director of the International Clown Hall of Fame at the time as “always interesting” and “always polite.”

Behind the scenes, however, he was repeatedly accused of abuse by Catherine’s mother, Christine’s family. He denied those claims and denied hurting the baby.

The ex-clown spent thirty years without facing the punishment for the death of the baby. Prosecutors quoted inadequate evidence at the time, and Schroders continued to play stupid roles for young children for several years. Meanwhile, investigators couldn’t shake suspicions about Schroeder’s involvement in Catherine’s death and resumed the case in 1998, but again lacking evidence, Greenfield police officer Mike Brunner said. rice field. Milwaukee Magazine at that time.

Even if there was new evidence this week that the prosecutor would eventually indict Schroder, it wasn’t immediately clear.

According to criminal accusations against Schroeder, a new accusation came after a review of the original autopsy, after a Milwaukee County coroner concluded that “Catherine Schroeder died as a result of a blunt head injury.” It was conducted. Coroners considered the method of death to be murder.

According to Milwaukee County court records, an arrest warrant was issued to Schroder on Wednesday, and the first appearance via videolink was made on Thursday. The judge shot down his defense’s attempt to dismiss the proceedings by statute of limitations, with a deposit set at $ 350,000.

Schroeder was convicted of sexual assault in 2008 and was released from prison only in 2013. In that case, she sexually assaulted her girlfriend and took pictures of the attack while she was unconscious.

After being released from prison, police sent breaking news to Warkisha residents warning that a man formerly known as a “stupid clown” (now a convicted sex offender) would move to the neighborhood. I did. Residents were not allowed to enter the bar or around children without his supervision and were guaranteed to be tracked by GPS monitors.

For more information, see The Daily Beast.

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