Menomonie, Wisconsin History/jennanelson02
Crime in Menomonie
A crime is an act harmful not only to some individual or individuals but also to a community, society or the state. Such acts are forbidden and punishable by law. Menomonie, Wisconsin, is home to many crimes; some petty crimes, but also some very serious ones. Menomonie has been involved in bank robberies, serial killer murders, and even murders by University of Wisconsin-Stout students.
Kraft State Bank Robbery
Dating back to 1931, the Kraft State Bank Robbery occurred. At 9:15 a.m. an automobile pulled up to the 400 block of Main Street in Menomonie. The driver stayed at the wheel with the car running, ready to escape, while three other armed men made their way down the street and through the front doors of the Kraft State Bank. The men busted through the doors, they had their guns out and rushed into the lobby and forced the employees in the building onto the floor. “While two robbers kept their guns trained on the victims, the other scooped more than $90,000 in cash and securities from the open vault." The bank guard on duty set off the alarm and headed up to the roof, hoping he could possibly get a shot off when the men exited the bank. At the sound of the alarm, Webber, the getaway driver pulled the car up to wait for his partners who he assumed would be frantically exiting. Webber was right, and the bank doors flew open followed by the three robbers running out. They were not alone though; James Kraft and Mrs. W. A. Schafer were in their hands as their shields and hostages. Mrs. Schafer luckily got away though, when she tripped and the robbers kept running without stopping to pick her up. All sorts of citizens that worked on the block came out with guns drawn and started shooting at the suspects. Webber was shot in the eye by one of the restaurant owners, and he eventually died while on the highway. The robbers also shot one of their hostages, James Kraft, in the back of the head. The three robbers made a quick pit stop to push Webber and Kraft’s body’s out onto the street, then took off continuing their pursuit with the sheriffs and citizens. One of the robbers, Charles Preston Hamon, was struck by a bullet on his neck and knee. He was in so much pain during their drive that the two other robbers pulled over and laid Hamon on the ground. They left him with some weapons just in case he pulled through, and then drove off. Hamon died shortly after, laying on the side of the road. The two other gang members that escaped from the robbery took off and were not seen or heard from, until 8 months after the robbery. “The two surviving bandits in the Kraft Bank robbery, Keating and Holden, were captured eight months later while playing golf on a Kansas City golf course a few short miles from Leavenworth Prison from which they had escaped from before taking part in the Kraft State Bank job." Author, Marv Balousek, said that the Kraft State Bank Robbery was the 34th bank hold up in that year alone; but, it was one of the all time bloodiest in the state’s history of crimes.
1987 Gunshot Murder of Timothy Hayden
The crime in Menomonie didn’t stop there. In 1987, there was a visit from a serial killer by the name of Alvin Taylor. On March 26, 1987, a University of Wisconsin-Stout maintenance worker, Timothy Hayden, was gunned down by Alvin Taylor. Hayden was a known acquaintance of Taylor, and invited Taylor into his home. “Taylor snuck up behind Hayden and shot him several times in the head with a .22 handgun. Then he took a gun that was there and smashed Mr. Hayden in the face." Unfortunately, Mr. Hayden wasn’t the only victim that lost his/her life due to Mr. Taylor’s actions. After Taylor was found and arrested at Hayden’s funeral, he admitted to stabbing one other male, and shooting two others. He was involved in those four murders within the time span of 1985-1987. When Taylor was arrested after the death of Hayden, he began to explain that he was a “soldier of God,” and he was driven to murder these men from signs from the television and radio. When it was time for his trial in the two Dunn County cases, from two of his murders in Menomonie and Eau Claire, he was diagnosed by a psychiatrist with paranoid schizophrenia. His diagnosis led his psychiatrist to testify to the courts that his actions were not malicious, and he only acted that way due to his newly diagnosed mental illness. The courts ended up sending Taylor to Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison, instead of sending him off to prison. While at Mendota, a forensic psychologist, ruled schizophrenia out of the picture, saying that it was an inaccurate diagnosis. “Taylor was re-diagnosed with a persecutory type of a delusional disorder that includes antisocial and narcissistic behaviors.” Through Taylor’s stay in Mendota, he tried many times to be released, claiming that he has healed himself by doing yoga, meditation, and different therapies. The courts still saw his actions as unsafe, and harm to the public, so his motions were denied. As of July 2015, now, 68-year old Alvin Taylor, has once again began another attempt to get out of Mendota, where he has been since the late 1980’s. His attempts to get out, since 2010, have continuously been denied. Alvin Taylor still remains in Mendota Mental Health Institute.
2 UW-Stout Hockey Players Charged in Death of Student
Not all crimes along the line of murder have taken place years ago. Five short years ago, a University of Wisconsin-Stout student’s night of “fun,” took a turn for the worse when he was killed by two other students who were apart of the UW-Stout men’s hockey team. “It started with a comment about someone not wearing a shirt underneath his hooded jacket, and it ended with a young man crumpled on a sidewalk dying from massive head wounds." 22 year old, Bradley L. Simon, was having a night out at Log Jam Bar in Menomonie. Simon was approached by Jedediah “Jed” McGlasson and Jared Britton. Earlier in the night, Britton got a drink spilt on him, which led him to take his shirt off under his zip-up jacket. Simon had approached Britton and “made fun of him” for not wearing a shirt under his jacket. Britton retaliated by slapping Simon’s drink out of their hand, which led into an argument. The argument continued on for about an hour, but kept getting re-sparked up by a few other hockey players, including Jed McGlasson. The bouncer eventually had enough and kicked the hockey boys out, and advised Simon to stay put for a few minutes. A witness who met Simon in the bar stated that he did not want to leave the bar, because he was worried he would be attacked if he left the same time as the hockey boys. That same witness helped Simon escape out the back door of the bar, but that wasn’t quite enough. McGlasson and Britton saw Simon speeding away on his bike, and took off running after him. Witnesses said they saw McGlasson attempt to push Simon off his bike. “The bouncer added that after the push, Simon veered left and the front tire of his bicycle hit a concrete retaining wall. The impact lifted the cyclist into the air and caused him to hit his head." Just after 2 a.m., Menomonie police and various medical personals arrived to the scene where Simon laid unconscious. “Simon died five days later at Luther Hospital in Eau Claire. An autopsy showed he suffered traumatic head injuries, cuts and abrasions to his head and ear, cerebral edema and a skull fracture." Both boys were initially facing charges of felony murder and battery. After more than seven hours of trial, Jared Britton, was found not guilty of the murder of Bradley Simon. Britton’s lawyer stated that, “it was nothing but a freak accident." Jedidiah McGlasson and the court system reached a plea deal. Jed was sentenced to 90 days in jail, 1 year of probation, and 200 hours of community service. Although Bradley Simon’s Parents weren’t the uttermost thrilled with how the trials of the men who more or less caused the death of their son went, McGlasson expressed some sincerity to them while he took the stand for the first time. "There hasn't been a day that's gone by that I haven't thought about that night. I wish I wasn't there, I wish I would have stayed home or gone somewhere else, I truly do feel sorry for you guys," McGlasson stated.