Thursday, September 08, 2016

The Wetterling Case and the Monsters -- Part Two, The Serial Killer Down the Block

Tina's house
The house is painted red now, but it was white in the 1970s. It was a non-descript home, probably built in the 1920s or 1930s, on Pine Street, in Appleton, Wisconsin, just east of Prospect Avenue, one of the main arterials on the southwest side of the city. I grew up in a house about three blocks away, on Outagamie Street, near Alicia Park. It was on my paper route and I delivered newspapers there. I also walked by the house dozens of times during my childhood.

There was a girl who lived in the house. She was a classmate of mine at Jefferson Elementary School. Her name was Tina and what I remember about her is that she was tough -- not exactly a tomboy, but a girl who had not an ounce of sugar and spice in her. She hung around with some of the more sketchy kids in the class, but she was a mutual friend of one of my best friends growing up. I'd talk to Tina from time to time, mostly when I had to, but I didn't know her well. It's been about 40 years since I spoke to her last. I don't really know where she lives now, or if she's even alive at all.

Tina had a brother who was about five years older than she was. His name is James Duquette. And he is a serial killer.

I didn't know Anne Preimesberger, but I knew other people who did. She was 18 in 1980, a student at East High School, and she worked at a restaurant on the south edge of town. Although I can't find a picture of her, she was attractive and the people I knew said she was a nice girl. After a shift at the restaurant, she disappeared one day and didn't come home. As it turned out, she had the misfortune of encountering James Duquette, who raped her and murdered her, then dumped her body near an overpass. James Duquette raped and murdered a 14-year old girl, Tara Kassens, in 1987, and he is suspected in the deaths of at least two others, although there isn't enough physical evidence available to tie him to the crimes. He is currently serving four life terms in Massachusetts for crimes he committed there.

It took eleven years to bring James Duquette to justice. It took twenty-seven to bring Danny Heinrich to justice. You don't always know where the monsters are. And that is the source of our fear.


Gino said...

Kinda scary knowing you sisters in such close proximity to that guy.

Mr. D said...

Yes, although we suspected nothing at the time.