Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

David Spanbauer, Serial Child Killer and Rapist

Citizen's Tackle

Combined Locks is a small Wisconsin town named after the boat locks on the Fox River.  It's a quiet, woodsy place; an old sawmill and pulp paper town that reminds one of David Lynch's rural community of Twin Peaks.  It is not the place where killers roam through people's backyards.

On November 14th, 1994, Gerald Argall went to his home in Combined Locks and discovered a man breaking into his house.  He gave chase and tackled and wrestled the 53 year-old man into submission and when the police arrived, they arrested the prowler on burglary charges. 

While in custody, the police noticed that the tools found in the suspect's car matched those used in the two home invasion rapes that happened earlier that fall.  The police kept up their interrogations and after four days, he confessed in the presence of his attorney, Tom Zoesch, to kidnapping and killing the two little girls and for the shooting death of Jeschke. 

David Spanbauer cuffed, in custody
David Spanbauer cuffed, in custody

Langlade County Sheriff David Steger said that his confession contained details that only the killer would know about and felt that, "he is our guy."  The cases were finally closed.  He was the man that left Ronelle dead near the Wisconsin River two years before.  He also confessed to the rapes and numerous burglaries.  And yes, he was the man in the sketch picture, the one that knocked Stariha off her bike near Hartman Creek State Park.  Analysis of the carpet fiber found on the body of Cora Jones proved to match the carpet of Spanbauer's Pontiac Bonneville.  Spanbauer was cleared of any connection to the 1992 case of Laura Depies.

Cora Jones
Cora Jones


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