Lancaster, Wisconsin Originally I glanced at this article, bookmarked the page, and decided to let it ferment in my brain a couple of days to see where I’d go with it. I mean, it’s not everyday one gets a story like this dropped in their lap. Upon first appearance, it seemed to have everything that makes me excited about covering a story…fuck-up looking perpetrators, extreme stupidity, and one of the few bizarre-type crimes that’ll really make one stop and say, “what in the hell?”, “Jesus Christ”, “LMFAO”, or a beautiful mix of the three. This story can also be viewed as a tale of brotherly love and loyal friendship. But after digging a little further and discussing this case with another staff member, this bizarre crime quickly became overshadowed by a big example of how the laws can change in the blink of an eye and one can be held accountable for charges that were dropped years earlier. I really hate when a fantastic case of attempted necrophilia is spoiled by legal shit. Especially a case as beautiful as this.
In 2006, these three rather handsome dudes devised a grand plan to assist brother and awesome friend Nicholas Grunke with his longtime fantasy of fucking a dead chick. For real. The longtime dream came to an pseudo-urgent head when Nick had seen a picture in the local obituaries featuring a young woman who’d been killed in a motorcycle crash. What’s better, huh? She’d been dead only a short amount of time so the flesh she had left after the wreck would relatively be in place, right? Besides, what are the chances her “goods” would be all torn up? And I know that was probably considered because it seems as though Nick had thought some things through, like what to take with them, but failed to be completely prepared for the obstacles they’d face once they started executing their plan…
Like getting through the concrete vault and casket. They did allegedly have a tire iron in the vehicle with them, and obviously had shovels because when police investigated, they found the rather large hole in the ground that exposed the vault. They did adhere to what was taught to them in school about having safe sex – they stopped off at the local Walmart ahead of time and purchased a box of condoms. They had a gray tarp that they planned on wrapping around the corpse. They even had a beautiful wooded area behind Nick’s house where he planned on wooing this dead body. But they failed to think about the effort it’d take to break through the barriers that separated them from the once-in-a-lifetime (hopefully) experience.
Nick seemed to think he preferred the dead type so he’d not have to listen to any nagging. Obviously he’d experienced some issues previously, more than likely being a failure at achieving some form of orgasm via self-manipulation and knew any living/breathing girl would never keep quiet about having experienced a wasted fuck. For sure.
Alexander Grunke and Dustin Radke teamed up with Grunke’s twin Nickolas (all 20-years-old at the time) and proceeded to St. Charles Catholic Cemetery in Cassville, Wisconsin to dig up Laura Tennessen. Since Laura was also 20 when she was killed, I wonder if she was picked because Nick wanted to finally be able to say he’d screwed a girl his own age and not have to lie about it? Anyway, this terrific trio got a little spooked when a vehicle approached and they fled the scene in their vehicle. The police were notified by a report of suspicious behavior and it didn’t take long for them to track down a car with three individuals acting strangely and sweating profusely. With a couple quick confessions and a vehicle full of evidence, the idiots were arrested on attempted sexual assault, attempted theft, and attempted damage to cemetery property. Interestingly, Wisconsin did not have a law on the books regarding necrophilia. One would think that’s a no-brainer. Then again, there are states that do not have bestiality laws. I suppose they just think everyone knows that normal people don’t go around screwing dead things and animal-type things. Then again, lawmakers haven’t read crime sites such as this regularly either.
In an archived article dated 9/20/2006, Judge George Curry dismissed the attempted sexual assault charges against the three and stated there was enough evidence to proceed with the other charges. They were later convicted of the attempted theft and attempted damage to property charges. So how is it that Wisconsin could, after charges were dropped, come back and recharge the three with a crime that was clearly not on the books when the crime took place? Even after a court of appeals agreed with the decision there was no law that could apply to the attempted necrophilia?
As one can imagine, people went nuts and pressure was applied to redefine or rewrite a law that wasn’t so murky. And it was done so in July of 2008. Two years after charges had been dropped. The law is named after Laura Tennessen, the victim that was the object of Nick’s desires. And I guess you can’t very well memorialize someone by naming a law after them if there were no formal ties binding an actual incident and her now, can you?
This is how the “system” is getting away with what I personally consider double-jeopardy.
The outrage sparked the Wisconsin Supreme court to make a case State of Wisconsin v. Grunke. In a 5-2 vote, the state ruled to uphold the original charges of attempted sexual assault against the three idiots.
“[w]hoever has sexual intercourse with a person without the consent of that person is guilty of a felony.” In this case, the woman in question did not “consent” to any sexual acts therefore the law against sexual assault applies here. The court wrote, “The State must still prove the element ‘without consent’ beyond a reasonable doubt; that endeavor is subject to a simple proof when the victim is a corpse.”
No shit. However, this was not the way the law was originally interpreted when these three committed the crime. The law was known by the prosecution and the judge who heard the case. Even the court of appeals. The charges were dropped. As fucked-up as the situation was, as much justice as I’d like to see administered to Laura’s family, it’s extremely dangerous territory for our judges to start re-interpreting laws in order to recharge criminals, isn’t it? Shouldn’t it have actually worked like this: these three get a “you were fucking lucky” associated with their names and the “system” acknowledges its bloodied eye, apologizes to the citizens of the state, and vow to never let this sort of thing slip through the cracks again due to their negligence to make revisions needed due to the increasingly sick-fucking-idiots out here? To weasel around and find some fuck-up way to justify double-jeopardy is as fucked-up as the Grunke boy’s fantasy was.
Nicholas Grunke, Dustin Radke, and now Alexander Grunke have all been found guilty of third-degree sexual assault. Nicholas has already been sentenced to two years in prison, three years of extended supervision, and placed on the sex offender registry for at least five years. Alexander’s fate has yet to be determined.