Murder, Madness, and Mayhem: Who Killed Susan Bonser?
By 16YrVictim and ThinkGoat
Rushville, Illinois Sixteen years ago 34-year-old Susan Bonser was celebrating a new chapter in her life starting with an anticipated move into a new apartment in Rushville, Illinois. Little did she realize, a cold-blooded killer would postpone those plans forever.
October 16, 1993, Susan Bonser finished working 2nd shift in Beardstown, Illinois, met some friends at a local bar and then moved the party to her apartment in Rushville, some 15 miles away. Around 3am, all but one male friend left the home and he was the last to see Susan alive.
October 18, when Susan failed to arrive at work, two of her friends went to the apartment to check on her. As the door was locked, they ventured to a living room window and saw her body lying on the floor. Breaking the window, they gained entry and discovered Susan was indeed dead.
It’s my understanding, the initial reaction of the authorities was to treat this as a suicide or overdose, I guess despite the fact she was beaten and stabbed to death. But you know, if you call something a murder or anything other than a self-imposed death – well – there’s a shit load of work that goes along with that. I mean, you have to gather evidence, take pictures, fingerprints, interviews, follow leads. Oh wait, I’m sorry. I’m talking about how these things happen everywhere else but Schuyler County, IL. (and Ashland, IL) Seriously, did these idiots drink through basic cop training?
At the very least, they did keep a pair of blood-splattered underwear. I will give them the benefit of the doubt on this one (barely) and presume they did so in hope of advancing technology. Not by them, of course. Departments such as these are much more apt to sit around of their fat asses, eat a few boxes of stale doughnuts, and ponder the complexities of how to look busy while doing nothing but sucking up paychecks. However, when Sheriff Schieferdecker took over, he “re-opened” the Bonser case and supposedly the blood was tested on the panties and the DNA obtained did not match Bonser’s. That would be promising news – having a DNA profile in a small community, right? Not in Schuyler county.
According to an article that appeared in the Peoria Journal Star, (dated April 5, 2002) Schieferdecker divulged he’d received 3 anonymous letters over a course of 18 months allegedly naming the killer. Also, in that same article, Shittenpecker also stated, “We’re very close (to solving this case). I’d just like to take the last step”. Well sir, that “last step” shouldn’t have taken you 8 fucking years and counting, you know? And to show the dedication (and original campaign promise) of this sheriff, the one who presides over the very county in which this murder occurred, there’s been no constant updates to the family of this young woman who was brutally murdered. As a matter of fact, Ms. Bonser’s sister has tirelessly researched, chased down rumors, and finally reconnected with Illinois State Police who’re now willing to take another and deeper look into a murder gone cold.
This is 16YrVictim’s story:
I just can’t help myself from adding to the recent examples of just how bad the stench can be in Central Illinois, and I ain’t just talking hog shit. I have one pissed off angel on my shoulder and trust me, its not pleasant. She doesn’t talk but she doesn’t have to…I get the attitude. See, there must’ve been some kinda wild party in her pants that weekend in October, 1993, but ending up dead probably killed the afterglow for her. Since I can’t provide many answers or details other than what has been published or televised in the past, thought we’d try an old story in a new format and Thinkgoat was kind enough to let me vent here… As far as who did it and when, the local police are still fine tuning those minor details.
The last article I can find on Susan’s death was the (above referenced) Peoria Star Journal (dated 2002) and go figure, it was an election year. (Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but it is just odd how things always seem to happen around certain even numbered years.) As far as her family knows, since I don’t believe any of us have spoken to local authorities since 2002, there hasn’t been much activity until just recently. With this renewed curiousity in her case, it was decided to drag it out of the shadows and make it a little more open to public scrutiny this time. We’re pretty tired of keeping the secrets that have been told to us in the past and we are finding out that not any one person was told all the pertinent details, but that different versions were told to different people. Suspects can demand their attorney and not have to listen to anymore details or answer any more questions, but the victims family and close friends…we’re kind of at their mercy. We waited patiently for any little tidbit of information that would help them bring this person(s) to justice and we played the game by their rules, if there are any. Maybe if the local police had treated their suspects with the same sort of psychological tactics they did some of the family and close friends, maybe this case would be solved. Maybe they did. Thats just one other thing we would like to know. A lot of what we have been told doesn’t seem to add up, so let’s throw it out here and utilize some of these tools that weren’t available at the time of her crime but are now.
You see, in 2003, a family member told the rest of us something that gave us a pretty good idea how things might have gone down, the “who” but still not a definite ”when”. They had met with the sheriff in late 2001 and had kept this info to themselves as requested, just waiting for something to come of it. It was solid enough to let us stop speculating on who did it, and with that discovery came the realization that this might be all there ever is, given who the “who” was. And we accepted that – there was always hope that more details would emerge that would answer the rest of our questions, but we trusted this information and disregarded any other suspicions that had lingered over the years. What has bothered us the most is not knowing the when…what date? (I will not look at her tombstone again without that fucking date on it.) Maybe it’s just me, but that’s disgraceful. I have no idea if they’ve resubmitted her case anywhere to try updated technology to get that date, but I would like to be able to and have requested the necessary information to do so. It still may be impossible to determine, but its worth a shot.
The death of Ryan Jones and the details (or lack thereof) surrounding it, hit very close to home – it is extremely frustrating and painful to know what his family is experiencing. We lived it. That family deserves for someone to come forward. It should be about the truth, not just what can be proven in court, but its not. That’s reality. And it sucks. I had never before doubted what we had been told, but reading the articles and the comments online that said the good sheriff had lied to Rick and the questions of who and how that still remain, made me ask myself some hard questions that needed some answers. So I started by asking the state police to look into it. That was in November. I contacted this agent again after the first of the year with some new questions to add to the old ones he still hadn’t gotten answers to. I was told there was new activity and to contact the local authorities… I chose not to. I later learned that the name on the anonymously sent notes had come back into play. The only info I can share on that is I have asked to be informed if what was supposed to be done was done to either confirm or exclude this person. Not quite sure how it all ties in to the pretty damning shit we heard about the other person, so that should be interesting. About a month ago, I learned of some questionable tactics used in an attempt to investigate a suspect in 2002 that just pissed me off and I knew I had to do something. I tracked down one of the state officers that worked on her case in the past. He provided some answers, but of course, answers like these always lead to just more questions. It never ends.
But it may be time to get some answers…the Illinois State Police have scheduled a meeting to discuss her case on May 28th. Maybe, just maybe, something may come of all this. If I may ask all of you – I am putting this out here now because I know some of you reading this know more about this and all its dirty little secrets. I know it’s been a long time, but I ask you to try and remember anything that you know, might have heard, or even suspect…….lets shine a really bright light on all this bullshit and see what scurries out. Please – share your questions and thoughts and knowledge on here – just make up a name and type away…Any piece of info could be that piece that they’ve needed. And if you’ve told the police something but you don’t know if you were heard, please speak here.
I said years ago that life with Susan was the ride of a lifetime. She’s about to take me for another one…wanna go??