People Magazine Investigates Recap for Brighton Ax Murderer

People Magazine Investigates Recap for Brighton Ax Murderer

People Magazine Investigates Recap for Brighton Ax Murderer

-This week’s episode of People Magazine Investigates is titled Brighton Ax Murderer and details the 1982 murder of Cathy Krauseneck.

-Cathy’s friend Gloria Winkowski remembers meeting her when she and her husband first moved to the Brighton area.

-Cathy and her husband James (Jim) met in high school and became closer when they went to college. They soon married and moved to Colorado. She went to work as an occupational therapist and he went to school to get his PhD.

-After the birth of their daughter Sara, Jim graduated and was offered a job at Kodak in New York. This allowed Cathy to be a stay-at-home mom while Jim worked long hours.

-Sara and Gloria became fast friends and grew very close. On February 19th, 1982, Gloria was to pick Cathy and Sara up for a doctor’s appointment. However, there was no answer at the house. Little did she know that Cathy had been killed.

-A neighbor noticed something amiss at the house and called the cops. Jim and Sara went next door in a state of shock as authorities investigated the murder. There was no sign of a struggle and no signs of sexual assault. Her time of death was 4:30-7:30am and it was inferred that she was killed with an axe while she slept.

-The rest of the house was investigated, and another axe was found, along with a shoe print, garbage bags and forced entry. It seemed to be a robbery gone wrong.

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-Gloria recalls getting the news and how it completely destroyed her.

-Jim and Sara go to the police station, where he was questioned. He claims he left 6:30 that morning and everything was fine. He came home that night to find Cathy dead. He scooped up Sara and went to a neighbor’s house to call the police.

-Sara was questioned and told authorities she was alone all day. She saw a bad man of many colors in mommy and daddy’s bed, not realizing that it was her mom covered in blood.

-Tips fly in about the case, including one about Edward Laraby, who had a rap sheet a mile long. He was on parole at the time of the murder and his MO fit the crime.

-Edward was questioned, but he was confirmed to be working that day. However, he didn’t have an alibi for the commute time–which was around the time of the murder. There was not enough evidence to keep him.

-Gloria admitted that Jim and Cathy had been having problems in their marriage.

-Authorities discovered that Jim never got his PhD and Cathy had also been investigating this since he could never prove it. There was also a possibility that Jim was going to lose his job over this.

-The investigation continues. The house looked like it had been staged to look like a burglary and someone broke in, but in reality it was an inside job.

-Jim is the number one suspect and refused to cooperate. However, there was not enough evidence to keep him for questioning. He also refused a second interview.

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-Cathy’s family is questioned but come up empty handed. The case continued to his dead ends.

-In 2014, Edward Laraby admitted to killing Cathy from behind bars. He also confessed to a 1991 murder of another woman named Stephanie Kupchynsky. The police think this has credibility and investigate further.

-Edward, who was dying from Lou Gerig’s disease, made demands in exchange for his confession. He admitted to raping and killing her when stopping by his house, but nothing in his confession matched what was found at the crime scene. He then admitted to doing this in exchange for benefits in jail before he died. He died a few weeks after his false confession.

-In 2015, the FBI took interest in the case, testing DNA with new technology. The shoe print, axe and maul were also looked into, making it clear that nothing in the case made sense.

-Further investigation shows that Cathy’s time of death was 3:30am when Jim was home. He was now the prime suspect.

-Sara is interviewed again and shares what happened that day. She says Jim never talked about the murder and cannot comprehend that he would do something like this.

-Jim is questioned again and is arrested for Cathy’s murder.

-Right before the trial, they noticed the shoe print and Jim’s shoes and realize they are the same pattern.

-40 years after the murder, Jim stands trial for the murder. He is convicted and sent to prison for 25-life. Cathy’s family is glad for justice.

-Sara claims her father is innocent.

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-Jim tried to appeal the case but died in prison in 2023.

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