Raymond Vannieuwenhoven, 84, was sentenced to life in prison in the United States on Thursday for the murder of a couple in the state of Wisconsin in 1976. respectively, spent years unknown until a DNA test in 2018 linked the elderly to the crime.
According to police, the couple was about to get married and decided to camp in McClintock Park when he was murdered. First, someone shot David. The criminal then chased Ellen, sexually abused her and then shot the girl twice.
DNA samples in Ellen’s body were collected at the time and sent to a database, but the analysis of this type of material only began to be carried out in the 1990s in the United States, after FBI approval. No suspects were identified until 2018, when local police hired a new analytics service developed by a local company.
Imprisoned since 2019, the accused did not confess to being the perpetrator of the murders. It is also unclear what motivated the violent action. Vannieuwenhoven had police tickets. At the age of 20, he assaulted a 17-year-old girl who was walking with friends on the street and spent six months in prison. In the 1960s, he confessed that he did not offer financial support to his wife and one-year-old daughter and was on probation for 12 months. At this week’s trial, the court decided to follow the parameters of the laws of 1976, when the crime took place. At the time, the case was called first-degree murder. The proper sentence, according to the judge, was consecutive life imprisonment for each charge due to the gravity of the acts.
The session was marked by emotion. According to television station NBC26, Vannieuwenhoven’s youngest daughter read a statement in court in which she said she believed in her father’s innocence and argued that he was “unjustly accused.” – You are my father. You will always be my father. And I love you, and I will always love you,” he said. On the other hand, for friends and relatives of the victims, the sentence was received as a form of cure. Many wore a T-shirt that read “I’ve missed you since 1976, but in 2021 you’re finally getting justice.” “I know Ellie and Dave wouldn’t want us to carry this around forever. So we need to think that way now. And I hope they’re resting better up there, taking care of us all the time,” said Lynn Baumgartner, Ellen’s friend.