Matt C. Abbott
The teacher, with the knife, in the (Catholic) parish school?
By Matt C. Abbott
November 5, 2009

In response to my Oct. 22 column about the suspicious suicide of Father Waclaw Jamroz, whose body was found bearing more than 20 stab wounds, two readers brought up the Father Alfred Kunz case. Father Kunz, of the Diocese of Madison, was murdered in 1998 — his throat was cut — and the case remains unsolved.

While there have been no recent developments per se, media reports last year indicated that investigators have had at least one "person of interest" they've been monitoring the past few years.

Who is that person of interest? From what I understand, it's the teacher who "discovered" Father's body.

In journalist Chuck Nowlen's 2001 article The Devil and Father Kunz, the most thorough article on the case to date, Catholic attorney Peter B. Kelly (whose new "factional" novel I've featured in this column, this column and this column), a good friend of the late Fathers Charles Fiore and Kunz, was quoted as being skeptical that the teacher could have committed the murder.

But presently, Kelly doesn't have that same skepticism.

"I guess it's fair to say that while at the time I was skeptical about the teacher's guilt, and while I have not been shown the evidence collected at the crime scene by the police or witnessed their interviews with the teacher, I think the teacher certainly should be on the short list of suspects for this particularly devastating murder," Kelly said in an e-mail.

A motive, while murky, reportedly does exist. Obviously, investigators won't reveal what that motive is or any other details of the case. At this point, it appears that prosecutors believe the case simply isn't strong enough to prove "beyond a reasonable doubt." Hence, no arrest.

As for the more conspiratorial theories surrounding Father's murder, it seems investigators have all but discounted them over the last several years. Reports have indicated that whatever evidence was collected at the crime scene has led investigators to their present course. Does DNA evidence exist? Quite possibly. However, since the teacher "discovered" the body, he would have an easy explanation for how his DNA got there. Now, had the teacher not been the one to discover the body, and had he told investigators that he had been in, say, Timbuktu when the murder occurred — yet his DNA was found at the scene and he couldn't explain that — closed.

I still hold out hope that Father Kunz' murder will one day be solved. And I think Detective Kevin Hughes of the Dane County Sheriff's Office may be the one who, directly or indirectly, solves it.

Interestingly, we see in the case of the New Jersey priest who was recently murdered — stabbed 32 times — the janitor who had worked in the parish for many years has been arrested and charged with the murder (click here for the story). That case, unlike Father Kunz' murder and many others, was solved quickly.

I received the following (edited) e-mails in response to my Oct. 28 column.

Father Louis Jerome:

    'It might be said that the post-Vatican II Church is a mess. Sometimes a 'nice' mess; but most of the time just a 'messy' mess. In regard to your article and Donna Steichen's book, it seems that many bishops are just overpowered by feminist nuns and others who have their own agenda. A question that should be addressed to the bishops today in regards to the Church is 'Where are the men?' The Catholic Church and her liturgy have become feminized. Oftentimes a sole male priest at the altar is surrounded by female servers, lectors and special ministers. No wonder we cannot attract young men to the priesthood! How can bishops take seriously the concerns of feminists who are not really worried about the loss of thousands of souls but instead worry about masculine references in Scripture and must remove them lest the few aging hippies among their religious be offended! It is about time that the bishops got some 'juevos' and put a stop to this nonsense. Just my opinion!'


    'I have experienced this feminism in my own attempt to get a manuscript reviewed for the Imprimatur. The chancellor is a feminist nun who opposes its fidelity-to-the-Magisterium theme. It's frustrating beyond words that these feminist nuns, in particular, have worked their way into high teaching and power positions in our Church. They don't care about truth; they want control for the sake of control. Though my bishop is faithful, he must deal with her day in and day out. Frankly, I think he is getting tired of the fight. Thanks for sharing. I do believe women, in particular, have a duty to expose this rebellion for what it is. (When the bishops or priests try to expose it, the nuns cry about the patriarchs trying to beat them into submission.) Keep fighting the good fight.'


    'Thank you for bringing attention — so badly needed — to Donna Steichen's fantastic book Ungodly Rage. I know your comments were minimal, but what Mrs. Steichen exposes is really ungodly. I am going to pass your article around to many Catholic friends. I had one gentleman, to whom I had given the book, give it back to me after the first chapter. He said he could not stomach what he was reading. And so it goes. Most pew-sitting Catholics decide to put their heads in the sand about such issues and let the enemies of the Church go about their business.'

The Archdiocese of Miami has officially given the boot to the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi (click here for the story). While I don't have the slightest bit of sympathy for the late disgraced Father Marcial Maciel's LC/RC, the archdiocese has a long way to go before it resembles something more than a moral cesspool (click here for the story).

© Matt C. Abbott


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on HLN, MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 2019 ‘Unsolved’ podcast about the unsolved murder of Father Alfred Kunz, Alex Shuman's 'Smoke Screen: Fake Priest' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wisconsin. He’s been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other media outlets. He’s mentioned in the 2020 Report on the Holy See's Institutional Knowledge and Decision-Making Related to Former Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick (1930 to 2017), which can be found on the Vatican's website. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome and appreciate thoughtful feedback. Insults will be ignored. Only in very select cases will I honor a request to have a telephone conversation about a topic in my column. Email is much preferred. God bless you and please keep me in your prayers!)


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