Boots & Sabers

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2007, 01 Jun 19

Cold Case: Closed


Ray Vannieuwenhoven was his next-door neighbor — a helpful, 82-year-old handyman with a gravelly voice and a loud, distinctive laugh.

The widower and father of five grown children had lived quietly for two decades among the 800 residents of Lakewood, a northern Wisconsin town.

Now authorities were saying he was a killer. They had used genetic genealogy to crack a cold case that stretched back well into the 20th century — a double murder 25 miles (40 kilometers) southwest of Lakewood.

For nearly 43 years, Vannieuwenoven had lived in plain sight, yet outside detectives’ radar.


David Schuldes and Ellen Matheys, engaged to be married, set up their campsite at a secluded spot in McClintock Park on Friday afternoon, July 9, 1976.

It appeared they were alone.

Two shots from a .30-caliber rifle shattered the quiet. One bullet struck Schuldes’ neck from 50 feet (15 meters) away, killing him instantly. The other bullet lodged in the wall of the bathroom Matheys was using while Schuldes waited outside.

Matheys ran, with the killer in pursuit, investigators say. He caught and raped her, then shot her twice in the chest. Her body was found 200 yards (182 meters) from where Schuldes lay.

Investigators were stumped: They didn’t know why the couple was targeted, the killer took no money, and leads were scant.

DNA profiling in the ’90s brought new hope, but detectives got no matches when they submitted the semen from Matheys’ shorts to the FBI’s national database.

Then last year, detectives contacted Virginia-based Parabon NanoLabs, a DNA technology company whose work with genetic genealogy analysis has helped police identify 55 suspects in cold cases nationwide since May 2018, according to the company. Parabon uploads DNA from crime scenes to GEDmatch, a free, public genealogy database with about 1.2 million profiles, all voluntarily submitted by people who’ve used consumer genealogy sites.

California law enforcement used GEDmatch to capture the Golden State Killer last year by finding distant relatives and reverse-engineering his family tree.

Using that technique, Parabon’s experts concluded in December that Vannieuwenhoven’s parents had lived in the Green Bay area. Now detectives needed DNA samples from Vannieuwenhoven and his three brothers. Two were ruled out with DNA samples collected from one brother’s trash and another’s used coffee cup.

On March 6, two sheriff’s deputies knocked on Vannieuwenhoven’s door, asking him to fill out a brief survey on area-policing. They told him to put the survey in an envelope and seal it with his tongue.

Detectives didn’t need to visit the fourth brother. Eight days later, Vannieuwenhoven was in custody.


2007, 01 June 2019


  1. Kevin Scheunemann


  2. dad29

    That’s “Vanevenhoven” in the anglicized version.  Hardware-store family in DePere/Green Bay.


  3. jjf

    What, no one’s going to speculate if he’s liberal or conservative?

  4. Le Roi du Nord


    You sure about that? Would be bad for you to besmirch an innocent family…

    I knew Ms. Matheys.  She was a librarian at UW-GB when I attended.  Great person.

    And a great job by the Oconto Sheriffs Dept catching this guy.

  5. Kevin Scheunemann


    Well, he did awful, Hollywood style, evil acts, and spent decades trying to avoid consequences for those evil acts…that would point to “liberal”.

  6. dad29

    I note that the Democrat Convention is done.  LeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeRoy’s back and so is Jiffy.   We’ll have to type real slow again so they can read it.

  7. Paul

    Way past time to doxx JJF and Le Roi du Nord….

  8. Kevin Scheunemann


    That has nothing to do with this case….and, yes, the politician in your article is a piece of crap and should resign!   you have yet to, ever say that about a Democrat.   And the perverts in the Democrat Party are numerous.

  9. dad29

    We all know who JJF is, Paul.  Nebbish, obnoxious, on the spectrum someplace, but harmless.

    You go find LeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeRoy.  Start by looking at 30-and-0ut Wisconsin State pensioners with DOT service living around Stevens Point.  To narrow it down, look for ‘pain in the ass’.  He never changed his stripes.

  10. dad29

    Oh, and a degree from UW-GB.  He regards that as a ‘credential.’

  11. Le Roi du Nord


    And several other fine institutions as well.  Jealous?  And you got the other details all wrong as well.  No surprise.

    little paulie”

    Another threat?  Owen (and law enforcement) doesn’t like that.

  12. Paul

    Nobody’s threatening you, pedo.

    Go back to gumming dinner, old timer.

  13. dad29

    If you consider college degrees to be ‘education,’ you are deluded, but that fits you.

    Knowledgeable people understand that what one does after college is the real education, and that what one learned by age 10 at home determines how one interacts with society as a whole.

    So no jealousy here.  It’s more fun to smirk at your feeble efforts to advance progressive “thought” knowing that the progressives are losing the war.

  14. Le Roi du Nord

    Well, dud, I’m sure your MD with their 5th grade education is serving you and yours just fine.  As is the  5th grade education of the engineer that designed the cars you drive or the airplanes that you ride in.

    But if you are truly critical of someones education why not criticize your fearless leader who shamelessly brags about his degree from Wharton, his extremely stable genius, and how he knows more about everything than everybody, yet can’t speak or tweet in complete sentences, or with any coherence of thought.  Perhaps the narcissism, egomania, sexual predator/abuser nature,  and thin skin was learned at home by age 10, or maybe he intentionally promotes  those  traits to appeal to folks like you.

    Please enlighten us……

  15. jjf

    If the conservatives would just listen to the college professors, they’d discover that it’s hard enough to get the kids to do the readings.  You think they can wave a magic wand and convert them into card-carrying communists?

    Seriously, if you were hiring, you’d turn down the college-educated?

  16. dad29

    Oh, no, LeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeRoy.  You mis-read my posts.

    The engineers who designed the self-flying 737 Max, and the “autopilot” Tesla are the epitome of engineers!!

    They are also morons who should be given crayolas while in their cells.

  17. dad29

    It’s what we normals call “Educated beyond their intelligence.”  You should be very familiar with the phrase.

  18. Le Roi du Nord

    So you are a 5th grade drop-out and are wiser than all of us?  And folks that got us to the moon and back were educated beyond their intelligence?  Your life truly is one of alternative reality….

  19. jjf

    Oh, yes, Le Roi.  Dad29 is in exactly the right sweet spot on everything.  How fortunate he was to be born into a family with just the right religion!  He’ll remind you just how perfectly smart he is, and that everyone else is over-educated!  Everyone driving slower then him is an idiot, everyone going faster is a maniac!  He’s a dessert topping and a floor wax!

  20. Mar

    To jjf and LeRoi, college is nice but not always necessary. I was a special education teacher and graduated from UW-Madisin, which at the time was in the top 10 Nationwide of special education schools. Just like Obama, the professors were book smart and write good papers and books and published research. But out in the real world, they were dumb as gnats, with apologies to gnats. I didn’t learn anything from the special education department that helped me in the classroom. It was a waste of 4 years.
    But I had to go to college if I wanted to be a teacher.
    You don’t need 4 years of college to become a teacher. If you can prove yourself knowledgeable in your subject area, why do you need college?

  21. dad29

    The 737 Max went to the moon and back?  Tell us more!

    And I made it through 7th grade.


  22. Le Roi du Nord

    If you say so dud, it must be true.  I’ll defer to your authority.

    Mar:  I agree to a point.  Early on I wanted be a a mason, so I worked my tail off to learn the trade. Construction crash in the 70’s (and a sore back) convinced be to do some thing else.    So I did.  I respect the knowledge I can gain from anyone regardless of their trade, profession, or level of education.  But to make a blanket denouncement of folks with more education is foolish, and an indicator of some deep seated insecurity.  And to some, like dud, ignorance is bliss.

    dud made a snarky comment about the fact that I was at UW-GB and knew one of the victims.  How that degenerated into a discussion about the value of education is pretty bizarre.  Best ask him for his rationale.

  23. Mar

    Yeah, I was wondering about the UWGB, The only thing I really know is that they used to have a really good basketball team when the Bennett’s were there.

  24. Le Roi du Nord

    Sure did, but that was after my time as a Phoenix.  And now Tony wins a national title as a Cavalier. Dick is one pretty proud dad.

    They were a DII powerhouse in the seventies as well, finishing back to back seasons as national runner-up.

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