Raymand Vannieuwenhoven Wiki
Raymand Vannieuwenhoven Biography
Who was Raymand Vannieuwenhoven ?
Relatives of a Green Bay couple killed 45 years ago said they were happy about the conviction Tuesday of the couple’s killer, an elderly Lakewood man.
“He had given me up a few years ago,” said Jo-Anne Mikulsky of De Pere. “I always hoped, but…”
After about two hours of deliberation, a Marinette County jury found Raymand Vannieuwenhoven guilty of two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of David Schuldes, 25, and Ellen Matheys, 24.
The couple was shot to death at the McClintock Park camp on July 9, 1976.
Vannieuwenhoven, 84, was charged in March 2019 after being linked to the crime through the use of “genetic genealogy,” which has been used for the past three years to identify suspects in dozens of cases from a decade ago around the world. country.
Mikulsky, Schuldes’ younger sister, said Vannieuwenhoven’s conviction gives her and her mother closure.
“Justice is another matter,” Mikulsky said. “He took 45 years from them when they were just on the verge of starting their lives, and 43 of those 45 years were spent doing business with the freedom to live their lives. So is there any amount of fair justice there? No, but we are very happy. This is what they have left, and we are happy to receive it.”
Matheys’ niece, Lori Smith of Green Bay, said the families have been “fighting, grieving, waiting” since the deaths.
“This man continued to live his life while we all suffered … (for) 45 years,” Smith said. “He doesn’t seem remorseful at all, but justice will be served.”
In closing arguments Tuesday morning, Marinette County District Attorney DeShea Morrow emphasized the presence of Vannieuwenhoven’s DNA at the crime scene.
“Raymand Vannieuwenhoven is the only man on earth who could have been the source of that semen on Ellen Matheys’ shorts,” Morrow told the jury. “You can trust that because it’s scientifically validated.”
Morrow said Schuldes was shot outside the women’s latrine, where she waited for Matheys before they went for a walk. When she came out of it, she was probably taken at gunpoint into the woods.
Although Schuldes died almost instantly from a shot to the neck, Morrow said that the last minutes of Mathey’s life were “absolutely horrible.”
Morrow noted jury testimony from pathologist Dr. Robert Corliss, who said she was shot once while she was standing and once on the ground. She showed a photo of Matheys’ partially clothed body when she was found on the ground, with his blouse over her head and her underwear in the background, and told the jury that it did not represent a consensual act.
“Raymand Vannieuwenhoven just saw an opportunity,” Morrow said. “He killed David Schuldes to get him out of the way, then he raped Ellen Matheys and then he killed her.”
Defense attorney Lee Schuchart reminded the jury that they were not arguing that the state could prove Vannieuwenhoven’s DNA was on Matheys’ shorts, and that the crime lab analyst could not testify to who, when or why it was deposited.
“DNA is just one piece … of this puzzle,” Schuchart said. “And that’s all they have in terms of physical evidence that can connect Ray to this crime. They have not proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Ray shot David and shot Ellen.”
Schuchart focused much of his closing argument on the testimony of two friends who passed through McClintock Park that day, suggesting someone else was the killer.
“There are two eyewitnesses who saw the shooter, with the murder weapon, walking toward the getaway vehicle,” Schuchart said.
He was referring to a Plymouth that was seen by the couple along with another witness, along the road leading to the camp. The car had Michigan plates.
The couple described the man, who was carrying a 30-30 rifle, as slim, about 6 feet tall, with medium-length brown hair and a mustache. One of the two witnesses, who Schuchart said “got a pretty good look” at the man with the rifle, said the man was no more than 28 years old.
Schuchart said that did not match Vannieuwenhoven, who is shorter, had short hair, was clean shaven and looked older than his 39 years at the time.
Despite a thorough investigation by the Marinette County Sheriff’s Office after Vannieuwenhoven was identified, they were unable to connect him to a weapon (the murder weapon was never found), the Plymouth with Michigan plates, the victims or even that he was aware of McClintock Park.
The circumstances, he said, “look like someone who got to know (the victims) would be there” and he attacked them.
Schuchart also questioned the destruction of some of the evidence, but Morrow called that routine for now, explaining that retention policies are much stricter today than they were decades ago.
Still, he said, “the most vital piece of evidence in this case, the shorts, was preserved.”
Mark Williams and Don Gahn
“He left his mark and 42 years later, he was identified,” Morrow said.
As for the lack of other evidence, he said, Vannieuwenhoven collected the shell casings and took more than 40 years to dispose of the rifle.
Morrow also suggested that the two witnesses’ description of the man with the rifle was not necessarily very different from Vannieuwenhoven’s at the time. She showed a photo of him from around 1976 that appeared to show him with a thick shadow of a beard, and said the man could only be seen by “a brief glance” from the side and then from the rearview mirror.
As for what Schuchart maintained that the “getaway vehicle” was just another car parked along the road, Morrow said.
“Look at the totality of the circumstances,” she urged the jury.
Mikulsky and Smith expressed appreciation for the efforts of the sheriff’s office, state crime lab staff and investigators who have worked on the case since the murders, as well as Morrow and special prosecutors Mark Williams and Don Gahn.
Smith noted that the couple was murdered just two months before they were married.
“Ellie and Dave had their lives and futures stolen from them, as well as everyone who knew and loved them,” she said.
“I wonder every day what the future would have held for them,” Smith added. “The world also loses because I would have had children and these children would have been blessed, and who knows what impact they may have had.”