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Who Killed Sarah?

Penny Brummer

On March 15, 1994, Sarah Gonstead, a 21-year-old Madison, Wisconsin woman, seemed to vanish.

Three weeks later, on April 9, a bicyclist found Sarah's lifeless body in a secluded wooded area just outside Madison.

Four days later, on April 13, police and prosecutors decided they knew who the killer was - Penny Brummer, 24, an acquaintance of Gonstead's.

Today, Penny is serving a long term at Taycheedah Correctional Institution. She has never stopped maintaining her innocence.

Journalist Bill Lueders observed that
Penny doesn't proclaim her innocence so much as quietly exude it.
Police arrested Penny in part because she had gone barhopping with Sarah just before the disappearance; because Penny was a former military security guard with a knowledge of weapons; because, as an alcoholic, Penny sometimes blacked out or otherwise became unaware of her actions; and, maybe, because of negative stereotypes about lesbians, a category that includes Penny.

All of the Signs of Innocence, criteria developed by David Protess, Director of The Chicago Innocence Project, apply to Penny.

Physical Evidence?
No physical evidence tied Penny to the crime; the murder weapon was never found.

Credible eye witnesses?
Key witnesses included James Foseid, who changed his story several times (and continues to change it).

Alibis?
Penny was home in Spring Green in time to see a TV show that started at 1:37 a.m. Sarah, forensic evidence suggests, may not have died until several hours later.

Any credible confession?
Penny maintains her innocence, although a police detective claimed she nodded slightly when he stated, "I think you were involved in Sarah's death."

Background of defendant?
No prior criminal record.


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Please Help!

Please help pay for defense costs and DNA testing with your generous donation.

All persons who donate $25.00 or more will receive a copy of "Who Killed Sarah?" in e-book format, your choice of .pdf or .mobi (for Kindle).  Send us an e-mail for details.

Who Killed Sarah
MIP Publications

If you prefer, you can send a check to:


Penny Brummer Defense Fund
The People's Community Bank
P. O. Box 369
Spring Green, WI  53588

Checks should be made payable to "Penny Brummer Defense Fund".  Thank you!

If you have any information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of the person/persons responsible for the death of Sarah Gonstead or the death of Kelly Nolan, please contact us by e-mail.

This website developed in cooperation with Truth in Justice, Maloney Innocence Project and Innocence Consultants.





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